Never Forgiveness

(updated 7/8/2024)

Hello gentle reader,

Is it possible to commit a sin that Lord Jesus or God the Father would not forgive?  I suspect that many would say that all Christians have forgiveness of sins by the grace of our Lord and salvation from the ultimate penalty of sin.  That salvation doesn’t exempt Christians from punishment by earthly authorities but will save us from being cast into the Lake of Fire at the “White Throne” judgment (Rev. 20:11).

Having the security of salvation is very comforting given the knowledge that all humans, to include Christians, are unable to remain sinless.  Of course, it would be naïve to think that Christians only rarely sin.  If compared to the unsaved of the world, many Christians sin just the same.  To our credit, some Christians sin a lot less while other Christians sin a little less.

There are some Christians who attempt to take advantage of the Lord’s grace by sinning as often as they desire.  This behavior is referred to in the Book of Jude 1:4 as lasciviousness in the King James Version Bible and as licentiousness in older New American Standard Bibles.  The New International Version Bible provides an accurate description of these individuals, “…ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality…”  (Jude 1:4 NIV).

Some of these immoral or lascivious Christians are described as “workers of lawlessness” (Mat. 7:23 ESV).  The more wicked of them purposely behave to “…defile the flesh, [and] reject authority…” (Jude 1:8 NKJV) and “…are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires” (Jude 1:16 ESV).  Although they expect the Lord’s grace to forgive their sins, their cumulative lawless behavior impacts their eternal destination as discussed later in this writing.  Before we move on, let’s define “sin.”  Put simply, sin is disobeying the Lord.

A ‘grace-exception’

Would you be surprised to learn there are verses in the Holy Bible that describe exceptions to the Lord’s grace?  It’s true.  The New Testament reveals what seems to be at least 8-cases in which the sin of disobeying the Lord results in an eternal consequence.  An eternal consequence can only result from disobeying the Lord and lasts for all eternity.  That means that the sin (or specific act of disobedience to the Lord) that caused it is never forgiven.  That’s the necessary condition for a ‘grace-exception.’

What is a ‘grace-exception’?  It is a special sin in that it is not eligible for the Lord’s grace.  It remains forever unforgiven.  In other words, it is a permanent sin.  It cannot be undone.  It won’t be ignored and it is never forgotten.  Importantly, a grace-exception has no ‘out’ given for Christians.  It is equally unforgiveable for the saved and unsaved alike.

All eight grace-exception cases are presented in this article, however only the first three are examined in detail.  The fourth thru the eighth are examined with little depth.  The fifth, while discussed here, is presented in detail in a separate writing – The Path to Outer Darkness.  That writing begins a series on the mystery of Outer Darkness.

Are there reasons to doubt that a Christian would commit a grace-exception?  Yes, some will say that a ‘real’ Christian would never commit a special sin the Lord would not forgive so a grace-exception is an impossible condition for a Christian.  Don’t be so sure about that.

As you read, try to recall a past sermon on any of the grace-exceptions in this article.  Maybe you have heard one, but how about three or four?  How would the average Christian who barely reads the Bible know of them?  They probably don’t.  In fact, the 3rd Grace-Exception Case in this writing has likely been unwittingly committed by a small but significant portion of the ‘real’ Christian population.  Ignorance of the ‘law’ may be no excuse, but it still happens frequently.  Are there other arguments explaining why a Christian wouldn’t commit a grace-exception?

There are those who claim that Christians have ‘blanket-forgiveness’ that will forgive all sin so grace-exceptions don’t apply to Christians.  If that were true, then the “workers of lawlessness” need not worry about getting into Heaven (Mat. 7:21-23 ESV) – see The Path to Outer Darkness.

Rather than discussing arguments for and against Christians committing ‘grace-exceptions,’ let’s examine these eight cases so that the reader can be aware of them.  As you read and discover, don’t worry about trying to remember which verse in what Bible version leads to something.  There is a nice graphic at the end that sums everything up.

1st Grace-Exception Case

This 1st Grace-Exception Case is from the Book of Revelation.  It can only occur during the time period when the “Beast” and the “False Prophet” are in power.  This warning is merciless and provides zero opportunity for the transgressor to receive forgiveness:

♥ And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.  (Revelation 14:9-11 KJV emphasis mine)

The above-described sin and its included punishment stipulate being cast into a hot, burning place that is likely the Lake of Fire.  If any amount of forgiveness were possible, then the duration would be something less than forever.  Since the duration is “…for ever and ever…,” there will be no grace from the Lord.  This is what makes Revelation 14:9-11 a grace-exception.

Whether a Christian or not, if anyone commits the sin of worshipping and taking the mark of the Beast, then they end-up in what is probably the Lake of Fire in permanent burning agony. See a problem here??  Christians have the promise of a future salvation.  This means their names are in the Book of Life therefore, they have no part in the Lake of Fire.  Oops!  Is this a paradox in the Holy Bible?

A ’salvation-exception’

There is no paradox since “…God is not the author of confusion…” (1 Cor. 14:33 KJV).  The Lord is fully aware that some weak and/or misguided Christians are going to take the easy way out of impending execution from the Beast system.  That’s why Revelation 14:9-11 is there, to give us a ‘heads-up.’  But see it for what it really is – it is the Lord’s warning of an exception to salvation.

Revelation 14:9-11 is telling all who read it that if anyone fails to heed and obey the Lord’s warning within, there will be no salvation for the transgressor.  That transgressor will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.  Those verses are laying out the specific conditions of a ‘salvation-exception.’

