The Sin Unforgiven

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Is there such a thing as the unpardonable sin? It’s a disturbing idea—that there might be something I could do that could never be forgiven. And, since I have had the question in last day or so, I thought I might tell you what I know about it. It is, I think, rather more complicated than a set of a few proof texts commonly quoted and explained. Let me start with what God is really like.

The images people carry around in their heads about God often bear little resemblance to the real God of creation and the Bible. To some, God is a kind of grandfather in the sky. Not really a Father, because a father is more immediate and judgmental. No, a grandfather is better, because they let you get away with more stuff. I might despair of really understanding God if it weren’t for some revealing statements in the Bible. Take this quote from Jeremiah, for instance.

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23–24 KJV


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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Image Credits: The Pennsylvania State University