By Paul Ellis


Here is a conversation I have on a regular basis:

Reader: ” I’m worried that I have committed the unforgivable sin.”

Me: “You haven’t.”

Reader: “But I had these terrible thoughts about the Lord…”

Me: “You didn’t commit an unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “I shook my fist at heaven and said these wicked things…”

Me: “Still no.”

Reader: “But I took the Lord’s name in vain.”

Me: “The good news is he forgives you. Jesus said, ‘Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven’ (Matthew 12:32).”

Reader: “But the rest of that verse says those who speak against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. I’m doomed!”

Me: “Uh-huh. So you think Jesus is gracious and forgiving but the Spirit of Christ holds a grudge? What’s wrong with that picture? Relax. The Holy Spirit keeps no record of your sin (Heb 10:17).”

Reader: “I still worry that I committed the unpardonable sin.”

Me: “Do you love Jesus?”

Reader: “Of course.”

Me: “What does Jesus mean to you?”

Reader: “He’s my Lord.”

Me: “You could not know that except the Holy Spirit showed you. The only thing that cannot be forgiven is rejecting what the Spirit says about Jesus. Therefore you have not committed the unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “I’m pretty sure I did.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure you didn’t. You have more chance of lighting a fire with a bucket of water, than committing the unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “But Jesus said…”

Me: “Jesus said, ‘Whoever comes to me I will never drive away’ (John 6:37).”

Reader: “Yes, but…”

Me: “Jesus also said, ‘I give eternal life to them, and no one will snatch them out of my hand’ (John 10:28).”

Reader: “Yes, but…”

Me: “There is no but. Jesus has the last word. You may have said some dumb things, but Jesus speaks a better word. You believe Jesus don’t you?”

Reader: “Yes.”

Me: “Then settle it in your heart that he who began a good work in you will carry it on until the day of completion.”

Reader: “It can’t be that simple. I’m losing sleep over this. It’s like there’s this tape playing in my head that reminds me of what I did.”

Me: “Only those who cannot commit the unforgivable sin worry they have committed the unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “Huh?”

Me: “If you were an unbeliever, would not be worried about whether your sins are forgiven?”

Reader: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “Let me put it this way. Do you want to please Jesus?”

Reader: “Of course.”

Me: “Don’t you see? That’s a sign. When you came to Christ he gave you a new heart with new wants and desires. Once upon a time you cared nothing for the Lord. Now you want to please him. Once upon a time you gave no thought to sin. Now you don’t want to do it.”

Reader: “So my anxiety over this sin is a good thing?”

Me: “No, God wants you to be free from fear. But you wouldn’t be tempted to worry if you weren’t trying to please the Lord.”

Reader: “So what must I do? How can I stop worrying?”

Me: “Stop focusing on yourself, and fix your eyes on Jesus. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Reader: “I wish it were that simple.”

Me: “Granted, it’s a battle. But it’s a battle you can win.”

Reader: “How?”

Me: “Fortify your mind with the promises of God’s Word. Stop listening to lies and feed on the truth. He will never let you go. When that old tape starts playing in your head, declare his promises over your life. Write them down if it helps.”

Reader: “I dunno. It sounds too simple. You still don’t know what I did.”

Me: “No, you don’t know what Jesus did. His grace is greater than your sin. His best is better than your worst.”

Reader: “I feel so helpless.”

Me: “Stop living from your feelings and walk by faith. Yes, we are helpless on our own, but you are not alone. God himself is your Helper. Trust him!”

Reader: “Okay. Can you pray with me?”

Me: “Sure. Why not repeat these words: Heavenly Father, thank you for your love that is greater than my sin. Thank you for your Son who died that I might live. Thank you for your Spirit who pours your love into my heart. Thank you that nothing I say or do can separate me from the love that is in Christ Jesus. Thank you, Father, for promising to never leave or forsake me.”

Reader: “Amen.”


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This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. admIn@

      Thank you

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