I was talking to someone the other day. He was distraught and depressed about his faith. Though he had experienced a dramatic conversion a few years back, the last year has been full of trials and temptations which lead him back into a lifestyle which he thought was in his rear-view mirror. Along with his return to some former habits, he has entered into a nightmare of doubt. His primary doubt comes from his ability to return to the Lord, having, according to him, “rejected the gift of God” and “returning to his own vomit.”

While the issues are complex and I do not wish to enter into a dialogue about this person’s spiritual state, I do want to mention a verse that has put him in a spiritually catatonic state. He believes that like it was with Esau, it is too late for him. He believes that the repentance that he seeks has been removed from the table. In other words, he believes that there is a time when repentance is no longer possible.

Here is the verse he referred to in support of this pain:

Heb. 12:17
“For you know that even afterward, when he [Esau] desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.” (NAS)

The impression is that Esau rejected the blessing of God through his birthright (which is true). When he later realized how fool-hearted this was and turned to God for repentance of his sin, he was rejected. It was just too late. I don’t believe this is the case. Let me explain.

The question is What did Esau seek with tears? What is the “it” of Heb. 12:17 (“he sought for it with tears”)? Many people assume that it is repentance. While the translation I used (NAS) leaves the question open for interpretation, the word order in English leaves the other possibilities obscure. But, at face value in the reading of most translations, it does seem like it is repentance that Esau is seeking. Notice the readings in these other translations:

KJV: For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

ESV: For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

NKJ: For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

NLT: You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.

RSV: For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

All of these translations at least give the impression that what Esau sought for was basic repentance. If this were the case, this is a cause for great concern since it would teach that we may be able to turn to God with tears, truly seeking repentance, but be unable to find it. It would teach that there may be people who truly want to turn from their sin, but cannot find the ability to repent. It may teach that there exists the possibility for you to approach the throne of God requesting the gift of repentance and be turned down. It may teach that there is a time in this life when it is just too late, no matter how much you desire to change. That is scary.

However, there is another, and I believe, more faithful way to understand this passage. You see the pronoun “it” has not one but two possible anticedents. When structured like the translations above, the common way to read this in English is to look for the closest possibility as the referent to what Esau sought. That is just the way the English language works. And the closest referent to “it” is indeed “repentance.” However, the Greek language goes by a different set of rules. Word order is secondary to inflection. The word “it” is a feminine pronoun. This means that the noun which it modifies will be feminine too. In this verse there are two feminine nouns: “repentance” and “blessing.” Therefore, there are two viable options here for what Esau sought with tears. It was either repentance or the blessing. Neither is necessarily preferred based on grammar and syntax, therefore we must look to the context of the story the author of Hebrews is alluding to. So let’s look at the context of the story of Esau.

When we turn back to the narrative in Genesis 27, we see Esau being tricked out of his blessing by both Jacob and his mother. After Esau found out he had been tricked and that Isaac had blessed Jacob rather than himself, he broke down. Notice how the story goes:

Gen 27:35-38
And he [Isaac] said [to Esau], “Your brother came deceitfully and has taken away your blessing.” 36 Then he said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” And he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 But Isaac replied to Esau, “Behold, I have made him your master, and all his relatives I have given to him as servants; and with grain and new wine I have sustained him. Now as for you then, what can I do, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” So Esau lifted his voice and wept. (NAU, emphasis mine).

You see that Esau did indeed weep. He did indeed repent. But what was it he repented and wept over? It was the loss of his blessing. The context in Genesis is clear. I think we must see the passage in Hebrews through the context of the original storyline.  The author of Hebrews is saying that Esau sought his blessing with tears, not repentance.

I think some of these translations do a good job of bringing out this nuance:

TNIV: Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

NJB: As you know, when he wanted to obtain the blessing afterward, he was rejected and, though he pleaded for it with tears, he could find no way of reversing the decision.

NRS: You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

NAB: For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit his father’s blessing, he was rejected because he found no opportunity to change his mind, even though he sought the blessing with tears.

NET: For you know that later when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance, although he sought the blessing with tears.

It is unfortunate when Bible translations seek to leave the options open in situations such as this. This is one of those places where I believe translation philosophy militates against the clearer meaning of the text. I understand the reasoning in many cases, but here, the casualties are plenty as the implications are severe. Normally we would seek to leave ambiguity where it truly exists. I get that. But can we really say that this passage presents us with such a dilemma? Its it really ambiguous enough to leave the English word order in such a misleading way? I think that this is only a difficult passage because of the (albiet) intentional ambiguity left in the text by many modern translations.

I believe that the Bible teaches that there is never a day when repentance is beyond our grasp. Even the thief on the cross was able to find humble repentance in his words “remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This is the wonder of our God and the Gospel message. God’s love makes repentance always acceptable no matter where you find yourself in life. If you seek repentance, you will find it. God’s grace is that radical.

Mat 7:7-8
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    210 replies to "Could Esau Repent? The Difficulty of Heb. 12:17"

    • Ron

      🙂 I raged when I heard Piper make the same point in a different context.

      Well maybe rage is a bit strong, more like “was mildly annoyed”.

      Good job!

    • Spencer Barfuss

      Wow, Michael. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about this verse, and thought about my struggle with doubt, and wondered quietly in my heart, “Am I now numbered with Esau as those who are rejected, no longer finding a place for repentance?” Seriously. Thank you for bringing this meaning of this text to light.

    • james

      I agree with your analysis. Perhaps a valid lesson that *can* be drawn from this passage is that, while repentance (and thereby forgiveness) is always possible so long as we are on this earth, there may in fact still be very real earthly consequences to our prior actions and decisions. Esau could be forgiven his transgression, but would still never inherit his birthright.

    • Hodge

      “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and [then] have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance , since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” (Heb 6:4-6)

      I think these two passages tie in with one another. Also, kaiper seems to pick up directly from the preceding clause, as would expected of a conjunction. This would only mean that he sought to undo what he had done, not “repentance” as that which restores to God; so it may in fact accomplish the same thing you are trying to do here. There was no place found to undo what had been done and the blessing, which had been given away, is now gone. So I don’t think this indicates that he tried to repent and God wouldn’t let him. I think it indicates that those who make a decision to give away the…

    • Hodge

      blessing, aren’t going to be given a chance to get it back. This would be a “repentance that will not be granted” as opposed to a “repentance that will not be answered.” As Auctor indicates in 6:4-6, repentance is impossible, not the reward of repentance, so it seems this refers to the idea that a person, who rejects after being exposed to the blessing in such a deep manner, will not be granted repentance again.

    • TrueHope

      By saying that Esau sought repentance but could not obtain it, are some Christians saying that God wouldn’t justify Esau even if Esau repented of his sins and put his faith in God?

    • Craig Bennett

      That sounds like a typical example of Hebrew Parallelism which says the same thing.

      Isn’t the point of this scripture saying that …even though Esau repented…he still couldn’t be given the blessing which he sought.

      I don’t however believe this speaks of the experience believers can have during a crisis of faith…rather its more to do with the fact that someone tells Jesus to shove it… totally knowing what they are doing and what the repercussions are.

    • Nazaroo

      This is the folly of paraphrase. It makes perfect sense when rendered literally.

      Esau found no place for his repentance.
      It existed, but could not be received.

      This is all perfectly normal.

      The thief on the cross is a great example,
      because Jesus didn’t rescue him from his sentence.
      He was crucified, justly, perhaps mercifully,
      since we don’t know how many this bandit
      had murdered in his career. He agreed openly that
      his punishment wasn’t overdone.
      The Law required him to pay back fourfold, twofold,
      or even sevenfold in various circumstances.
      His debt was overwhelming.

      How do you pay back murder?
      On the analogy of stealing, you might have to save 4 lives for every one taken.
      But only God could provide the opportunity to pay the debt back on those terms.
      You could spend a lifetime regretting and working up courage,
      to sacrifice yourself for others in the effort.

    • Truth Unites... and Divides

      I’d like to see Esau in Heaven when I die. He forgave Jacob at the end. I hope God blesses Esau with eternal life in Heaven.

      Although the Bible does say that God hated Esau. So maybe Esau’s not in Heaven.

    • Dr Michael

      CMP, I agree that the “it” refers back to the blessing, as do commentaries like O’Brien, etc. However this does not necessarily show that repentance by Esau would have been effective. We still have the phrase to interpret that says “he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent” (ESV) or “he found no place for repentance” (NAS). Why was he rejected?

      And Heb. 6:6 does teach that apostates cannot be renewed to repentance.

      We must interpret according to grammar and historical context first, then impose our theology from that. Not the other way around.

    • Norm Eddy

      Michael, I do not see in the Piper writing the spirit of your disagreement with his interpretation of Heb. 12:17. I see Piper being very non-specific in his use of Esau as an example in his description of Hell the way Jesus described it (and the whole Bible does) as opposed to the way C. S. Lewis did. He is merely using Esau as an example of someone who realized that had made a horrible mistake, now sees the painful consequences of it and wants a “do over” to get a different outcome. He desperately (with tears) wants out of the consequences, and so will anyone sent to Hell for their unbelief. But as Isaac said, it is too late now, the choice has been made. Just as the “blessing” could not be done over, a person, when he is in hell, will not get the opportunity for a “do over.” Jesus’ story of Lazarus illustrates that. I think your use of Piper as an example of someone who misuses Heb. 12:17 and therefore doesn’t believe that repentance is always available in this life is a stretch.

    • Ron

      Norm, Piper has made this claim several times:

      The unpardonable sin is a sin that makes you an Esau. It brings you to a point where according to Hebrews 12, Esau sought repentance and he couldn’t find it.

      Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljAqm3Hjfc0

    • […] What if there’s no fruit, bad fruit, or not enough fruit? Could it ever be too bad or too late for us? Could Esau Repent? […]

    • Matt Mcmains

      I agree with the overall premise of the post. I am a bit more hesitant, however, to say for certain that “it” refers back to “blessing.” I agree that word order is not definitive, yet at the same time it often plays a role in instances such as this. Since the antecedent of “it’ can be either “blessing” or “repentance”, the syntax does seem to tip the scales slightly in favor of repentance. Not just word order, but the place of the conjunction “though” as well.

      I don’t think we can come down definitively on either one, which is perhaps why some of the translations leave it ambiguous. I also do not think that linking “it” with “repentance” necessitates the interpretation set forth by Piper. While Esau may have truly repented, there was nothing he could do to change his father’s mind with regard to the blessing. This is analogous to when someone ultimately rejects Christ (12:25; Heb. 6)

      This seems to be the thrust of the passage, whether we link “it” to…

    • Craig Bennett

      One of the points to make about Esau and Jacob is to think through why it was that God hated him. Esau threw away his birth right to carry on Abrahams linage which in reality means Christ should have come through Esaus genealogy.

      However; Christ came through Jacobs…and so the point in Hebrews is do not reject Christ like Esau did.

    • TrueHope

      One problem with the view that “not all believers go to heaven” (i.e. Esau) is that it diminishes our assurance of salvation. What tangible evidence do we have that we’re believers who will end up in heaven instead of believers who will end up in hell?

    • Christian

      This is the reason that I appreciate your blog and other resources. It is well thought out and remains faithful to the Gospel. I agree that the better understanding of this is that Esau was beyond the blessing rather than repentance. If we could reach a point beyond repentance then what of the Israelites? It is clear that even with all of their disobedience and turning from God there was always the option to turn back. Indeed, there was always a standing covenant between them and God. Of course, now we have the standing new covenant sealed by Christ and His blood. My question would be, at what point have we sinned too much to be beyond hope? I believe, that if our hearts are seeking repentance then that is a sure sign that we are not beyond it. The evidence that we have strayed too far is a hardened heart that the Holy Spirit will no longer woo back to God. Just my $.02.

