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Faith, Forgiveness, Salvation VI

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Question #1:  

Doc, did I ever tell you about Ron Craig? He's the cult leader of this YouTube "ministry" called The Rooted Word. He preaches the most extreme and most hopeless works salvation I've ever seen (except maybe for one). He says we must completely stop sinning to be saved, and that if we sin after that we lose salvation. He's making his own Bible version and uses verses from it instead of an actual professionally made one to debunk his theological enemies... his worst offense by far is telling people to their face that they've blasphemed the Spirit and will never be forgiven no matter how sincerely they repent...for calling out his lunacy. Honestly, if anyone's never being forgiven, it's HIM.

Response #1: 

Never heard of him. But I have bumped into the phenomenon. I just had an extended conversation with a person convinced on not being able to be saved on account of committing some sin which blasphemed the Holy Spirit. It has always been amazing to me how effective a weapon guilt is in manipulating human beings. That is why I call religion "the devil's ace trump" because it operates so heavily on fear and guilt. To believe in no forgiveness while still alive, a person would have completely misunderstand what God Ė our heavenly Father who is better than any human father could ever be Ė is like:

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and great in mercy. He will not accuse without end, nor will He harbor [His anger] forever. He does not deal with us in proportion to our sins, nor does He recompense us in proportion to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His mercy on behalf of those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, [so far] has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion for his sons, [so] the Lord has compassion for those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:8-13

All false teachers have a lot to answer for. But they will definitely receive their comeuppance (much about this in the next installment of the Peter series, coming some time this summer):

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
2nd Timothy 3:8-9 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

I'm scared Doc...I spoke against the spirt Ron Craig preaches by and told it "get there behind me Satan". According to him, this ia blasphemy against the Spirit and can't be forgiven. I'm scared he'll turn out to be a true teacher and I'll be irreversibly damned. I saw a Cambly profile he made of himself, and he mentions nothing about being a Pastor or even Christian, and the degrees listed aren't even Bible related like he claims he has. This profile has gone from just possible evidence of him being false to my final hope for salvation. Do you think he just left the important stuff out? Or is it damning evidence of him being a liar and thus not sinless like he claims?

Response #2: 

So you need to learn to believe the truth and not false teachers. Paying attention to them in the first place is a mistake.

Anyone can claim anything. But we believe the Bible Ė or at least we should.

There's a ton of material on Ichthys about this. Let me know if you have any trouble locating it.

Did you know Jesus loves you? Did you know He died for you? Did you know that you are saved by grace through faith Ė not of works (lest any man should boast). You can continue this list yourself, I hope.

Link: What is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Hello,

I committed the unpardonable sin about 2 years ago. I am not a Christian , but I went to church for over 47 years. I am under the wrath of God. I canít take care of myself. I want to repent and receive Christ as my Lord and Savior, but there is no hope, correct because the sin is unforgivable.

Response #3: 

The so-called "unforgivable sin" is the sin of rejecting the Spirit's testimony about Christ (see the link).

As long as a person is living on this earth, if willing to put their faith, trust, belief in Jesus Christ, God makes that salvation freely available to all (see the link).

"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved."
Acts 16:31

In the Name of our dear Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #4:  

Thanks , Bob. That is what I did. The Holy Spirit was trying to draw me to Christ back in May 2020. My conscience was so seared that I didnít realize that it was for salvation and I rejected Christ. He will not let me receive him because I committed the unforgivable sin. I should have received him when the Spirit was working in my life. He left in August 2020 and hasnít been back. I would really like to repent and turn back to God, but he elect me since I committed the unforgivable sin, Thanks.

Response #4: 

With all due respect, you are misreading these scriptures. What our Lord was saying was that unbelievers can't be saved. Only believers are saved:

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:18 NKJV

That is the question. Do you "believe in Him"? If you believe in Jesus Christ, if you have put your faith in Him for salvation, if you trust in Him for life eternal, then you ARE a believer . . . and all believers are saved. Only unbelievers, people who do not believe in the deity and humanity of Christ, who do not accept the truth that He died for our sins, who do not have any trust or faith or belief in Him, only such unbelievers are not saved.

I have contact with many people over the years who are determined for some reason or other to condemn themselves. Please don't do that. This is not what the Lord wants. Doesn't He say in His Word that He searches after every lost sheep? If you were unwilling to hear His voice before, it doesn't prevent you from responding to Him now. Only after death is the option of salvation curtailed for those who reject Him.

So if you ARE a believer, that is, if you DO believe in Him, then you are saved. You only need to get straightened out in terms of learning and believing the truth (that is the purpose of Ichthys). If you are not (and I honestly doubt that because unbelievers do not care about the Lord or their eternal status), then you only need to go to Him in prayer and accept the salvation He offers you. He has already paid for it Ė you just need to accept it.

Remember the parable of the prodigal son? When he came to his senses and decided to return from that "far country" to which many if not most believers have foolishly traveled at some point in their lives, he didn't consider himself worthy any longer to be called "son". That is what you are experiencing. But what did his father Ė representing our heavenly Father Ė say to him?

"But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found'."
Luke 15:22-24a NKJV

In Jesus Christ who died for you and me both, and for the entire world.

Bob L.

Question #5:  

Dear Bob,

Yes, you are right. I believe in. Jesus Christ. I believe in John 3:16, but my problem is that I committed the unforgivable sin Hebrews 10:26-30. Therefore, God wonít send me the Holy Spirit, so I canít repent. I am in a Catch 22 situation. I prayed to have my sins forgiven, but they canít be because I committed the unforgivable sin. Do you understand my situation now?

