CROSSING THE DEADLINE: The Unpardonable Sin!

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Introduction

Chapter  1.  Bible Reveals the Unpardonable Sin in All Ages

Chapter  2.  Mistakes of Those Who Believe There Is Now No Unpardonable Sin

Chapter 3.  Further Proof That Lost Men Are in Danger of Committing the Unpardonable Sin

Chapter 4.  What Kind of Sin Is This Unpardonable Sin?

Chapter 5.  Results of the Unpardonable Sin

Chapter 6.  Solemn Warnings About This Sin Which Can Never Be Forgiven

Introduction

 “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” -Genesis 6:3 (KJB)
“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” -Matthew 12:31-32 (KJB)
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” -Hebrews 6:4-6 (KJB)

   There is a sin that “shall not be forgiven unto men.” There is a sin which, if a man commits it, “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” There is an unpardonable sin. A beloved brother has a great sermon on “The Sin Which God Will Not Forgive,” and he means that God will not save one who will not trust Jesus Christ for salvation. Strictly speaking, that sermon is misnamed. God will forgive the sin of past unbelief when one turns from the sin and trusts Christ for forgiveness. But there is a sin beyond that which can never be forgiven. Men never repent of it. This sin, once committed, is irrevocable. When I speak of the unpardonable sin, I mean that there is a sin for which one cannot have forgiveness in this world, of which a man never repents, from which a man never turns, can never be cleansed and forgiven.

   This sin can never be forgiven in the next world; but then no sin has forgiveness after death. The unpardonable sin is different in that one may cross the deadline while still alive, mat pass into the realm of the damned, may pass forever beyond mercy while yet alive in this world! How terrible this sin has no pardon, no repentance, no forgiveness!
Powerful reasons impel me to write on this subject. First of all, many people think they have committed the unpardonable sin who have not. I have known numbers of Christian people who feared they had committed the unpardonable sin, and were in torment of mind. They were mistaken. A saved person cannot commit the unpardonable sin.

No doubt there are lost people who think they have committed the unpardonable sin; therefore, they feel that they have no chance for salvation. They do not seek God because they think it  would be in vain. They do not repent and ask Christ for salvation because they want a feeling which they do not have, and therefore suppose that they have someway driven away the Spirit of God and crossed the boundaries of mercy. Yet if such sinners want to be saved, they may be saved. Christ’s invitation still stands: “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” It is still true that one who comes to Christ will not be cast out.

Many errors have been taught concerning this sin that has no forgiveness. We hope, by careful study of the Word of God and under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to correct those errors. There are those who say that there could be no unpardonable sin today, but I believe the Word of God will make it clear that they are mistaken. Men today do commit the unpardonable sin. There are those who believe that the unpardonable sin is simply some blasphemy uttered with the lips, some profanity thought of in the mind. But that is not true. The unpardonable sin is not simply ascribing the works of God to Satan. It is not simply profane words or thoughts. Nor is the unpardonable sin simply rejection of Christ. It is more than that. It is such an insulting and definite repulse to the Holy Spirit who convicts a lost sinner that the Spirit calls no more. It is, after great light and many calls, a final rejection of Christ in which one sets himself against Christ and is left in his sins, unconvicted, unwarned, and so lost forever. This unpardonable sin can be committed only by a lost sinner who is convicted of his sins and who deliberately, after great enlightenment, turns the convicting Holy Spirit forever away from his heart by a definite decision , a permanent, once-for-all decision, rejecting Christ, and so blasphemously and insultingly turning against the holy Spirit who warns at the heart’s door.

   Yes, the unpardonable sin can be committed now. Any sinner who has heard the Gospel, who has been deeply convicted , who has been enlightened as to his sin and his need of the Saviour, is in deadly danger of committing the sin that has no forgiveness.
Some person you know may have already crossed the boundaries of mercy and entered forever the realm of the doomed and damned! Some person who is not troubled, who neither knows nor cares what he has done, may have driven the Holy Spirit away forever. You will not know who he is, nor will I. But that person is as certainly doomed forever as if the iron doors of hell had clanged shut behind him and he had already entered the torments of the lake of fire!

   How awful this subject! How earnestly ought we to warn sinners of their danger! And how seriously ought each lost sinner to consider the folly and danger of longer rejecting Christ.
Let us now show from the Scripture that there is an unpardonable sin which men commit today; let us show what kind of a sin this is so men may avoid it, so people may know whether they have committed it or not. Then let us make clear the results of the unpardonable sin and give solemn warnings about it.

Chapter 1. Bible Reveals the Unpardonable Sin in All Ages

Some Bible teachers say that no one in this age commits the unpardonable sin. They would say I am wrong in warning sinners that they may commit the sin that has no forgiveness in this world of the world to come; that they may cross the deadline of mercy even before death, if they persistently reject Jesus Christ. But I am thoroughly convinced that there is an unpardonable sin, that men may commit today. I believe that those who think there is no danger that people may now commit the unpardonable sin make that mistake because they do not really understand what the unpardonable sin is.

