September 30, 2007

We are told in 1 John 5:16 (NIV) “If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that.”

So there is one sin that will not be forgiven. I like everyone before me wondered just what that particular sin was. It is kind of frightening to think there is a sin that will not be forgiven. I don’t know about you but it scared me to think that I might have committed it, or that I might in the future. Not knowing what that sin was I could not be sure of my salvation. I also didn’t understand why I shouldn’t pray about the one unforgivable sin. It seemed to me that if the sin was unforgivable I certainly should pray about it, but I am told not to.

I didn’t understand this, just like many things in the Bible when I first read them, but I was, and am, sure that everything in the Bible will be revealed if anyone asks and believes God will answer. I did and He did, so let me try to explain it.

First things first, all sins lead to death. The unsaved or those who refuse to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus died to offer anyone and everyone who will accept it, will die because of their sin. The only way sin can be paid for is with death. If not by the death of Jesus then by the sinners own death. I am not speaking about physical death as we all must face that death. I am talking about the second death which is separation from God and all of His blessings. I am saying this to make it clear that the verse is not speaking about everyone, but only about a brother in Christ.

It would be great if once we turned to God that we would no longer sin, however that is not the case. We are given the Holy Spirit to teach us the ways of God, not to control us completely. If the Spirit would control us we would not sin, but we do.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior “all” of our sins are forgiven, so at that time there is no unforgivable sin. God does not control us or make us do anything, so He did not make anyone turn to Him. It is true that He has done everything to offer this salvation to us, but He doesn’t make anyone accept it. Nor will He make anyone continue to be a Christian.

This is the unforgivable sin, “To turn away from God after turning to Him.”

We are told in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin. One who has not accepted Jesus does not have the Holy Spirit, so he can not speak against that which he does not know, but when anyone turns and accepts Jesus they are given the Spirit and He becomes one with the believer. That person is still free to reject Jesus, just as he was free to accept Him, so that “brother” can commit the unforgivable sin.

This explains why we should not pray about the unforgivable sin. We would be praying that God would take away the persons free will and make him or her be a Christian. If God were going to make us be Christians then there would be no reason for Jesus to die on a cross. God would just say the words and we would be forgiven, but His plan is that we should accept Him of our own free will and not be programmed, or commanded, or made to accept His salvation. We would be praying that God change His whole plan of salvation.

For the unbeliever the unforgivable sin is not accepting Jesus as their Savior and for the believer the unforgivable sin is rejecting Jesus. The sin is the same for both. The only difference is that all of the sins of the unbeliever are unforgivable and only one sin is unforgivable for the believer.


September 24, 2007

Well, hell yes!!! Sorry Christians, but the line was just too funny to pass up.
There seems some reluctance to speak about hell in our Churches in these times. It wasn’t always that way. When I was young you would hear Christian leaders preach about Hell, but now it is hardly ever mentioned.
I have to ask everyone, “Why would anyone need a Savior if there is no Hell?” If you do not tell people about the consequences of ignoring God why would they worry? How would you ever make the message of the New Testament clear if you do not explain Hell?
Before you chastise me for saying the unsaved should worry because worry is a sin, think about it. Worry is a sin for those who have overcome the world, because it demonstrates their lack of faith; not total lack mind you, but still some unbelief. Because the unbeliever has no faith (In God) it is not a sin for them to worry.
It is something like fear. Fear has two definitions, one is to be afraid, and the other is extreme reverence. Fear, or to be afraid, is the beginning of understanding. The beginning of understanding leads to extreme reverence. It would be a sin for a Christian to be afraid, because he or she should understand that God is in control. Yes, I know we all sin, but those sins have been paid for, so don’t worry. You see what I mean?
Anyway, to get back to the subject, if we do not explain Hell we are leaving out the most important part of “The Good News” (Gospel). The Gospel is that we do not have to go to Hell: there is a Savior for anyone that will be honest enough to admit that they are a sinner and need a Savior and then do what God wants in order to receive salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Well, I suppose the first step is to be honest enough to admit that there is a God.


September 4, 2007

How it works and why it works for everyone.

There is a key to happiness. It doesn’t even matter what you believe about God, gods, no gods, or the great invisible nothingness.

If you read my posts you now that I am a flaming evangelical Christian, so you know that the key comes from the Bible, but you don’t even have to believe the Bible to accept this wisdom. I only included it because the Author should receive the credit.

The key comes from Philippians 4:8

(NIV)  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

How it works.

The key to understanding how it works is


If you are looking for whatever is lovely you will be concentrating on what is lovely, not on what is ugly, and you will find it. The same can be said for noble, pure, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

Looking for the opposite is also true if you are looking for what is ugly you will look right past something that is lovely, pure, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy and you will not find any of these qualities: you will only find ugly.

The verse says, “think about such things.” If that is what you are thinking about you will also be looking for it. There is an old saying “You are what you eat”. Well, I am not buying that, but you really are what you think. If you spend your time thinking about good you will be good and if you spend your time thinking about bad you will be bad.

Why it works for everyone.

There are some in this world who only see ugly. Part of the reason is that they only look for it, but even if one is blind to beauty and they can only see what is ugly, if they would spend all of their time looking for beauty they would have no time left to look for ugly. Though they would not be as happy as someone who did not share their natural pessimism they would be as happy as they could be. (The old saying that some are only happy when they are miserable is just that; a saying with no merit)

If that sounds too simple for you, stop trying to complicate it. The really wonderful things in life, the things that bring great enjoyment, are simple.