    • Saskia

      True Hope,
      Good point – it then becomes based on works right?

      Michael – I would like to echo a sentiment said earlier – this is a verse that I have been wrestling with recently, and it terrified me. But all I could do was cling to the hope and knowledge of the truth of God’s love and Christ’s grace as sufficient.
      It is really comforting to hear it be interpreted this way. Thanks
      Sas

    • Dave

      Michael,
      This post is what we need more of – clear exposition of difficult passages. It’s a huge service to the body and I’m greatful that God has given you the gifting and availability to do this great ministry.

      I have to agree with Norm Eddy that Piper’s use of this verse seems non-contradictory to your position. Piper’s point seems to be that once in hell, people want to repent based on what they are receiving. This is very closely associated with Esau seeking his blessing.

    • TrueHope

      I believe that as long as we’re alive and on this earth, the only sin that God won’t forgive is the sin that we refuse to repent of. Anyone who is concerned with unforgivable sin and desires repentance shows by his very concern that he has not committed the unforgivable sin.

      Anyone who has committed the unforgivable sin has his heart hardened to the point that he will have no desire to repent for the rest of his life.

    • […] blog post about the possibility of Esau repenting in Heb 12:17. It can (and should first) be read here. He cites a number of different English translations. I will only quote two of them here to give […]

    • Iver Larsen

      An interesting and helpful post. I think I agree most with Matt’s comments, so I decided to make a few more comments on another blog here: http://betterbibles.com/2011/03/10/repentance-in-heb-1217

    • sandra

      michael, thank you so very much for bringing clarity to this verse. i can not tell you the horrible depression this verse has put me in. i have the same experience as the friend you have written about in this post! i thought i was the only one discouraged by those verses.

      i have fallen away for a short time from god in my teens, and ever since i have been seeking god like crazy. the verses in hebrews about esau and heb. 6:4 have caused such great depression…with my feeling like god will never take me back though i am begging him to. john piper scared me even more with his teaching on this verse which i noticed a few years back.

      • Kenneth Ford

        Sandra, I realize it has been a few years since you posted this and I hope you somehow see this.
        I went through the same concerns as you before. I thought upon initially encountering the Hebrews passage that it applied to me. I was horrified.
        Yet somehow it seemed that the Lord was talking to me a short while afterwards. I just had to listen. It was not enough to lift the emotional weight off of me, but it was enough for me to move forward ,however slowly that was.
        About a year or two after ,I had a visit from the Spirit one night where He came and literally picked me up off the bed and laid my head down on the pillow. I woke up and was like, “God, all of these problems I have had I am giving to You and let You work them out in Your time.”

        • Michael george

          So what has come of you now? I feel I have willingly sinned and heard go and sin no more lest a worse thing come unto you… and again I decided to sin.. and I do hear from the spirit still. But it’s a confirmation that I have crossed the line every time and my end is worse then the beggining. After all aren’t 1/3 of the stars cast from heaven in the last days…

    • debra walker

      michael, thank you so very much for bringing clarity to this verse. i can not tell you the horrible depression this verse has put me in. i have the same experience as the friend you have written about in this post! i thought i was the only one discouraged by those verses.

      i have fallen away for a short time from god in my teens, and ever since i have been seeking god like crazy. the verses in hebrews about esau and heb. 6:4 have caused such great depression…with my feeling like god will never take me back though i am begging him to. john piper scared me even more with his teaching on this verse which i noticed a few years back.

    • debra walker

      and i just went back to read the comments people have left and now i feel conflicted and ambiguous again. is it possible this text still says that esau did not get the blessing even though he repented, as one commentator said?

    • hello

      This verse is saying that even though Esau repented he could not get the blessing back. This is scary. Also, it says that he “found no opportunity to repent” What does that mean? Even the good translations say that. Could the repentance refer to his father? Like, he could not change his father’s mind to give him the blessing?

    • Cory

      Really nice… Thank you!

    • […] theology from beyond the perimeter in answering the question, Could Esau repent? (Heb 12:17). Michael Patton and Iver Larsen both said, “Yes”—but for different grammatical […]

    • J De martine

      I just learned that the Holy Spirit gives repentance, it is a gift of God. That this is part of the “election” of God. Esau was not chosen, so he did not have the gift of the Holy Spirit, from the womb, he was not part of the chosen “elect” ,whose names were written in the Lambs Book of life at the beginning of the world. god would not give it.
      No one seeks God, we are called , those that are appointed “believe” and repent. Acts 13:48

    • Jeannie

      I think Piper was taken out of context. This is a post from him just a couple of days ago…hopefully it will give some encouragement.

      http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/a-word-for-those-who-have-forsaken-jesus

    • Jeff Ayers

      CMP did an exceptional job proving (in my mind) an obvious exposition of Heb 12:17—– sad that so many in the posts still miss it.

      The antecedent for the “IT” Esau sought is obviously the birthright he sold for a “mess of pottage”… and the “IT” is not the repentance.
      Though he repented with tears, he could not get back birthright he gave up.

      This verse has NOTHING to do with salvation, hell or anything related to eternal life. (or even an allusion, illustration, allegory etc)

      The context (Heb 12) is for those who are believers (saved) and warns of chastisement for those believers who sell their birthright of an abundant life here and eternal rewards at the judgement seat for a “mess of pottage” (living after the flesh)

      Piper’s other delusion (eisegesis) is that only those who got saved by turning from their sin, forsaken their old life, committed themselves to Christ and make him Lord of their will be saved…. and even then, only those who endure in good works, hold out faithful, do not practice sin and endure to the end of their lives can be saved.

      This thinking creates complete lack of assurance of salvation; which gives way to the depression so prone to people like CPM spoke of in the article.

      Depressed after hearing poor preaching and unbiblical platitudes, which make you doubt if you are saved, makes you doubt if you can return to the Lord and makes you doubt if you are capable of seeking repentance to restoration.

      As long as you have breath you can repent (change your mind).

      God commands all men everywhere to repent… which obviously means that all men are ABLE to repent.

    • Matt bell

      Hi Jeff, I think you are incorrect on the statement you made about the statement having nothing to do with eternal life. The book of Hebrews is all about persevering for the reward and the final destination (Strive for the holiness without which none will see the Lord is what the author says). He tells them all throughout that to reject Christ is to reject your final reward otherwise the warning passages have no meat to them. On the topic of Esau I still think you need to do something with the clause “He found no chance for repentance”. Piper describes Esau’s condition in one of his sermons on Hebrews. His (and Spurgeons) description of Esau is also one of the human heart getting to such a hardened state that you can desire repentance but not have the volitional ability to carry it out. The scripture (can’t remember where) describes Esau as despising his birthright. The author of Hebrews is exhorting the hebrew Christians to not despise their “birthright” and to stop drifting and shrinking back else they become like Esau and go over the cliff of hardened un-repentance. A person can have tears of sorrow over their sin but not repentance. I think that describes Esau. So whether its repentance he was seeking or the blessing, either way, he despised it and therefore was rejected. The author of Hebrews is saying “there is a point Christian where you may drift into sin so long that there is no hope for you” which is why Hebrews 6 and Hebrews 10 are there. The author is not saying as a declaration that they are beyond repentance but as a warning to stop drifting else they come to a decisive cliff like Esau and throw themselves over it. He tells them in chapter 6 that if the salvation (or birthright) you have is lost by you making a decisive decision to drink the poison of rejecting Christ (i.e falling away) and profane the blood of the covenant by which you were sanctified (chapter 10) then there is no other salvation for you” and you may desire to come back but to come back after falling away is to re-crucify Christ and re-crucifying Christ can’t be done and for those that do there is a wrath of fury and judgement that will consume the adversaries (Chap 10). But Jude 24 “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you blameless and above reproach”.

    • Gregg

      Esau lost his inheritance, not his ability to repent. If we repent, God is faithful to restore us with things that honor him, but God will not automatically give us back the thing we lost while acting out in sin.

    • Mark

      This scripture had given me a few sleepless nights in the past as well but through people like yourself and further study I came to realize a lot of what you just said. I also feel that whether it’s referring to the blessing or actual repentance Esau was wanting it on his own terms instead of what God wanted. It sort of puts me in mind of the story where Cain is told what to present for a sacrifice and although he brings an offering it’s what he wants to bring instead of what God told him to bring. I feel that like Cain Esau wanted to obtain Gods favor but on his terms instead of Gods. The story of the rich young ruler in the new testament is another example of someone who sought repentance as long as they could obtain it in a way that worked for

    • john bartell

      If this is happened to you, you will not merely wonder. You will know it. It happened to me. It starts when you notice that all the warnings of the bible apply to you, while you are simultaneously becoming unable to relate to the spiritual beauty of the bible. It happens only to people who were never connected to the true vine (jesus christ). These people, utter fools that they are ( as I am/ was) keep on enjoying spiritual experiences but for whatever reason never come fully to Christ. This is the test: if a person is crazy about Jesus (not god or Christianity) then you are not in danger at all. People who took all gods blessings (and spiritual gifts) but refused to give everything to him. Let me warn you guys. This is the absolute worst state in all of existence to be in. It is literally a precursor to hell, but on earth. You know you need to repent, but it is literally impossible. You can feel your heart completely hardened. You no longer understand spiritual things. Church no longer makes sense. Praise is no longer on any personal value. Prayer does not help someone in this condition at all. If you can get even an ounce of spiritual wisdom from the bible then this does not apply to you. Let me tell you one more thing. Once this happens you can clearly see that Christianity is true ( not by faith, but by knowledge).
      You Christians havent even begun to know what a blessing you have. I would give everything to read the bible one more time. to repent just one more time. to pray with all my heart one more time. To listen to one more sermon. PLEASE, if you are reading this and can still do those things, do so as if tonight was you last night one earth. With all the joy in the world. You will never understand how horrible this is, but it fully reminds me (constantly) how great the salvation that I took for granted was.

      • Katii

        Wait! You are confusing inheritance with salvation! You cannot save yourself and can ONLY lose your salvation if you say so…if it depends on you. The devil wants us to lose our rewards but can NEVER take our salvation. Look into the metachoi of CHRIST. The sheer fact you feel a loss of spiritual things means you understand them and you are just far from GOD right now. Seek and you shall find. HE says HE will never leave or forsake us…for HE is the one who is faithful! Moses lost his ability to go I to promise land, striking the rock twice. Yet, GOD will bring Moses back as one of the two witnesses and was with GOD after he died! ALL can repent, our works are as filthy rags. Plus JESUS died for everyone so we all are capable of repentance. HE commands all to do so. Your hard heart can be broken up. Pray and seek HIM again. You will stand before HIM saved or unsaved. If saved, with good works or without not as part of salvation but because it is what HE has done with our lives by breaking up the soil in our hearts!

      • Clint

        Do you still sin and can’t turn from it? Or aren’t sorry for sinning against God?

      • Clint

        What do you mean you can’t repent ?
        Could you email me If I give you address?

    • William

      John, even though I am writing this months after your post, if you see this, please let me know. I am going through much of the same of what you describe, but am still crying out to the Lord for His mercy. I’ve been in this state for almost 11 months now, after reading one of the warning passages. Many have told me to cling to the cross and concentrate on God’s grace, but what keeps dominating my mind was the unthinkable hypocrisy that was going on secretly in my life. I’m curious to know what is going on with you and how you are handling this. Are you desiring God’s grace, true holiness in life, etc., but feeling no link with God? Have you given up all hope?