Now if I can show clearly from the Bible that in every age of the past men have committed the unpardonable sin, and that even at the close of this present age men will commit the unpardonable sin, that will be the strongest kind of evidence that some men even today commit that sin. That is what I will undertake to prove. I will show from the Bible that even before the flood people have committed the unpardonable sin and the Holy Spirit ceased to call them so that they passed redemption point before they died. I will show that after the flood the heathen races of the earth went into heathen darkness because many of them committed the unpardonable sin, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind, and the Spirit of God gave them up. I will show that during the life and personal ministry of Christ some committed the unpardonable sin. I will show that during the ministry of the apostles, some committed the sin that has no forgiveness, and it was impossible to bring them to repentance. I will show that in the tribulation time, yet future, some will take the mark of the Beast and will thereby commit the sin beyond forgiveness, and thus eternally damn themselves, without hope of pardon, while still alive.
If we find that in all ages some men have committed the unpardonable sin, that should not be surprising. God has wanted man to save men. He is no respecter of persons as between one nation and another, or the men in one age or another.
In all ages God has had only one plan for salvation. It was by faith that Abel pleased God and was saved. It was by faith Abraham “believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). And Abraham is held up in Romans, chapter 4, as the example of saving faith for us in this age.
Some people foolishly believe that in Old Testament times people were saved by animal sacrifices, or by circumcision,
or by keeping ceremonial laws. No, all the sacrifices, all the forms of worship were simply object lessons pointing to Jesus Christ. Every lamb pointed to Jesus, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away sin of the world.” In Acts 10:43, Peter, coming for the first time to speak to a Gentile household about Christ, said, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Peter says that in all ages every prophet of God taught the same plan of salvation; that one who trusted in Jesus Christ had his sins forgiven. Remember that the only Scripture Peter had were Old Testament Scriptures; the prophets he quoted were Old Testament prophets.
God has never had any plan of salvation except that sinners should put their trust in God’s Saviour and be counted righteous for His sake. Before Christ came, men did not fully understand His coming, but all depended on God to give salvation free, depended on God to save by the Saviour he would send. Now that Christ has come, men do not understand all about it, but they can be saved by trusting God’s Saviour , depending upon Him for salvation. There never has been but one plan of salvation; there never will be another. The sacrifices never did help save. Baptism never did save, never help save. Church membership, morality, works of merit, never did save, and never did help save. God never did have but one salvation.
That means that all ages God’s Holy Spirit wooed men and sought men and called men. if by faith Abel was saved and offered the sacrificial lamb as an evidence and a picture of his faith, we may be sure that Cain was called, too, and that God’s Spirit convicted Cain of his sin. The murderous rage in Cain’s heart was simply his reaction to the pleading, the calling, the warning of the Spirit of God. God’s Spirit called people before the flood when Noah preached to them. God’s Holy Spirit convicted Agrippa when he was almost persuaded to be a Christian, with Paul, the preacher in chains, standing before him. No one ever came to God in faith except the Spirit of God drew him and called him. You see, God deals with men very much the same about salvation in all ages, and with every race.
In all ages some have trusted in God’s provided Lamb, have accepted God’s Saviour. All who believed in Him and trusted Him were saved from sin, were forgiven, were made partakers of the divine nature, became children of God. Those who resisted the spirit’s calling and would not trust in God’s provision for salvation, would not depend upon Him and accept God’s mercy, died unsaved. That means that unconverted, unrepentant sinners in all ages came to a point when sin was unforgivable.  They died unsaved, and after death there was no forgiveness!
It seems almost inevitable, then, that in every age some should be called and should refuse, that some should face the pleading call of the Holy Spirit but reject that call until, after great enlightenment and much mercy, they would one day say no too long and too loudly. It seems inevitable that some would become hardened in their sin and pass the point of possible repentance. Some would so resist and so insult the blessed Holy Spirit that He would leave them alone. Since God loved people and called people and saved people the same in all ages; and since some in all ages have rejected the Saviour and persistently turned him down with every violent and wicked kind of resistance and rebellion known to the human heart, surely some in every age crossed the deadline, even before death, and drove away the Holy Spirit so they would never again be called, and never again have an opportunity to repent of be forgiven.
And that is just what we will show. In all ages some lost sinners have crossed the deadline, have gone from the realm of mercy to the realm of wrath; some have crossed to the land of no forgiveness. Some in every age have driven away the Spirit of God until they would never again hear His call or be moved to repent and be saved.

1. The Bible Indicates That Millions Committed the Unpardonable Sin before the Flood

   A great spiritual crisis came on earth before the flood. “And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I made them.”
That was the state of affairs; insufferable wickedness on the part of men, and a holy and determined anger on the part of God. Now how would these things affect the work of the Holy Spirit in calling, convicting, and saving sinners?
We read the answer in Genesis 6:3. “And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.”
Solemnly God warned, “My spirit shall not always strive with man.” God set a period of one hundred and twenty years ahead when His Spirit would no longer strive with the unconverted who lived before the flood. Man must learn that he is only flesh, that he cannot forever trifle with God. God’s Spirit would withdraw, would cease to call, would leave men unconverted and forever damned and unforgiven. It seems clear to me that the Scripture here teaches that these wicked sinners before the flood committed the unpardonable sin.
We do not read that there were obvious miracles which these wicked sinners credited Satan. We do not read that they said certain blasphemous things. But they did continue in unspeakable wickedness in the heart, they did strive against the Spirit of God who warned them and convicted them under the preaching of Noah.

2. The Bible Teaches That in Old Testament Times, After the Flood, Some Crossed the Deadline of Mercy and God gave Them Up, So That The Whole Races Fell Into Heathen Darkness

Do you know how the world of heathen and barbarians came about? Did you think that the backward races, the savages of the earth, ascended from apes by evolution? Well, it you thought so, you are utterly wrong. They all descended from Noah and his sons. They once knew as much as others knew God and God’s revelation. They once were civilized people. But how came these people to descend into heathen darkness? The first chapter of Romans tells us why:

 “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:21-23

   When they knew God, they did not honor Him. They were not thankful, and so “their foolish heart was darkened.” So they began to worship idols and were given over to depravity.
Then God says a startling thing. In the next verse we are told,

“Wherefore God gave them up to uncleaness…”
In verse 26 He says,
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…”
In verse 28, the Scripture says,
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind,…”

   GOD GAVE THEM UP! God gave them to uncleanness. God gave them up to vile affections.
GOD GAVE THEM OVER! God gave them over to a reprobate mind. The uncleanness, the vile affections, the idolatry, the wickedness, the blindness and lusts and poverty of heathendom came to a race of people because God gave them up!
What did the Holy Spirit do to people before the flood? He quit calling. He gave them up! The the same thing happened to men living after the flood. Arrogantly men built a tower of Babel, but God scattered men over the earth with changed languages. They knew God, but they did not glorify Him. They received His blessings, but they were not thankful. So “their foolish heart was darkened.” They began to worship idols. They fell into the heathen darkness of idolatry, they lost largely the light of their civilization. So, clearly, many people in Old Testament times deliberately went against the light, resisted, resisted the call of God, until the time came when God gave them up to uncleanness and to vile affections, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind. God’s Spirit left them alone. They were lost forever while still alive. They were past redemption point, though they were still on earth. Their sin had no forgiveness. They had crossed the deadline!

