In oversimplified terms, universal reconciliation speaks of the eventual redemption of every soul ever created through the work of the Messiah and His sacrifice on the cross. This teaching does not remove the existence of hell, or the suffering associated with it, but it does challenge it’s never ending duration, and the purpose of the flames.
This series of posts, on the book “Heaven’s Doors” will be my last on the topic of universal reconciliation (not universalism). I am thankful to my Calvinist friend for directing me to this “heresy”. The teaching of universal reconciliation has more Scriptural support than I imagined and is worth considering if you are of an open mind and willing to consider alternate views to expand your understanding of the Word.
Of course if you are convinced you are completely right, without error, and doctrinally pure, this topic would be a waste of your time. Please move on!
This post will address The Unpardonable Sin
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,
but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”
for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” – Mark 3:28-30 ESV
How can an unpardonable sin be pardoned? This is directly from the lips of the Savior and couldn’t be clearer, at least when you do not compare Scripture with Scripture.
Heck, lets see if there are other Scriptures that might shed light on this passage,
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. – Matthew 12:31-32 ESV
There are a number of items to discuss in the first passage in Mark that have been addressed in an earlier post called A Study of Eternal/Everlasting. I was seriously challenged by taking the word translated as eternal or everlasting, and questioning if the translation was as accurate as I had hoped.
I supplied a table in that post, providing things that were described as eternal, with Scripture passages provided, which showed (at least to me) that eternal is not what I thought.
One example – the Old Covenant, in Isaiah 24:5 is described as “the everlasting covenant”, and yet Hebrews 8:13 claims the Old Covenant is becoming obsolete, ready to vanish away.
The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. – Isaiah 24:5 ESV
In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. – Hebrews 8:13 ESV
There are many instances where the Bible terms translated as eternal or everlasting should better be translated as “ages”. Many translation attempt to do this and yet continue in some passages with the word “eternal”.
You will kindly notice that in the Markan passage, the term is translated as an “eternal sin”, and yet Matthew’s gospel clarifies the duration to two different “ages”, that is the current age Jesus was speaking in (i.e. the Old Covenant) and a future age, and age to come (from Jesus’s perspective – possibly the church age.)
This limits the unpardonability (is that a word?) of the particular sin Jesus is referring to, and allows for forgiveness in a future age, if God should so have mercy on His creation.
As a matter of fact, Paul informs us
.. that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. – Ephesians 2:7 ESV
Paul was speaking of the coming ages. Even if he was considering the church age to be an age that was still coming from his standpoint, the passage speaks of multiple ages.
Might God have an opportunity to forgive the unforgivable sin even beyond “the age to come”? Might God desire to forgive sin in a future age, even after a period of suffering and shame, of rejection and refusal? Might God allow an opportunity for rebels to believe in the One who was tortured and sacrificed for our sins?
I am hopeful, and as I study and consider the mercies He has stretched out to me, I am beginning to see God inn a different light, as a very surprising God, One that goes beyond my understanding and comprehension. He is good, and I praise Him for His many mercies and love.
What think you, my gentle reader? Do you have a thought you would like to share? Use the comment box below to begin a discussion.
For other books on this same topic, I would refer you to Jesus Undefeated – a 10 part series, and The Inescapable Love of God. One additional book that I have not posted on is by David Artman, Grace Saves All.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.
54 thoughts on “Book Look – Heaven’s Doors – Unpardonable Sin”
I really don’t think you like the biblical God and you aren’t going to change your mind no matter how much you tell your readers you are forever learning and ( forever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth) God saves period and He isn’t waiting for man. He works the belief. He regenerates. He preserves. He has mercy on whom He wills. He hardens whom He wills and Yes, Pharaoh hardened his heart because God caused the hardening and He absolutely said He would prior to Mose’s going to interact with Pharaoh in Exodus 4:21. You don’t believe this. I’m sorry; but I’m going to believe what I read. God hardened his heart; period. God controls man; man does not control God. I have to be finished with this exchange because it should have been severed a long time ago. We don’t believe the same Gospel. I believe the Gospel of Grace you believe man has an autonomous part that God cannot interfere with.
Your favorite topic theological determinism / Calvinism
Where is there “hate” in the above comment. As I have said before there is no hate in telling the truth to someone; but there is “hate” in not telling the truth that sets free and Jesus said He was the Way the Truth the Life and no one comes to Him except the father draws Him and no one comes unless it is given. John 6:65 Just let God be God and just believe that which reflects everlasting life that salvation is conditioned on Christ’s work and person alone without any effort from the sinner Let God be glorified and God be true and everyone a liar.