    • John Gardner

      In response to John Bartel’s statement, I have unfortunately found myself in much the same situation and state of mind. In my case I have felt myself in this utter pit of despair time and time again, but kept returning to my sinful habbits and lifestyle. I am a college student, and I constantly had poeple and situations to lure me into sin although I kept repeanting and seeking forgiveness. In my life there have been many wonderful spiritual experiences, and I have felt the love and forgiveness of God. I have been enlightened in my mind, and I at one point was able to completely push lust out of my mind along with other things. I enjoyed helping people, and in those few and far between times which I felt I was serving God by doing simple things like going to work at places that feed the homelss, I felt extremely joyful. However, I am like one of those who did not count the cost before starting to build. My mind became rancid with lust and pride. I had many terrible thoughts about God and about the very spirit that brought me to salvation. I always felt in my heart that there was something that held me back from making the right sacrifice in life. I always preached to myslef about doing so, but I never did. Just tonight I began having all of these terrible thoughts about how I have crucified Jesus over and over again by my sin. I have sinned even while I was convicted that my actions were sinful, but I just kept sinning. After such things happened I would make vows and promises to stop sinning, but then would be right back at it before long. I have greviously sinned, and want to change from the inside out, but what more can God do for me? God has blessed me with everything, and I never have had to endure hardships. I hope that there is a chance to grow, a chance to change, a chace to be right again.

      • steven

        John email me at Stevenjb78 at aim dot com, I can help you with other scripters that may help you, I will also pray hard for you that God grants you the ability to repent.

      • Clint

        John Gardner how are you now? Would you like to talk about it ? I’m dealing with a lot of same things

    • Lake Stevens Pete

      Esau could not find repentance because he sought a restoration of the lost blessing rather than a restoration of the lost relationship with God. He was focused on the blessing of God and not the relationship with God. Contrast Esau’s lack of repentance with David who found repentance after committing sin that on the surface looks worse than Esau. David’s repentance was directed toward restoring the lost relationship with God (Ps. 51). He wanted a “right heart” with God, whereas Esau sought a lost benefit which was selfish in his repentance.

      Anyone who thinks they cannot be restored to God after sin need only consider that repentance is purely an act of turning back to right relationship with God, and not an attempt to “unring a bell” of sin we committed to get rid of the shame we feel. When i sin and others see my sin am I more concerned about my lost reputation (shame based), or more concerned about my lost relationship with God. Nothing is more important than our relationship with God and within that understanding and knowledge should come true repentance that seeks to find peace with God.

    • John Gardner

      Tonight as I was thinking these things, I began to pray to God once again for deliverance and for the healing of my soul. I realized that I began to have a thought that was something like gladness over what I had done. This to I confessed although I think this is disgusting and horrible, and I don’t know why I had this feeling I detest it, but my focus on the feeling may have made it stronger. As I prayed, I began to hear a voice that said, “do you think I will pay the price again for you, no you will have to pay for what you have done.” Also, “I heard the same voice say, “I will judge you.” When all this was happening I felt as if my soul was imploding on itself, and that the destruction of my soul was happening already. This felt like a panic attack, but much much worse. If anyone is examining their life right no, and realizing that the warnings of the Bible apply to you. struggle with all of your heart against sin. I think it is too late for me, but I am hopeful for better things concerning some of you who may still have a chance. Please do not get discouraged in reading this. John Bartell, I do understand what you are going through, but maybe there is hope for those of us who are in this state. My commitment now is to fight through the discouragement, and try to live as Jesus taught us to live, to give kidness and love to others, to connect with people, and to show others the same love we have all been shown. Is that not the Holy command Jesus gave his apostles before he went away? He says to love eachother as I have loved you. Loving God with all of your heart is a concious choice, but how does one persist in such a noble command? How can I who have been so unfaithful even begin to show love? Why does love have to be so difficult? Because it is the most rewarding thing we can have. To love God is to live, but what I have done leads to death. I give thanks to God for pulling me out of my destruction many times, and I hope to be brought to love God more…

      • Katii

        I feel bad for everyone who feels GOD will leave them at some point. Esau, sought to kill Jacob after he “repented”??? No! He seems to have never repented, he only wanted back the blessings (inheritance) from something he despised (his calling?? Or family lineage?) Many want to be saved and get into heaven but despise CHRSTianity which calls for repentance which HE will forgive if we do that! John Bartell, you seem to keep asserting that GOD is not capable of forgiving sin. That is the reason JESUS came here and HIS work, on our behalf, was not in vain no matter what a person does. If you belive GODS word then belive this…Romans 11;29 for the gifts (salvation) and calling of GOD are without repentance. I pray for us all to feel the joy and security of salvation and that we will seek to be close to HIM which makes us see our sins more and more and receive HIS blessings more and more as we are changed!

    • Billy

      And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob. (Genesis 27:41 KJV)

      I don’t see repentance from Esau. Repentance is to turn from what you’ve done. Honestly it seems the author of Hebrews doesn’t understand repentance. Esau may have been sorry that he could not be blessed, but in seeking his own posterity there is not repentance.

    • Lorilie

      To William and John Gardner. I am beginning to feel that I can relate to you both. Maybe the three of us can be of encouragement and prayer to each other. Lets continue to seek Him. Together. God is still good. My email address is [email protected]

    • Lorilie

      To both William and john. Please note that you are both anxiety stricken. Call out to The Lord. “For all who come to Him He will in wise cast out”. Pour out your heart and soul to the Father. Remember the Farher in te story of the prodigal son? That’s The Lord. I will pray for you both.

      • Katii

        The father in the prodigal son also gave his son the signet ring (authority to do business on fathers behalf?) and the best family robe (honor given back?) and shoes (servants had no shoes, sons did?)
        The prodigal son spent his earthly inheritance but the father restored him back to himself, the family and the people in the city.. The prodigal never lost his sonship. The father was watching and waiting for his son to return to him. The son repented and the father forgave. Praise GOD!

    • Lorilie

      To William and to john.

      Great book by an old preacher named Horatius Bonar called Gods Way of Peace.

      Get it. Read it. Study it. Pray over what you read. God truly is merciful.

    • Jacob

      Hello, my name is Jacob.
      I am 18.
      I am struggling with this.
      I don’t have a solid Biblical foundation, I don’t know where to start. I believe Jesus is real and died for my forgiveness, but I don’t know much else aside from that. I’m so lost and confused.
      I know I need to repent. And I’ve tried. But I’ve grievously sinned over and over, despite knowing it was wrong. Convicted while doing the sin, I kept going anyway. I’m so scared, so depressed, so kfjasdlkfjasdg that I’m losing all will power on what to do or even keep fighting.
      I recently encountered someone who introduced me into Andrew Wommack and Bill Johnson teachings, but many people say they are apostate.
      I’ve read Spurgeon, and he believes in OSAS.
      I’ve read the Holiness preachers who don’t believe in OSAS.
      I’m so confused. I’m scared of myself. I hate myself. I go back to the sin even WHILE reading, praying, and seeking repentance. I don’t know what to do. I hear about God’s love, but then read the OT and see how he killed people in an instant. I look at the story of Ananias and Saphira. I’m so scared, yet at the sametime, I can feel I’m starting to not care anymore, like there’s no hope, because there’s way too many interpretations. I’ve had people tell me, “Just seek Jesus” but how do I know who Jesus is? With all these interpretations, people telling me that spiritual encounters aren’t necessarily the Spirit of God, how am I supposed to know? With all these denominations? With all my grievant, evil, smacking-God-in-the-face sin? How do I repent? Get eternal life? Get hope? I’m so lost..help me..please.

      • Katii

        Scripture proves scripture. Do NOT rely on man to tell you what GOD says. GOD said HE is the only one who will show us spiritual things. You can rely on the people who say just seek HIS word. Read HIS words. HE is the word and the way (for everyone) and the light (to pull you out of this darkness) You need to trust in HIM and HIM alone! May your heart find comfort in HIM and seek HIS word as if looking for hidden treasure! See you in Heaven! .

    • James

      Hi Jacob,
      Read Romans 7, v 14-25. Paul, a man used mightily by God describes himself as a wretched man due to the struggles with sin he experienced. Sanctification (being made more Holy) is a lifelong process which is not completed in this life.
      The fact that you are seeking Jesus is a great sign- Jesus said that none could come to Him unless His Father had gave them to Him.

    • thulani KONA

      I am a bit saddened by how quickly people accept the analysis give-is it because they believe in sinning with the knowledge that they can still seek repentance which will be accepted.
      Let us consider Judas Iscariot ,he also sought repentance and it was not accepted, while God is forgiving ,we choose to to forget that in Hebrews 6:4 it is clearly stated that seeking repentance after having basked in Gods glory is impossible because there is no guarantee that you cannot go back to your vomit and you crucify Christ again
      If you are in a marriage and your wife runs away with another man what chances would you give her again bearing in mind no guarantee is available to say she wont run away again
      So, because of our love for sin we immediately accept an explanation of Hebrews 12:17 as not referring to repentance so we can continue to sin with the assurance that when we are now old and tired of the world and have no energy to work for God we can come back to die in Gods arms sounds like -indulgence to me

    • James

      The Bible doesn’t say that Judas showed repentance towards God, he displayed remorse and tried to atone towards men by giving back the money. I seriously doubt that anyone here is attempting to useany interpretation as some sort of licence to sin or indulgence which would be completely unbiblical

    • Richard Oth

      All great comments from sincere Christians. Consider this, however: when Noah was safely ensconced within the ark and the door was slammed shut; seven days later the rain started to fall, the water started to rise, and people were outside banging on the door in deep repentance begging to come in, why didn’t God put everything on hold and save them? Here is what I believe is the answer to them and to Esau. Repentance is first and foremost the acknowledgement that God is king of your life and you kneel in full submission to Him. Next, it is the abandonment of sin. Esau pursued the second aspect but refused to be in submission to God. Same applies to the people outside the ark, to whom Noah preached 120 years. Same to the people trying to get in to the New Jerusalem when the fires are falling. If we believe that God saves us on the basis of what we do then salvation is by works. If we believe God and submit to His kingship of our lives, which includes our willingness to abhor known sin in our lives, then salvation is of faith.
      It’s always wonderfully challenging to find the answer to difficult texts but we need to let the final arbiter be the character of God. Esau failed to avail himself of the character of God and won’t, I fear, be found among the saved.

    • William

      It’s been 6+ months since I last posted. I wish I could say that things have gotten better, i.e., that I’ve found spiritual relief in the Lord, but it hasn’t. As time goes on and I see the genuine joy of true believers around me, as I lose my mental faculties due to unrelenting, severe depression (due to the belief that I have apostatized), and my inability to have true godly sorrow in spite of crying out to God every sleepless night, I live in a state of continual despair. I can’t concentrate on any task or on anyone else– all I can think of is what kind of eternal horrors are waiting for me. Whenever I take a drink of water, I think of how I will never get it in hell. Whenever I experience any kind of heat or hear others talk about hot weather, I think about how it is nothing compared to what I will be experiencing in hell. I sometimes go into an inner room and turn out the lights to see what total darkness will be like, knowing it’s nothing compared to the eternal darkness I’m headed for. My greatest regrets are assuming all the time I was saved at an early age (3 years-old), not recognizing that, although very gifted and knowledgeable of the Bible (Ph.D in New Testament), I did not exemplify the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5, nor the qualities of 2 Peter 1. The popularity of my ministries and the accolades I received also aided in deceiving me into assuming I was saved. But I was self-deceived, sinning heedlessly with no real fear of God. I can hardly open my Bible now as every time I do all that speak to me are judgment passages concerning the wicked and the descriptions of the wicked. I had much light, was a staunch biblicist and defender of the inspiration, sufficiency and authority of the Scriptures and of the fundamentals of the faith (which I still believe all), but realize more every day that it was always, only in my head, not my heart. I’m falling apart in every way. It is indeed a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the…

    • James

      Hi William,
      I have been in a very similar state of despair to your own. A few years ago I had a ‘conversion’ experience which I later gleaned to be without reality. This was following years of also experiencing much light but not truly understanding the meaning of salvation through grace. Subsequently I was more like a pharisee with terrible hyprocisy, even though I was outwardly mostly pious. An experience where I failed to witness ccaused me to plunge in to despair as I realised my profession had been based on a decision to live a Christian life rather than seeking mercy personally from the Lord. This despair lasted for months, however I have found peace through trusting solely on Christ to deliver me from sin and on my personal relationship with Him. There cannot be salvation without conviction of sin and Christ came to save sinners. I would recommend John Newton’s biography by Richard Cecil

    • Stephanie

      William and John Bartlett,

      I have been in a state of utter despair for the past 1.5 years. Like you both described, I had deceived myself into thinking that I was saved when I really was not. I said the sinner’s prayer as a teenager, and subsequently began to read my Bible, knew by heart numerous scriptures, attended church regularly, and participated in several outreach ministries. As an adult, God began to convict me that I was not saved (that I needed Jesus). I argued with God that I had to be saved because of my prayer and all of the subsequent works. God continued to convict me, but I kept refusing to listen (I was too busy doing church work). It was only after the conviction to turn to Jesus stopped that I truly realized that I was lost. And now, like you both, I fear that I am permanently lost. I had abundant head knowledge but no heart knowledge. I feel like I am here on earth physically, but that my spirit died 1.5 years ago. I have no zeal for life, but am not eager for death. My family continues to tell me that I just need to call upon the Lord and He will hear me. They do not understand my utter hopelessness and why I can’t just turn back to God, especially since I was raised in church and appeared to be walking with God. I know that I am lost and I know that I need Jesus, but can not rid myself of this belief that I am no longer able to repent and that though I professed a love for God and others it was hypocrisy.

