A question I saw online that intrigued me, and sadly no-one had very good responses:
- Answer: Of course his death forgives all sin!
Back in AA we used to say: "You keep your side of the street clean, don't worry about the other persons side." Well God cleaned the whole street. All that remains is for you to cross it into His loving arms.
18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
19It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).ALL sin has been forgiven. The only question remaining on earth today is: "Will you accept it?" The Holy Spirit is saying to us, here in 2 Corinthians 5, that God is not counting ANY sin against mankind at this time. As far as God is concerned the work of Jesus is finished and final. We are reconciled. But that doesn't mean all mankind will benefit from it or ever see the result of it. We are given the power to choose. Genesis 1:28 was the commission of mankind. It was the very beginning. Since that time we have been exercising the domain we are given as we see fit. God tells us that life and death are set before us, and it's OUR choice what we do with it. However he gives us his preference: Choose Life (Deut 30:19)!
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.We have been made the very righteousness of God himself. For those who accept it, we are as righteous as Jesus is. Not by anything we have done, mind you, but by what HE did! And yet... it is up to US to accept or reject His offer.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 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. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.God doesn't want ONE person living without His Blessing or going to hell. But He will respect their right to choose hell if they so desire. The only thing God WON'T do for you: Choose. He gave His best. Condemnation doesn't come because of sin, because sin was dealt with by the shed blood of Jesus. Condemnation comes by rejecting the Light God tries to bring to you regarding Jesus.
This, by the way, is why I cannot hold the religious view that all who live in far off places and never heard of Jesus go to hell. I believe, based on my understanding of the whole of scripture, that each one is held accountable for the light they were shown or exposed to from God (Romans 1:20). However the bible also says: How will the believe if they do not hear (Romans 10:14)? So clearly those who may be "on the fence" so to speak, can be persuaded which is why we MUST go into all the world and preach so that no one is left out.
- Wait... isn't there an unforgivable sin? Yes... and No... Matthew 12:26-36 records the event where Jesus says that "Blasphemy" of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. In context, Jesus was accused of doing miracles through Satan rather than through the Holy Spirit. They rejected Jesus, and by association His Father and Holy Spirit, through whom He was working. If you reject Jesus there is no forgiveness, because he is the ONLY door to salvation (John 14:6). So then, it is not so much that the sin of saying "Curse the Holy Spirit" is unforgivable, or something like that. Rather it is a simple matter of: Reject Jesus and you rejected your only option. You can just as easily turn around and repent of that rejection and receive Jesus and you will be saved. The perfect NT example of this is the salvation of Saul or Tarsus, who rejected Jesus and killed his followers until he was saved, and then went on to become Paul, among the most powerful influences in the Church.
- What about Hebrews 6:1-11 and the inability to repent? This is a very interesting, and misused scripture as well. It's also quite simple. If you are afraid it's you... by definition it can't be. This person doesn't WANT to repent.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.This, again, is speaking of rejection. This is not speaking about the "Average Christian". This is a FULL GROWN Spiritual adult. This is someone who was walking as Adam, Jesus, Paul, Etc... Someone who was intimate with walking in the Holy Spirit, Fully developed in the Word of God, and was able to wield the powers of the age to come. This is also known as The Anointing. (Isaiah 10:27, Isaiah 61, Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38, and 2 Corinthians 1:21). Someone like that, who is walking in the same shoes as Adam walked, fully aware of what he is doing (Adam was not deceived he purposefully rejected God 1 Timothy 2:14), that type of person simply can't be brought back to repentance. Here is a clue... if you are "sorry" or want to repent... this is NOT you. This isn't saying the person could't be forgiven, it's saying he refuses to repent and no body can make him. Not even God. He absolutely rejects all God is and what he stands for and knowingly, consciously and deliberately switched sides. He says: "To hell with Jesus and all he stands for..." Not many people are even grown up enough in God to fit this description of the man before he rejected God, and very few of those who are this grown ever do. I suspect that this situation is rare indeed. Bottom line, if you are afraid that this is you... it isn't. The person who this describes knows what the did and doesn't care or want to repent, that's the point of the verse.
- But wait... there's more! We haven't even got to the cool part yet: You are incapable of sinning your way out of righteousness or grace.
Revelation 13:8These are just a few examples of what God did for us before the world began! As far as God is concerned, before Adam fell, you were already redeemed! Jesus came over 2,000 years ago and sealed that for us. So I ask you this question, which Holy Spirit asked me recently, and it radically changed my life:
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
1 Peter 1:20
20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
- HS: When did Jesus die?
- ME: over 2,000 years ago.
- HS: When were you born?
- ME: 1980
- HE: So Jesus died before you were born.
- ME: Yes?...
- HS: Therefore ALL your sin was future to Him, and ALL your sin was forgiven and cleansed. Not just the sin you committed before accepting Jesus! ALL OF IT! Even the sin you haven't committed yet! Therefore when you sin, RUN TO GOD! Immediately! Without ANY condemnation! Because it is forgiven before you even repent of it. All repenting does is restore your confidence and put the restorative power of God to work in the situation.
WOAH! Thank you Jesus! That means I may have sinned 3 seconds ago, but I'm ready to repent of it, He is RIGHT THERE to get me back on track... like a GPS that is constantly trying to re-route you after you missed a turn. No matter how many turns you missed, no matter how long you've been ignoring the GPS and heading your own direction... the God Positioning Spirit moves to course correct your life. And there is NO condemnation for those who are IN CHRIST JESUS (Romans 8:1). NONE! ZERO! ZILCH! NADA! ALL condemnation comes from Satan, who is the accuser, in an attempt to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10, Revelation 12:10)!
This doesn't mean there aren't consequences. If you murdered someone, you will have to go to jail. If you created a baby out of God's design, as Abram did, you will have to deal with that too. But GRACE and RIGHTEOUSNESS are immediate! God will redeem what you have done and make His mark on your life yet.
Bottom line: Jesus death forgave, past tense, ALL SIN. You still have a choice to respond or reject. I set before you life and death, you choose. Hint: Choose Life!
Darrell G. Wolfe