I wish God would have mercy on me, but he wonít because I committed the unforgivable sin. God will not send His Holy Spirit back to me, so that I can put my faith trust and belief in
Christ for salvation. I have prayed prayers, but they donít work because I donít have the Holy
Spirit. One cannot be saved or repent without the Holy Spirit.

I still want to repent although it is me and not the Holy Spirit. Do you hve my idea what I can do? I told him that I want to repent for rejecting him and Jesus . I want to start over again and live for Christ. I want Christ to be my Lord and Savior. I want to submit to him. Amen.

There is nothing I can do. Obviously, I wasnít chosen by God. He saw that I would become too wicked to go to heaven and that I would commit the unforgivable sin.

One article incorrectly says that you can truly repent from the unforgivable sin. This is not true if you are an unbeliever without Godís Spirit. God wonít come back. They shouldnít give people false hopes. I think I have truly repented, but God wonít forgive me even if I quote Bible verses
until I am blue in the face.

I have no hope. The Bible says that the unforgivable sin is unforgivable. I was real psychopath to do what I did. Unfortunately, there is no second chance. God is keeping me alive to pour out His wrath on me before I go to hell. This is terrifying. He will not save me now. I am not included in John 3:16 and Romanís 9. 10. If I say a salvation prayer, nothing happens.

[many other emails omitted]

Response #5: 

Today is posting day (see the link) so I have no time to answer emails, but I do promise to give you a detailed response tomorrow once I'm back to regular ministry work.

In the meantime, let me assure you that you have bought into some really incorrect teaching (for example, you have been lead to misunderstand Hebrews chapter ten for sure). Short of taking the mark of the beast (which does not yet even exist), as long as a person is still alive, that person has an opportunity to be saved.

Also, from what you've said, it seems to me that you WERE a believer. What makes you think you no longer are? How do you KNOW you don't have the Holy Spirit? If you were an unbeliever, you wouldn't care about any of this, but clearly you do care.

Sin does not end salvation. Only apostasy ends salvation (please see this link).

It's not about how you feel. It's about God's opinion. The Lord knows who belongs to Him and who does not (2Tim.2:19).

I'll get in touch with you tomorrow.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Thanks a lot, Bob. I am not a Christian . I just participated in church activities . I am in terrible trouble because I committed the unforgivable sin. I am not able to repent because I donít have
the Holy Spirit. My spirit tells me that I am going to hell. I have no hope. None of my prayers are answered. The Lord views me as very wicked, so I am in terrible trouble.

[much omitted]

Response #6: 

With all due respect, anyone who is alive can receive the gift of life in Jesus Christ.

When you say, "If I say a salvation prayer, nothing happens", what do you expect to happen? If you are already saved, then there is no need for the prayer; if you were not saved (a little hard for me to understand, given all you've written), then you would be saved. That is what "would happen", but that is not something you can see or hear. Nothing "happens" . . . to the physical eye. But you become a child of God Ė which I expect you already are.

This is not about sin. Jesus died already for all your sin.

This is about faith.

There is plenty about all this on the website. I'm happy to answer any specific concerns. But you seem determined not to listen when I tell you the truth.

If you are not someone who believes in Jesus Christ (a little hard for me to understand, given all you've written), if you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you will be saved.

If you are a believer, merely an upset one, then know that all sins are forgiven just as soon as you confess them to the Lord (1Jn.1:9; cf. Ps.32:5).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #7:  

There is no second chance with God with the unforgivable sin.

Unfortunately, I am not a Christian. I just went to church and participated in church activities.
I see now that my situation is hopeless. I cannot receive Christ because I committed the unforgivable sin. Since itís unforgivable, I canít be saved. I foolishly loved the world more than God. Thanks for trying to help.

Response #7: 

I have to say that I disagree with you completely.

1) The unforgivable sin is refusing the Holy Spirit all the way until death. As long as a person is alive, they can accept Christ so as to be saved. As soon as one stops resisting the Spirit, that sin is no longer operative for that person.

2) You say that you are not a Christian. If true, that is your choice. If you choose to believe in Christ, then you are saved.

3) You say there are no second chances, but in truth you have free will as long as you are alive.

I am unclear where this great confidence of yours comes from. I have read the Bible too Ė in Hebrew and in Greek many times.

What scriptures give you such confidence that 1) you are not saved and 2) you cannot be saved? I assure you that you are misinterpreting them.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #8:  

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your email. I committed the unforgivable sin. If the Holy Spirit no longer prompts you to repent after you rejected him, you canít be saved You can see what happened to the Pharisees. I would repent if I could. I donít have the Holy Spirit. He got tired of striving with me.

I choose to believe in Christ, but He wonít accept me because I committed the unforgivable sin. You can see in Matthew that it is unforgivable.

I donít have free will because I committed the unforgivable sin. Itís all in Matthew and Mark. Hebrews 10:26-30.

I am under the wrath of God now. He is punishing me for my sins. I canít take care of myself. That is proof that there is no hope for me. I canít do anything. Also, 1 John 5:11-12 shows that I am not saved. I cannot get Jesus no matter how much I pray. I just get silence .That is the terrible thing about the unforgivable sin.

I donít understand why you canít see that I am in a hopeless situation. I should have repented
right after I committed the unforgivable sin. I had no idea that I was in eternal danger due to a seared conscience. Once the Holy Spirit leaves, you canít be saved because the sin is unforgivable.