What is a ‘salvation-exception’?  A ‘salvation-exception’ is a ‘grace-exception’ that ultimately results in the loss of salvation.  All salvation-exceptions are grace-exceptions, but not all grace-exceptions result in a salvation-exception.

Each proposed salvation-exception in this writing only follows from a carefully defined grace-exception that leads to a clear salvation-paradox.  Since the Lord is not the author of confusion, there are no paradoxes.  They are salvation-exceptions and all Christians need to be aware of them to protect their salvation.

Many theologians believe a Christian cannot lose their salvation, but that view is highly debated.  This author is a bit less rigid, but agrees that salvation is not ‘easy-come-and-easy-go.’  However, it cannot be denied that there are verses in the Holy Bible that clearly specify exceptions to the Lord’s grace.  These grace-exceptions must be accounted for.  If a grace-exception results in an exception to salvation, then it cannot be ignored.  It must be reconciled as a salvation-exception to avoid a paradox.

If the unsaved disobey Revelation 14:9-11 then salvation is not ever possible for them.  If Christians disobey Revelation 14:9-11, then they have forfeited their salvation.  Their surety of being saved from the Lake of Fire is revoked.  Revelation 14:9-11 details a ‘salvation-exception.’  Will the disobedient believer’s name remain in the Book of Life?  We might assume not, but the Bible does not specify this.  Regardless, this particular sin results in a one-way ticket to the Lake of Fire for all eternity and the judgment was passed before any had ever committed it.

An alternative

If the ‘salvation-exception’ concept is too difficult to accept for this 1st Grace-Exception Case, is there an alternative?  There is, but it is a weak possibility.

Revelation chapter 11 tells us that the “Two Witnesses” will be prophesying for 1,260 days.  Perhaps new information that supplements the Bible and explains away the prior paradox will be given.  Until then, we don’t know what new information, if any, will be told to us.  It is best to work with the current information the Lord has made available to us from the Holy Bible.

This 1st Grace-Exception Case results in what is possibly the worst punishment the Lord gives out – eternity in the Lake of Fire.  Since it results in the loss of salvation, this grace-exception is also a salvation-exception.  To avoid the consequence of roasting forever, the safest course of action is to make sure that you and your family do not worship the Beast or take his mark at that time.  Now, let’s consider the second instance of sin that will never be forgiven.

2nd Grace-Exception Case

Over many centuries, care has been taken to preserve the copies of writings that makeup the biblical canons that modern Bibles are based on.  Over that same time period, theologians have worked diligently translating different groupings of these writings that mostly have small disagreements with each other.  As a result, we have a variety of modern Holy Bible translations.

The differences in Bible versions can be as simple as different wording to say the same thing or more drastic such as entire verses added or missing.  Occasionally, the wording is different because the meaning is different between the ‘ancient’ copies of writings.  Sometimes the meanings differ by a little, but other times, by a lot as we will shortly see.

From the KJV and NKJV Bibles

This 2nd Grace-Exception Case concerns a verse near the end of the Book of Revelation.  Depending on the Bible version being used, this verse spells out a consequence that varies considerably.  For the King James Version and the New King James Version Bibles, we focus on the phrase “Book of Life” in the following verse:

♥ And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  (Revelation 22:19 KJV emphasis mine)

♥ and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  (Revelation 22:19 NKJV emphasis mine)

It’s the Book of Life

Revelation 22:19 KJV & NKJV say that if anyone changes or removes the meaning of the source writings during the translating and/or editing of Revelation, they will be removed from the “Book of Life” among other things.  Clearly, these ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’ will not be receiving grace for their disobedience to the Lord’s warning.  For this special sin, they are forever removed from the Book of Life.  Their sin is a permanent sin.  This is what makes Revelation 22:19 a grace-exception.

Just what is the significance of being removed from the Book of Life?  To answer that, first consider how one gets in the Book of Life.  Once a person becomes a Christian, he or she is named in the Book of Life to receive a future salvation.  That salvation saves the believer from being cast in the Lake of Fire when humanity is judged at the Lord’s White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15).

Therefore, based on the KJV & NKJV Bibles, the consequence of removal from the Book of Life is the Christian’s loss of a future salvation which ultimately results in being cast in the Lake of Fire.  See a problem here??  Obviously, a Christian’s removal from the Book of Life triggers the salvation-paradox again, or at least it would except that we know it for what it really is.

A version specific ’salvation-exception’

Revelation 22:19 KJV & NKJV detail a grace-exception that results in the loss of the transgressor’s salvation.  Of course, that is the exact definition of a salvation-exception so there is no paradox.  Revelation 22:19 KJV & NKJV is a salvation-exception.  It matters little that the transgressors lose access to the “holy city” since they are to ultimately be cast into the Lake of Fire unless they are unsaved Israelites of the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Then it might have been possible for them to enter the “holy city,” but this subject is beyond the scope of this case (see the 6th Grace-Exception Case for more on this possibility).

There is an important difference for this case from the 1st Grace-Exception Case.  This salvation-exception only applies to Revelation 22:19 KJV & NKJV, not the ESV, NASB or NIV Bibles.  Now, we are about to see how differences in the originating biblical documents affects the resulting verse meanings of different Bible translations or versions.

