Does God ever refuse to forgive in this life? If one is COflSCIOUS of having resisted the call of Go
- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers about the Holy Spirit
- Published on Monday, 07 February 2011 00:28
Does God ever refuse to forgive in this life?
If one is COflSCIOUS of having resisted the call of God, may not that make it impossible for Him to forgive?
It is quite certain that God will never refuse forgiveness in this life to anyone who comes to Him as a sinner in the Name of the Lord Jesus, pleading in faith His atoning work. No other plea can suffice, but that will always reach the ear of God. “To Christ give all the prophets witness, that through His Name, whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). “We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). This is the forgiveness of God as Judge. Then to believers, the Father’s forgiveness, for the restoration of communion, is granted on confession. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
As to Divine forgiveness, there may seem to be an exception in Matthew 12:31, where the assurance of “forgiveness of all manner of sin and blasphemy” is qualified by the Lord with the words, “but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men,” the reason of His saying this being, “because they said He hath an unclean spirit.” I know this is usually taken as proving that the Pharisees had actually committed the “unpardonable sin;” for myself I feel more and more persuaded, taking other Scriptures into consideration, that the Lord was rather warning them of the terrible danger of refusing the future testimony of the Spirit, at and after Pentecost.
The rejection of Christ did not shut the door of forgiveness, for the Spirit was poured forth; but if His testimony were rejected there could only remain judgment. No one who finally rejects that testimony will ever, I believe, feel the need of forgiveness, much less ask for it. How many there are who did at first resist the offers of God’s mercy, and the pleadings of His Spirit, but who afterwards were led to repentance. Was not Paul’s “kicking against the pricks” a case in point? But it is not poor, timid, anxious souls who have finally resisted the appeal of the Spirit, but hardened and impenitent sinners like the murderers of Stephen.