I keep asking God to forgive me, but He wonít since I committed the unforgivable sin. I say that I truly want to repent, but it doesnít help. I canít get the Spirit to come back.

I keep asking God to soften my heart and let me repent. He wonít though because I committed the unforgivable sin.

I know I broke Godís laws. I want to truly repent with godly sorrow, but God wonít hear my prayers because I committed the unforgivable sin. Do you have anymore advice?

Because I committed Hebrews 10:26-30, there is no sacrifice for my sins.

Do you have any other ideas about what I can do?

[much omitted]

Response #8: 

God loves you (Jn.3:16).

Jesus died for you (Rom.5:8).

Your sins are forgiven when you believe and when you confess (Eph.1:7; 1Jn.1:9).

Scripture calls you to Jesus.

The Spirit and the bride say, ďCome!Ē And let the one who hears say, ďCome!Ē Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Revelation 22:17 NIV

The only thing preventing your salvation and/or spiritual recovery . . . is you.

But what does [scripture] say? ďThe word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,Ē that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, ďJesus is Lord,Ē and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, ďAnyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.Ē
Romans 10:8-11 NIV

Here are some pertinent links:

No, Hebrews does not teach that you lost your salvation.

Sin and Salvation, Confession and Forgiveness

Have I Lost My Salvation? (III)

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #9:  

Thanks, Bob. None of this works for me because I committed the unforgivable sin, so I will have to go to hell. I was a terrible fool to do this. God had given me everything and I threw it all away and chose the world instead of God. I was going over to Satanís side without even realizing it.

Response #9: 

There is no unforgivable sin Ė not in the way you mean.

The unforgivable sin is CONTINUED refusal to respond to the Holy Spirit until death takes away the option of any further choice.

So please, do not CONTINUE to refuse God's mercy and God's grace.

Our God is a God of mercy and grace (e.g., Ps.103:8-13). He doesn't act towards us in the way you seem to think.

When you say, "I can't get the Spirit back", if you had the Spirit, you were a believer; and only apostasy causes a person to lose the Spirit.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10:  

Unfortunately, Bible verses and worship music donít help at all like they did 2 years ago.
I rejected the Holy Spirit and Christ because I was a real psychopath and selfish. I wanted to do things my way which was terribly wrong. God wonít forgive me because I committed the unforgivable sin. Have you met anyone, who has as committed it?

I would accept Godís mercy and grace, but I am under His wrath for my sins. I am in terrible trouble with God. I have to go to hell for committing the unforgivable sin. I became unpardonable because of my selfish sin. I say Bible verses, but they donít help like they did about 2 years ago. I say this prayer to show God I want to repent, but He wonít accept it. Nothing happens. God wonít accept it because I committed the. unforgivable sin. Let me know if you have any suggestions.

I would give anything to get His Spirit back, but itís impossible like Pastor Swindoll and others say. I have prayed over and over again for God to come back, but He wonít because the sin is unforgivable. Jesus just died for the "whosever" people. I rejected him , so I have to go to hell.
Yes, there is. When the Spirit stops prompting you after you have rejected him, you will go to hell. I am not a believer. The Holy Spirit was trying to convict me of sin and draw me to Christ. You are a Christian, so God blesses you. I have to go to hell for committing the unforgivable sin.

Response #10: 

1) The unpardonable sin is refusing to respond to the Spirit so as to be saved. It is NOT being somehow unable to respond. Like any other sin, one can STOP sinning this sin. The way to do that is to stop resisting and start believing. You are alive, so you have free will, so you can choose what to believe and what not to believe.

2) If you are getting your info from Swindoll, well, let's just say I wouldn't recommend it.

3) If you're getting information and/or support from "worship music", that's not recommended either.

***4) How do you know you "had" the Spirit? And how do you know that now you "don't" have the Spirit?

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #11:  

[omitted]

He was working in me in a non-saving way. I had a witness with my Spirit. I had a good life.
I have a terrible life now. There is no witness of the Spirit with my Spirit. Thank you.

Response #11: 

With all due respect, you haven't answered my question.

Your confidence that your situation is "unchangeable" is based upon previously having and now not having the Spirit. So it's a fair question: "how do you KNOW?"

I suspect that you have been taught that the Spirit's manifestations are emotional, but most groups which teach that don't have a clue about the Holy Spirit in fact.

The unforgivable sin is refusing to accept Christ . . . all the way until the end of life.

If you rejected the Spirit's witness in the past, that doesn't mean you have to keep doing it today. Anyone can stop sinning some particular sin. Any unbeliever can accept Christ.

This is NOT about sin and sinning. Jesus died for every human sin. God wants all to be saved (1Tim.2:4; cf. Ezek.18:23; Matt.18:14; Jn.12:47; 2Pet.3:9). He wants YOU to be saved.

So when you suggest that God is so angry at you that He will no longer have any mercy on you, I have to tell you that this is NOT the God I know:

ďBut You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.Ē
Psalm 86:15 NKJV

When you're ready to believe, He is ready to receive you, regardless of past behavior. Mary Magdalene was a noted "sinner", but what does the Lord tell her after she came to Him?

ďYour faith has saved you. Go in peace
Luke 7:50b NKJV

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Bob,

Can you please respond to one of my emails when you have a moment. Sorry, I sent so many. I donít see how I can get the Holy Spirit to come back, do you? Thanks for your help.

[many emails omitted]

Response #12: 

Saturday is posting day, so I don't have time to respond to emails until I get back to my desk, usually late Sunday.

I'm mystified, really.

