Is It Possible To Be Denied Forgiveness?
August 6, 2020
Read Hebrews 6: 4-6
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance...
Have you ever worried that you have committed a sin that is unforgivable?
I was recently asked if it is possible to be denied forgiveness. It is difficult to answer this question comprehensively and yet succinctly. The Bible has much to say, and there are different interpretations in the discussion. But the short answer is yes, it is possible to not be forgiven. If you persevere in a hard-hearted rejection of the person and work of Jesus Christ, you will be cut off from the forgiveness of God.
In Hebrews 6, the author warns that it is impossible for those who have once seemed like they were Christians and then turned away from the faith to be restored to repentance. As Don Carson of the Gospel Coalition puts it: “It is possible to come so close...to be taken as a Christian...and yet self-consciously look the grace of God in the face, see it for what it really is and turn away. And that is simply unforgivable.”
These individuals are not uninformed. They are not ignorant. They have been “enlightened.” They have “tasted the heavenly gift” and know what the grace of God is. They know what the Word of God says, and yet, they turn away from it. These individuals are not forgiven because they do not want to be forgiven. They have made a willful decision to turn away from Jesus.
I want to reassure you of this. If you are seeking the forgiveness of God that is found through His Son Jesus Christ, you will be forgiven. 1 John 1:9 gives us this incredible hope: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
He is faithful to forgive. If you have confessed and repented of your sins, if you have turned to Jesus and accepted His offer of salvation, you have no need to fear.
Jesus, You are abounding in steadfast love and faithful to forgive all who call upon Your name. Thank you for this assurance. Amen.