      I had never noticed how many passages in the Bible referred to the wicked, but now every time I open my Bible, that is all that jumps out. I truly feel like I am just beginning to experience the utter fear of falling into the hands of the living God.

    • Stephanie

      William,
      in response to your questions to John bartlett, i am offering my own responses as i find myself in the same terrifying state.

      1) I’m curious to know what is going on with you and how you are handling this.

      I am in utter despair. I have lost all zest for life. I quit my job in 2012 because i could not concentrate on work, all my thoughts are preoccupied with hell and damnation. I find it challenging to even complete the simplest daily tasks and even maintain personal hygiene. I barely communicate with my husband and family. They are true Christians that love The Lord. I feel like I have nothing in common with them and that everything that comes out of my mouth is a lie. How can I say I love them when I know that the love of God is not in me?

      Are you desiring God’s grace, true holiness in life, etc., but feeling no link with God?

      I m not sure how to answer this question. Yes, I desire God’s grace and to have fellowship with Him. I desire to be saved from my sins. But i must be lying because why would God have hardened my heart, unless He knew that I would never truly seek Him? I am so confused. I know that I am a sinner and that my sins are killing me and that Jesus is the only person that can save me. But I feel like there is an impossible barrier (my hard heart) that prevents me from turning to Jesus.

      Have you given up all hope?

      Yes. The conviction that I experienced as God was trying to draw me to Jesus and the finality when that conviction departed alongside the numerous scriptures in God’s word that warn of hardened heart, falling away, unpardonable sin all have me in a state of utter hopelessness. I feel like I am reading my Bible in vain, trying to reproduce the conviction that I once felt. But knowing deep down that that conviction can only come from God, not me and that He gave me numerous chances and i rejected them. pharisees searched scripture looking for eternal life, but Jesus told them He is life.

      • Charles

        Stephanie you say that your husband is a true Christian. This verse may help;
        1 Corinthians 7:14
        For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

      • Clint

        Email me at clintvarner.com please. I’m
        Going through this too. Can you not feel conviction?

    • William

      Everyday life is getting more difficult. My godly wife is able to see God’s goodness in every circumstance, while it’s as if I have blinders on. I feel like I’m in several vicious cycles. One is as I feel hopelessly headed to hell, I become more and more preoccupied with myself and less and less able to think of others. This terrible, empty self-absorbtion is the fruit of my ways for loving myself for so long instead of really loving God with all my heart and others as myself. But how to get my mind off myself and onto others escapes me as I think about what is awaiting me. I have also allowed the depression over all this to cause me to become very lazy. Also, whereas I used to be a very confident person (probably overly confident), I’ve lost all confidence as I don’t feel the Lord’s presence with me. I feel like everything I do goes wrong or is doomed to failure, the result of realizing the absence of God, who give all ability. I was such a fool– only now do I realize that the infinitely most wonderful blessing is to have a genuine, vital relationship with Jesus Christ. I foolishly let the things of this world gain value in my heart. Now I see the sheer vanity of these things. I am in anguish over my stupidity– having so much light, but not living in the reality of it in my heart. I find myself continually desiring to go back in time, to points where I should have realized that I did not really belong to Christ and repent, but there is no going back. Still, even in this despair, I continue to cry out to God during the sleepless hours of the night (and during the day as well), hoping that His grace and lovingkindness and mercy will triumph over my sinfulness and hard-heartedness. I know God is good and that this is all the result of my own sinful heart, but in spite of this I find myself struggling not to become bitter over this. I know it is the epitome of foolishness to be angry at God– my heart is so wicked. God, help me! You are my…

      • Kane

        I was told to partipate in holy communion regularly

    • Stephanie

      William,

      I find myself in the same state of mind and utter despair. I know you said that you cry out to God, so I wondered if you still read your Bible and/or attend church? (I do, but only find terror and fear in reading the Bible and feel like a true hypocrite while in church. But I know that Jesus is the only way…oh if only my evil, unbelieving heart would believe.)

      Do you find that everywhere that you go or look that you see Christ or Christians? I don’t know how I could have been so blind. It seems that everywhere I go now I see the icathys or an empty cross, or a scripture verse, or a billboard that says “God listens”, or a Christian thanking God for His love and mercy. I want to believe that there is still hope for me, but in my heart i believe that God is mocking me. (Proverbs 1 -because you would not listen, nor have any or my reproof, I will laugh at your calamity and will mock you when terror strikes you.)

      Have you lost all hope or do you believe that perhaps God will have mercy on you?

      Stephanie

    • William

      Yes, I am experiencing all the same things you mentioned in your post. Several have said that I could not have apostatized or I wouldn’t still be seeking after God. When I mention the Esau passage or Prov. 1, they dismiss it as I’m taking it out of context (and that I’m being proud/arrogant for not listening to what everyone is trying to tell me).

      Like you, I struggle with the idea of God’s rejection and mocking. When I even hint at this with anyone, they counter with God’s unfailing love and it’s not His will that any should perish and that He will not cast out anyone who comes to Him. I find myself trying to force myself to believe what they are saying– but I can’t get rid of the hardness I physically feel in my heart. When I mention this, the response is that I’m letting my feelings control me over truth or that I am trying to blame this all on God. But then I feel worse because I know I’ll be held accountable for my thoughts and words about Him.

      One of the many preacher/theologian friends I have talked with about this (and there have been many over the past 1.5 years) told me, “If I go, go clinging to the cross”. As many have told me, Satan is wreaking havoc with my mind. Sometimes I feel I have lost all hope. I can’t say that I believe God will have mercy on me, but I do still hope for it. As my dear wife keeps reminding me, “God is good”. I must combat any tendency of bitterness toward Him that I know Satan is trying to stir up, with that truth– God is good. Because He’s good, it’s not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and that He will freely forgive the wicked if they will turn from their ways and thoughts (Isa. 55). He is merciful. He waits for the prodigal to return. He wants us to repent. As my wife keeps telling me, I must concentrate on those truths rather than the negative ones Satan is trying to use to stir up bitterness. Such stirring up we know can’t be from God. I…

    • Susan

      I have struggled with the same issues but I know that God is working on me!! For 3 years I have struggled. But God has pointed out scripture for me and I hope this helps anyone here that is dealing with the same despair as I have;

      John 6:44
      2nd Chronicles 7:14
      Isaiah 1:18
      Matthew 16:18- Where Jesus asks his desciples who people say he is and then asks Peter who he says he is and Peter says you are the Christ and Jesus then tells him , Blessed are you Peter because you did not come up with this from yourself but because God the Father has revealed it to you (not exact qoute) In other words : If your eyes are open to your sin and your need for forgiveness , its not you randomly seeing this but God the Father Drawing you , now refer to John 6:44!

      Do not give up, Satan is seeking who he may devour. He does not want to lose a good sinner!! Just like any major league team about to lose their best player will do all they can to keep them, so will Satan. Do not give up. Keep studing God’s prescious word and keep praying. He has promised all who seek him WILL find him and God can not lie!!

      Now, I know what you are talking about when you say every time you read the Bible all you get out of it is warnings/punishements etc. I was the same way. however I kept on , and on and on and I can say that finally I am seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel” Am I 100% where I want to be with God? No. But I can see his hand at work in my heart and that in itself after 3 years of despair has me excited. Now , God is not a respector of Persons. So if he and he is, doing this for me, he will do it for you.

    • Brother Stumblefoot

      Oh my–These poor folks need some good Bible teaching. What suffering they are going through because they have such a limited view of “who God is” and “what He has done.”

      Get rid of all this trying to save yourselves and listen to the message of His grace through the cross! If it is all up to you or me, or anyone else, we might as well forget it, it can’t be done that way.

      Oh how you need sound Bible teaching, and to get away from all the “helpers” and teachers who want you to work your way into Heaven. When God saves you by His grace, He will never cast you aside, never! No way!

      Much of the Book of Hebrews falls into a different context than what you are in, you’re not Esau, and you’re not locked out of God’s presence; God actually does love you, and His love has teeth in it. Will you dare to believe God is so much bigger, so much more loving, so much more able and eager to save you than you’ve ever imagined!

      I’ve been almost where you are now and good Bible teaching was the tool He used to bring me out of that horrible pit.

    • dale

      Dear Lord, I pray with my whole heart that the people who have posted here and feel they have lost their salvation…or were never saved, realize that Your love and grace is abundant for all who desire the salvation You sent through Christ Jesus. That they realize and understand that the doubts they have are normal in this spiritual warfare we all battle. Please let them have the peace that passes all understanding that they are saved by merely believing and that it is religious piety that is keeping them “feeling” the way they do…or perhaps, depression/mental illness (which is not a sin..the brain can become ill just like any other part of the body).. I beg You Lord to come over them like a calm wave and that they will soon see that religion is not what saves anyone…but the simple faith of knowing Jesus as Your Son. Let them know again and again that they have power over Satan…as Jesus did when he was tempted…..they can tell him to flee and he will. Sin is in all of us because of the fall of mankind and because they realize this….all is not lost. There is hope in knowing our weaknesses. I ask that You help them dress in the whole armor of God so they can defeat the enemy. He is the cause of their grief and loving how he has made them think and feel. You did not make salvation impossible. Jesus came to save not condemn. I pray they can overcome what has them thinking they are not saved. I ask all of this in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen

    • William

      Thanks for the encouragement– it helps! Susan, I’m wondering if you can elaborate a bit more on how you are seeing God work in your heart after such a long time of despair. During those 3 years did you doubt that you were a true believer? Did you think you had hardened your neck beyond repair? Did you find yourself at times bitter in your heart towards God, even though you were struggling against it because you knew in your head that you were responsible and that He is good and righteous and no one can bring a just charge against Him? These are matters I wrestle with, among others. Thanks.