HOW do you know "the Spirit left me" or "I don't have the Spirit". Honestly, I've never heard of any believer having this sort of discernment. It's an important question because your "perception" of having/not having the Spirit, as you say, is at the root of your false confidence that you are not saved and that "God is not hearing" you.

God is hearing you, I assure you.

Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, undiminished deity and true humanity in One unique Person forever? Do you believe that He died for your sins and paid the entire price for them?

If the answer is yes, then you are a believer, and all believers are saved; only unbelievers Ė people who do not believe these truths Ė are not saved (Jn.3:18).

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #13:  

Hi Bob,

Sorry to bother you. . I really want God to forgive my sins and let me receive Christ as my Lord and Savior. Billy Graham says that you have to have Godís Spirit in you to be forgiven. Unfortunately, he left me long ago. What can I would do to get him back! Thanks for listening.

Thanks for getting back to me. I know I am not a believer unfortunately. The Spirit was not
in me. He was just working in a non- saving way. He was trying to lead me to repent which I stupidly wouldnít do. He was also trying to draw me to Christ for salvation. My conscience was so seared, I didnít realize it was for salvation, so I turned away from him. His Spirit stayed around me until sometime in Aug 2020. If he was trying to convict me of sin, I couldnít hear it, my heart was so evil.

I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. However, it appears that he didnít die for my sins because he knew that I would commit the unforgivable sin before the foundation of the world. I am not part of the ďwhosoever" in John 3:16. I have to go to hell because Godís Spirit is gone. There is no witness of His Spirit with mine. I have asked him to return, but he wonít because I committed the unforgivable sin. I am under His wrath and am in torment. Thanks for listening.

Response #13: 

1) I doubt Billy Graham ever said anything like that. It's not the case in any case. All believers have the Holy Spirit (Rom.8:9). All believers are forgiven their sins when they confess (1Jn.1:9).

2) In John 3:16, the Greek says "everyone who believes". Everyone includes everyone, including YOU.

3) When you say, "it appears that he didnít die for my sins", you couldn't be more wrong. Christ died for ALL sins Ė for ALL the sins of ALL people (see the link).

For it is the love of Christ that constrains us, having brought us to this conclusion: One died for [us] all; so then we all have died [in Him]. And He died on behalf of all so that those who are [now] alive might no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised [from the dead].
2nd Corinthians 5:14-15

So sin is not the issue; faith is the issue.

Please stop advocating against yourself. We already have an Advocate who argues FOR us, our Lord Jesus Christ.

My children, I am writing these things to you so that you won't sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate to [approach] the Father [on our behalf], Jesus Christ the righteous.
1st John 2:1

I assure you that you are NOT hopeless. You have been listening to some very bad teaching, apparently, and you are holding it tight and refusing to accept the truth. Please yield to the truth. If you believe, as you say you do, then you are saved.

I reiterate (fourth time now?), it's not possible to see or hear or feel the Holy Spirit in a physical way. That is charismatic nonsense. The experiential proof you are looking for does not exist. What is the proof? The proof is faith.

(1) It is faith [in the Living and written Word], moreover, that substantiates what we hope for. [Faith] provides proof of things unseen.
Hebrews 11:1

If you want to recover spiritually, you will have to begin listening to some good teaching . . . and accept it in faith. In addition to Ichthys, I also highly recommend Bible Academy (at the link).

So please do not write me back saying, "I'm wicked" (we're all sinners), or "I don't have the Spirit" (you cannot possibly know that), or "God won't listen" (He always listens, perfect God that He is). Make up your mind instead to do the necessary "homework" of spiritual growth. That is the only road to true peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
John 14:27 NKJV

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #14:  

Dear Bob,

How are you? I really want to repent for my sins. I am truly sorry for what I did. Unfortunately, God wonít forgive me because I committed the unforgivable sin. This is terrifying to have to go to hell.

I know what you said about the Holy Spirit. I can tell that I donít have him since I donít have a witness with my spirit and he isnít prompting me or telling me what I should do. I drove him away being the evil psychopath that I am when I committed the unforgivable sin.

Response #14: 

As mentioned many times now, the Holy Spirit is not visible or palpable or tangible or noticeable in the way you seem to imagine (see BB 5B at the link).

IF you are an unbeliever, God wants you to be saved (2Pet.3:9). How to get forgiveness from the unpardonable sin? Stop committing it and trust in the Lord for salvation instead (Acts 16:31).

IF you are a believer, God wants to forgive you (Is.30:18). How to get forgiveness from sins committed as a believer? Simply confess them to the Lord and you will be forgiven (1Jn.1:9).

You have been taught a lot of rubbish, and I'm sorry to hear that you are determined to keep believing it instead of the truth. This ministry is all about the truth. I help people by teaching them the truth. But if you refuse to accept the truth as true, there isn't anything I can do for you.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #15:  

Dear Bob,

Donít forget me. Please respond to my concerns. Thanks.

Can you please respond when you have time? Thanks.

Can you please address the issues I sent to you? I am under condemnation. I get the message that I am going to hell because I committed the unforgivable sin. I know I am a selfish psychopath too.

[many emails omitted]

Response #15: 

You've been reading a lot of rubbish.

Better would be to read the Bible.

Here is what God is really like:

The LORD is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the LORD pities those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:8-13 NKJV

This applies to you too. Please don't go on and say "not to me!" It is the height of arrogance to think of oneself as so special that God treats you differently from anyone else. That is rubbish.

