Sermonette: Forgiveness and The Unpardonable Sin
Given 28-Sep-19; 20 minutes
Mark Schindler, clearing up a misunderstanding on the part of an individual who had expressed concern that he had equated "lack of forgiveness with the unpardonable sin," shares the contents of his e-mailed response. We find the context of the unpardonable sin in Matthew 12:25-32 and Mark 3:38, when the Pharisees blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by attributing the power of God, enabling Christ to perform miracles to evil Satanic forces. If we refuse to repent of our inability to forgive someone else, refusing God's power to change our bitter, hate-filled resentment of another human being created in God's image, we are incrementally edging toward the unpardonable sin. In Herbert W. Armstrong's booklet on the Unpardonable Sin, he states that our perfection will come about through the power of Jesus Christ. During our sanctification process, we will always fall on our noses, just as frustrated as the apostle Paul in Romans 7. The two ways we may commit the unpardonable sin is 1.) deliberate choice, a fixed permanent decision, often motivated by a root of bitterness and resentment, and 2.) a neglect of using the spiritual gifts we have received to overcome bitterness and resentment, not realizing that bitterness will not harm the other fellow but will certainly consume and destroy us. If we neglect prayer and Bible study, and if we refuse to set our affections on things above, we certainly could be destroyed by a root of bitterness (Hebrews 12:14). Forgiveness is difficult, probably the most difficult when we resent a brother in Christ, but the willing failure to forgive, along with any other unrepented sin has the potential of permanently separating us from God. When we refuse or deny God's power to change us, we blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.