From the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles

Let’s examine Revelation 22:19 from the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles.  By doing so, we can see an example of how the differences in the ancient biblical writings change the final translated verse to produce a significant verse variation from the KJV and NKJV Bibles:

♥ and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.  (Revelation 22:19 ESV emphasis mine)

♥ and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.  (Revelation 22:19 NASB emphasis mine)

♥ And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.  (Revelation 22:19 NIV emphasis mine)

Now it’s the Tree of Life

From the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles, we see that the previous phrase of interest, “Book of Life,” is now “tree of life” for which the ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’ will permanently lose access to.  Permanently losing access to the “tree of life” and the “Holy City” means the transgressors will not be cast in the Lake of Fire.  This is an amazing difference from the KJV and NKJV Bible versions.  Even so, they have still committed a special sin that will never be forgiven by the Lord.  It is a permanent sin and this is what makes it a grace-exception. 

The consequence of losing access

What is the consequence of losing access to the Tree of Life and the Holy City?  To answer this, first realize that the Book of Revelation concerns end-time events.  Therefore, losing access to the Holy City is almost certainly a reference to New Jerusalem:

♥ And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  (Revelation 21:2 ESV emphasis mine)

Second, recall that the Tree of Life was originally located in the Garden of Eden:

♥ Out of the ground the LORD God caused every tree to grow that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  (Genesis 2:9 NASB emphasis mine)

Third, we know the Tree of Life will be found in its future location in New Jerusalem (“the city”):

♥ down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.  (Revelation 22:2 NIV emphasis mine)

Fourth, the Lord tells of a special ‘upgrade’ the Tree of Life provides to those who eat of it:

♥ Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”  (Genesis 3:22 ESV emphasis mine)

Let’s put this all together now.  Based on the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles, the ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’ can never get into New Jerusalem where the Tree of Life will be found.  That’s the Tree of Life that imparts immortality.  Hmm, how does one enter eternity if locked-out of New Jerusalem with no access to the Tree of Life?  Now, that’s a scary thought.

Rather than asking about entering eternity, perhaps the better question is to ask where the transgressors eternal destination will be?  To answer this, we need to consider whether the transgressors were unsaved to begin with or were they believers.

If the ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’ never secured the free-gift of salvation from our Lord Jesus before passing from life, then they were unsaved, unbelievers.  We already know from the White Throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15) that the eternal destination of the unsaved is the Lake of Fire (except for certain Israelites – see the 6th Grace-Exception Case).  This follows from all versions of the Bible and is easily understood.  Therefore, these unbelievers are not affected by losing access to New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life (except for certain Israelites – see the 6th Grace-Exception Case).

However, if the ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’ in the Tree of Life variation of Revelation 22:19 were already or later become believers, then what results from their ‘editing’?  The short answer is that these disobedient Christian editors retain their salvation from the Lake of Fire, but the consequence is an eternal destiny in Outer Darkness.  A discussion of Outer Darkness and its significance takes place in the 3rd Grace-Exception Case that is up next.

Take-away

The important take-away here is that Christians who commit the grace-exception of Revelation 22:19 will suffer a consequence.  If following the KJV and NKJV Bibles, then the consequence is a salvation-exception – they are bound for the Lake of Fire.  If going by the ESV, NASB, or NIV Bibles, then they keep their salvation but the consequence is Outer Darkness (to be discussed later).

For this 2nd Grace-Exception Case, just make sure that you can never be accused of changing or removing the meaning of any part of the Book of Revelation.  Whether the eternal destination is the Lake of Fire or Outer Darkness, both are bad.  Now, let’s consider the third instance of sin that will not be forgiven.

 3rd Grace-Exception Case

Unlike the 1st and 2nd Grace-Exception Cases that are both found in the Book of Revelation, this 3rd Grace-Exception Case is found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  This 3rd Case is quite large and a bit unusual in that it stems from the defense of and respect for the Holy Spirit.

Some believe the Holy Spirit to be dangerously powerful and someone we should fear.  If that were so, then why is there a grace-exception to seemingly protect him?  This very important matter is addressed in more detail in Murder 101: Peter vs. Holy Spirit.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

Normally, disobedience to the Lord by a believer will be forgiven.  This even applies to the lascivious or licentious Christian who might be on The Path to Outer Darkness.  The Lord Jesus directly states this assurance of forgiveness in the Bible but conditions it with a warning against blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  This warning, in the Book of Matthew, clearly specifies a special sin of disobedience that will never be forgiven and that is why it is a grace-exception:

♥ Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.  (Matthew 12:31-32 KJV emphasis mine)

This warning is found again in a more compact form in the Book of Luke and remains a grace-exception with the same essential message:

♥ And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.  (Luke 12:10 KJV emphasis mine)

The Lord’s warning against blaspheming the Holy Spirit in Matthew and Luke is clear but, on the surface, doesn’t seem to suggest a cause for immediate concern.  That is about to change.  Let’s consider the same grace-exception found in the Book of Mark:

♥ Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:  (Mark 3:28-29 KJV emphasis mine)

Now that sounds a bit more ominous (and is the verse from where this writing gets its name).  According to Mark’s account from the KJV Bible, the Lord warns that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven and any who commit this sin may receive “eternal damnation.”  Note, it is not absolute that the transgressor will receive “eternal damnation.”  Mark 3:29 KJV indicates it is only a possibility since it states “…is in danger of….”  Just what is this “eternal damnation” that we should be aware of?

“Eternal damnation” from the KJV Bible

The phrase “eternal damnation” is only found once in the King James Version Bible and there is no explanation for what it means.  If we break that phrase apart, the word “damnation” by itself is used 11-times in the KJV Bible.  Neither the phrase or the individual word is found in the ESV, NASB, NIV, or the NKJV Bibles.  To attempt to define that phrase will require some word associations from the KJV Bible, but the result will only be an educated guess.