You're worried about the unpardonable sin? The way to be forgiven is to stop resisting the Spirit. It's not a "one time thing". As long as you are alive, you have free will in the image of God. Don't go on and tell me that God has taken that away from you. That is rubbish too.

Stop reading rubbish and start reading the Bible. The best advice you'll ever get.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #16:  

Dear Bob,

Unfortunately, I pushed God out of my life and let the devil come in. I ended up loving the world more than Jesus. I was a mentally sick psychopath and now I have no hope. I committed the unpardonable sin, and am too wicked to go to heaven. I bought a new car which God told me not to do. That led to me committing the unforgivable sin. I should never have bought the car, or at least taken it back. No one else was this evil. Thanks for listening.

[much omitted]

Response #16: 

This is a Bible teaching ministry.

Please give me ONE verse you think supports your misguided view.

I'll be happy to tackle this problem with you one verse at a time. But if you want to continue, PLEASE just wait until I respond before you write back.

Question #17:  

Hello Bob,

Alright, thanks. I committed Hebrews 10:26. I know you said one verse, but you need to read through v 30 to show that I donít have a sacrifice for my sins etc. I have the wrath of God on me. I am not able to do anything which shows I have no hope. Thanks for listening.

Response #17: 

This verse, Hebrews 10:26, and its context are very frequently misunderstood. I will give you the gist here, but please do read carefully through all of the links below.

In a nutshell, if one reads through verse 30 as you suggest, one sees that the sin here is "trampling the Son of God underfoot, counting the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulting the Spirit of grace". This all refers in the context to the Jerusalem believers Ė the recipients of this letter Ė continuing to make animal sacrifices under the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law so that their continuation of animal sacrifices was saying, in effect, that Jesus' death for sin had not been effective. In other words, it was essentially denying Christ by participating in a ritual which proclaimed He had not yet died for sin. That is why in verse 26 Paul says that there is "no further sacrifice for sin" because Jesus has already been sacrificed for sin and animal sacrifice is no longer valid for ritual atonement since its symbolism has now been fulfilled through the actual spiritual death of Christ.

So this has nothing to do at all with what you have been saying. I am well aware that many so-called teachers and preachers say otherwise, but the truth is as represented above and also in these links:

Does Hebrews 10:26 teach loss of salvation?

Deliberate sin in Hebrews 10

Synopsis paraphrase of Hebrews 10:26ff.

More on Hebrews 10:26ff.

Defiant Sin

These will lead to many other links, if interested. The point is that this passage is NOT saying that salvation can be lost and not be recoverable even though a person is still alive. As long as we ARE alive, we have free will, the image of God Ė which is the entire POINT of this exercise called creation and human history. You only lose the ability to chose when you exit this life.

As to what others say, I have little time for apologetics and dealing with false teaching and false teachers. You can accept the truth Ė or you can continue to torture yourself with lies. That is up to you Ė free will.

But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.
1st Corinthians 14:38 NIV

In Jesus,

Bob L.
p.s., it will take you at least a couple of hours to read these things carefully, so, please, I don't expect to hear the same things back from you immediately.

Question #18:  

Hello Bob,

Thanks for your reply and info. Donít forget that I am an unbeliever. I am unable to be saved because I committed the unforgivable sin . I was a terrible psychopath to do that. I have heard of your version of Hebrews 10, but I donít agree with it. I agree with other peopleís interpretations. I sinned willfully and continually. The Holy Spirit prompted me in May 2020 to stop sinning and turn to Christ. I rejected him with defiant irreverence and I turned away from Christ. My conscience was so seared, I didnít realize that he was trying to get me to receive salvation. I believe with the other pastors that I have no sacrifice for my sins. Thatís why I am under Godís wrath for my sins. He isnít going to allow me to be saved. Itís been about 2 years now since this happened. The wrath of God is heavy on me. I am not able to work or do anything. I think that is the beginning of the fiery judgement because I am in torment.

The Bible also says the sin of blasphemy is unforgivable, so how can it be forgiven?

Thanks for your help, but I am destined for hell because I committed the unforgivable sin .

Response #18: 

"I agree with other peopleís interpretations."

That is your right.

Question #19:  

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your help, but like I said God doesnít want to save me. I am too evil. I was a terrible selfish psychopath to commit the unforgivable sin. There is no forgiveness for it, so I have to go to hell.

Response #19: 

God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
1st Timothy 2:3b-4 NIV

Question #20:  

Hi Bob,

Thanks, but that verse is only for people who havenít committed the unforgivable sin. I was a terrible psychopath to commit it. I became too greedy, selfish and worldly. I have to go to hell. God wonít ever come back to me. I am happy for you.

Response #20: 

It doesn't say that. It says that He wants "all" to be saved.

Believing "other interpretations" is one thing (even if they are wrong, they may seem persuasive in a vacuum). Refusing to believe what is right there in front of you in the Bible is another.

You are torturing yourself for nothing.

Question #21:  

Hi again Bob,

I hope things are good for you. I'm glad you're feeling better but also hope your ankle is on the mend and you're able to get your yard work done and that the protesting/ riots there have now fizzled out.

Things are very tough in my life at the moment and it isn't the tribulation yet! I am trying to help other people in my life but that in turn has dragged me down mentally because things are already tough for me. It worries me though that I have people around me who are prime candidates for suicide. I've been trying to prop them up and encourage them and also witness to them. They have become a bit dependent on me for this and sometimes I feel the strain and can't do it.

