How far is too far?
Can a deed be so dark that there’s no pardon or forgiveness from God?
While we don’t seem to hear people talking about sin so much these days we still know that there are things that cross the line.
Can we be forgiven for murder? Are sexual crimes unforgivable? Is there forgiveness for the increasing number of people facing child pornography charges?
Does forgiveness mean that people no longer have to face the consequences of their actions?
My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and current President of the Baptist Union of Australia. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.
Today we tackled the subject of unforgivable sin.
Ross talked about the many calls he gets from people asking if they can ever be forgiven for the things they’ve done. Many people call his Sydney radio show asking whether suicide is forgivable.
One woman spoke to Ross about having a harsh conversation with her son. When she visited his home the next day she found his body. He had committed suicide. The woman wanted to know if she could be forgiven for the harsh words she’d spoken and whether her so would be forgiven for taking his own life.
I’ve heard people say that God could never forgive the terrible things they’ve done and I wonder whether it’s likely that their sense of unforgiveness comes from an inability to forgive themselves.
You can hear what Ross had to say by clicking play on the audio player at the bottom of this post.
Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Unforgivable Sin? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks.
Hi Rodney! Loved your blog and this very topic comes up quite often when non believers question my faith.
I do believe that while we are on this earth and sinc, we have to pay our earthly price for the sins or bad choices we make. There is no escape. Just like a child has to be taught that they have consequences for good and bad choices, so do murderers, rapists, liars, thieves…
BUT, our God is a forgiving God and he knows how our minds operate and knows whats inside our hearts. We can’t fake who we are with Him. Therefore, if we accept our wrong doings and grieve and repent for our sins, feel remorse, God will forgive us, even if the price here on earth is jail time or a death sentence.
I would think the key is to learn from our mistakes and sinful actions. We tell kids all the time, “when you say you’re sorry, you have to mean it and not do it again,”… same applies to everyone.
All my best. Looking forward to reading more! Many blessings.
Thanks for dropping in, Kat. I loved your blog and I’m about to add it to my regular reads and to my blog roll.
I look forward to hearing more from you in the coming months.
Hey Rodney – thanks so much for visiting my personal blog (“only help my unbelief”). I really appreciate your thoughts about food and God. I’ll be subscribing to you through Google Reader!
Thanks for subscribing, Chelsey, I’ll have to keep track of your blog too. I’ve now subscribed and added you to my blog roll.
I don’t believe in God, but I think if there was a God he/she would forgive EVERYTHING–this would include not believing in him/her.
That’s why I don’t believe in Hell. I don’t think there’s anything we could do that is worth that punishment.
I believe in reincarnation and Karma. I believe we keep living until we get things right. I believe even people like Hitler EVENTUALLY get things right.
I don’t think a sin can be forgiven easily by us normal living humans–especially if it causes great harm and pain.
When people say they are too bad for God to forgive them or that God would never forgive them, they are simply saying God is a liar because His Word says in I John 1:9 that “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus blood paid the price for all our sin. By saying God won’t forgive you is saying the blood shed by His Son, Jesus Christ is not enough. It IS enough!
Didn’t Paul call himself the worst of sinners? Didn’t he persecute the church and watch the garments of those who stoned Stephen? Yet God not only forgave him, He used him in a powerful way.
Aren’t we all the worst of sinners? And shouldn’t that just convict us all the more of our need for a Savior?
Hi Rodney, WOW is all that I can muster up to say at the moment. I simply came across your site because of Twitter… I will definitely be coming back though often.
You had one sentence in your entry above that to me was jaw dropping and so dead on… “I’ve heard people say that God could never forgive the terrible things they’ve done and I wonder whether it’s likely that their sense of unforgiveness comes from an inability to forgive themselves.”
I firmly believe that if people could understand this and see past that the more Christ like their thinking and ability to forgive would become. But I also believe they then would learn to love themselves as God loves us. I don’t think people can look past or wrap their head around how can God forgive everything or everyone… I believe it’s our human nature (thanks to sin) to not be able to understand how to forgive like that… without judgment or recollection of the past. Although that is God’s desire for us to do…
Just something that God put into my head… wanted to share.
Thanks for sharing your talk from today. God Bless…
Thanks for the comment on my blog. It’s amazing how many of my friends struggle with the same thing (being interested in someone who just wants to be their friend).
There is definitely a lack of understanding about forgiveness today. I think part of the problem is that we still struggle with wanting to merit our salvation.
ITA w/Kat. Real repentance means sorrow and a resolve to never repeat the sin. And a forgiveness for your self once you’ve asked for God’s.
I wish people would think of God as their friend and not as a punisher. Good friends forgive. 😀 Ultimately God is in control even though we may not understand why bad things happen. There is a higher reason.
the only Sin that is not forgivable is rejecting JESUS — as our personnal savor!!
Great topic, my brother. Here is what I usually say: Heaven will rejoice with or without us. The worst of sinners, once covered by the blood of Jesus, is forgiven…period. It does not matter, one bit, what they have done. Any amount of sin is hapless against the universe-shaking power of grace. A new creation is a new creation…not a new creation with strings. No, it is finished; done; over; final and complete. From that moment, all are white as snow. The trick, is to get Christians to actually believe it and to start treating those who have sinned grievously as though they were brothers and sisters in Christ. Alas, the denizens of church-world keep an obvious and healthy distance from our newly forgiven bretheren…exacerbating the feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy that they probably already feel. Good job, church. After all, they can’t really be trusted can they? Remember how the early church regarded Paul, the worst of sinners, when they found out he was a Christian?
We will not, necessarily, escape the corporeal consequences of our actions, and I don’t believe we should. However, we who believe are all welcome at the table of the God of the universe. No exceptions, however offensive that may be to us.