I enjoy your website a great deal, and have especially found comfort in the Probe Answer to E-mail "I Think I've Committed the Unforgiveable Sin."
I, much like person who wrote in, have been assailed by doubts and fears that I've blasphemed the Holy Spirit. I've read so many things indicating that I haven't, but I've had a hard time accepting them. I recall a specific time in my life that I (for no reason) wanted to push God's limit. Knowing there was a blasphemy against the Spirit, I tested and cursed (in my head) God. After a while of this (and I didn't want to do any of these things--they came out of nowhere--or just my sinful nature, perhaps), I started reading the scriptures dealing with this sin and wondering, "What if Satan's really behind Jesus and His miracles? What if Satan has fooled us all into believing in God, but it's all a joke?" Immediately after thinking these things, I just knew I had blasphemed the Spirit by calling God Satan.
While I'm also aware that other scriptures don't carry the disclaimer, "unless you commit the unpardonable sin," I fear that it still applies, since Jesus Himself made this sin the one exception. Just because it isn't always there in a disclaimer doesn't seem to make it null and void, in my opinion. In addition, I feel that my concern doesn't really prove my innocence. A lot of times, people say that the fact that I'm concerned means God is working with me, but could it be that God has left me, and my own conscience is torturing me? Or maybe it's Satan, telling me, "You can never be saved now! You're through!" Perhaps it IS God working with me, but He isn't offering forgiveness. Maybe, as part of my punishment, He's calling me--dangling that carrot of salvation out in front of me, while also saying, "You've gone too far--you can't be saved!" Why is there no evidence that He did it with the Pharisees, if this is the case? Maybe He did! Or, given their personalities, maybe it would be worse punishment for them to build more and more power, just to see it crumble when they reach Hell. With my sensitive conscience, perhaps the greater punishment would be to torment me here AND in Hell.
Is there any way you might be able to clear this up for me? My girlfriend, who is a Christian, says there's no way God would send someone to Hell for having weird thoughts, and I desperately want to agree with her. But we all, as sinners, deserve Hell to begin with...so I'm very torn. Every time I feel safe from worry, I start over-analyzing and talking my way out of assurance...
"Everything can be forgiven, but you've rejected the last appeal.." vs. "Everything can be forgiven, but you've gone too far!!"
Bless your heart. Satan really has been playing mind games with you, hasn't he? What a dirty rotten liar and skunk.
Please remember that God loves you, MUCH more than you have the capacity to receive or even imagine. Please remember that He understands just how fallen your intellect and your conscience is (as is the case for ALL of us). Please remember that He fully knows that we can only "see through a glass darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12 KJV) on this side of eternity. Therefore, He completely understands that we're going to jump to faulty conclusions because we have faulty thinking, and He has more grace to extend to you than you can possibly experience.
I think growing older will help you with this. Once you are married and you are a father, you will understand the heart of God toward you much more than you can now. You will know that God passionately loves you and will do just about anything to help you know Him and understand Him and ENJOY Him. As a father, you won't want to play mind games with your children or dangle carrots in front of them--your love will blow those kinds of thoughts away.
Instead of trying to explain away all the mental gymnastics you've been going through to wrack yourself with doubt over the fear of committing the unforgiveable sin, I'm going to make a very serious suggestion: that you pray every day, for three months at least, "Lord, teach me that You love me." Look for the ways He will answer that prayer. (And He will!)
And then write me back and let's see where you are in your spiritual life.
I really mean this, ______.
© 2006 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
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Plano TX 75075