3. The Scriptures Show That Some Crossed the Deadline, Committed the Unpardonable sin While Christ Was on Earth

In Matthew 12:22,23 we learn how one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb, was brought to Jesus and He healed him so that the man was miraculously made well. He spoke and saw. The Pharisees rebelliously said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils.” Then Jesus knowing their thoughts, gave them solemn warning about that unpardonable sin. In Matthew 12:31, 32 Jesus said:
“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
I believe that any honest interpretation of this Scripture will indicate that Jesus warned the Pharisees of a sin which they might commit; in fact, I believe that these words indicate that they had committed the sin. They had seen miracles. They heard Jesus preach as no other man ever preached. They had been convicted and enlightened by the Holy Spirit. They rejected the Saviour hatefully in their hearts. They particularly and offensively insulted the Holy Spirit who thus convicted them and urged them to trust Christ. So Jesus warned them of this blasphemy and sin that has no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come. Clearly, some men did cross the deadline during the ministry of Jesus on earth. And very, very possibly these Pharisees themselves were guilty of that sin.

4.  The Bible Tells Us That men Crossed the Deadline During the Ministry of the Apostles.

Again in Hebrews 6:4-6 we have a discussion of the unpardonable sin as follows:
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
Here it is clearly stated that some in Paul’s time who were once enlightened, had tasted of the heavenly gift, had been convicted of the Holy Spirit, fell away from that enlightenment and conviction, and so could never be renewed to the place of repentance, and would never be saved. So we may properly say that after the death of Christ and in the Apostolic age people still sometimes committed this terrible sin with no forgiveness.

5.  In The Great Tribulation, yet Future, Men Will Cross the Deadline, Will Commit the Unpardonable Sin

   But the unpardonable sin is mentioned again in Revelation 14:9-11. We should read that moving passage.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
We learn that there will be a Beast, an Antichrist, a terrible dictator who will arise on earth after Christ receives His saints into the air. This Antichrist will claim to be God on earth and will demand to be worshipped as god. Those who worship him will receive his mark. those who do not worship him and do not receive his mark will be hounded, hunted, tormented, and murdered in the bloodiest age this world will ever see.
But what of those who take the mark of the beast and worship him? We are plainly told that they have crossed the deadline. They will never be saved. every one of them is doomed to Hell. “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall be tormented with fire and brimstone” forever.
Yes, every person who comes to the clear, final decision to deny Christ and worship the Antichrist will have committed the unpardonable sin, and will have passed beyond redemption. Every such person will have crossed the deadline and will be already doomed, forever lost, while yet still alive. So we may be sure that the unpardonable sin will occur in the future, as it has in the past. In every age those who are greatly enlightened and convicted and, facing Jesus Christ, turn resolutely away from Him and insult the Holy Spirit who warns them, are on the verge of committing the sin that has no forgiveness.

Chapter 2. Mistakes of Those Who Believe There Is Now No Unpardonable Sin

There are some Bible teachers who say that no one can commit the unpardonable sin in this age because they believe that the unpardonable sin is only possible in the face of obvious miracles, perhaps miracles like that of the Lord Jesus when He cast out devils and worked miracles, when the Pharisees said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Matt. 12:24). When Jesus, in our text above, spoke about “the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” which shall never be forgiven, He inferred that these Pharisees committed that sin. And, supposing that it was the outward words which carried the unpardonable sin, the Scofield Reference Bible over Matthew 12:31, 32 gives this heading: “The Unpardonable Sin: Ascribing to Satan the Works of the Spirit.”
Then the learned John A. Broadus, in his commentary on Matthew (The American Commentary on the New testament) said:
“The conditions under which this unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Spirit of God is committed are: (1) That there shall be a work manifestly supernatural, unmistakably the work of God and not of man. (2) That one shall, in determined and malignant opposition, insultingly ascribe to Satan this which  he knows to be the work of God. Now are these conditions ever fulfilled, except in an age of miracles?”
Dr. Broadus believed that this is not the age of miracles, and that therefore sinners could not, in this age, commit the unpardonable sin.
In my judgment, he is wrong in supposing that obvious miracles of god never happen in this age; but that is beside the point. I believe that Dr. Broadus erred first in supposing that the unpardonable sin is simply ascribing to Satan that which one knows to be the work of God.
The beloved Dr. R. A. Torrey, to whom I am indebted more than to any other Bible teacher or preacher, believed that men might now, in this or any age, commit the unpardonable sin, but he still defined the unpardonable sin as knowingly, deliberately, ascribing to Satan the works of the Holy Spirit.
But did Jesus refer to the words of the Pharisees when He solemnly warned that they committed the sin that has no forgiveness? Read the passage in Matthew 12:25-37 carefully and see.
That passage starts out,
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them…”
What the Pharisees really said was, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” But Jesus did not accuse that these words were the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which could never be forgiven. Rather, He knew their thoughts and said that the thoughts which were back of their words were the unpardonable sin.
After the warning of the unforgivable sin in verses 31 and 32, Jesus continues saying:
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

   To these Pharisees, Jesus said, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” So Jesus judged them, not by their wicked words which came out of their mouths, but out of the abundance of wickedness in their hearts. “Jesus knew their thoughts”; that is why He could plainly tell them that they committed the an unpardonable sin.

   With their mouths they said that Jesus was possessed of the Devil, that Satan’s power was on Him, but in their hearts their sin was far worse. They said to themselves–“These miracles are certainly from God. Men, unaided, cannot work these supernatural works. Jesus must be what He claims to be. But I hate Him! I will not trust Him! I will not turn from my sins! I will not accept Him as the Messiah, the Christ, and as my Saviour!” Deeply moved, enlightened, convicted in their hearts, these Pharisees came to this deliberate and final conclusion: they would reject Christ, once and for all, miracles or no miracles, signs or no signs. Even though He gave evidence of being all He claimed to be, they hated Him, despised Him, and that finally. The unpardonable sin was not in their mouths, but in their hearts. Let us sum up what is wrong with this theory, that men cannot now commit the unpardonable sin.

