I am anxious about the unforgivable sin. I read about it in the Bible and had some bad thoughts that Jesus is from the devil. I am afraid of committing it and that God won't forgive me. I had a dream and in it I was told that I haven't had any supernatural experience or encounter with Jesus, so I'm not saved. I am afraid I’ve committed the unforgivable sin, and I don't want to be lost forever. Do you have any advice for me?
Many people have wondered about the unforgivable sin and been concerned about committing it. This article from Desiring God, explaining the context of Jesus’ words in the Gospels, is insightful. David Mathis writes:
For Christians today, we need not fear a specific moment of sin, but a kind of hardness of heart that would see Jesus as true and yet walk away — with a kind of hardness of heart incapable of repenting. Again, it’s not that forgiveness isn’t granted, but that it’s not sought. The heart has become so recalcitrant, and at such odds with God’s Spirit, that it’s become incapable of true repentance.
What John Piper says is so helpful here as well, please read or listen to this. John says, “Anybody struggling with this question should know that any sin which you can authentically repent of and embrace Christ for will be forgiven.”
I would also highly encourage you to read through this article from Randy, and watch his video. He says:
If we truly long for and desire to know God and be His child, that in and of itself is from God. If you find yourself saying, “Oh, I love Jesus, or at least I really want to love Jesus. I’ve repented of my sins and gone forward. I keep asking God to forgive me. But has He really forgiven me?” That is when you trust and say, “It is the very Spirit of God Himself that is making me long and yearn for this, and it is Satan who is projecting these doubts in me.”
I think what Randy says there at the end of that paragraph is important. We have to remember that Satan is a liar (John 8:44). He wants to lead us away from Jesus and to make us doubt Him. So those doubts and fears and bad thoughts are not coming from the Holy Spirit. They are coming from the enemy of your soul.
Randy also says, “I would say, trust God, believe His Word, and put yourself in a position to grow in your faith in Christ. Reject the accuser of the brethren—the evil one—who is trying to make you doubt the salvation that has been granted to you in Christ by His work, not by you somehow mustering up enough faith.”
The most important thing you can do is saturate yourself in the truth, in God’s Word, by reading and listening to it so you can hear His voice. Also, a wise counselor told me that we are not meant to fight fear/lies/doubts alone. We need others who will walk alongside us and pray for us. I know things are challenging right now due to COVID, but do you have a church family? I would encourage you to reach out to your pastor and/or other trusted believers you know and ask them to pray for you.
You mentioned your dream and how in it you were told you weren’t saved because you didn’t have a supernatural experience. Remember that having an “experience” is not a qualification for salvation. Scripture tells us, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The supernatural experience is that God forgives us, cleanses us of sin, and seals us with His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). That is what counts! No other subjective experience is necessary to have salvation in Jesus.
I would encourage you to take this to the Lord in prayer. Share with Him about your dream and about your fears. Ask Him to speak to you through His Word and to give you wisdom and peace. Ask Him if there is anything you need to confess or repent of, and do so as He shows you. Then rest in Jesus' finished work on the cross, and His mercy, knowing that if you've received His gift of forgiveness, there is nothing you can do to make Him love you any more or any less. Make a conscious choice to reject those thoughts of fear when they come, with God’s help. “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
Remember God never forsakes those who are His. In Isaiah 41:10 (CSB), the Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” I love how the CSB translates that last part— “I will hold on to you.”
May you rest in His unfailing, faithful love for you.
Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.