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.