   First, men are wrong in supposing that saying something with the mouth is the unpardonable sin. When Jesus warned the Pharisees, it was of the sin in their hearts. The Scripture says, “Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them…” that they should beware of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. This sin, this blasphemy, is not in word. It is in the heart attitude, the heart decision, the heart rebellion against the cal of the Holy Spirit to accept Christ.
Second, the unpardonable sin is not “ascribing to Satan the works of the Spirit.” The Pharisees pretended, outwardly, that the power of Jesus was the power of the Devil. But their sin was deeper than that, more wicked that that.
Remember that before the flood God’s Spirit quit calling men and left them alone, doomed and damned. But we have no hint that they ascribed the works of God to Satan.
Third, it is wrong to suppose that miracles must be involved. The Holy Spirit of God deal with sinners about their sins and about the Saviour just the same when the Gospel is preached, whether there be outward miracles and signs or not. When Noah preached before the flood and God’s Spirit called and called until one day He quit striving and left men to their doom, they had seen no miracles. The flood had not yet come. As far as we know, during the one hundred and twenty years of Noah’s preaching not a single miracle occurred. Nor is there any discussion of miracles in that solemn warning of Hebrews 6:4-6. In Romans, chapter 1, we are told how God gave people up to uncleanness, gave them up to vile affections, gave them over to a reprobate mind (vss. 24, 26, 28). But miracles are not mentioned and had nothing to do with that sin that insulted the wooing Spirit of God and drove Him away.
Any idea that lost men are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin today is a false idea, based on a wrong interpretation of the Scriptures. Some poor sinner this moment, long the object of mercy, long the sought by the Spirit of God, convicted and enlightened, may be turning down Jesus Christ for the last time. Today you, if you are an unconverted sinner, may cross the deadline to the place of no repentance. no forgiveness, no possibility of salvation.

Chapter 3. Further Proof That Lost Men Are in Danger of Committing the Unpardonable Sin

1. Bible Examples Leave the Impression That Men May in Any Age So Reject the Light, So Turn from God, So Resist the Spirit of God Who Calls Them As to Commit the Unpardonable Sin

   Pharaoh, of the time of Moses, seems to have committed the unpardonable sin. Warning after warning he received. Sign after sign, miracle after miracle came upon him to convict his heart, to turn from his course.
The One who sent Moses to Pharaoh was the “I Am.” But Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” So in the preaching of Moses, in the signs and wonders and rebukes, Pharaoh faced Christ. However dimly he may have seen the theology, the crisis experience faced him as sharply as it ever faced any Christ-rejecting sinner. And Pharaoh temporized, excused himself, asked for one more time, all the while fighting God in his heart until at last he came to a definite conclusion. He would hear no more of this matter! He drove Moses and Aaron from his presence. At last Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day that thou seest my face, thou shalt die.” It is significant that Moses said, “Thou hast spoken well, I will se thy face again no more.” God’s Spirit called no more at the door of Pharaoh’s heart! Raging in his heart against God, Pharaoh chased the Israelites through the red sea and was destroyed by the waters returning to their accustomed place. I believe Pharaoh committed the unpardonable sin. I believe that as Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and hardened, and hardened, and was finally set forever and finally against God, so today sinners may harden themselves against Christ and be hardened by one rejection of light, and by another refusal to repent until there comes a final insulting and blasphemous reaction of the heart against the call of the Holy Spirit and a sinner commits the unpardonable sin and crosses the deadline beyond forgiveness.
Did Judas Iscariot commit the unpardonable sin? I think he did. The Bible does not say. But we know Judas heard all the wonderful teaching of Jesus, saw the miracles which He did. He must have been deeply moved and convicted in his heart. He must have intended to turn from his sin and take Christ as Saviour. We don not know all that went on in Judas’ heart during those three and one-half years of the ministry of Jesus. But we know that he did not trust Christ as Saviour. Jesus said of Him, “But there are some of you that believe not.” For Jesus know from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him (John 6:24). We know that all along he was a devil (John 6:70), unconverted.
At the same time, Judas was so moral and outwardly upright in character that he was made treasurer and carried the money bag. When Jesus foretold that one would betray, nobody accused Judas, nobody suspected him. Judas must have meant to do right. He must have made holy resolves. But he waited, he temporized, he delayed. He turned down the Saviour in his heart, though outwardly he was a disciple. And at long last, facing Jesus across the the last supper and dipping his bread in the same sop, Judas made the final decision. His character hardened. He balanced no more between light and darkness, between accepting Christ and rejecting Him. He cast the die, once and for all, against Christ. Satan entered into him, and he went out that night to make his wicked bargain and betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. I believe that Judas committed the unpardonable sin.
And though other people do not see Jesus in the flesh, they deal just as literally with Jesus Christ. They choose Him or reject Him; they love Him or hate Him; and after great enlightenment, after much wooing by the Holy Spirit, they may finally insult the Spirit of God and turn against this wooing, pleading representative of the Lord Jesus and harden their hearts forever against Christ. Today men do sometimes say a final “no” to Jesus Christ, as did Judas.
What about that Antichrist, that Beast who will rise, rule, and ruin in the brief but horrible Great Tribulation? I will make no issue of his case, but I but I believe that he, too, will come to such a clear understanding of right and wrong; and choose wrong; that he, too, will be so congealed, so settled in character, so pointed away from God, that he will pass forever the place of repentance and cross the deadline of mercy. In fact, the Bible seems to make both Pharaoh and Judas types of the coming Antichrist. And if those who take the mark of the Beast thereby commit the unpardonable sin and doom themselves forever to Hell, how much more will the Man of Sin, himself cross the deadline!
These instances and more in the Bible indicate to me that the unpardonable sin is such a sin as any man or woman might commit after great enlightenment, after many calls are refused, after many pleadings of the Holy Spirit are mocked and resisted and insulted.

   2. The Danger of the Unpardonable Sin Seems to Be Written in the Hearts of Men by the Spirit of God

   Dr. B. H. Carroll, founder of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, an eminent theologian, calls attention to the fact that millions have been led to fear that they might commit which is unpardonable. Uncounted multitudes have received a solemn warning in the heart and conscience that they dare not go too far in sin, too far rejecting Christ, or they would be forever beyond the pale of mercy. Dr. Carroll drew the conclusion, which I believe has great force, that the spiritual impressions of such multitudes of great people are not to be ignored. God’s Holy Spirit seems  to have  warned multitudes of people, in all ages, that He would not strive with man forever, that they should head Him at once, repent and be saved at once, the time for forgiveness should be forever past.
And as lost sinners have felt warned in the heart concerning the possibility of the unpardonable sin, so Spirit-filled men of God have felt led to preach on the danger of the unpardonable sin. I speak now not of fanatics, but of the most solid and serious and sensible of godly men. I speak now of B. H. Carroll, of George W. Truett, of R. A. Torrey, of D. L. Moody, of great evangelists, of the godliest pastors. Despite all that the cloistered theologians might say, preachers with a burning heart have felt impelled by the Spirit of God to warn men of the unpardonable sin. I believe it could be presumptuous, then, if we suppose that such a sin could not be committed in this age or in any age.

