Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“And in that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth, and, behold, joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine, [saying], ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die.’ And it was revealed in mine ears by the Lord of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till you die, saith the Lord God of hosts.”
From Pastor John’s Old Testament class: “Lessons from Isaiah”, No. 40.
When God calls for weeping and mourning and repentance, it is sinful to laugh and rejoice. Anything out of its proper time is sin, and it is not time for joy and gladness when God’s wrath is provoked.
Jesus said that every manner of sin would be forgiven except blasphemy of the holy ghost (Mt. 12:31-32), but that does not tell the whole story, nor was it meant to do so. The whole story is that, while there is, as Jesus said, only one sin that will in no circumstances be forgiven, there may be thousands of sins which, under certain circumstances, God will not forgive.
God is obligated to forgive no one, but He is good and is willing to forgive all – if all will repent when it is time to repent. For this reason, the prophet Isaiah warned his fellow Israelites, “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near! Let the wicked for sake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
There are several examples in the Scriptures, such as the one quoted at the beginning of this lesson, of God refusing to forgive sins other than blasphemy against the holy ghost because the sins were committed in such a way as to especially provoke His wrath. And so, we must understand that any sin is unforgivable if God refuses to forgive it. Beyond this, we can just as rightly say that every sin is certainly unforgivable if it is not repented of, for God has never forgiven anyone of any sin who refused to repent for it. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom because the first thing it teaches us is that, in each individual case, the forgiveness of our sins comes only by the discretion and grace of God, who is every man’s Master and who demands humility before He honors us with His mercy.