Vol.XIII No.IX Pg.7
November 1976

You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Dear bro. Turner:

Please discuss the sin for which man can not repent (Heb. 6:4-6). Is this the sin unto death (1 Jn. 5:1 6)? Is it the sin against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32)? M.I.


I truly feel inadequate in the face of such questions but will do what I can. They do seem to fit into a like category, as l believe none refer to a single act or particular sin but to a state or condition to which those who were once saints may come. From such a state, of deliberate, rebellious rejection of Christ, they can not be renewed unto repentance because they deny the only legitimate means you have to offer. Their freewill is operative, but it chooses to deny the Lord.

The Hebrew letter contains three like passages. Heb. 6:4-9 is part of an exhortation to saints who are not growing (5:11-14). He urges them to do better, then gives this drastic warning of what could happen if they continue to drift away from Christ. Crucify afresh had a special meaning to Jews, for their people had rejected their Messiah and been responsible for His literal crucifixion. This was done in ignorance (Acts 3:17); but these saints were enlightened — there was nothing to offer them they did not already have.

Heb. 10:26-29 continues the warning with special attention to sacrifice. In times past the Hebrews had sinned, then offered an animal sacrifice; they sinned again, and offered another sacrifice; etc., etc. But now the final and only true sacrifice had been offered, and if they go back to Judaism (rejecting Christ) there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. the willful sin here is not some single or particular act, but complete rejection of Christ by those who had knowledge of the truth. It should be emphasized that recognition of Christs historic existence is not enough — He is rejected when we no longer seek forgiveness through Him.

Heb. 12:15-17 is the third drastic warning, and the more difficult. The A.S. version says Esau found no place for a change of mind in his father — the later words supplied. This could be the meaning, but I am inclined to associate this with the above passages and say he had exhausted all legitimate means of obtaining the birthright — he had passed the point of no return. He did not plead with a hardhearted father, but with a just one, who dealt with things as they were.

In Matt. 12: it seems Christ is warning that the coming of the Holy Spirit would signal the last or final dispensation — when all had been done to offer redemption unto man. They could make light of and reject His personal ministry, and yet repent and be saved. But for those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit (compare par-takers of the H.S. who reject Him; or, done despite unto the Spirit of grace —Heb. 6:4, 10:29) there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. This is the sin unto death — willful rejection of Christ in flesh, who died for us — and I do not say that he shall pray for it. There is nothing more to offer one who spurns Christ.