The Unforgivable Sin
Have I committed the unforgivable sin? This coming Sunday I will preach on The Unforgivable Sin from Isaiah 22. One of my Bible students has asked me repeatedly over many years whether or not he has committed the unforgivable sin whenever he “falls into sin.” He asks this because he thinks that the unforgivable sin is to curse and swear at God out of his own frustration and anger. My response to him is always the same, “The fact that you ask and wonder about this tells me that you have not. Yes, you have sinned, as I have, but you have not committed the unforgivable sin. Those who do commit the unforgivable sin very likely don’t know and don’t care.”
Jumping to application, failure to explain current fulfillment and too many points. Though I am not able to make all of the corrective changes, I thank Gajanan and MJ for their insightful, useful and helpful critique on True Believers from Isaiah 19: I “jumped to practical application” before adequate hermeneutics and exegesis, and I did not explain how the prophecy regarding Egypt is being fulfilled. TBT, I did not because I do not know! MJ and her sister also pointed out that my preached sermon last Sunday had too many points, since I do not like to leave anything out. I want to seriously consider these critiques and be conscious of them, though, to be honest, I will likely continue to fail!
God’s people ignoring reality as though everything is fine. This is my paraphrase of what Isaiah says is the unforgivable sin. The day of God’s judgment is coming upon Jerusalem (Isa 22:5). God calls for them “to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth” (Isa 22:12). God desires that they seriously consider the error of their ways. But instead, “there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine! ‘Let us eat and drink,’ you say, ‘for tomorrow we die!’” (Isa 22:13) As a result of their nonchalance, the Lord Almighty revealed to Isaiah, saying, “Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for” (Isa 22:14). This is surely the worst statement that anyone can possibly hear from God. Interestingly, this was not declared to all the godless nations around Judah (Philistia to the west, Moab to the east, Syria to the north, Egypt to the south, or even to arrogant Babylon and Assyria), but to God’s very own chosen people in Jerusalem!
Seemingly not that hard to do. It was rather surprising to me to realize that it is not that difficult to commit the unatonable, unpardonable and unforgivable sin, even by God’s own chosen people: Just ignore the reality and live as though everything is fine!
Isn’t it too easy to just ignore or refuse to face reality? I used to think that only non-Christians commit the unforgivable sin. Thus, we Christians are “not that bad” and basically OK. But are we, really? Don’t we also have offensive and glaring blind spots? Aren’t we also self-righteous, proud and condescending toward others? Aren’t we also defensive and refuse to be accountable when our errors and sins are pointed out? Don’t we also ignore reality with blinders on as though everything is just fine?