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Many claim that willful sin cannot be forgiven and as the basis for this position the following verse is used:
Hebrews 10:26-27 KJV For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (27) But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Therefore the question remains what is willful sin and if this is a class of sin that is not forgiven then which classes of sin are forgivable? Often the claim is that some sins are willful and that there are also ignorant sins. I am writing this post to investigate this very issue. Lets look at some more verses from John.
John 9:36-41 KJV He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? (37) And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. (38) And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. (39) And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. (40) And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? (41) Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
Now, if you were blind (or ignorant), you would have no sin, according to the text. How can there therefore exist ignorant sin? One objection to this point was raised from the phrase “but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth”. What sin remained? Was it ignorant sin that remained?
Well, lets investigate. If they say, “we see”, but do not see, is that not lying? Would this not also be bearing false testimony and therefore be a sin? Would they not also know they were lying and thereby be committing a willful sin?
If they were simply deceived then God would show mercy. For isn’t it written:
1 Timothy 1:13 KJV Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
What the pharisees did in John 9, was to sin willfully, already knowing the truth, but refusing to walk in it. It is written:
Luke 11:52 KJV Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Acts 7:51 KJV Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
So it was the pharisees and lawyers who refused to walk in the truth. They rejected Jesus as the messiah and stumbled over the stumbling stone. To reject Jesus is a salvation (eternal life) issue. To sin willfully is not an eternal life issue unless that sin is the rejecting of Jesus as the messiah and savior.
To conclude, willful sin is not a special class of sin. There is no sin of ignorance. The problem is resisting the Holy Spirit and refusing to become a Christian.