3. All Who Die Unconverted Do Cross the Deadline. God’s Holy Spirit Does Cease to Call. Such sinners Are Forever Past Repentance. So What Happens to Millions at Death May Happen to Some Before Death

 Do you say that the unpardonable sin cannot happen in this generation? But it does happen to every man, woman, and responsible child who dies unconverted, unrepentant, without personal faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour! People do cross a deadline. For there is no pardon for sin after death.
And we should honestly face the fact that before God lets any lost man or woman die, He decides to give them up. The death of a sinner never occurs unbeknownst to God. No sinner ever enters Hell until God decides to allow it. That means that every person who dies unconverted has turned down whatever light comes to him, has rejected Christ as far he knew about Christ, and has been turned over to Satan.
Now why should we suppose that every lost sinner at death, or before death, commits the unpardonable sin, and that no one else commits that sin before death?
Make no mistake; the issue is the same with every lost sinner. He must repent or refuse to repent. He must choose between his own sinful way and God’s way. He must turn for mercy or he must hold on to his sin. He must accept Christ or reject Him. That is exactly the same issue over which some men commit the unpardonable sin.
Men who reject Christ and die unconverted today go to Hell just the same as they did in Old Testament times, just as the same as they did during the life of Christ, just as they did in the Apostolic Age. I believe it is proper for us to believe that the Holy Spirit who ceased to strive with the wicked sinner before the flood now sometimes ceases to strive with the sinner, too. I believe that those mentioned in Hebrews 6:4-6, who turned back from great enlightenment and conviction so that they could no more be brought to the place of repentance, are just like some today who have been equally moved by the Holy Spirit, equally enlightened. They, too, have tasted of the good Word of God. And if they shall fall away from this place of enlightenment and conviction, if they shall drive away the Holy Spirit from their heart’s door when He seeks to get them saved, I believe that it will be impossible for them to repent, impossible to be saved.
Yes, there is an unpardonable sin, and today lost sinners are in danger of committing it.

Chapter 4. What Kind of Sin Is This Unpardonable Sin?

We have defined this sin, but I invite you to think further with me about what the sin is and what it means.

   1. First, the Unpardonable sin Is a Sin of Christ-Rejection

   I do not mean that everyone who rejects Christ then and there commits the unpardonable sin. I do not mean that one decision against Christ, or two, or three, make up the unpardonable sin. But I do mean that the rebellion of heart which causes the unpardonable sin is a rebellion against Jesus Christ. The issue between God and the sinner, when and if a sinner ever commits the unpardonable sin, is the issue of surrender to Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Saviour. Men have other sins, but they do not commit the unpardonable sin while they consider whether they shall drink or no not drink, whether they shall curse or not curse, whether they go to church or not go to church. Some other incident may be involved. With Pharaoh there was the incidental issue of whether he should let the children of Israel go out from Egypt. With Judas there was the incidental issue as to whether he could get cash for betraying Jesus. But the fundamental question between the sinner and God is whether or not he will repent of his sin and take Christ as Saviour.
A man may reject Jesus Christ because of his love for liquor, but he does not go to Hell because he drank. He goes to Hell because he rejected Christ. Judas did not go to Hell because he accepted thirty pieces of silver for leading the soldiers to Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. He went to Hell because he rejected Christ. He would not repent, would not turn to Christ in his heart, would not surrender to the Saviour. Pharaoh went to Hell, not over the single incident of refusing to let Israel go. In fact, the Scripture indicates that he already has so decided against God that God brought occasion for the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart and led him on to his death. But Pharaoh had already wickedly turned against God, rejected the light he had, determined to go on in his own way and in his own sins.
So it is with the unpardonable sin. Love of sin may lead a man finally, desperately, to drive away the Holy Spirit and set himself forever against God. But the unpardonable sin is that once-for-all blasphemous rejection of the Spirit’s wooing.
The unpardonable sin is a sin against the Holt Spirit, but it is against the Holy Spirit who is speaking for Jesus Christ and urging the sinner to turn to Christ and depend upon Christ. The Pharisees who said that Jesus cast out devils by Beelzebub, and we infer, committed the unpardonable sin, blasphemed the Holy Spirit, it is true. But it was in relation to the claims of Jesus Christ. Their hearts hated the Lord Jesus, rejected the light about Him, would not give up their own way and their own sins. Their inward blasphemy and struggle were against the Holy Spirit, but only because the Holy Spirit pressed upon them the deity of Jesus Christ and His claim to their love and faith and surrender. mark it down that the unpardonable sin is a sin of Christ-rejection, a sin of unbelief in Christ.
Is not that what the Scripture teaches in John 3:18-20?
“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
One who trusts in Christ is not condemned. Therefore one who trusts in Christ has not committed the unpardonable sin. But one who has not trusted in Christ is condemned. Surely it is clear that the condemnation of a sinner depends on his rejection of Christ, not on other sins. And to trust in Christ as Saviour makes certain that one does not commit the unpardonable sin.
Note that the passage above makes quite clear the moral wickedness of rejection of Christ. One who will not trust Christ is condemned already, because he hates the light, he does not want want the truth. He does not want his own sin to be exposed because he does not want to leave it! That wickedness in rejecting Christ may mount up until it dyes and congeals and fixes forever the heart against God. The sinner who so wickedly turns from Christ to hide his own sin and to hug his own sin in his heart, has started a course which may soon overwhelm him and forever cast his lot with the damned, the unforgivable.
Do not forget it; the unpardonable sin is a sin of Christ-rejection, a sin of unbelief in Christ.

