One of the things Steve Chalke says in 'The Lost Message of Jesus' is:
When it comes to the God of the Bible there is only one kind of sin in the world - forgiven sin. (page 109).
This sounds wonderful and affirming – every sin anyone has ever committed has been forgiven. But is this what the Bible really says? Is it what Jesus believed and taught?
In John chapter 8 verse 24, Jesus says to the Jewish religious leaders:
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.
In Mark chapter 9 verses 43, Jesus says:
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
In John chapter 20 verse 23, Jesus tells his followers:
If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.
And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
We do not have to be completely clear what he meant when he talked about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in order to draw one blindingly obvious conclusion: Jesus spoke about sin that would not be forgiven.
From these references, at the very least, it is clear that Jesus envisaged the possibility that people would commit sins that would not be forgiven.
So when Steve Chalke says:
When it comes to the God of the Bible there is only one kind of sin in the world - forgiven sin,
... this just is not true. It may sound wonderfully warm and affirming, but it is not what the Bible says, and it is not what Jesus believed.
More about the 'Lost Message'
- How did Jesus view human nature?
- What does the rest of the New Testament say about human nature?
- Unforgiven sin?
- Jesus' view of judgment
- Jesus saw his death as a ransom for many
- Jesus saw his death as a sacrifice for his people
- When was the message lost?
- Summing up
For more on this vital subject, visit Pierced for Our Transgressions. Better still, read the book...