    • ChiefBackslider

      Guys im also in a state of discomfort but all who are like that should check David Wilkerson’s “the awful consequences of backsliding”i know the title is not attractive but the sermon is really good
      If youre struggling with assurance God bless you all

    • Susan

      During this, yes I had thoughts come to my mind that , maybe Jesus was not real but quickly dismissed them as I knew that was not true. How can I deny the one who saved me so long ago? In the end , I knew in my heart I believed, if I did not why would I be bothered? I have, however, worried that I may have hardened my heart beyond all hope. I pleaded with God to undo the hardness of the lie that I have allowed to enter into my heart of not being able to be forgiven. My mind accepted the scriptures I gave in my last post but it was my heart still failing me to believe it. We both know that , salvation is by Grace through Faith. We believe with our hearts not our minds. So that is the problem that I , you and many others are struggling with. Satan , upon the moment that we was convicted of our sinful living and was repentant toward God, pounced on us. When we came back to Christ, we did not automatically start back where we left off. We have to rebuild our relationship with him. Therefore we are weak and Satan was able to lay that lie in our heart and we have believed it. (Good to refer to the parable Jesus gave of the seeds and the various grounds they fell on)We Can not deny that we have believed the lie otherwise this would of just been a passing thought and would not of tormented us. So what do we do now that we see the problem? Scripture , the entire bible, talks of repetance and forgiveness. Peter asked Jesus – How often shall we forgive a brother who sins against us? Jesus says 70×7 in other words always. Jesus would not command us to be so forgiving if he is not. He is our leader and we are to follow and be like him.

      So here is the solution. First lets see what we can do about our Faith that seems to be damaged. Without faith salvation is impossible.

      Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      Stay in the word of God. I have and am repeatedly reading over the scriptures that talk of forgiveness, (continued)

    • Susan

      specifically forgiveness after sinning.

      Prodigal Son
      Near the Entire O.T. Israel kept going away from God and worshipping idols, fornicating etc. God kept pleading with them to repent , showing mercy upon their return.

      Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

      Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

      Then again ,

      John 6:44 – Your heart is troubled. Conviction by the Holy Spirit has come , you want to repent , and Satan has pounced.

      Btw, lets just go on and agree that God never does anything for no reason. God would not send the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin if He would not forgive you!

      Lastly,

      Revelations 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove they candlestick out of his place, except (EXCEPT) thou repent.

      Here we have the Angels of the seven churches and Christ is pointing out the sin in the Church. He tells the church of Ephesus that He has seen all the good they did but He had something against them! They had left their first love (Christ) (vs 4) and he tells them REPENT or I will remove your candlestick out of its place (Jesus Christ is the light without Christ we have no light). Jesus would not forgive them and not forgive us. Conviction on our heart, our seeing our sin and need for forgiveness is evidence we can be restored.

    • Susan

      “…let him turn to the Lord…for he will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
      “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely…” (Hosea 14:4)

      Not to keep going on and on. I just can relate to people here and I do not believe I finished answering William’s question to me.

      How can I see God working in my heart? Because I am believing that I can recieve forgiveness. It is God that changes our hearts, not ourselves. Only God can perform the miracle of saving a sinner. Without God, we would never acknowledge our need for Christ or believe to come to him.

      It is a HARD road back William. However just as David prayed for forgiveness in Psalms 51 and trusted God to do so, we too can have assurance that God will heal our backslidings and restore us.

    • Dan

      I take the Esau reference in Hebrews to be eschatological in context. I think it may mean that at the final judgment, some will want to suddenly repent but find their situations irreversible. Others have done a good job at pointing out why faith has to be recoverable (also James 5:19-20).

    • William

      Thank you, Susan. In spite of my desire and often determined resolutions to repent of my sin ways of thinking and selfishness, I still keep continuing to fail. I keep reminding myself of the passages you mention above, but I can’t escape the reality that I keep failing, especially and primarily in loving God and others more than myself. It’s become such a mind-game. How can I get these things from my head into my heart? Only God’s Spirit can work these things into my heart. I cry out for Him to do that, but I keep failing on my part. I’m curious– are you able to function basically or do you battle severe depression to the point that you feel dysfunctional? Do you have a hard time reading Scripture and going to church? Thanks again– it does help to talk with someone who’s gone/going through something of the same thing.

    • Susan

      William, you are at the place where you know now that scripture tells you , you can come back to God, yet your heart does not believe it only your mind. This is probably the hardest part of it all……..waiting on God. Our faith had/has been damaged and it needs to be repaired. You said it yourself, only God can do that. How can God do this though? What IS our part? Reading God’s word. Fellowshipping with other believers. Remember , faith comes by hearing the word of God , whether by preaching or by you reading it yourself. We do our part by reading God’s word and going to church, God does the rest.

      Yes I have many of times thought, what is the point in going to church, what is the point of reading the Bible. My doctor even prescribed me anti-depressants which I did not take cause I knew the root of my depression was spiritual and no medicine made by man was going to help it.

      Now you just stay in the word and keep going to church even when you do not want to do it. We do have a enemy. As long as he has you not reading the Bible and not attending church he is winning. Convide in your pastor , or find a church so you have a pastor if you have not already. That is a pastor’s job. A reason God appointed them to be the shepard of the church. Obviously not THE shepard that is Christ. (rabbit trail sorry) –

      You said it best, “How do I get it into my heart not into my head”. That is part of the miracle God does when he restores someone to him. Only God can do it. He just told us how to go about it. Stay in God’s word , stay in Church. I will pray for you, you pray for me and God will show up. He is faithful.

      I appologize how long it took me to reply , I had internet issues.

    • ChiefBacksliderandsinner

      Hi brothers and sisters,everyone who is struggling to get back to the Lord should search on youtube “God and the Universe” by user John 3:16 and watch that video.IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!! SHALOM

    • William

      Susan: I’m curious how you are doing. Do you sense that the Lord is restoring you? I have gone through some very rough days lately. Last night I struggled with some very dark thoughts about God that I know from Scriptures is not true (He is good, love, holy, etc.). I know Satan is trying to drag me down a path of bitterness and worldly sorrow– a path I do not want to go down. I am reading Scripture and continuing to go to church, although it has become spotty and admittedly for selfish reasons rather than to glorify God.

    • Simon

      Hi Susan,

      I’ve been reading this article and all of the comments people have made. I must admit it was depressing seeing the comments where people just gave up hope.

      I’m currently seeking help from a couple in my church here in London, England, but I thought I would send you a quick message on here because I can relate to you.

      I am struggling quite a bit with this myself and so if it doesn’t sound to weird, do you mind sending me an email so we could talk more? My email address is: [email protected]

      Many thanks,

      Simon

    • Susan

      William, thank you for asking about me. I am doing good. Yes, I know that the Lord is restoring me. I know this because otherwise , I would not been made broken over my sin. Likewise, I know that God is dealing with you, otherwise you would not be broken over yours. Sin blinds us. God, has removed our blinders to see our sin and need for forgiveness. That is one of the 3 things Christ said that the Holy Spirit would do. 1. Convict of Sin. 2. Convict of Righteousness and 3. Convict of Judgement.

      Without the Holy Spirit , we would have no concern for the way we had been living…..but now William, we have been fretting because we see our sin and need for forgiveness, we know and are again aware of the judgement to come

      We also know God is not going to send his Holy Spirit to convict us of these things if he was not also willing to forgive and pardon them. God does not waste time or effort. If we have gone too far, the Holy Spirit would not strive with us.

      The problem William is we allowed satan to put a seed of doubt in us and we have allowed it to grow and take root. We need to root up the unbelief and allow faith to take its place. – Easier said than done, yes I agree. It is possible as again, the Holy Spirit has dealt and or is dealing with us.

    • TIM

      Please keep me in your prayers. A couple months ago while reading the Bible it was like the veil of the meaning of the scriptures was lifted. I was drawn to Hebrews 10:26 and it seemed that immediately I was convicted. I went forward at 11 years of age and was led by the spirit to do so. I then fell away gradually into sin but later returned to church, but now i feel that i was only attending church because it was what my family did and what i had grown up doing. Part of my family believes that you cannot lose your salvation (once saved do what you want type), but i know now that is not possible. I feel like my prayers bounce off the ceiling and the more I try the worse my thoughts get. I will keep you all in my prayers that you have not sinned beyond repentance. I feel that only a miracle can repair my relationship with God.

    • Susan

      Tim, your right only a miracle can repair your relationship with God,however, a miracle has to happen to repair anyones relationship with God or even begin one period. We can not change our hearts , only God can. If you have not already , I encourage you to read through these posts that I have posted. Do not give up and let Satan decieve you. You feel like your prayers are hitting the ceiling cause of the doubt you have within you. Do not let that doubt take root. I will also be praying for you Tim. As you can see, you are not alone. 🙂 I can put a smile cause I know God is working on you Tim and you are not beyond hope!

    • TIM

      Susan,
      thanks for the reply. strange feeling to be sure of something beyond a shadow of a doubt and not be able to do anything about it.

    • BT

      Hey guys, I just wanted to say that I too have wrestled with this and by reading all the comments have both “triggered” the anxiety that I have dealt with for three years and been encouraged by you guys’ perseverance. William (and I’m sure others on here), let me tell you that I have struggled with the same things you are talking about. I was seeking a good sermon on repentance 3 years ago and stumbled on a John Piper sermon on this subject, had a panic attack from the condemnation and haven’t been the same since. I have obsessed over the things you’re talking about, like the motives for my repentance, how selfishness corrupts every motive I have, wondering if I truly love Jesus, and why these things are so hard. I have gotten to the point that it is hard to go to church and read the bible, as you often encounter scripture that is easy to interpret as condemning. I regularly wrestle with finding the strength to take that risk. And yes, I struggle against bitter feelings towards God that I simply must deny and not embrace. It is extremely painful. Nothing is worse than feeling comfort and relief and immediately thinking “oh this is just an emotional high and means nothing.” One of the many lies Satan tells is that you’re alone in this stuff, and you’re not.

      I am with Susan (and am grateful) for her encouragement from the Word, and I just want to add some other things, just in case anyone is encouraged. I know what the passages in Hebrews say, but you have to look at the rest of the Word. Do you ever see Jesus turn anyone away that seek Him? I don’t. Yes some walk away from Him, but we can say with Peter “Where else can we go?” (Not the best motives there from Peter, btw!) God makes it very clear that if you seek Him you will find Him. And he who comes to Jesus, He will in no wise (literally “never, never”) cast out. It brings me some comfort just to write that. Romans 7 is also comforting to me as Paul — Paul! — talks about the war between his…

    • David

      William,

      One more thing. The verses from Proverbs you quote… Please find comfort in the fact you are not interpreting them correctly. Proverbs is not saying God laughs at you and mocks you. The speaking voice in Proverbs is wisdom. Solomon took the concept of knowledge and wisdom and personifies them as a teaching tool. When you mess up, wisdom laughs and mocks you, because you should have known better. Think about the practical application. We feel foolish all the time when we look back at mistakes in retrospect. It is not talking about God at all. God’s mercies are renewed every morning. I know it’s tough, but try to start believing that. Also, if you were reprobate, you would have no clue, you would be numb to your sins and lack of relationship with God. Your eyes would be scaled. You would not see God’s truth all around you. Now that you see Him everywhere, it’s not because he is mocking you, it’s because He wants you to see Him.

    • Gabriel

      There is a prescription for forgiveness, restoration and healing in the bible. Particularly in Hebrews where he speaks on chastisement and how afterwards it yields righteousness…etc. If you follow those verses you’ll notice that it says to” make straight paths for your feet” and that which is out of joint or lamed…it should be healed. This can refer to any type of sickness acquired through the sinning cycles.

      The healing isn’t always instantaneous…but will come Psalm 103.3.

      Hosea chapter 6 talks about God restoring Ephraim of their sickness and restoring their salvation after they had committed whoredom and idolatry. They couldn’t get help from the doctors because God had afflicted them and only God could heal them. There is a prescription there also.

      Also one must hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:26

      One of the things the Lord has dealt with me with pertaining healing after a cycle of sin is that we must not only cut off the external weeds (sin) but must dig out the root (sin) that is contributing to the problem and totally delete it from our lives. Realize what is has done to you and despise it.