Here are a couple of ‘tell-tale’ uses of the word “damnation” that seem suggestive of the Lake of Fire punishment.  They likely represent the same usage as in the phrase “eternal damnation”:

♥ Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?  (Matthew 23:33 KJV emphasis mine)

♥ And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.  (John 5:29 KJV emphasis mine)

Now, let’s consider a couple of verses that are associated with being evil and the ‘end-time’ punishment for it.  The first verse is from the Lord’s parable on end-time judgment in Matthew 25:31-46 KJV.  It says that those who are judged to be evil, “…shall go away into everlasting punishment….”  It seems reasonable to associate “everlasting” with “eternal” and “punishment” with “damnation.”  Therefore, “eternal damnation” seems like it could be an end-time punishment that last forever.

The second verse comes from the White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15 KJV.  We are told those who are not recorded in the Book of Life are punished by being “…cast into the lake of fire.”  This confirms to us that an end-time punishment is the Lake of Fire.

Since the events from the four verses just referenced are all connected to an end-time judgment and punishment, there is enough here to make a simple jump in logic to form a probable definition.

What is “eternal damnation”?  It very likely means to be cast into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity.  That outcome seems reasonable and is consistent with end-time events.

Let’s take our ‘likely’ definition and substitute it into Mark 3:29 KJV for clarity:

♥ But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of being cast into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity.  (Mark 3:29 modified from KJV)

That substitution makes Mark 3:29 KJV sound a lot more ominous than before.  The question that needs to be asked now is:  What if the person blaspheming the Holy Spirit is a believer?  Since no exclusions are indicated in Mark 3:28-29 KJV, any Christian who blasphemes the Holy Spirit is possibly (not absolutely) destined for the Lake of Fire.  See a problem here??  That’s right, a Christian’s salvation is supposed to exclude even the possibility of the Lake of Fire.

A version specific ’salvation-exception’

Obviously, if a Christian commits the grace-exception of Mark 3:28-29 KJV and is to be cast in the Lake of Fire, a salvation-paradox is triggered.  Since the Lord is not the author of confusion, there is no paradox.  Mark 3:28-29 KJV is a salvation-exception.  Note that this salvation-exception only applies to the KJV Bible.  The Matthew & Luke accounts remain grace-exceptions in the KJV Bible as well as in other Bible versions that we are not going to bother looking at.  Instead, we will look at other Bible versions of Mark 3:28-29 for further insight.

“Eternal Condemnation” from the NKJV Bible

In the 2nd Grace-Exception Case, both the KJV and the NKJV Bibles used wording that elevated the grace-exception to a salvation-exception.  For this 3rd Grace-Exception Case, so far, only the KJV Bible elevates Mark 3:28-29 to a salvation exception.  Let’s consider the New King James Version Bible translation of Mark 3:28-29:

♥ “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation“—  (Mark 3:28-29 NKJV emphasis mine)

If compared, the NKJV and KJV Bible verses of Mark 3:28-29 are very similar.  Of course, newer Bible translations use the phrase “Holy Spirit” rather than “Holy Ghost.”  A key difference is the use of “eternal condemnation” rather than “eternal damnation.”  Like the KJV Bible, the phrase “eternal condemnation” is only used once in the NKJV Bible.  However, the individual word “condemnation” is used 16-times in the NKJV Bible.

Since only 8 of those “condemnation” uses match the same verse usage as “damnation” in the KJV Bible, it cannot be claimed that condemnation is a substitute for damnation; it is not.  However, it is noted that two of those matches are the same ‘tell-tale’ verses as before from the KJV Bible.  Do you recall these same verses as from the KJV Bible pointed out earlier:

♥ Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?  (Matthew 23:33 NKJV emphasis mine)

♥ and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.  (John 5:29 NKJV emphasis mine)

Another version specific ’salvation-exception’

At least for those two verses, it does seem that “condemnation” is a direct substitute for “damnation.”  This suggests that the “eternal condemnation” phrase from Mark 3:29 NKJV possibly has the same meaning as the “eternal damnation” phrase from the KJV Bible.  Hence, a Christian transgressor is then possibly destined for the Lake of Fire.  See a problem here??

As pointed out several times previously, a Christian’s salvation is supposed to exclude the possibility of a Lake of Fire destiny.  We have seen this before and know what we have here.  Mark 3:28-29 NKJV is a salvation-exception.  Let’s move on and consider additional Bible versions of Mark 3:28-29.

“Eternal sin” from the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles

It’s time to include the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles to discover what insight from the Mark 3:28-29 grace-exception may be revealed:

♥ “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—  (Mark 3:28-29 ESV emphasis mine)

♥ “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin“—  (Mark 3:28-29 NASB emphasis mine)

♥ Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”  (Mark 3:28-29 NIV emphasis mine)

These three Bible versions each proclaim that blaspheming the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.  That remains consistent with the KJV and NKJV Bibles and is why all the Bible versions of these same verses are grace-exceptions.

What is noticeably different and not seen in either the KJV or NKJV Bibles is the specifying of a judgment near the end of Mark 3:29.  Whether the phrase is “but is guilty” or “they are guilty,” both are a finding of guilt and both result from a judgment.  Since that judgment is passed by the Lord God, it is an eternal judgment and is, therefore, irrevocable.

