As Pastor Mark Driscoll continues to rebuild his ministry after the collapse of his Seattle-based Mars Hill Church in 2014, the clergyman is offering his biblical perspective on perceived unforgivable sin.
In a video blog posted to his website Monday, the Arizona-based Trinity Church pastor tackled the issue in the context of specific Scriptures, and advised that once a believer receives eternal life, they can't lose it.
The viewer expressed difficulty with understanding certain Scriptures, asking if there is a single act that is unforgivable and "excludes a person from salvation." The viewer noted Scriptures that seemed to contradict each other, referring to Mark 3: 20-29, Mark 3: 28-29, Matthew 12: 31-32 and Luke 12:10.
Mark 3: 28-29 seems to indicate that there is an unforgivable sin saying, "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."
In an effort to clarify that Scripture, Driscoll reminded viewers to keep Scriptures within context, explaining that in this particular instance Jesus was dealing with a demon and had cast it out, enabling the Pharisees to witness the delivering power of God.
The Pharisees, however, having not experienced Jesus' prior teachings or miracles, had only witnessed this instance of deliverance and attributed the action to Satan — resulting in blasphemy.
"You would think after all that they (the Pharisees) would say, 'Jesus you are God, Lord, Savior, King, Christ,' or at least say, 'You are good,' and they don't," Driscoll said.
"In fact they say exactly the opposite ... What they are basically saying is, 'Jesus, you are an evil, godless, demonically possessed liar ... This was their ongoing precedence and pattern. This was their ongoing interruption and disruption of His ministry and the ongoing harrassment of the Lord Jesus."
Regarding eternal life the Trinity Church pastor said, "When you receive eternal life, you can't lose it because it's eternal life. When Jesus says that no one can snatch us out of His hand, that means that we are secure."
He added, "Is there some magic phrase we could say that would undo our salvation? Is there something that we could think? Is there something that we could do that would negate Jesus' death on the cross? If so that would mean that Jesus didn't die for all of our sins, that there's one that He missed."
Driscoll further explained that if there were a sin excluded from Christ's atonement man would be damned for eternity.
"... If by chance or by intention we commit that sin in thought, word or deed — by comission or omission — and somehow we venture in that direction and we end up at that destination — that now we have undone the substitutionay atoning death of Jesus ... that His death in our place for our sins and His resurrection for our salvation is negated and salvation was given and it is now taken and we are forever doomed and damned."
"Because if Jesus' death on the cross didn't take care of all sins and we commit that sin, well there's no other way to have that sin forgiven because the cross was the only way that our sins could be atoned for and forgiven."
Go here to listen to Pastor Mark Driscoll's full message.