The Unpardonable Sin
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How to minister to somebody who is afraid they've committed the unpardonable sin
In my experience of ministering to people caught in spiritual warfare and demonic bondage, I have to admit that I have seen far too many people being harassed by fears of having committed the unpardonable sin. I have been through it myself, and can testify that it is possible to come out of those fears and have no side effects when you're done! Never underestimate the power and ability of God to transform a person's life! Today I love and enjoy life!
However, the sad news is that there are many others who are terrified over the unpardonable sin, are finding it hard to locate ministers who understand the root and cause of these fears. Many pastors are not equipped to minister complete freedom to such persons. The purpose of this practical guide is to point pastors and ministers in the right direction so they are better equipped to minister complete freedom to people who are terrified that they have committed the unpardonable sin.
There are two common ways the devil tries to harass a person with fears of the unpardonable sin
Repeat sinning or falling back into sin
Falling back into sin can be caused by the fleshly nature in a man, an iniquity, or evil spirit but is not a sign that somebody is hopeless. Paul kept falling into sin even though he didn't want to and tried not to, but that by no means meant he was guilty of the unpardonable sin.
Romans 7:19, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do."
In Matthew 18, Jesus told Peter to forgive thy brother 70 times 70. Why would God tell Peter to do such a thing, if He weren't willing to do the same for us?
Matthew 18:21-22, "Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
Continuing in sin is never wise, but for those who can't seem to help it (they are pulled to it like a magnet), it is wise to seek deliverance and not be afraid they have gone 'too far'.
Fears of having committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
This is a very deep rooted sin, and doesn't come from merely the lips, but deep within the heart of a man, and a heart that loves the Lord is incapable of truly committing such a sin. Right after speaking about the unpardonable sin, Jesus said in Matthew 12 that it is out of abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. If you look up the word abundance in this verse in the NT Greek, it gives you the Greek word perisseuma, which means a surplus or overflowing. Jesus was making it clear that a person's whole heart would have to be evil before they are capable of committing the unpardonable sin:
Matthew 12:34, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (This is found in the context where Jesus was speaking of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit)
When a person's heart is in a condition capable of committing such a sin, it is as hard as stone and overflowing with evil. There is no concern about what they are doing. Once they cross the line, they have separated themselves from the very God that wants to lead them to repentance. They become unable to repent or desire to be reconciled with Jesus. The ability to repent and turn to Jesus is a gift from God, and without God's hand in a person's life, they are unable to even repent and turn to Jesus:
John 6:44, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
Why isn't a person able to come to Jesus? They are spiritually blind. They are unable to understand the need for Jesus in their lives:
2 Corinthians 4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
Luke 8:12, "Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."
As we can see, it is only by seeing the truth in Jesus that a person can be saved, and not everybody can see this truth:
Matthew 13:15-16, "For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Therefore, if a person is beyond hope, they would be unable to see the need to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus. This is why the Bible confidently tells us that any sin we can repent of, we can be forgiven of:
1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
A person who is guilty of the unpardonable would show no signs of repentance or remorse for their wrong. A person who is beyond hope would be unable to come to Jesus, because we are promised that if we come to Jesus, we will not be cast out.
John 6:37, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
In a nutshell, the unpardonable sin is a deep rooted sin that comes from deep within a person, and completely cuts them off from God. When a person is in that position, they are unable to even recognize the need to repent or turn to Jesus. In other words, a person's concern over the unpardonable sin is genuine proof that they have not gone beyond hope. I believe Benny Hinn once said that the Holy Spirit revealed this to him as well.
The two factors to address when ministering
From my experience in ministering to those who have been terrified by fears of the unpardonable sin, I have encountered two things in almost every case. I always see one or more stronghold that has formed in their mind, and I almost always find some sort of demonic activity as well.
The importance of tearing down strongholds
From my experience, strongholds are always in the minds of those struggling with fears of the unpardonable sin. One particular stronghold is almost always in place, and it comes in the form of an incorrect perception of who God really is. They don't see God for who He really is, and they have this picture of Him as a cruel distant taskmaster that would cast them into hell the moment they mess up. Nothing could be further from the truth! Your heavenly Father loved you so much that He sent His son to die so that you could be reconciled with Him. Jesus' death on the cross was a symbol to us of how great God's love is towards us:
Romans 5:8, "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." (NLT)
Notice that He didn't die for the righteous man (who is more likely to deserve such love)... no, Christ died for us while we were sinners! This proves that we are not loved based on how good we are or for anything we've done, but we are loved for who we are.
Romans 5:7-8, "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
You cannot show your love in a much greater way for somebody, than to give your life for them:
John 10:11, 15:13, "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep... Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
If those struggling with fears of the unpardonable sin truly saw their heavenly Father as the loving and merciful God that He really is, fears of the unpardonable would be virtually impossible. Perfect love casts out fear. Those who fear have not been made perfect (mature) in God's love:
1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
It is vital for a person to see the true loving nature of God and be firmly rooted in His love, as all believers ought to be:
Ephesians 3:17-19, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God."
Another stronghold I've encountered is one where a person sees them self incorrectly. They see themselves as dirty old sinners, when they ought to be seeing themselves as saints that have been washed clean with the Blood of the Lamb and made right with God. (Providing they have repented of their sins and turned to Jesus.)
Even when demons are cast out, it is vital for the person to renew their mind and perception of who God really is before they will experience complete freedom. If they cast out the demons but leave the strongholds, those thinking patterns will continue to bring a lot of mental torment for that person.
I have written several teachings on strongholds and how to go about tearing them down, but here are three must-read teachings on this subject to get you started:
- Tearing down strongholds
- Most popular strongholds (Part 1 of 2)
An incorrect perception of who you really are
- Most popular strongholds (Part 2 of
An incorrect perception of who God really is
The importance of casting out demons
Real-life story of casting out these types of spirits:
Last night we prayed over a young woman who was battling an oppressive spirit that was trying to cause her to doubt her salvation, fears of the unpardonable sin, etc. I began to confront the spirits and they manifested.... she was bent over sobbing and coughing as the spirits were cast out!
Today she said that she feels much better... the spirit that was tormenting her is gone!
Demonic bondage is also usually found in the lives of those who express deep fears of the unpardonable sin. It is often demons working in a person's mind that build the strongholds I mentioned above. A person can feel quite a bit of freedom from the fears of the unpardonable just by tearing down strongholds, but if an unclean spirit is able to continue his operation in the person's mind, it can work hard to quickly rebuild those strongholds. Thus the person can feel good only while they work hard at tearing down the strongholds, but keep falling back into the awful dreaded fears, because the root of the problem hasn't been addressed.
If a person wants complete freedom from these kinds of fears, it is vital that they remove any roots to their problem (deliverance) and tear down any faulty strongholds in their minds (spiritual warfare). Anything less will only result in partial or temporary victory.
I'm not saying that casting out the demon(s) is always as simple as commanding it to come out in Jesus' name. When I refer to casting out demons in this teaching, I am referring to the overall ministry of deliverance and driving out evil spirits. Legal grounds (unrepented sins, soul ties, etc) often need to be addressed before a minister can effectively drive out the spirits. There are many teachings available on the ministry of deliverance on this site and Great Bible Study.com
More information on the unpardonable sin
There is another teaching on Great Bible Study.com that addresses the unpardonable sin in greater depth and detail:
- The Unpardonable Sin
What it is, how it works, and why we should not be worried