The other extreme is that I know people who are manically pretending to themselves and others that everything is wonderful, whether it is going abroad on holiday or eating, drinking and being merry. I have a friend who makes music and I saw the video for it and it was so jolly and optimistic that I actually found it offensive. It felt so anachronistic to what we are going through that it actually disturbed me. Not that I endorse being maudlin and depressed of course but it's disturbing when people are trying to boost themselves up on all the wrong things, all the things which we will see crumble over the next few years (and are of no valuable eternal import anyway).

Bob, I'm worried I've committed the unforgivable sin! I woke up in the night and in a sleepy stupor blamed God for everything that was going wrong. I was even on the verge of saying something much worse. I was about to accuse Him like the Pharisees accused Jesus, I was about to accuse Him of the same thing!

I immediately repented and confessed and I'm really worried about it. I don't understand it because I love God very much. I have faith in His Word and Jesus and I have felt myself progress. Was this a spiritual attack? I'm confused how it happened as I haven't been angry with God like that before. I bring all my problems to Him and pray before I go to sleep. Indeed He is my father that I look to and Jesus is my Saviour to whom I owe everything.

Why would I have such blasphemous thoughts like this? It was almost as though they came at me from outside my mind and then inside my mind and then I caught hold of them and sent them packing. I have tried to repent and say sorry quite a few times but because I am so unnerved and worried about it, I don't "feel" as though I am forgiven and so it is leading me to believe that it is unforgivable.

Is blasphemy against God forgivable? Such as being tempted to accuse Him of evil? Like I said, I was very drowsy and the thoughts really shocked me. What should I do about it? Does this mean l'm not really a believer?

Maybe it's because fear has crept into my heart recently with all that is going on and to be honest I've recently been frightened about the tribulation, about the mental toll as I have been struggling mentally lately and it isn't even that bad yet!
I've been really good not looking at conspiracies for quite a while but recently I looked at a few again. Could this be responsible for my blasphemous thoughts? Why would I blaspheme God when I love Him and rely on Him so much?

I am really hoping it isn't the unforgivable sin. I know that you have written that it is unbelief in Jesus but when the Pharisees accused Him of being evil then He said they were "close to it". So can a fleeting thought that I stopped before it was thoroughly thought be it?

It has really got me anxious.

I'm sorry this is a missive but it has thrown me as I felt I was progressing. When unbelievers go to hell, because all their sins have been forgiven through Jesus, does that mean it is the unforgivable sin that sends them to hell? I read though that we are judged on our works so how does that work out? I'm confused on my understanding of that.

I'm sorry that I am in such a tizz. I know that God will forgive me because I still love Him very much, I fear Him and I believe in Jesus. I guess it is that doubt that I have been forgiven this thought and so it is the "unforgivable sin". It's not "feeling"
forgiven.

God bless you.

In Jesus who died for the sins of the world,

Response #21: 

You have NOT NOT NOT "committed the unpardonable sin! Every Christian has "thought battles" to deal with, and this is one of the devil's favorite ways to get under the skin of believers who are actually serious about following Jesus Christ. Here's a very important verse you need to remember and use as a sword against over-reacting to perceived failures on this account:

For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
1st John 3:20 NKJV

God knows you love Him and His Son our Lord Jesus Christ Ė more than your life! So you have nothing to worry about. In fact, worrying about this is falling into the devil's trap. So if you think you may have sinned Ė at all Ė then confess it, and remember that He forgives all sin and all unrighteousness when you do (Ps.32:5; 1Jn.1:9). And since you have been forgiven, you then need to forget and move on.

As I say, this is the type of testing that comes mature believers' way, so you can take some comfort in that too. Here are a few links at Ichthys that also address this:

Worried about disrespectful thoughts toward God

Who Controls our Thoughts and Emotions?

The Battlefield Within: Fighting the inner spiritual Struggle.

Forgiveness of evil thoughts

Battling "inner voices"

Claiming the Mental and Spiritual High-Ground

OCD

Peter #29

This is just a selection Ė I hope you'll be able to see from all this that it's not an isolated situation but that probably all advancing Christians are attacked in this way sooner or later.

You are in my prayers daily.

Your friend in Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #22:  

Brother Robert,

Iím having a hard time with something right now. My pastor preached on security of the believer this morning. It was an awesome message. He did speak about apostasy and it made me think of something I did as a young person. I wonít go into detail but the devil tempted me with something and I said yes. After that I never really felt the same, felt like I was in a fog, and was afraid I sold myself to the devil. It still haunts me from time to time. Did I commit apostasy? My heart is so heavy right now. Thereís no one I can really talk to about this. I also had 2 seasons in my life that I went on a sinning spree. I know that sounds crazy but itís what Iíve done. I deeply regret all of this. I am trying to pursue spiritual growth and trust the Lord for forgiveness. Have I deceived myself into believing Iím right with God when maybe Iím not? Thank you so much for reading my email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

God Bless

Response #22: 

No one can "sell themselves to the devil". Believers are saved; unbelievers are not (Jn.3:18). Salvation is a matter of faith since we are saved through our faith in Jesus Christ by the grace of God (Eph.2:8-9). Jesus has already died for all sin so no one is condemned for sinning. Sin does do a believer great harm, especially the worse it is and the longer it is indulged in, but the damage is done to one's faith. No one can "commit" apostasy; apostasy is a state: the state of reversion to unbelief where the person is now an unbeliever again, having rejected Jesus Christ, denying Him so as to no longer have faith in Him.

That is clearly NOT where you are. Since you are a believer, you are saved.