It is rare when the Holy Bible directly pronounces an eternal judgment before the sin is committed such as in the 1st Grace-Exception Case and again in this 3rd Case.  This indicates that the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is of great significance to the Lord.  Not even the Ten Commandments have a predetermined finding of guilt for the sin of breaking them.

“Eternal sin” vs. permanent sin

The judgment of “guilty” in Mark 3:29 for the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles is the result of committing an “eternal sin” that remains unforgiven for all eternity.  Remember the ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’?  Their sin of ‘editing’ is also never forgiven; it is a permanent sin.  Recall that a grace-exception is defined to be the result of a permanent sin that will never be forgiven by the Lord.  Are you seeing a common theme here of permanence?

The point being made is that permanent sin is the exact equivalent of “eternal sin.”  Both are a forever-stain on the transgressor’s eternal record.  Both will never be forgiven since they are exempt from the Lord’s grace.  There is also a more subtle point here that needs to be highlighted.  Every grace-exception is an “eternal sin” since it is defined as resulting from a permanent sin.

At first glance, the “eternal sin” of a grace-exception may not seem so bad since there is no ‘ultimate’ punishment as with a salvation-exception.  Recall that salvation-exceptions always lead to Christians spending an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  If there is no Lake of Fire punishment and the transgressor only gets a bad-mark in their eternal report card, is that so bad?

Besides, who can remember if they blasphemed the Holy Spirit or not, right??  Anyway, most churches have moved past the KJV and NKJV Bibles.  Surely if an exception has been committed, it follows the “eternal sin” path of the modern Bibles which means the transgressing believer is simply going to get a bad-mark that results in some ‘eternal-inconvenience,’ right??

So, is a believer getting charged with an “eternal sin” just an ‘eternal-inconvenience’?

Gentle reader, “eternal sin” cannot be removed by any act of redemption.  It is permanent – it is eternal.  Eternal sin may not have an implied punishment directly associated with it, but it has a consequence that is far more than an ‘inconvenience.’  Let’s delve into this matter by asking a simple question.

The consequence of “eternal sin”

Is sin allowed into Heaven?  The consensus among theologians is that sin is not allowed into Heaven.  While there is no specific Bible verse that states this, there are quite a few that allude to sin not being allowed into Heaven.  One of the verses to support this view is:

♥ But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  (Revelation 21:27 ESV)

Even though “it” being referenced in that verse is New Jerusalem, it is representative of the Lord God’s regard for sin.  All humans who commit a grace-exception are eternally stained with that eternal sin.  That permanent stain cannot and will not be washed away by the blood of the Lamb.

What does the Bible say about the stain of sin?  Let’s look in the Book of Revelation to find out:

♥ I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  (Revelation 7:14 NIV)

This verse tells us that the purpose of washing our “robes” is to make them “white” in the blood of the Lamb who is Lord Jesus.  Just what are these “robes” that we desire them to be “white”:

♥ It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.  (Revelation 19:8 NASB)

Now we can understand why we would want for our robes to be clean and white – to be sin-free.  Unfortunately, those who commit a grace-exception will never enjoy the fine, white linen robes which is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:8).  They have committed an eternal sin and their ‘robes’ are eternally sin-stained as a result.  Since their ‘robes’ are eternally stained, they can never be considered righteous; they are forever defiled with their sin-stain.  Is being defiled bad?

The benefit of washed robes

According to the recent quote of Revelation 21:27 ESV, nothing unclean (that defiles) is permitted into New Jerusalem.  This is further reinforced in the last chapter of the Bible:

♥ Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.  (Revelation 22:14 ESV) *

♥ Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life, and may enter the city by the gates.  (Revelation 22:14 NASB) *

♥ “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.  (Revelation 22:14 NIV) *

* = Revelation 22:14 is quoted from the ESV, NASB, and NIV Bibles since we are examining the grace-exception of Mark 3:28-29 from those Bibles where we get the phrase “eternal sin” from.  Note: the “city” is New Jerusalem.

From these modern translations of Revelation 22:14, the benefits of having washed, clean robes are access to the Tree of Life and entry to New Jerusalem where the Tree will be found.  That means these believers are sin-clean and bright with righteousness to be allowed entry.

Now we begin to see the consequence of eternal sin.  The permanent stain of eternal sin means those transgressors with their forever unwashed, defiled robes can never enter New Jerusalem.  They can never gain access to the Tree of Life that will be found in New Jerusalem.  This is surely more than an ‘eternal-inconvenience.’  Yes, being defiled instead of righteous is bad.

Fortunately for these Christian blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, their eternal sin does not result in a salvation-exception.  That means they retain their salvation – no Lake of Fire at the judgment.  But if they are not destined for the Lake of Fire and aren’t allowed into New Jerusalem, where is there eternal destination?  The short answer is that these Christian blasphemers of the Holy Spirit are eternally destined for Outer Darkness.

Wait, have we not seen a similar situation back in the 2nd Grace-Exception Case with the ‘Revelation-changers-and-deleters’ and the Tree of Life?  Yes, we have.  They, too, are destined for Outer Darkness.  Now is the proper time to discuss Outer Darkness.

Outer Darkness?

The phrase, “Outer Darkness,” is not common in the Holy Bible, but Jesus provided a warning about it several times in the New Testament (see The Path to Outer Darkness).  That warning depicts a sad, angry scene of those who fail to heed it and are cast to Outer Darkness; there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mat. 8:12, 22:13, 25:30).  This is probably because they are forbidden from entering Heaven (Mat. 7:21) which implies they are eternally separated from Father God and Lord Jesus.  This eternal separation also includes, as previously pointed out, the eternal loss of access to New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life.

