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"Did I Commit An Unpardonable Sin?"
9/2/2012

**BRIAN'S NOTE**
Below is a correspondence between myself and a reader who found the article "Battling Bad Thoughts."

From: Sean [email omitted]
To: brian@valueoftruth.org
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 10:23 PM
Subject: Bad thoughts

Dear Brian,

Thank you for your article on Christians with bad thoughts. I also read the other emails you had posted from fellow believers, and they were very encouraging to me. I have been struggling with this for about a year now, and it's been tearing me apart. It has been so bad I've wondered a few times if killing myself was the only way to get it to stop. There was a small, still, almost not even there voice in the back of my head that told me to keep fighting, though. I figured that if the majority of my mind was telling me death was the only answer, then that voice is probably coming from Satan. After all, wouldn't it make him happy for one of God's own to reject Christ because he feels so hopelessly lost that God has already condemned him, and therefore die in sin? Lucifer, the Great Deceiver, is always on the prowl looking for whom he may devour.

I read an article similar to yours online (http://www.benotconformed.org/thoughts.htm) that talked about Charles Spurgeon's and John Bunyan's struggle with bad thoughts, and how they found peace through a proper understanding of Scripture. The article mentioned that Satan likes to misquote and misapply Scripture, which helped me a little bit. Sad to say, I am still experiencing doubt. See, there was an instance not too long ago in which my family and I were visiting the Grand Canyon, and on the way back to the hotel, the thoughts came back again. But not only sexual, blasphemous, vulgar thoughts about God. I happened to be drinking a bottle of Mountain Dew at the moment, and right before I took a sip the thought popped into my head, "If you drink the rest of this, you'll be rejecting Jesus forever." I paused for a second, then thought to myself, "I'm saved. If these thoughts try to make me believe drinking the last few sips of a Mountain Dew bottle is going to send me to hell, then even if I don't, the thoughts will just come back about other things, so I might as well finish this. Nothing's going to happen." I did. Seconds later, I felt an extreme amount of guilt come over me, and I literally felt sick to my stomach. I didn't care about what conversation my family was having, I didn't care about the scenery outside, I didn't even think of calling out to God for help. I felt instantly hopeless. Despair isn't even the word. Once I had time to recover a little bit, I prayed to God to save me, and told Him I hadn't really meant it, but I felt so overpowered, and thought to myself, "Is this what it's like to have God leave me? And can He come back? I'm so sorry!" I have felt extreme guilt ever since.

Hebrews 6:4-6 says: "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace." 2 Timothy 2:12 says: "If we deny Him, He also will deny us." These verses have plagued me ever since. Is Satan trying to twist the meanings of these Scripture passages, or have I really committed a heinous act in thinking these things? I don't try to think them! I have tried to live a Godly life all my life. I've never done porn, never shoplifted, I don't cuss, I'm respectful to my strict and often times downright mean parents, I try to always be nice to people and witness when I can, and I even try to avoid watching movies and listening to music that have negative themes to them. Thoughts come to me like, "What if I've committed the unpardonable sin?" or "What if some part of me really did mean it?" Then all these doubts. I look around and I feel like God has deserted me. "What if He never existed? What if you've been fooled all your life into being a dummy who sees something like nature and automatically assumes there has to be a Creator when science clearly disproves all that?" I honestly want to live a Godly life, but it seems that the closer I get to Jesus, the worse the thoughts are the next day, and the farther I get pushed back. I realize that I'm a sinner in desperate need of salvation and grace, and I try to believe there's a God and that my life should be lived under His laws, but sometimes, I just feel like it isn't worth it, especially if I'm not God's child anymore, anyway.

And it gets worse than just words or images in my head. Sometimes, when people around me or online are talking about something good, like the latest Christian movie or CD, or just anything that falls under the category of the Fruit of the Spirit, even a secular film with a good message, I will get this uncomfortable feeling like I wish they'd stop talking about it. I won't say anything, but I will have this feeling which I can't really explain or very accurately describe… but it's monstrous. I realize the thing is good and worthy of praise, but for some reason, I become very arrogant and think things like, "Well, it's not really that great, because such and such a reason…" Or if a Christian song comes on with powerful lyrics about God, I try to dismiss them. I don't want to, but there's something inside that doesn't want to admit it's true. That makes me really scared, because I think, "What if the Spirit of God really has left me? Isn't the Holy Ghost the one who prompts us to good and pure things, and tells us when something is not?" I think back to what Paul said about suppressing the truth. I don't want to suppress the truth!! If someone held a gun to my head right now and told me that if I didn't reject Jesus, he'd pull the trigger, I'd tell him to pull the trigger. That's how much I want Jesus. I just have these feelings of uncleanness and insecurity and want to make sure I'm really saved. Then there's the passage about not everyone who says to Jesus "Lord, Lord!" getting into heaven. Jesus said that only those who do the will of His Father in Heaven will receive the kingdom. I try to do the right thing, but is it enough to try do the right actions while still thinking these terrible thoughts in my head?