We all have regrets in this life, but, God helping us, we who love Jesus Christ rise above those weeds and move forward in daily spiritual growth (that is what Ichthys is for). Our job is NOT to look back (that never does any good and only ruins today out of guilt about yesterday so that we go backwards into tomorrow). Scripture tells us to confess and repent (1Jn.1:9); when we do, all our sins are forgiven us. Then it is our job to move forward.

(12) [It is] not that I have already gotten [what I am striving for], nor that I have already completed [my course]. Rather, I am continuing to pursue [the prize] in hopes of fully acquiring it Ė [this prize for whose acquisition] I was myself acquired by Christ Jesus. (13) Brethren, I do not consider that I have already acquired it. This one thing only [do I keep in mind]. Forgetting what lies behind me [on the course] and straining towards the [course] ahead, (14) I continue to drive straight for the tape, towards the prize to which God has called us from the beginning [of our race] in Christ Jesus. (15) So as many as are [spiritually] mature, let us have this attitude (i.e., of focusing on our spiritual advance and reward and not getting hung up on what lies behind: vv.13-14), and if in any matter your attitude is off-center, God will reveal that to you (i.e., assuming you are mature and are advancing as you should). (16) But with respect to the progress you have made, keep on advancing in the same way!
Philippians 3:12-16

For more on apostasy, see the link.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #23:  

Brother Bob,

Thank you for getting back with me so quickly. I didnít find it until last night. It went to my junk mail for some reason. I guess the devil really doesnít want me to get victory over this. But I am getting victory. I actually spent time Sunday night reading your link to Apostasy. Believe it or not I am growing (ever so slowly).

Thank you again.

Response #23: 

Thanks for the good report!

I do keep you in my prayers.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #24:  

My name is ___ and I am 62 and grew up in the church as an unsaved man. Does Hebrews 6:4-6 apply to me can I still be saved? Would you please email me back with an answer please? I am so frightened.

Response #24: 

Good to make your acquaintance.

I'm happy to tell you that all believers in Jesus Christ are saved, and that it is only those who reject Him (who have zero faith in Him) who are lost:

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
John 3:18 NKJV

Hebrews 6:4-6 is a frequently misunderstood passage. The operative phrase is "since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame" which, from the Greek, is better translated "while [they are still in the process of doing it] . . .".

The sin here was for the believers in the Jerusalem church of that day to continue making animal sacrifices which spoke of the Messiah's future sacrifice when He had already died on the cross for all sin. It was, in effect, like saying that Jesus' death didn't matter Ė a horrible blasphemy.

And, like any sin, it's no good confessing WHILE one is doing it. I.e., a person robbing a bank can't very well be confessing the sin of theft at the same time he/she is stuffing money into a bag.

But all sin is forgiven when repented of and confessed (Ps.32:5; 1Jn.1:9) Ė because Jesus has already paid the price for ALL sin.

Here is a link for more info:  Are those in Hebrews 6:4 who "crucify the Son of God afresh" lost?

And this week's posting is much concerned with this issue so I recommend that as well (at the link).

Do feel free to write me back.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #25:  

Dealing with fear and torment. Has God rejected me?

Response #25: 

Dear Friend,

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God has most certainly NOT rejected you! All who believe in Jesus, His perfect person (God and man in one person forever) and His perfect work (in dying on the cross for the sins of the entire world) are saved:

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Godís one and only Son."
John 3:18 NIV

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand."
John 10:28 NIV

How we believers feel about this truth, especially if we are not in good shape, spiritually speaking, may be a different issue. Confidence of salvation, peace, hope and joy in the Lord is a function of spiritual growth and the application of the truth to overcome what our emotions may be telling us that is contrary to that truth.

So as a fellow believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to commit yourself to a course of spiritual growth through prayer, Bible reading, and most particularly regularly accessing a good Bible teaching ministry.  Ichthys is one such (in my humble opinion).  I also highly recommend Bible Academy (at the link).

In Jesus Christ or dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #26:  

I have read some of the pages on Ichthys about blasphemy, but I still worry that I may have committed some sin that won't be forgiven.

Regarding Acts 8:18-23, why does Peter say what he said in verse 22? Does he mean that there was a possibility that Simon would not be forgiven, even if he repented and asked for forgiveness?

Response #26: 

Good to hear from you.

1) On Acts 8:22, Peter, guided by the Spirit (in the way prophets and apostles specially were) is given to perceive that Simon Magus is still looking at things in a completely worldly way. It is questionable if he were really saved Ė and even if he were, he had at least lapsed back into evil, worldly thinking. If you are asking about the "perhaps" part (i.e., "if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you" NKJV), this is a standard way to translate into English conditionals which are essentially purpose clauses. Because of the different way we think about these issues and phrase them, it can be confusing for English readers (another classic case of this is Phil.3:11 where Paul has no doubts about being resurrected but the English can make it seem so). I would translate this part of Acts 8:22 something like, "so that your intention may be forgiven" (i.e., the reason to pray is for forgiveness and one should always do so in confidence that all such prayers are answered:  1Jn.1:9).

2) The only sin that is not forgivable is rejecting Jesus Christ. That is because Jesus Christ died for all sins. But our Lord could not die for the sin of rejecting the sacrifice by which sins are forgiven, obviously. That is a case of the sin of unbelief for which there is "no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins" Ė because only Christ's sacrifice takes away sins and so is no benefit to those who reject Him. But the other side of that coin is nothing but good news! He died for ALL sins Ė even the ones you worry about (along with the ones you don't worry about which would equally land you in the lake of fire if you did not accept Jesus and His work for you on the cross). "All sin" (Rom.3:23), and all sin is worthy of condemnation (Matt.5:22); but all who believe are washed clean by the blood of Christ Ė all who call on Him for salvation (as you have done). Plenty about this at Ichthys. Here's one link which will lead to more: "An extended conversation on the 'unpardonable' sin".