   2. The Unpardonable Sin Is a Sin Against Great Light and Long-Extended Mercy

   I think we may safely say that on one ever committed the unpardonable sin the first time they heard about Jesus. Thank God for the loving mercy which God offers salvation to men again and again and again!
I was won to Christ when I was nine years old. My father even then thought me too young to be saved. But I well remember that the blessed Holy Spirit had been running me down for five years. I remember that within two weeks after my forth birthday, I was deeply convicted by the Scripture about the birth of Christ, that “there was no room for them in the inn.” I began to see how wicked were the hearts of men. As far as I now can remember, that was the first Scripture that ever impressed itself upon my heart. I remember later that when my mother sang sweet songs of Zion I wept and could not explain my tears. I remember how I lied to mother when I was five years old, and how she rebuked me with tears. I wondered whether God would kill me then and send me to Hell, or give me another chance! I remember how my mother called us on her deathbed and made us promise to meet her in Heaven. I remember the counsel and prayers of a godly Sunday School teacher when I was eight. Yes, God calls in one way or another every man and woman, every person who comes into the world. How boundless, how measureless is the unceasing mercy of God!
But, we learn from many Scriptures that light often offered and continually rejected may bring the judgment of God.
Who commits the unpardonable sin? It is “those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost [or gone along with the Holy Ghost, convicting them], And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,” who may commit the unpardonable sin, as we are told in Hebrews 6:4-6. But what of these, so greatly enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift but did not eat, who were convicted by the Holy Ghost as Paul was, but rejected the call and would not repent? People so greatly enlightened and convicted cannot be brought back again to the place of repentance. Once they could repent; now they cannot.
The Gospel is a savour of life to them that believe; a savour of death to them who will not believe. So the light brought by the Holy Spirit, the conviction for sin, should lead the sinner to salvation. But if he resists the light, God may give him up to darkness. If he has long resisted mercy, God may simply leave him to his sins. When one crosses the deadline, it is a sin against great light and long-extended mercy.

3. The Unpardonable Sin Is Particularly Against the Holy Spirit Who Calls the Sinner to Repentance

   In Genesis 6:3 God says, “My spirit shall not always strive with man…” So the strife over the question of salvation is between the sinner and the Holy Spirit. The sin is against the Spirit. It is true that the issue is whether or not one will repent of his sin and trust Christ for salvation. But God’s active agent dealing with the soul of a sinner is the Holy Sprit. And the sin is against the Holy Spirit.
The Pharisees said, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.’ But Jesus knowing their thoughts, warned them that their worst sin was not in speaking against Him, Jesus, but a blasphemous attitude toward the Holy Spirit who was speaking to their hearts. Jesus said: “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh a word against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Jesus meant to say to them, ‘Your words, saying that I cast out devils by Beelzebub, are harsh words against Me, but that is not your great sin. Your great sin is against the Holy Spirit who convicts you in your heart. Your real struggle is against God’s Spirit who warns you you to repent and trust Me as your Saviour.”
It is a terrible thing to take the name of Jesus Christ in vain. But that is not the unpardonable sin. It is a terrible thing to deny the miracles of Christ, or deny His virgin birth and to deny His bodily resurrection. But some have committed that sin of modernism and infidelity, and later have been turned to trust in Christ and be saved, and to forsake their folly. Words said against Jesus Christ are not the unpardonable sin. The unpardonable sin is a heart attitude, an act against the Spirit of God who pleads with the sinner to repent and be saved.

4. This Unforgivable Sin Is a Climax of Other Sins

   I believe that one may, in one short second, cross the deadline and be past forgiveness forever. I believe that one may, in a moment, insult the Holy Spirit and drive Him away so that He will call no more. I believe that the sin against the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin, is involved in one definite act of the heart and will and choice. But this sin is the climax of a course of sin.
Pharaoh probably committed the unpardonable sin. But he did not step from innocency into profound and eternal wickedness in one moment. There were long steps leading to the sin. pharaoh was greatly enlightened. Again and again he was warned by Moses, the prophet of God. But he has his which he hugged to his heart, and these sins hardened him against God.
perhaps Pharaoh thought that his throne was endangered by a threatened Hittite invasion. He thought that Jews might well side with enemies. The Jews must be killed out for the safety of Pharaoh’s throne. Perhaps Pharaoh thought that though it took the slaughter of little babies, though it took the beating and torture of a million slaves, he still would retain his power. He would brook no interference from God or men! So the cries of little babies as their heads were dashed against the paving, the screams of heartbroken mothers, along with the preaching of Moses, along with the judgments of God coming one by one on his land–all moved Pharaoh’s heart, but he resisted them all. He turned down every plea. And one day when he said no to God, it was a final no. One day when he resisted the Spirit, the Spirit of God called no more. One day Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die” (Exodus 10:28).
Pharaoh, will you drive away the prophet of God? Yes, and you drove away the Spirit of God as well. For Moses said, “Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” And the blessed Holy Spirit said, ‘Yes, you will see the face of Moses no more, but worse that, you will hear My call no more.’ Moses left Pharaoh, and I suppose the blessed Spirit of God left Pharaoh also. His final decision that he would argue no more, he would not listen to the call of God, was the climax of many wrong decisions. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened again and again, but one time it was too hard for the Spirit of God to deal with any more.
When did Judas commit the unpardonable sin? I think he did commit it, and I think that though his outraged conscience made him confess, “I have betrayed the innocent blood,” yet he could not be saved. Though he changed his mind about that unholy bargain and in that sense “repented”; though he went and hanged himself in remorse, Judas did not turn to Christ, did not trust Him for salvation, did not repent of his sins. Judas could suffer remorse of conscience; he could not experience scriptural conviction for sin. He could know that he wronged the only innocent blood in the world, the Saviour; but he could not turn to Him for salvation. So he hanged himself and went to Hell!
But when was the sin committed? Perhaps it was as he sat at the Last Supper and dipped the sop with Jesus. Perhaps it was when Satan entered into him, and he went out into the night to commit the dastardly deed. Or perhaps it was before that, when he bargained with the chief priests and rulers. But I know that before that deadly step was taken, before the Spirit of God departed from Judas, he had followed a course that led to the natural climax. The covetousness of Judas led him to reject Christ again and again. The more light he had and the more often he rejected it, the nearer he come to that one desperate plunge when he said no to Jesus in his heart, said no to the blessed Holy Spirit who convicted him.
Covetousness is not the unpardonable sin, but if you hold onto it, it may lead you to reject Christ, may lead you to spurn the Spirit’s warnings, and so lead you to the unpardonable sin. Murder is the unpardonable sin. Yet murder was a step on the road that lead to it. I think, in the case of Pharaoh.
I have known men so enamored of their lust that they would not heed the call of the Spirit of God. I have known men who, for drink, or for riches, or for pride and self-will, repeatedly turned down the Saviour. All these steps may one day end in the great climatic step of driving away the Holy Spirit by a final and complete rejection of Jesus Christ.
Do not misunderstand me. I do not think that people necessarily know when they have committed the unpardonable sin. I think people may go on in good health and in fine spirits, simply glad that they are free from the conviction they once had. Men do not necessarily say, “I will step over the deadline, I will commit the unpardonable sin. I will settle this for Hell once and forever.” No! I do not believe men ever make a decision, or that women ever make the decision on that basis. Yet sometimes, after great enlightenment, and as a climax to long, continued rejection of Christ and persistent rebellion and unbelief, men do, women do, step over the deadline in the sin that has no forgiveness.
The only safe way is to hate sin, to turn from it, to repent of it now. Anyone who today rejects Christ may tomorrow reject Him finally and forever.