Are you of the everyone group, that is, are you part of the everyone is a liar, or can we trust you above everyone else?
Trust the scriptures wide is the path that leads to destruction and many go in.
Do not trust the book that says the path that leads to heaven is wider than you think unless the “ the wider” is narrow
I am thankful you are most trustworthy in your infallible interpretation of the Scriptures. You surely are amazing!!!
Sarcasm doesn’t change the scriptures
Sarcasm was meant for you not the Word, unless you consider yourself equal to the Word. I think you may be confused on the difference.
I don’t consider myself anything. Simple English is just that, simple English. I don’t make up beliefs. If the scripture says God will have mercy on whom He wills, Do I change the verse because you are saying stupid things like I think I’m equal to the word.
You are hilarious
I meant your sarcasm won’t change the simple meaning of the scripture
I was hoping you would understand the simple meaning of scripture but you are committed to calvinism and I understand that. I should not have responded, since you are not reasonable in any discussion.
There you go again trying to complicate scripture again by diverting to the word “ Calvinism”
Please give me you simple understanding of the scriptures below; since I have already given mine and not Calvins
So, then, to whom He wills, He shows mercy; but to whom He wills, He hardens.
19 You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?
20 Nay, rather, O man, who are you, the one answering back to God? Shall the thing formed say to the One forming it, Why did You make me like this? Isa. 29:16
21 Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor?
22 But if God, desiring to display wrath, and to make His power known, endured in much long-suffering vessels of wrath hav- ing been fitted out for destruction,
23 and that He make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He before prepared for glory,
You are the calvinist. I have walked away from that philosophy.
Using the term “ Calvinist” doesn’t give you an escape route to not divulging your “simple understanding” of scripture.
You said you hoped I would see your “simple understanding” of scripture.
I have given you my simple understanding of those scriptures above.
You have never given me your simple understanding of those scriptures above that you claim I cannot see.
I think you are creating a God of your own liking; irrespective of what scripture says.
Read the blogs I have written. If they do not agree with your calvinism, so be it.
Your blogs are narrowly focused on minimal scriptures. The systematic meaning gets diverted
Sure. Not sure what your saying, or trying to say. After all it is simple english
How do you determine which scripture becomes minimal?
Your amount of scriptures on a subject is minimal
Whatever you say
Hey AJ what do you do when your not condemning heretics? Are you retired?
I’m not condemning anyone; just presenting the Gospel of Grace that differs greatly from the Gospel conditioned on the autonomous act of man
What do you do when you are not judging people? Are you retired?
Isn’t judging necessary and required to distinguish the Truth from error based on scripture? Don’t you judge Mormon doctrine to be untrue without saving Grace thru Christ’s work and person alone without any effort from the sinner, for example? Don’t you judge any doctrine or religion based on the self righteousness of man and not the work of Christ alone to be in error?
That is true. I stand corrected. I should have said “condemning others”. And you have not answered my question again.
I’m not condemning anyone.
Scripture says He that does not believe the Gospel is condemned.
We have been discussing what the Gospel is according to scripture
Good News conditioned on man’s autonomy of deciding who will be saved or God’s Grace based on Christ’s work and person alone.
2 Corinthians 4:6
What is it that God shines into the heart? The glory of God or the glory of man in the face of Jesus Christ
I thought God made salvation by Grace alone so no man could boast
You have avoided a simple question three times, pontificated about your goodness, and denied your condemnatory attitude. No wonder you are all alone in the midst of many.
So one more time, What is it you do when you are not responding to blog posts? Are you a Pastor, a minister, a deacon or bible school teacher? Or are you retired from a full and fruitful ministry of caring for those sheep God has placed in your path? What is/was your occupation? Of course, if you refuse to answer, I will understand and not ask again. My intent is not to shame anyone, but to try to understand you.
Where did I pontificate about my goodness. I guess, I have to repeat myself I’m not condemning anyone. Mark 16:16 does that. You make up things to divert the attention from scripture by trying to make this personal. Where did I say I was good? Using scripture does not make me good. The scriptures say only God is good.
Why is it relevant what I do outside responding to blog posts? You once said you were trying to understand atheists Why?
There isn’t anything to understand; they want their way just like you. They want God to do what they want Him to do and align with their own idea of what God should be or do.
You appear to be very mysterious, only discussing your pet teaching and nothing else. You have never shared a life experience with the Lord, or of any prayer answered, of loved ones and family. You shy away from even speaking if your vocation which typically men readily speak about.