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #27:  

Hi there,

I was saved last October; My faith was founded on the historical truths of the Bible. But this past February I was confronted with spiritual warfare (spirits of doubt, disbelief, skepticism) over the last three months. I came from a family of unbelievers, so I was only fighting alone; the more I tried to answer skeptic thoughts, the more they grew until the reality of Christ dwindled. By the end of April I noticed the Holy Spirit depart because I repeatedly did not trust Godís voice to get me through it; I kept asking others for help and turning to my parents for comfort repeatedly, repent then out of fear do it again. I did not know until it was over that he was fighting for me, that I just had to pray and speak over the unbelief. Because my belief in Jesus was the root of the warfare, when the Holy Spirit departed (because of my unwillingness to stop searching for answers elsewhere) I literally did not have the power to resist sin (i.e. I noticed when I fast, it just felt like starving rather then giving the Holy Spirit room). Now my conscience is seared and I lost the fear of God.

I know for a fact that I have committed the unpardonable sin. Even knowing this, I am unable to fear hell, and not fearing it is what scared me. I literally cannot repeat, even though I want to and want that to be the solution. I only feel self-pity instead of conviction. I canít understand the gravity of my sinsóthat it deserves deathónor the glory of God. I left myself to my own devices and nobody believes what I have done because they cannot see my mind. It sounds simple in words, ďjust repentĒ but I passed that. I have no idea what to do.

If you can please call me at __ that would be great, thank you.

Thank you,

Response #27: 

Good to make your acquaintance.

I don't do telephone (or in person) counseling (or counseling of any kind), but I do answer Bible questions via email.

If you have been born again / born from above, having put your faith and trust for eternal life in Jesus Christ, the One who, though He was God, became a man too in order to bear our sins on the cross that we might be saved, then you ARE saved, just as long as you persevere in your faith in Him. All believers are saved; only unbelievers are condemned.

The one who believes in Him is not being judged, but the one who does not believe has already been judged on the grounds that he has not put his faith in the Name (i.e., the Person) of God's only Son.
John 3:18

I can tell you from years of experience in doing this that there are many believers out there who have been taught things which are not true, and who, under pressure, come to assume as you seem to be doing that they are no longer saved because of some sin they have committed. Let me tell you as emphatically as I can that this is impossible. Christ died for ALL sin. Even an unbeliever is not condemned for his sins Ė since Christ has died for all sins Ė but "on the grounds that he has not put his faith in the Name of God's only Son" (Jn.3:18). These are Jesus' own words, of course, and He makes the issue quite clear: He died for you; if you believe in Him, then you belong to Him. The only way a believer can lose salvation is through turning away from Christ Ė apostasy Ė to the point of no longer believing in Him, no longer trusting in Him, no longer having faith in Him or being concerned about Him in any way. So that begs the question: if that were true of you, why would you be writing me this email?

In fact I more than suspect that you are upset with yourself about some sin or other you have committed and that you are in the grip of struggling with some repeating sinful activity you cannot seem to shake. That is a very common thing. And no believer can conquer sin outside of the help of the Holy Spirit and without serious spiritual growth. Sin cannot be effectively dealt with by defending against it only: just as no contest can be won without offense, so no permanent progress can be made against sin without spiritual growth. This ministry is dedicated to helping believers grow spiritually, and you are certainly welcome to all the material here (I generally recommend beginning with the Peter series; at the link).

Sin is serious, and some sins and patterns of sinning are clearly worse than others (cf. Ps.19:12-13). But I reiterate: Jesus has already paid the entire price for ALL of your sins Ė and mine and everyone else' too. The problem with sin is that it is a rebellion against Him. But the very good news is that all sin is forgiven when we confess it to Him:

(1b) Blessed is he whose offense is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man whose iniquity the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (3) When I was silent [about my sin], my bones grew old with groaning all day long, (4) because day and night your hand was heavy upon me. My vigor was drained away as by the heat of summer. (5) [Until] I said, "I will make my sin known to You, and I will not cover [over] my guilt. I will confess my transgressions to the Lord", and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.
Psalm 32:1a-5

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1st John 1:9

This doesn't mean that we suffer no consequences when we sin. Sin hardens the heart if we don't turn away from it and that alienates us from the Lord and sours our relationship with Him. But there is such a thing as divine discipline wherein our heavenly Father "spanks" us to help us realize there's no profit in sin (Heb.12:3-11); and the Father definitely knows how to make it sting. And the more sting we need, the more we receive. Right now, He is NOT rejecting you; He is helping you get motivated to turn away from sin and to do what is right. No doubt He sent you here because what you need is not just to stop whatever it is you are doing but to get started doing what is right, doing what Jesus wants you to do, namely, to engage in spiritual growth enthusiastically.

There is no such thing as an "unpardonable sin" besides the one our Lord tells us about in the gospels: the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. What is that? It was saying that Jesus was demon possessed and attributing the miracles of the Spirit to the devil instead. In other words, it was rejecting the Spirit's gospel ministry (the miracles were designed to help people believe that He was who He said He was), and therefore rejecting Jesus Christ. That's the "unpardonable sin", rejecting Jesus Christ who is the only way of salvation (see the link):

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.":
John 14:6

Do feel free to write me back about any of this.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

 

 

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