      Stumbling over and over is caused by only cutting off the external weeds through repentance. We go back and back to the sin because the root was still there and in time will sprout. Kill the roots.

    • William

      As time goes on, so does my struggle. My thinking has become so convoluted. Although I would love to be able to believe, as others do about me, that I’m saved but just struggling, I feel like I’m continuing to slide downhill. I ask the Lord to save me at least once a day, try to convince myself I believe, but then don’t see any change. I’m shocked at my own lack of integrity, but realizing that it was always lacking– it’s just that my eyes are open to it now. It’s increasingly harder for me to be around believers who do exhibit Christlike integrity and the resulting joy. Although my wife is still sweet and loving toward me, it’s hard to see her be able to enjoy the fellowship of believers and worship the Lord from her heart as I look on longingly. My depression worsens as I watch others around me prospering in different ways, while I deteriorate. I battle coveteousness now more than ever before (although I realize they are reaping good things from what they’ve sown and I’m reaping the bad things that I’ve sown). This depresses me even more as I know the Scriptures say the coveteous will not inherit the kingdom. I continue to wither. I have a low-paying, entry-level job now– and battle bitterness about doing this at my age with my level of education. I try to accept this humbly and ask the Lord to help, but I can’t get past my pride. Even with this job I am performing poorly because I am so distracted and dissatisfied with it. I feel like my manhood has been zapped out of me as I continue to dwell on myself instead of sacrificially loving my family. Oh, how I wish I would have listened to the wisdom of the Bible when I still had time, but I feel like I hardened my neck after too many reproofs and now I am beyond remedy. I feel like all I’m doing is waiting for judgment day– and heaping up more condemnation while I’m waiting as I continue to fail to respond godly in thought, attitudes, actions, etc.. God, please help me.

      • Peter

        Dear John Bartell, John Gardner, William, Maggie, Stephanie, and others here who are hurt and struggling in their salvation,

        I had been running away from the LORD because there were certain sins in my life that I found too difficult to repent of, and knew that God was pushing me to change. I had been a strong Christian walking faithfully for almost 7 years and was free from pornography and many things in the world. There was something however that I think God was trying to push me to which was too hard and to which I refused. I eventually tried to push God away, finding His task too hard, just like Jonah. However in doing so, losing the true vine, I eventually fell into pornography and sinful ways of before, and felt completely unable to repent. I was completely free for almost 7 years. And in falling into pornography, I threw away my entire Christian testimony.

        My sin was getting deeper and more dangerous every day to the point where I felt it’s all over and hopeless. I must’ve blasphemed in a horrific way such that there is no more repentance. I could not find myself to trust Jesus with all my heart. In my desperation I googled a topic on blasphemy of the Spirit and came to this forum and all your posts. Your experiences lifted me up temporarily because I knew I was not alone. My pain however continued to deepen more and more, I really don’t have a whole of time here to post the crazy ride the Lord put me through, although if you’re interested I am freely willing to share with you through email.

        What I realized however, in the midst of my unwillingness to repent and my “hardened heart” is something fascinating about the gospel, which came to me through a sermon by Dr. Piper and as well just now a sermon called “Free will of the wind”.

        The reason it feels impossible to repent is that it really is impossible. I think you are experiencing the ultimate reality of every human being. It is impossible to believe and repent, or come to salvation through trying really hard in self determination. Rather, the Holy Spirit freely enters into a person and grants them faith and repentance. Our repentance is first and foremost the Holy Spirit moving in us to do as He wants, so that we freely do exactly what we want because He changes our desires.

        I realized that if my salvation is anything short of unconditional election and irresistable grace, then I am lost and hopeless.

        I read all of your posts originally in my despair. Now I read it again having a little better understanding of the gospel. See, I thought I was a Calvinist for my first 6 years of Christian life, but I just understood now a little bit more of what grace really means. I think none of you are truly “hardened beyond repentance”, but God has allowed you to become so hopeless, so that you can really understand why the Gospel is the good news. It is completely free, and the election is unconditional.

        All of your posts are very much slanted in one direction: what can I “do” in order to change myself. I can give some examples:

        “I feel like I am reading my Bible in vain, trying to reproduce the conviction that I once felt.”

        “I would give everything to read the bible one more time. to repent just one more time. to pray with all my heart one more time. To listen to one more sermon. PLEASE, if you are reading this and can still do those things, do so as if tonight was you last night one earth. With all the joy in the world. You will never understand how horrible this is, but it fully reminds me (constantly) how great the salvation that I took for granted was”

        “Are you desiring God’s grace, true holiness in life, etc., but feeling no link with God.”

        The worry in these posts is all of the flavor “do you feel this” or “can you do them”. Other posts and examples show the same thing: “how can I do these things” or “how can I myself with my willpower put my head knowledge into my heart”

        My brothers and sisters, this is not what the Gospel is about, and it is certainly not good news. It is not good news for me at least, to know that my salvation hinges on what I do or feel. Rather, it is that, just as the wind is free and blows where it pleases and you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going, so also is everyone born of the Spirit. God completely saves and my repentance is the result of His Spirit freely choosing to work and move in me. It is all of grace.

        I’m not the greatest at explaining the Gospel, but I could not help but to try one more time reaching out to you all, though this post comes several months late. Right now, my soul is not perfect in peace, but I understand the Gospel a little bit better and it is helping me a lot. I felt compelled to try and reach to you, those in my subject, and anyone else on this forum struggling, because I know exactly your pain. And indeed as John Bartell said, this is the worst state in existence to be in. It feels like you are predestined to hell. But God has opened your eyes to see spiritual reality, and you did not come to this forum for no reason. You came with a broken spirit, and that is exactly the sacrifice of God. I pray you may understand the Gospel of God’s grace more clearly, and He will sovereignly open your eyes to see why this gospel is truly good news – God freely gives, it is not your working or feeling.

        Here are the two sermons that helped me. I really pray you would listen to the second one.

        Christian, Know Whose You Are – http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/christian-know-whose-you-are

        The Free Will of the Wind – http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/the-free-will-of-the-wind

        I really pray you all may understand the free gospel of God’s grace, and that in your sufferings God may lead you to experience that in a deep personal way. I wanted to reach out to some of you here, and since I don’t know your information, I am leaving my email and phone numbers here in case you ever read this message and wanted to talk:

        [email protected]
        1-647-938-3772 (I live in Toronto, Canada)

        Peter

    • Jonathan

      Thank you for clearing this up – it was a question mark in my mind, until something brought it up again today, and I found your explanation. Also, I figured the NET Bible might have done a better job and discovered indeed it had.

    • emanuel

      My friends, Turn to Jesus. He will Forgive you. Jesus Loves you. Thank You Lord Jesus.

    • emanuel

      Hello. If anyone can talk to me I would appreciate it. I am completely alone, I committed this sin of Esau. I can’t seem to give up completely though- something seems to stop me. Sometimes when I tell Jesus how much I Love Him I think I can feel The Holy Spirit but then this always seems temporary. I can’t even get out of my house most of the time. Perhaps someone can answer this; God Bless you Always.

    • Maggie

      Ohhhhhhhhhh William
      I couldn’t believe all the things you wrote !
      It is everything I am experiencing !
      ….. so I won’t explain it, as you’ve done a great job of expressing the problem.

      Every morning, the very first second of consciousness, my heart is stabbed with such fear that I want to die. But of course I am too afraid to die.
      Depression and fear are overwhelming every day.
      I cannot function, withdrawing from family and friends because I can’t think.

      All I see in the bible is condemnation. I get afraid to even read it. And the most fearsome thoughts in my head are when I get angry/bitter with God for the way he does things.
      Maybe stubbornness and pride are the sins that never seem to stop.
      I KNOW what I should be thinking … and my mind acknowledges the truth … but, as you said …
      HOW DOES ONE GET HEAD KNOWLEDGE INTO THE HEART?
      HOW DO I TRULY BOW IN SUBMISSION? I want to, I try to, I pray for God to help me.
      I pray every day for God to take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh.
      Sometimes I just feel cold and hollow inside.

      I am terrified that maybe I have a demon in me.
      Have you had those thoughts?

      Thank you Susan for the hope you given.
      Every day I am tempted to give up … but I cannot renounce my God … but will this ever end?
      I don’t know how long I can go on in this pain.

    • Deborah

      I don’t really think the passage about Esau needs to be very complicated – the verse speaks about how, when Esau was supposed to inherit the blessing, there was no repentance (it was Jacob who did not repent – Esau did regret.) In my opinion this speaks about when people on judgement day were SUPPOSED to inherit the blessing, because this is when the blessing is to be recieved, there is no more room for repentance even if you cry and beg for it – because God will not give us the birthright on judgement day, if we despised it in the earthly life. The Jews who apostatized did so as a way of life – they had decided not to follow Christ any more, the point of the author of Hebrews was to make it clear that if you leave Christ on earth, there is no way you will inherit the blessing on that last day. As Esau would not be able to receive the blessing when the day came for him to get it, we will not be able to receive the blessing of eternal life on judgement day if we rejected it THROUGH our entire earthly life.

      This is really how John Bunyan also saw the verse – there are millions in hell like Esau wishing to take back the birthright they sold, but there is no more repentance. In this case from God’s side (as from Jacob’s side).

    • Aaron

      I would like to start out by saying I have read everyone of these post and I relate totally to the unbelievable possibility that we are either for saken by God , due not being one of the elect,but happen to know about it, or have directly sinned in the face of God quinching his Holy Spirit thus performing a form of blasphemy and have fallen away to the point of no repentance I started in Christian school at kindergarten all the way through high school in a Christian school, Church camps in the summer revival meetings we were there every time the door was open, I made a small profession of faith while being in awanas at about six years of age maybe seven, I held onto that for some years until I got in high school and realized that I wasn’t truly a changed person or I didn’t have the spirit, we had a tent revival in 1991 I was in the ninth grade, some of the seniors in high school really got say and their transformation was real! I thought it then because of the drastic change but I know it now because the same people are still serving God some full time but all of them with diligence. I remember envying them as I wanted to experience the true conversion as they had. I got up from my seat at the revival and walk around the church praying to God asking him to reveal himself to me and change me from the inside out, several years past and several sermons made me realize that I want to God as a fixture to my life not the center I spoke with several preachers and counselors about this matter and then answer was simple as just believe just hold on to the fact that you asked and you are repentant. That is where I got stuck because I wanted to be truthfully repentance wanted to be godly sorrow but really couldn’t muster it up. Several more years past got involved in my business very busy got married at four children I was in a church service in 2004 and I remember praying to God just convict me one more time just make me know I am one of your children I will repent I will turn away I will serve you I will make you Lord of my life. I went for ward that day swallowed my pride with a lot of people knowing who I was in the fact that by all means they thought I was saved. To put it in a nutshell it was like I really had no choice but to hold on to this experience and consider it a conversion I wanted so bad to not be changed from my efforts but be truly changed by God enlightening me and putting his spirit to walk with me. But evidently that had to be lipservice because I went right back to my ways and then grew worse and worse, I would feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit correcting me here and there and I wasn’t sure if it was my old upbringing or if it truly was God nudging me this way or that. My reasoning behind this was the fact that I would feel guilty for certain things that only to learn later we’re not really even biblical so it couldn’t have been God nudging me it was the portion of my upbringing that made me feel guilty. For instance I would be convicted about some legalistic thing like going to the movies even if the movie was not totally worldly, but the fact that I had been brought up to never go to the movies I felt somewhat convicted; however I would also feel convicted on lustful type activities and evil thoughts lying greed etc.. And with all that being said just to give a background is not really my issue at hand, after I could not seem to have a Trueheart change I started looking into the predestination gospel, by the way I had been raised Baptist and somewhat freewheel choose to be Saved or choose to reject, I let my mind go deep into the Presbyterian predestination type experience and felt that I had the answer that I evidently had not been chosen and was not one of the elect. I would sway between really concerned about it especially upon hearing someone like RC sproll or John MacArthur, and then totally unworried about it too consumed with all my earthly obligations children business etc. from a rather early age I was consumed with lustful thoughts and Financial security! So to keep following this pattern I slipped into a situation where I was confronted with doing things that were wrong and being convicted about it knowing that I was doing wrong I did it anyway, there would be times when I was so convicted about it and then did it anyway only to have this complete utter guilt kind of like Judas, or E Saul, I would cry tears ask for forgiveness beg make Vouls etc. etc.! However to be quite honest again it must have been lipservice because I only was doomed to repeat these actions over and over again lamenting the same way each time! I even got to the point one time where I basically told myself if I keep doing these things I’m in danger of grieving the Holy Spirit or blasphemy! There might be some time in between but nevertheless I repeat the actions and then repent or let me say say I’m sorry and in my mind I was repenting with all I had but it couldn’t have been real because here I go again. I don’t know how to convey this on written text but to put it quite frankly it was a hopeless feeling situation and I can only believe that if God would get into my soul and change me that I would not be so drawn to this, is the reason I concluded that I was either not saved or I was not one of the elect and did not know how to come to true repentance and God salvation! All of this is over a decade of Eb and flow sometimes real bad sometimes in the Scriptures hearing every preaching sermon I could get a hold of everything I could do to make me in my efforts feel like I was seeking God! Seeking you shall find right? I had to conclude that I simply was not able to! No man can come to the father unless the father draw him right? Here we are now 2014! Coming off a rather long stance of no communication with God or inclination towards him, I mean I’m too grounded to ever directly blaspheme him or say that he is not God and if you would ask me what I deny him or take a bullet to my head well I can imagine denying him because of the backgrounds and my upbringing, but live for him or have a true walk with him a personal relationship that I do not have, and Envy those who do! It’s quite peculiar because I have called out to God so many times to change me to make me know to help me if it is not an event but rather a process to do something that will be with me so that if I ever once knew that I was saved I could hold onto it and have some sort of peace.
      To draw the conclusion that I am hopeless or not one of the elect is not something I want to hold onto but it’s difficult to overcome as I cry out and seek to no avail, I think of all the sermons and Bible reading and scripture memorization that I had done growing up that how do I even deserve the chances that I’ve been given let alone one more? I pray to you Lord Jesus send someone that can help with these questions and the mindset that has plagued me and others. I pray to you God that I haven’t committed the unpardonable sin I pray to you God that I did not blaspheme your Spirit!