Chapter 5. Results of the Unpardonable Sin

There are two sad results when a lost sinner crosses the deadline in that definite, final, irrevocable rejection of Jesus Christ. Read carefully, and may God help you, unconverted sinner, to fear these deadly results and to make sure that you do not commit this sin.

1. The Sinner Crossing the Deadline Becomes Hardened, Set Against God, Against Salvation, and So Will Never Repent

   What kind of a man was Judas Iscariot? Did you think that he was always a hater of Christ, a covetous thief, a traitor and betrayer? Oh no! Once he was an honest man, so honest and moral and upright that all the apostles agreed he should carry the bag of money for them all. Once he was so highly respected that the disciples could not even think of Judas as betraying the Saviour. When Jesus said plainly, “One of you shall betray me,” Peter asked, “Lord is it I?” John and the other apostles each asked, “Lord is it I?” But nobody asked, “Is it Judas?” Nobody suspected that Judas would betray the Saviour. They thought a man so moral. so honest, so reliable, would never stoop to such a sin.
Do not believe that Judas, that first time he came to follow Jesus and be a preacher, was the outrageous that he later became. Do not believe that then Judas thought of betraying Jesus for a paltry thirty pieces of silver. No, the Judas we know, the Christ-betrayer, was a man who one day crossed the deadline! He had seen many miracles. He had heard the parables of Christ. He has stood beside the Saviour as He healed the sick, as He preached with such tenderness and concern, as He had forgiven poor sinners. But Judas had rejected the light, and one day he crossed over the line. Now he was set forever against Jesus Christ. He could not repent. He did not ant to repent.
So one who has driven away the Spirit of God and passed the boundaries of mercy cannot repent. As the Scriptures tell us in Hebrew 6:4-6, it is “impossible…to renew them again unto repentance…” They will not repent, so they cannot be saved.
The character of the one who has committed the unpardonable sin is set against Christ. A man may still pay honest debts. A wife may still be true to her husband. A student may make good grades in school. Outward relations with other people may be commendable. But as far as trusting Christ for salvation is concerned, the soul of the sinner who has rejected Christ too long is set forever. It will not change. That is why God cannot forgive and will not forgive.

2. God’s Spirit Does Not Call The Forsaken Sinner

   “My Spirit shall not always strive will not always strive with man.” What a sad and frightful warning! If God’s Spirit does not call, men will trust in Christ. If God’s Spirit does not call, the sinner cannot be saved, will not be saved.
What about the promises of God? Did God not say, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18)? Yes, but the man who has set his heart against God forever and has insulted and driven away the Holy Spirit will never come for the cleansing which is offered.
Does not the Scripture say again and again that “his mercy endureth forever”? Yes, God’s mercy endures. God loves the sinner and will love the sinner even in Hell.
The psalmist said, “If I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there” (Psalm 139:8).
A mother aid to her son, accused and convicted of murder, “Tell me, Son. If you will confess it, the judge said that he would be lenient with you. The court will give a lighter sentence if you confess the crime.”
“I did not do it, Mother.” And he solemnly protested innocence to the end.
The mother proudly said, “My son did not do it! I know he didn’t. He told me he didn’t do it!”
The boy was put in the death cell. At last the chaplain came to lead him to the electric chair. “Have you any word for your mother?” the chaplain asked. the lad, facing death, said, “Tell Mother I did it. I am guilty.”
The chaplain hurried to tell the mother. “He is guilty. He says he did it.”
Turning to the chaplain, the mother said, “Hurry, then; go back and tell him before he goes to the chair that I love him still!”
God loves the sinner even in Hell. God would save every sinner in the world if He could on righteous terms. He is “not will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2nd Peter 3:9).
It saddened the heart of Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry that many, many turned away and would not receive Him. he said unto them reproachfully, “Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life.” Make sure of this, that any poor sinner in the world who will turn to Jesus Christ can have mercy and forgiveness. people go to Hell only because they will not come. Even those who have committed the terrible blasphemy against the Holy Spirit are lost forever, condemned, with no hope, only because that they have so set their hearts and minds forever against Christ, they they will not come to Him, they will not repent, they will not trust Him! The unpardonable sin changes the heart of the sinner and sets it like a flint against God. But it does not change the heart of God. God loves the sinner still. God’s mercy is still great. But God does not send the Holy Spirit to plead again with a heart which has settled forever against Him.

Chapter 6. Solemn Warnings About This Sin Can Never Be Forgiven

Is there yet need of warning to any careless sinner who reads this? Is there come callous of indifferent of neglectful soul who might yet trifle away the hours of mercy, might drive away forever the Holy Spirit of God?
A man once opened an elevator door and stepped carelessly, attempted to enter the elevator. It was not there! He stepped out into space, falling eight floors to death. Will any reader so carelessly step beyond the mercy of God, step into the eternal doom of the unpardonable sin? May God in pity warn those who read!

1. Let Me First Warn, Do Not Trifle With The Patience of God!

   It is true that:

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness if the sea.