I'd greatly appreciate some guidance and advice. I feel so useless and alone right now. I haven't told anyone about this. And to anyone who reads this, please be praying for me!! I could go on and on about how I fall short of the glory of God. What I am really looking for is the truth. I am ready to start over, or at least I think I am. I want to follow Jesus and do His will, but this struggle seems too powerful at times.

P.S. You can post this on your website if you think it will help others. I don't want anyone else having to go through what I've been experiencing.

__________________________________________________________

From: brian p [brian@valueoftruth.org]
To: Sean [email omitted]
Sent: Sunday, September 2, 2012 11:12 PM
Subject: Re: Bad thoughts

Hey Sean,
So nice to hear from you. Thank you for your email. I read through the whole thing. Quite a long one. LoL. But I will do my best to address the main points from your email. And I hope you don't mind if I repost this on my website so others can receive edifying. If you have any issues, please let me know so I can take it down or edit it as you wish.

You said, "Thank you for your article on Christians with bad thoughts. I also read the other emails you had posted from fellow believers, and they were very encouraging to me. I have been struggling with this for about a year now, and it's been tearing me apart. It has been so bad I've wondered a few times if killing myself was the only way to get it to stop. There was a small, still, almost not even there voice in the back of my head that told me to keep fighting, though."

That's right, keep going. Don't give up. I think the perfect verse to summarize exactly what you are going through with this battle against bad thoughts and against the devil is this verse from 1 Peter 5:8-9:

"8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." - 1 Peter 5:8-9

Notice Peter says to resist the devil, being stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. You are not alone in this battle. Many Christians suffer in the same exact way that you do. The Bible says that "...unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake." (Phil. 1:29)

And if we suffer with Christ, then "...we shall also reign with him." (2 Tim. 2:12).

You see, it is the sufferings of Christ that abound in us. When we got saved, we received the Spirit of Christ, and therefore his sufferings are now ours.

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." - Psalms 34:19

Hang in there. God will deliver you.

You said, "Thoughts come to me like, "What if I've committed the unpardonable sin?" or "What if some part of me really did mean it?" Then all these doubts. I look around and I feel like God has deserted me."

Friend, what you are experiencing are the wiles of the devil: "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." - Eph. 6:11

He is trying to trick you into thinking you have committed some unpardonable sin, which you haven't because if you are a true Christian, then that means it is impossible for you to commit that sin.

"16 ...There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." - 1 John 5:16-18

And remember that Jesus promised you, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." - Heb. 13:5.

These unwanted thoughts are an affliction, not a true desire of the heart. Rebuke the devil and resist him. He will do anything he can to get you to sin. But he cannot succeed because, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." - 1 John 3:9

You said, "That makes me really scared, because I think, "What if the Spirit of God really has left me? Isn't the Holy Ghost the one who prompts us to good and pure things, and tells us when something is not?" ... Jesus said that only those who do the will of His Father in Heaven will receive the kingdom. I try to do the right thing, but is it enough to try do the right actions while still thinking these terrible thoughts in my head?"

Friend, you are doing just fine. And yes, it is possible to be saved and still have horrific thoughts. Needless, unwanted fear coupled with the torments of the devil, plus your carnal mind, are 3 large giants that you have to face. God has not given us the spirit of fear. God promises us the victory through Jesus Christ.

"Is any among you afflicted? LET HIM PRAY." - James 5:13

By the way, there is absolutely no way God has left you. Jesus has clearly promised: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever." - John 14:6

Jesus said that he would give you the Spirit that he would abide with you forever. Forever does mean temporary, or under certain conditions. It means eternally. Also, Paul said in Hebrews 10:39, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."

Clearly, if we are truly saved, then we will never draw back to perdition, but will believe to the saving of the soul. This means God will keep us forever.

Bad thoughts that afflict a Christian are just that -- an affliction. So whatever blasphemous, sinful, wicked thoughts you may have in your brain is more than likely the result of your carnal mind that is trying to go against your spiritual mind that has been given to you through Jesus. There are 2 minds that we have: the spiritual mind of Christ, and the carnal mind which is enmity against God. We must be careful to not be double-minded.

"6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." - Romans 8:6-7

Which mind you yield to the most is up to you. If you meditate on scripture, specifically the Psalms, then you will be yielding to the spiritual mind. If you leave your mind to be idle on whatever thoughts that arise, then you will be yielding to the carnal mind, which is evil.

"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind..." - Romans 7:23

Our mind is the battle ground. We must remember to fill it with scripture. That is the only way to achieve true peace.

"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." - Psalms 119:165

Try this. Whenever you have an episode of intrusive thoughts, immediately open your Bible and read Psalms 119:113-120.

I hope this helps you. God bless.
---------------Brian


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