      To conclude this I only ask myself one question who could have had more opportunity then I and who could have Directly sinned while under conviction directly in the face of an Almighty God and think there wouldn’t be consequences??

    • maggie

      Me too Aaron … this is the source of my greatest torments. I have fallen away from God many times in my life. Is this because I was never saved? Is it possible to search and want the love of God so badly, and still He turns His back on you?

      Sometimes I think no one will ever answer this question because they might have to say that the answer is YES … you were not made to be one of the elect, and they are afraid to tell us that.

      I don’t think Calvinists ever actually preach this from the pulpit, even if it is part of their faith and is included in their gospel of Christ. One should never be ashamed of the WHOLE gospel of Jesus Christ.

      Right now, I have decided to hold on to Jesus word … with the utmost difficulty, I must say … that he who believes in Me shall never die. I am holding on to the fact that it must be Satan who is attacking me when I wake up every morning in terror. So far, this has not helped, but I am holding on for as long as I can, and trying my best to have faith despite being tested.

      If you try this approach, let me know how it goes with you. I will let you know if I can ever find peace. The fear is destroying me body and soul.

    • emanuel

      My friends, every word of scripture is without reproach. If we Believe Jesus Died to Take Away our sin, we are Saved By The Precious Blood Of Christ. No one is good enough to get to Heaven on their own “goodness”. Scripture tells us that Christ Died to Save The World. ” For God so Loved The World that He Gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever shall Believe shall not perish but have everlasting Life.”My friends, We all deserve hell. Christ’s Precious Blood was spilled so we do not have to get what we so rightly deserve. This is The Word Of God, not my opinion.

    • cherylu

      Maggie and Aaron,

      I can only say that my heart breaks reading your stories.

      I am asking the Lord right now to bring you both to the place of peace, joy, and victory in Him that you are longing for.

      He is a faithful God.

    • cherylu

      Maggie and Aaron,

      (I have been trying to post this since yesterday afternoon. For some reason it has not gone through. So, if it ends up showing up multiple times in the end, I sincerely apologize.)

      Here is the e mail address of a gentleman that is a good friend of mine. He would love to speak to either one of you about your questions and concerns. I have his permission to post his e mail address here.

      He is a Christian man with a deep love for the Lord, a real compassion for people, and a sound knowledge of Scripture. He would count it a blessing to be of help to either of you.

      Please feel free to contact him. He is hoping to hear from you I know.

      Here is his address: gsmith at evangelministries dot org

      (Note, I am writing out the e mail address in this way in case putting it here in the normal way is what is keeping this comment from posting.)

      May the Lord bless both of you as you seek Him.

    • Maggie

      Thank you Emmanuel and Cherylu … your kindness and compassion means so much.
      I used to belief that God loved the whole world … but now that is blown to bits.

      According to what I’ve read about these beliefs, it doesn’t matter how much we try. That there are people who think they were saved, but did not really have saving faith because they keep going back to their sin.
      And actually, we never DID have a choice right from the beginning.

      I agree that our good works are obviously not going to get us to heaven, it would only be by Christ’s blood.

      No one mentioned the fact that Esau was hated by God before the world began. He also never DID stand a chance, but was created for hell. So doesn’t that make the topic of what the the verse meant, moot.

    • cherylu

      Hi Maggie,

      I was praying just a little bit ago, wondering what I should say to you and asking Him to show me. A passage of Scripture from John 6:37-40 came to my mind. I believe this is what the Lord wants you to see at this time.

      Maggie, He never turns away someone that comes sincerely seeking Him. Never.

      All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one that comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life: and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. ESV

    • emanuel

      My friends, Scripture teaches us that Jesus came into the world to Save the world, not condemn it. Scripture also teaches that Satan is the great condemner. Scripture teaches that Jesus is the True Messiah, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile. Christ wants to Save us, not condemn us. God Bless you Always my Dear Friends.

    • emanuel

      My friends, Jesus came to Save The world, not to condemn it. Scripture teaches that satan is the condemner. Scripture teaches that Christ came to give us Forgiveness while Satan came to give us condemnation. God Bless you Always my Dear Friends.

    • Tiribulus

      Maggie and or Aaron (or anybody else) please drop me a line. Micheal, the site owner knows I’m going to ask you this. This blog site is not staffed or intended to be what you’re asking for. I certainly don’t know everything, but I’ve been a Christian for 30 of my 50 years, have been through the mill myself and I’d like to help if possible. It would be my honor and blessing.

      I’m the same man Cherylu was talking about above.

      [email protected]

      I hope to hear from you.

    • Emanuel

      To Cherylu,Susan- Dear friends, Thank you for your kindness and concern. To Maggie, William, and others- My dear friends, repentance is to be sorry for your sins, and to ask and focus on Christ to ask for forgiveness. Then, to read Scripture and Pray. Today in Acts I read how Peter healed Dorcas from death. It was a wonderful story and a Blessing to Read. The Bible is filled with stories of Love like this, no condemnation. To Pray ask God to be close to you.We need to focus and have Faith In Christ. God Loves us so much. The Bible is a story of God’s Love for us. God Bless you my dear friends.

    • Brian Midmore

      The same passage from Hebrews tormented John Bunyan and is described in his autobiography ‘Grace abounding to the chief of sinners’.

    • KACalder

      Esau may indeed have been seeking “repentance,” but the question is what, really, was he repenting of? It’s pretty obvious from the Genesis account, and everything subsequent about Esau and his descendant nation, that it had nothing to do with true godly repentance, but was bitter regret and resentment over the benefit his mistake had cost him.

      In other words, it was driven by covetous desire, not love of God. That’s why the Word says literally no place was found for his “repentance.” Covetousness is out of place with God.

    • Tim

      Maggie,

      As a man (woman) thinketh in his heart, so is he. If you condemn yourself, you will be condemned. Your words condemn you.

      “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” Mark 9:42.

      Esau was hated after birth. Some 1500 years later after his death it was written in Malachi after his existence.
      His heritage wasn’t hated until after his rebellion not before the foundations of the world.

      You pervert your ways and your heart frets against God…Proverbs 19:3

    • POZO

      No Esau could not. It is because God could see his heart. He knew from the beginning that Esau’s and his descendants were wicked. It was already decided before their birth(Jacob and Esau)

      Obadayah 1:18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

      Malachi 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.

    • emanuel

      God Bless you all. Jesus is our Only Hope.

    • emmanuel

      Jesus Loves you my friends. Christ Is Our Only Hope.

    • Johnny

      Remember repentance in the greek language means a change of heart, a change of mind. Esau change his mind after he was trick it was to late. When God said He hated esau he was talking about his prideful discendants, (Obadiah) read that.

      God choose us for service, but not salvation.

    • William

      I wish I could say things have gotten better, but they haven’t. In fact, they have gotten worse. I’m constantly tormented by the extensive ways I abused and exploited Christ’s bride, including my own bride. I haven’t been able to provide for my family, having lost each job. I’m no longer really applying. That, of course, is adding to my sin and God’s wrath daily. I look at life through the perspective of what is going to add to the wrath, and the truth is every moment and thought does, because whatever is not of faith is sin. Every attempt I try to climb out of this results into more sin and more storing up of wrath. My health is failing, I don’t know how much longer the Lord will keep me alive. I fear this will be my final post as I’m close to homelessness. My family (wife and sons) and others are entirely disgusted with me now. When I go to christian chat sites to try to find help, I inevitably end up getting banned. I have become a stumbling block to everyone I meet, a detriment to the truth and the Gospel. My mind reels as it seems like the devil unveils more and more of my lifetime of sinful thinking and actions. I believe I am what psychology calls a sociopath (a reprobate). The numbers of people I have affected negatively is mind-boggling, knowing I will be accountable for each one. My adult sons, as well as everyone else, are totally disgusted with me and the way I’ve damaged biblical truth. I will inherit the wind. My wife will have no contact with me. Everyone’s tired of my draining them with death-talk and negativity. I wish I could repent. When I say that to others they tell me I’m blaspheming God, so I have that to answer for as well. I fear I will be in the deepest pit in hell. Even my passport ends with 666. I’m in utter despair.

      • Luiz

        Hey William, I too struggled with these thoughts, and believe me, i know the truth and i strayed from the Lord, completely, I prayed and did not give up, I had faith and believed what Jesus says in the bible, “whoever comes to me, in no wise I will cast out” He does not say if you havent strayed or if you did not know before, He makes it very clear that it is unconditional, His love for you is bigger than you could imagine if you spent a whole lifetime x 50 trying to imagine every single second, I have been praying for you, and know that God will restore your faith and your life to better circumstances, i too have doubts it is very hard for me, but maybe you are going through this for a reason, have faith that God will deliver you, do no try and do it on your own, that is when i experience the most anxiety and fear thinking that i have to be perfect now, all you have to do is turn from your sins, and ask Jesus Christ our Savior, to keep you from them, ask Him to inhabit your heart and clean all unrighteousness, get baptized, go to church ans ask Him to pour out His Spirit onto you, It does not matter what your passport says, quit doubting and have faith, enjoy life as a servant of Christ and truly give yourself to Him, and ask Him to restore your faith and your life, continuing in prayer, Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 18:22 when asked how many times should we forgive our brothers “not up to seven times but seven times seventy times” Imagine how much more is God willing to forgive us, “if we confess our sins and repent from them,” He is faithful and righteous to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. God bless you. Amen

    • Mitch

      Remember that the Hebrews writer is making his point based upon the story of Esau. Even a divine inspired interpretation or application is never wrested from the context to present a foreign thought or point. So when we read in genesis the Esau lifted up his voice and wept….this is the time of which the Hebrews writer is pointing out the “many tears” and obviously the timing of his seeking repentance….or as the brother of this blog points out “the blessing”. Esau sought repentance as to gain a different consequence (to regain the inheritant blessing) but to no avail. Esau never lost his sonship nor the actual position of being the firstborn…he lost the rewards of an inheritance.