Just what is Outer Darkness?  This is a concept that is best answered, for now, by clearly explaining who (among Christians) is going to end-up there.  Outer Darkness is a destination reserved for those persons who secured salvation from the Lord during their lifetime but committed a grace-exception that did not result in a salvation-exception.  Are you seeing mud-pie by that explanation?  Try another one.

Here is a simplified statement of who (among Christians) is bound for Outer Darkness.  Those headed there are believers (therefore having salvation) that committed an eternal sin (therefore exempt from the Lord’s grace) that did not result in a salvation-exception (therefore they did not incur the loss of their salvation for a specific, unforgiveable act) so they avoid the Lake of Fire.  Is this explanation better or is it still mud-pie?  Try this next one; it is not specific to Christians so it covers everyone including Israelites who may be judged differently (see the 6th Grace-Exception Case).

Outer Darkness is the exclusive consequence of “eternal sin.”  That consequence is moot if the eternal sin ultimately results in the Lake of Fire punishment since that trumps Outer Darkness.

The first explanation is the best for Christians, but that last one is about as compact and as perfect as possible to explain Outer Darkness to cover everyone.  To obtain the clearly spelled-out location of Outer Darkness is not the purview of this writing.  That is reserved for the Outer Darkness series of writings.

Let’s return to a question asked in the 2nd Grace-Exception Case.  How does one enter eternity if locked-out of New Jerusalem with no access to the Tree of Life?  The answer is by turning around, walking away, and then weeping and gnashing one’s teeth.  That response may seem curt, but it is a perfect answer to understanding the consequence of Outer Darkness.

The residents of Outer Darkness cannot partake of the Tree of Life.  Yes, they have their resurrected bodies that went through judgment and avoided the Lake of Fire.  However, without being granted immortality from the Tree of Life, those resurrected bodies have an expiration date and/or are subject to dying from overwhelming physical destruction (e.g., near a nuclear detonation).  What happens to the Outer Darkness residents once their bodies no longer function and/or can no longer regenerate so that they eventually decompose?

Will the bodiless Outer Darkness residents wander around eternally as spirits never able to: eat, drink, sleep, shower, breath, or enjoy any pleasure or pain that having a body permits?  What kind of vision do they have without eyes?  What kind of hearing do they have without ears?  Is any sense of touch possible without a physical body?  In this eternal state of being a bodiless spirit, they are never able to die and ‘rest-in-peace.’  Such a state of existence sounds awful, but there are other questions that must be considered based on information from the Bible and ever-increasing evidence.

Can those spirits go anywhere, anytime they want?  Have there been other creation-cycles here or elsewhere that resulted in Outer Darkness spirits who now wander about us looking to experience life again, but forever dammed?  And who are the spirits that go around possessing people?  Could they be the eternally dammed of Outer Darkness?  Might there be Outer Darkness residents who still have their bodies and capable of building spacecraft?  We cannot answer these questions at present, but here is one answer.  If you have never blasphemed the Holy Spirit, then don’t.  If you don’t understand just what blaspheming the Holy Spirit is, then read this Murder 101: Peter vs. Holy Spirit.  If you want a quick explanation, then read on.

The proceeding explanation is not intended to offend anyone.  Its purpose is to explain blasphemy and it should suffice to get the idea across.  Would you call Mother Teresa a murdering, two-bit whore?  No, of course not.  Not only is that false, it is so polar-opposite to the loving and kind nature of Mother Teresa as to be blasphemous.  Likewise, do not ever accuse the Holy Spirit of being responsible for murder or having murderous intentions when his true nature is more loving and kinder than that of Mother Teresa’s.  The very instant you might consider disputing that assessment of the Holy Spirit would put you into danger of “eternal damnation.”  If you doubt that, then please read Murder 101: Peter vs. Holy Spirit.  Are you aware of having already blasphemed the Holy Spirit?

An Outer Darkness prescription

What should you do if you know that you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit and now regret it?  My dear gentle reader, I can offer no assurance that my prescription will have any affect, but I suggest it nevertheless.  I recommend you lower yourself to the ground and pull yourself into as humble a position as possible and beg the Holy Spirit for mercy with tears, if you are moved to do so.  If you are truly repentant, then your penitent prayer as a believer may spare you from eternal damnation either in Outer Darkness or the Lake of Fire.  As part of your penance, you must correct your heresy to anyone who may have heard you voice it or read that you wrote it.  Be sure to explain why you are doing so to prevent them from committing the same eternal sin.

What is the consequence of “eternal sin”?  The answer is, “not good.”  When one considers the possible ramifications of committing an eternal sin, then Outer Darkness could be considered a form of “eternal damnation.”  Therefore, the “eternal damnation” phrase from Mark 3:29 of the King James Version Bible is still correct!  Hence, the consequence of “eternal sin” is “eternal damnation” whether it is Outer Darkness or the Lake of Fire.

The Remaining Cases

We have covered three of the eight grace-exception cases to this point.  The remaining cases will not be discussed to the depth that the previous cases have been.  They are included for completeness and to make the reader aware of them.