You know, the apostle Paul warmed timothy (1 Tim 6:4,5) about those who crave controversy and quarrels, but since that passage doesn’t support your theological determinism, I suppose you consider it a minimal scripture, that is not important
….an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
You make assumptions for your benefit that i crave controversy; but in reality it really bothers me a lot when the Gospel is distorted and reduced to something man autonomously accomplishes while making God a God who cannot save because man holds the cards; which the scripture says is idol worship so go ahead and assume we believe the same gospel; which we don’t so you can believe your self righteous act of throwing 1 Timothy 6:4,5 at me will make me the one in the wrong.
We cannot be brothers for the simple reason we believe in different Gospels. I believe God does the saving and not man; you don’t.
Think I touched a nerve
Yes, you say things that don’t apply; you open your mouth and say stupid things because you didn’t get out of me what you want. In my opinion,You want information so you can discuss something other than scripture. I don’t want to waste my time talking about irrelevant things while you tell people that God doesn’t save until man autonomously makes a move. You have no idea how ridiculous that sounds to me.
There you go again judging and condemning. But haters gonna hate, so I suppose the fruit defines the person
No hate, just love
You have funny way of expressing love. Looks like hate, and that is understandable in your philosophy. I suppose it is difficult to differentiate between hate and love for yourself. Must be very confusing. Hate = love, love = hate.
You don’t think God determined all things before creation ?
Relevant since if you participate in an immoral work, many would define you as a teacher as needs to be rejected.
Teachers are to display an openness with their students in order to display the effects of right teaching.
It is completely relevant. Paul spoke of his vocation often.
But you won’t speak of the out working of your gospel, of how Jesus is daily working in your life. This will lead some to think you are hiding some nefarious item from them.
I admit I am assuming you are ashamed of your occupation, but that is a normal reaction when someone avoids a question. Assume the worst. Might not be fair, but it is a default reaction.
You are really mad because I won’t submit
Haters gonna hate
What are you talking about submitting? No one has spoke of submitting. Where did you dig up this attack?
Paul often spoke of ministers having an open life for all to see.
We are discussing Gospel doctrine Why the switch?
I’m not ashamed. I just don’t want to get sidetracked into worthless conversations
My momma used to say ” you can dish it out but you can’t take it” I think this saying is appropriate in this instance.
You have called me a false believer, a follower of satan, one who hates God. On and on.
You are not reasonable in any of our discussions, and come off as being perfect, righteous and the only one who knows God.
This is the impression I get from your comments and fear I am simply wasting my time with you.
If you want to continue our discussion I can provide you my phone number and we can have a real time discussion.
If this is not acceptable I will assume you merely enjoy stirring up controversy, erecting straw men, and avoiding difficult questions, instead of coming to an understanding of each others beliefs and convictions.
Quote from Paul not the apostle
“Carl, have you arrived at open theism yet? Continue your consistent walk down the path to that destination. No need to preach your false gospel since every person will be saved and be reconciled in heaven. As a matter of fact, there’s absolutely no reason for you or I to even tell anyone that God entered into His own created world, died on a cross, atoned for sin, and rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures, since no one needs to repent and believe the Gospel. I’ll go further and say, according to universal reconciliation there’s no need to even consider truth- because everyone is going to be saved anyway. Your message is completely contrary to the doctrine of the apostles in that you “believe whatever you want about the Gospel and live anyway your fallen nature desires! No need to even repent of your sin and no need to believe Jesus died for it”.
“The false believer can only produce a false message just like Jesus said, “a bad tree cannot produce good fruit”
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“Carl now proves he is the “bad fruit”
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How is it that Paul responds to the blog through AJ?
When I reached out to Paul to discuss issues he had with my blog, it seemed he was willing to try to understand my position and that I was in learning mode (as all believers should be!) He was definitely not the dogmatic Pharisee that he comes off as in his comments. To be a “died in the wool” Calvinist as Paul and AJ appear to be seems to show that they are not in a learning mode, (to learn is synonymous for disciple) but have actually arrived. (My concern is that they may not like where they have arrived at!)
But then as my daughter once told me, “Haters gonna hate!”
May both of you men come to realize the love of God and His forgiving, gracious spirit. He truly is much better than any of us may imagine. May Christ give us all greater appreciation for the excellency of His Person.
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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I was too tired
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Go have a nap. You need all your energy to root out all the heretics in the church!!!
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Notice that the word “ Saints” is utilized. Not all are “Saints” or the called out ones by God for example not all individuals are included without exception
because I am with you, and no one shall set on you to oppress you; because there is much people to Me in this city.
Please notice “ there is much people to Me in this city” which infers not all without exception Your reference to Ephesians is addressed to the “Saints” of Ephesus “Saints” The “us”