But the greater the mercy scorned, the more terrible the punishment.
God so loved this poor, wicked, hateful, murderous, tainted world this alien world, this malignant race who had broken His law and despised His righteousness and took ungratefully His blessings–God so loved us that He gave His Son, Heaven’s fairest jewel. The dear Lord Jesus Christ, equal to the Father–Jesus came to be born of a maiden, in a stable, to grow up in poverty, to preach to the resisting rabble, to be tried in a crooked court, to be scourged like a criminal, and to die in the public shame of execution on the cross! God loves men! God loves sinners. God loves you!
But love so infinitely merciful, so long-seeking, so long-suffering, so sacrificial, may be spurned too long! God’s righteousness demands that God turn His back upon the scorning, unrepentant and resisting sinner.
In that moving book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Lawrence of Arabia tells how he and the Arabs, striking for independence from the unspeakable Turk during World War I, took the village of Tafas from the retreating but bloodthirsty and murderous Turks. Among the corpses on the ground, a little figure tottered off as if trying to escape, a girl three of four years old, soiled dress, red with blood down one shoulder and side. She had been wounded, a lance going deeply into the body at the neck. She begged, “Don’t hit me, Baba!” A choking friend who lived in the village fell from his camel, knelt beside the child. Fearful, she tried to cream and died.
On the mud wall of a sheepfold, a pregnant woman, naked, had been pinned with a saw bayonet. Some twenty other innocent ones butchered were “set out in accord with an obscene taste,” Lawrence tells us.
Lawrence told his men that he would regard best the soldiers who would bring in most of the Turkish dead. Nearly insane with grief and righteous rage, they pursued the Turks, killing, killing. Part of Lawrence’s Arabs had taken prisoner the last two hundred men, and had them huddled under guard.
Lawrence would have saved them. But he was called to find one of his own men with his thigh shattered and dying; yet heartless Turks had hammered bayonets through his shoulder and the other leg, pinning him to the ground. When they saw this last barbarism and asked who did it, Hassan, dying, motioned toward the prisoners. Is it any wonder that they turned guns upon the prisoners, and shot them down in a heap?
Under other circumstances that would seem horrible. But Lawrence and his men had fought honorably for freedom by high standards of warfare, only to have women and children, old men and prisoners, tormented, violated and murdered. Say what you will, the conscience of decent men cries out that such sin must be punished and that such murderers must pay.
That was not God. God’s mercy is longer than the mercy of men. But will God’s love go on pleading forever with those who despise and insult His Son, those who “do despite to the Spirit of grace,” those who trample under foot the blood of Jesus Christ?
“He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” –Hebrews 10:28-31
The scorned love of God, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, the long and tender wooing of the Holy Spirit, so often repulsed, so often ignored and often insulted–will God’s patience last forever? No! One day God’s Spirit will withdraw, and man will be left to his own choice and his eternal ruin.
Love, long scorned, gives up mercy and turns to justice.
Don’t you know that love must some day turn to scorn and holy indignation for the sinner who trifles too long with God?
I solemnly warn all who read this message–do not trifle with the patience of God! If you ever intend to be saved, turn to God now before God gives you up, before God withdraws His Spirit, before God lets you go to Hell!

2. If There Is Any Call of the Spirit, Any Moving of Conscience, Be Saved Today!

   Oh, how blessed is the poor lost sinner who conscience tells he is a sinner! That means that God has not yet given you up. That means that the Spirit of God still calls you! How fortunate is the sinner who knows he is a sinner, who is troubled by it, who feels a burden to be saved! That proves that God’s Spirit is still calling you. He has not given you up. You have not crossed the deadline.
In a city-wide campaign in the Binghamton theater, Binghamton New York, in January and February, 1936, a man who worked in the Endicott-Johnson Shoe Factory, as I recall, was deeply convicted during one service. After I had preached and given a simple invitation for people to turn from their sins and come to Christ and to walk down to the front and tell me so, he stood at his seat and trembled. The sweat broke out from his forehead. His foreman in the shoe factory came and stood by his side and urged him to be saved. A fellow workman came to the other side and put his arm around him. But this poor sinner held onto the seat in the front of him, trembled and said, “No, no!” He was not ready. But the deep concern in his heart, the war in his soul, caused him to fall fainting. His friends caught him up and carried him outside into the zero cold. Soon he was revived. One man said to the other helper, “Here, you stay with him. I’ll get my car and take him home.”
But the unconverted man said, “NO! I’m going back!”
They tried to get him to go home. They urged his weakness; they said he could come back tomorrow night.
But he insisted, “No, I must do it tonight. God has told me in my heart that it is not or never. I must be saved tonight.”
So he came back into the auditorium and met me in the wings.
He told me his story. How wonderful that he came back, that he said “yes” to God that night before it was too late!
If the Spirit of God calls you, you can be saved. Will you turn to Christ today, trust Him and be saved?
Are you fearful that you have waited too long? Then I will tell you how you can know. If you really want to be saved, you can. Jesus said, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). If you want to, that proves you can. Remember that Jesus said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Just come. Never mind whether you feel a certain way; if you honestly want to come, if you choose to come, then come in your heart, this moment, and trust Jesus Christ to save you. He never turns down those who come to Him. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). If, here and now, you turn to Christ, admit you sinfulness and turn from it in your heart; if you trust Jesus Christ to forgive and save you here and now, then that moment you will be saved. Will you do it?

There is a time, I know not when,
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men
To Heaven or despair.

There is a line by us not seen,
Which crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath.

To cross that limit is to die,
To die, as if by stealth.
It may not pale the beaming eye,
Nor quench the glowing health.

The conscience may be still at ease,
The Spirit light and gay.
That which is pleasing still may please
And care be thrust away.

But on that forehead God hath set
Indelibly a mark,
By man unseen, for man as yet
Is blind and in the dark.

And still the doomed man’s path below
May bloom like Eden bloomed.
He did not, does not, will not know,
Now feel that he is doomed.

He feels, he sees that all is well,
His every fear is calmed.
He lives, he dies, he wakes in Hell,
Not only doomed, but damned.

Oh, where is that mysterious bourn,
By which each path is crossed,
Beyond which God Himself hath sworn
That he who goes is lost?

 

Oh, where is that mysterious bourn,
By which each path is crossed,
Beyond which God Himself hath sworn
That he who goes is lost?

He feels, he sees that all is well,
His every fear is calmed.
He lives, he dies, he wakes in Hell,
Not only doomed, but damned.

And still the doomed man’s path below
May bloom like Eden bloomed.
He did not, does not, will not know,
Now feel that he is doomed.

But on that forehead God hath set
Indelibly a mark,
By man unseen, for man as yet
Is blind and in the dark.

The conscience may be still at ease,
The Spirit light and gay.
That which is pleasing still may please
And care be thrust away.

To cross that limit is to die,
To die, as if by stealth.
It may not pale the beaming eye,
Nor quench the glowing health.

There is a time, I know not when,
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men
To Heaven or despair.

There is a line by us not seen,
Which crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God’s patience and His wrath.

End of Book

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