4th Grace-Exception Case

This case was referred to in the opening paragraphs of this writing.  Essentially, the entire Book of Jude is the 4th Grace-Exception Case.  Conveniently, a single verse in Jude aptly summarizes the belief system of these ‘Jude-individuals’ who are believers and roam freely in the church even today (note – only believers receive grace from the Lord, not the unsaved):

♥ For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Jude 1:4 KJV emphasis mine)

♥ For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  (Jude 1:4 NASB95 emphasis mine)

♥ For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.  (Jude 1:4 NIV emphasis mine)

Going forward, lets refer to these ‘Jude-individuals’ as “lascivious Christians” which is also the same title applied to the Matthew 7:21-23 believers discussed in the 5th Grace-Exception Case.  In case you forgot, a lascivious Christian is one who perverts the grace of our God into a license for immorality.  That definition is obtained from a partial combining of Jude 1:4 KJV and NIV.

Since the Christians from Jude and Matthew 7:21-23 are all considered lascivious by this author, it is useful to point out what distinguishes the two groups of fallen believers from each other.  First, the lascivious Christians in Jude are not described as having any notable good works.  Rather than reprint the entire, short Book of Jude here, the reader is urged to open their Bible and verify this claim.  What stands out in their description by Jude is being strongly self-absorbed and exhibiting some of the worst behaviors of sexual immorality and rejecting authority – especially the Lord’s.

Second, it seems that Jude describes a very bad consequence befalling these lascivious Christians who repeatedly take advantage of the Lord’s grace for their own, immoral purposes:

♥ And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.  (Jude 1:22-23 NKJV)

Since some are apparently redeemable and can be saved from “the fire,” the conclusion here is that the remaining lascivious Christians are destined for the Lake of Fire.  This makes the Book of Jude a ‘salvation-exception.’  Of course, being a salvation-exception automatically makes it a grace-exception.  This is true for the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV Bibles.

Finally, the lascivious Christians of Jude clearly demonstrate these verses from Peter:

♥ For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.   (2Peter 2:20-21 NASB)

5th Grace-Exception Case

The verses of Matthew 7:21-23 are the 5th Grace-Exception Case and have been referred to several times in this writing and in detail in The Path to Outer Darkness:

♥ “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’  (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

These “workers of lawlessness” may also be called lascivious Christians.  They will approach the Lord Jesus sometime after the White Throne judgment and are expecting to enter the “kingdom of heaven.”  Obviously, they were saved from the Lake of Fire so this grace-exception is not a salvation-exception.  Unfortunately, they have repeatedly taken advantage of the Lord’s grace by breaking God’s laws for their own, selfish purposes.

The consequence for their purposely lawless behavior is counted as an eternal sin that forever keeps them out of Heaven.  They are eternally sin-stained and therefore are bound for Outer Darkness.  This is true for the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV Bibles.

How is it that these lascivious Christians are fortunate enough to retain their salvation unlike the lascivious Christians from the Book of Jude – the 4th Grace-Exception Case?  It is very likely that the many good works they did, as indicated in Matthew 7:22, sufficiently differentiated them to the point that the Lord grants them some leniency.  Even so, an eternal destination in Outer Darkness is still a form of eternal damnation.

Last three Grace-Exception Cases

These last three Grace-Exception Cases are specifically based on and include the three Outer Darkness verses from the Book of Matthew.  Again, only a simple overview is provided for these cases.

6th Grace-Exception Case

This 6th Grace-Exception Case provides the Lord’s faith comparison between the Centurion and Israel.  It also foretells the future punishment of the “children of the kingdom”:

♥ And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.  (Matthew 8:5-13 KJV emphasis mine)

These verses spoken by Lord Jesus pack a lot of information for some quick, essential analysis.  First, Jesus points out his amazement with the (non-Israelite) Centurion having more faith than any of that day’s Israelites to possibly include the Lord’s disciples.  Of course, it should be the opposite of that.  Unfortunately, not even the religious establishment would recognize their own Messiah.

Second, the saying “many shall come from the east and west” indicates that a multitude from all over the world, gentiles, will be seated with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  At the same time, many from a ‘distinct-group’ will be excluded from that setting.  Since this event is to take place in the “kingdom of heaven” while the distinct-group goes to “outer darkness,” this is almost certain to take place after the White Throne judgment.

It is important to note that those of the distinct-group are not Christians and will not have salvation.  Normally, those who are not saved would be cast into the Lake of Fire at the White Throne judgment.  Instead, this distinct-group will be cast to Outer Darkness.  This is due to the Lord taking special interest in them so that they are judged differently and possibly separately.  They are identified next.

Third, the “children of the kingdom” likely refers to the Israelites of the line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and are the “distinct-group” previously mentioned.  It seems clear that Lord Jesus has judged a large portion of the “children of the kingdom” of committing an eternal sin and so, they are unworthy to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  The consequence for their lack of faith in their Lord whom they refuse to recognize and receive his salvation, is to be cast into Outer Darkness.  Note: if any Israelites of this line were granted righteousness from the Lord, then those righteous would not be cast into Outer Darkness and could enter New Jerusalem the same as a righteous Christian.

Finally, there is no mention of a duration for the punishment in this case or for the remaining two Outer Darkness cases.  It is presumed that one’s placement there is eternal just the same as for all others destined for Outer Darkness.

The Bible passage for this case is undoubtedly a grace-exception since an eternal sin has been committed resulting in an eternal destiny of Outer Darkness for the transgressors.  This is true for the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV Bibles.

7th Grace-Exception Case

The 7th Grace-Exception Case is the Lord’s parable of the wedding feast.  This passage potentially has great depth, not lending itself to quick analysis.  This author will not spend time in deep analysis that it surely deserves:

♥ And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”  (Matthew 22:1-14 ESV emphasis mine)

Here are some simple and basic observations of this parable.  First, since the “kingdom of heaven” is compared to this parable, it seems likely that the son is Jesus who is to be wedded to his bride.  The bride is commonly expected to be the ‘church.’

Second, the servants sent out to the people might be represented by the prophets and disciples of Christ of whom many have been slain. 

Third, the people who refuse to come to the wedding feast and who slay those sent to them could be the Israelites – the same “children of the kingdom” in Mathew 8:12 from the 6th Grace-Exception Case.

Fourth, just as the king “destroyed those murderers and burned their city,” history informs us that great numbers of Israelites were killed when much of Jerusalem and the temple were burned and destroyed in 70 AD.

Fifth, the guests that are found to fill the wedding are brought from all over, “both bad and good.”  It seems possible that these guests could be the same as the “…many shall come from the east and west,” in Matthew 8:11 which is also from the 6th Grace-Exception Case.  These people would be the gentiles of the world.

Sixth, that “wedding garment” missing from a ‘guest’ at the wedding feast could be of the same fine, white linen robes that represent the righteousness of the saints from Revelation 19:8.  If so, then that suggests the ‘robe’ of righteousness will be required at the “marriage supper of the lamb” (Rev. 19:9 KJV).  Therefore, all guests must be properly ‘adorned’ to attend the wedding feast and the marriage supper.

Finally, being cast to Outer Darkness indicates the illegitimate ‘guest’ committed an eternal sin prior in their life and therefore had no covering of righteousness.  That is what makes this parable a grace-exception.  This is true for the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV Bibles.

What was the eternal sin?  We are not given any information as to what that was, but clearly the ‘cast-out’ is considered unworthy.  He isn’t simply escorted out, but bound and forcibly ejected.  Does this make sense?  It does if you consider this verse:

♥ But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  (Revelation 21:27 ESV emphasis mine)

If we assume that the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in New Jerusalem, then the above verse makes it clear that only the righteous are worthy to enter.  Anyone not covered in a robe of righteousness would be considered a defiling presence and might expect harsh ejection.

When was the eternal sin committed?  We might assume it was before the cast-out arrives to New Jerusalem and he somehow snuck inside, but what if he committed it after?  We can’t know the answer to this, but the implication is that sin may still be possible even in New Jerusalem.  If so, then the consequence seems to be immediate expulsion.  There is not enough information to ponder this further.  Let’s move on.

8th Grace-Exception Case

This 8th Grace-Exception Case is the Lord’s parable of the talents:

♥ “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  (Matthew 25:14-30 ESV emphasis mine)

Time for a quick assessment.  Since the “wicked and slothful servant” is bound for Outer Darkness, an eternal sin was committed.  This is true for the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV Bibles.

Whether it is money, talent, or a skill or some combination of these, each believer brings something to the donation table that can assist in building and developing the Lord’s kingdom here on earth.  That believer’s donation, in whatever form, ultimately brings about good works.  The importance of works cannot be understated as James tells us in his concluding verse about works:

♥ For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.  (James 2:26 KJV)

One day, every believer will stand before the Lord to give an account of what they did with what they were given and the opportunities they had:

♥ And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.  (Revelation 22:12 KJV)

If you believe it’s possible that the Lord could call you wicked and slothful, then make haste to change that outcome.  To not do so is to chance being convicted of an eternal sin that results in the Lord saying, “Cast the worthless servant into the Outer Darkness.”

Bonus Grace-Exception Case

As stated in the beginning, there are at least 8 Grace-Exception Cases.  This bonus case is included since it is likely a Grace-Exception Case based on analysis from another writing by this author, Outer Darkness.  If you are curious to know, it is suspected that all the parables of the 25th chapter of Matthew are grace-exceptions.  There may still be more.  Here is the bonus case:

♥ Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  (Matthew 24:45-51 NKJV emphasis mine)

No analysis is provided for this bonus case.  Instead, the following is provided as speculation by the author.  The master in these verses is likely the Lord Jesus who comes to collect his bride, the ‘church,’ when he gathers the elect.  The evil servant is a Christian that has been behaving vilely to his fellow Christians and probably not concerned about it since he believes grace covers any sinning he might do.  Rather than reward this evil believer with attendance at the marriage supper in New Jerusalem, the Lord cuts away whatever covering of righteousness that he had.  The fallen believer is then cast to Outer Darkness with others who have fallen, especially the fallen (lascivious) Christians of Matthew 7:21-23.

Fortunately for this fallen believer, none of his sinning included any of the salvation-exceptions discussed in this writing so he will not be cast into the Lake of Fire.  Still, he is forever damned to Outer Darkness and all that implies.  This is true for the ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, and NKJV Bibles.

Conclusion

The Lord has carefully provided, in writing, at least eight exceptions to the grace ‘policy’ for the forgiveness of sins for believers.  Some of these grace-exceptions are also salvation-exceptions – exceptions to the salvation ‘policy’ for believers.  These eight cases are summarized in the following table:

This author is a firm believer that we should all strive to keep the Commandments of God.  The first three Grace-Exception Cases should be considered the ‘Special-Commandments’ of God.  Why?  As a Christian, if you break any or all of the Ten Commandments, you can normally receive forgiveness.  However, if you break one of the three ‘Special-Commandments’ even once, you should expect never forgiveness.

The Humbled Teacher

DAC

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