    • Emanuel

      I am doomed or am I? I can’t seem to understand this= sometimes I think it’s my self my selfish self that is preventing me from fully understanding this. Okay, everytime I ask Jesus to Help me I feel His Comfort and Love. Could it be that God is really Forgiving me? Could God Be so Good that He could Forgive me? The Bible Says He Is, and The Bible Is Truth. If He Can Forgive me and Susan and others, He can Forgive you Willaim and Maggie and others. Pray and we Talk to God, Read Scripture and God Talks to us. Ask Lord Jesus to Help you. He Will.

    • Peter

      Hi William, I wrote this message below in reply to one of your comments. However my message is stuck above and no one can see it. I am reposting it. Mods, please approve this post.

      REPLY
      Peter November 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm
      Dear John Bartell, John Gardner, William, Maggie, Stephanie, and others here who are hurt and struggling in their salvation,

      I had been running away from the LORD because there were certain sins in my life that I found too difficult to repent of, and knew that God was pushing me to change. I had been a strong Christian walking faithfully for almost 7 years and was free from pornography and many things in the world. There was something however that I think God was trying to push me to which was too hard and to which I refused. I eventually tried to push God away, finding His task too hard, just like Jonah. However in doing so, losing the true vine, I eventually fell into pornography and sinful ways of before, and felt completely unable to repent. I was completely free for almost 7 years. And in falling into pornography, I threw away my entire Christian testimony.

      My sin was getting deeper and more dangerous every day to the point where I felt it’s all over and hopeless. I must’ve blasphemed in a horrific way such that there is no more repentance. I could not find myself to trust Jesus with all my heart. In my desperation I googled a topic on blasphemy of the Spirit and came to this forum and all your posts. Your experiences lifted me up temporarily because I knew I was not alone. My pain however continued to deepen more and more, I really don’t have a whole of time here to post the crazy ride the Lord put me through, although if you’re interested I am freely willing to share with you through email.

      What I realized however, in the midst of my unwillingness to repent and my “hardened heart” is something fascinating about the gospel, which came to me through a sermon by Dr. Piper and as well just now a sermon called “Free will of the wind”.

      The reason it feels impossible to repent is that it really is impossible. I think you are experiencing the ultimate reality of every human being. It is impossible to believe and repent, or come to salvation through trying really hard in self determination. Rather, the Holy Spirit freely enters into a person and grants them faith and repentance. Our repentance is first and foremost the Holy Spirit moving in us to do as He wants, so that we freely do exactly what we want because He changes our desires.

      I realized that if my salvation is anything short of unconditional election and irresistable grace, then I am lost and hopeless.

      I read all of your posts originally in my despair. Now I read it again having a little better understanding of the gospel. See, I thought I was a Calvinist for my first 6 years of Christian life, but I just understood now a little bit more of what grace really means. I think none of you are truly “hardened beyond repentance”, but God has allowed you to become so hopeless, so that you can really understand why the Gospel is the good news. It is completely free, and the election is unconditional.

      All of your posts are very much slanted in one direction: what can I “do” in order to change myself. I can give some examples:

      “I feel like I am reading my Bible in vain, trying to reproduce the conviction that I once felt.”

      “I would give everything to read the bible one more time. to repent just one more time. to pray with all my heart one more time. To listen to one more sermon. PLEASE, if you are reading this and can still do those things, do so as if tonight was you last night one earth. With all the joy in the world. You will never understand how horrible this is, but it fully reminds me (constantly) how great the salvation that I took for granted was”

      “Are you desiring God’s grace, true holiness in life, etc., but feeling no link with God.”

      The worry in these posts is all of the flavor “do you feel this” or “can you do them”. Other posts and examples show the same thing: “how can I do these things” or “how can I myself with my willpower put my head knowledge into my heart”

      My brothers and sisters, this is not what the Gospel is about, and it is certainly not good news. It is not good news for me at least, to know that my salvation hinges on what I do or feel. Rather, it is that, just as the wind is free and blows where it pleases and you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going, so also is everyone born of the Spirit. God completely saves and my repentance is the result of His Spirit freely choosing to work and move in me. It is all of grace.

      I’m not the greatest at explaining the Gospel, but I could not help but to try one more time reaching out to you all, though this post comes several months late. Right now, my soul is not perfect in peace, but I understand the Gospel a little bit better and it is helping me a lot. I felt compelled to try and reach to you, those in my subject, and anyone else on this forum struggling, because I know exactly your pain. And indeed as John Bartell said, this is the worst state in existence to be in. It feels like you are predestined to hell. But God has opened your eyes to see spiritual reality, and you did not come to this forum for no reason. You came with a broken spirit, and that is exactly the sacrifice of God. I pray you may understand the Gospel of God’s grace more clearly, and He will sovereignly open your eyes to see why this gospel is truly good news – God freely gives, it is not your working or feeling.

      Here are the two sermons that helped me. I really pray you would listen to the second one.

      Christian, Know Whose You Are – http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/christian-know-whose-you-are

      The Free Will of the Wind – http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/the-free-will-of-the-wind

      I really pray you all may understand the free gospel of God’s grace, and that in your sufferings God may lead you to experience that in a deep personal way. I wanted to reach out to some of you here, and since I don’t know your information, I am leaving my email and phone numbers here in case you ever read this message and wanted to talk:

      [email protected]
      1-647-938-3772 (I live in Toronto, Canada)

      Peter

    • emanuel

      My friends, The person who wrote we cannot do this on our own is right. We must turn to Jesus. We must ask Jesus to help us. Just Pray, “Help me Lord Jesus.” Then leave it to Jesus. When you start to feel depressed or hopeless pray again “Help me Lord Jesus. ” Then leave it for Jesus. No one else can help us. Jesus can soften our hearts. Then read the Bible and feel its wisdom and Love. Or listen to a sermon and feel its wisdom and enlightment. But let Jesus do this for us. We cannot do this or anything else on our own. So let us now Thank Jesus. “Thank You Lord Jesus”.

    • maggie

      William and Aaron: please let me know if you are still around !
      and for others facing fear/terror that God does not want you …
      I pray this may be helpful.

      God has not given me the spirit of fear.
      I will resist the devil and he will flee from me.
      Jesus Christ said:
      Whoever comes to me, I will in no wise cast out.

      When we are wanting to find God, the spirit of fear is from Satan. This is why the battle is so strong.
      Christ spoke scripture every time he was tempted. We should do the same.
      I started out with the above three verses … wrote them out in big letters and taped them beside my
      bed so they were the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. Then said them out loud, in essence telling
      Satan he is useless and to leave me alone.

      When Bible reading causes such dreadful fear: which comes from Satan
      and can also be the result of hearing calvinistic teachings.
      When every where we read: condemnation, warnings, anger, election, no hope, even the word “chosen”,
      the following was my strategy … and it is working.

      People will argue doctrine and theology till kingdom come, and still nothing changes over the centuries.
      So – come let us reason together, as the scriptures say.

      We are made in God’s image.
      Body, soul and spirit.
      Conscience. Morals. Sense of right and wrong. Emotions. Even though these are now, for us, fallen attributes.
      Let’s look at human conscience and morals, love and emotions.
      Keep in mind 1st Corinthians 13 and it’s description of what love is.
      Who is the most upright ? Who has the highest standards? God or human beings?

      Example:
      A husband and wife sit down to plan their future.
      “Let’s have 10 children”
      “Great. But first let’s decide which ones we will keep”
      “Okay, I say that numbers 1, 2, and 5 should be aborted”
      “And I think we should take numbers 3, 4, and 8 out to the middle of the ocean and drown them till they hit the bottom.”
      “Good idea. Let’s let numbers 7 and 9 live for a while, then toss them into the bon fire.”
      “Right. That leaves number 6 to be our chosen, loved and favorite child.”

      Do you wonder how number 6 will respond when he figures out what has happened?
      Will he run to his father and say “Daddy, Daddy, thank you soooo very much. Now I know you truly love me
      and that I am really really special” ?
      Or will he cry his little heart out, stamp his feet, run to his bedroom and yell out “I hate you. You are the cruelest
      parent I’ve ever known. You never even gave them a chance”

      Do YOU believe these parents have a conscience or morals or love? No, you cannot.
      Do you believe that YOU have a conscience,morals and love? Yes, as much as is possible for a fallen creature.
      Do you believe that God himself has a conscience, morals and love that surpass our human capabilities to the uttermost?

      Is it even vaguely possible for God and Satan to want the same thing?
      Are they both satisfied for people to end up in hell?
      Does not God weep over those who will not listen to His words?
      Why does Satan roam to and fro over the earth looking for whom he may devour? Why would he need to?
      Is God going to offer up 90% of the human race to Satan on a silver platter?

      If God is so far above us, yet we were made in His image, and are given a description of love,
      let us not make the Bible tell us that God is a moral degenerate.
      That is horrendous blasphemy to the very character of God, which makes me shudder in fear that I
      once contemplated this theology.

      Look to the true attributes of God. The perfect and the holy.
      Write them out. Keep them ever on your mind, speaking them aloud.
      Rebuke Satan 1000 times a day … as often as is necessary … the minute fear or disbelief enters your mind.

      During this battle for our minds and hearts, it is necessary to forgo all the other things we “ought” to do.
      Start at the very basic principles. For God so loved the world …
      Preach short bits of scripture to yourself each and every time. Don’t bother to contemplate how you still feel.
      JUST DO IT . Even if that is all you can do all day long, and nothing else.
      I started with the 3 verses at the top of this page. Eventually your mind and heart will learn to agree with your mouth.
      Satan cannot stand before God’s Holy Word. He is beaten every time. He just doesn’t give up easily.

      Others I have written over time as my fear started to subside, include:
      (I still have to keep all these verses written on a piece of paper, near at hand every day and repeat
      them no matter what feelings or fear or other thoughts bombard my mind at the same time.)

      Now the God of peace, that great shepherd of the sheep …
      Be anxious for nothing …
      He will never leave me or forsake me …
      There is no fear in love … but perfect love casts out fear. (God is perfect, therefore has perfect love)
      He who knew no sin became sin for me … that I might be made the righteous of God
      Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed. For the Lord God is with me.
      When I confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwells in me and I in God.
      If I confess my sins He is faithful and just ………… to forgive me and cleanse me.

      As you keep saying these things, remember:
      He will keep you in perfect peace WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON HIM.
      Keep your mouth, and therefore your mind, on Him.

      Psalm 143 is my constant prayer for help. When I cannot think clearly, it says what I would say to God if I could.

      Every day when I wanted to give up … knowing it would end this fear … I knew I had to go on for one more day,
      because the fear meant I still wanted God. I said to myself … “I cannot and won’t deny that Jesus is the Son of God
      who died for the sins of the world” no matter what He does with me.

    • Gunther

      Jesus told St. Peter to forgive 70 times 7. Surely God’s mercy and forgiveness is greater than man’s. To all of you who are despairing, stop! His mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. His compassions fail not! Trust in Jesus. The blood and water that gushed for from His heart is a river of mercy!

    • doubtful

      Hey William, I too struggled with these thoughts, and believe me, i know the truth and i strayed from the Lord, completely, I prayed and did not give up, I had faith and believed what Jesus says in the bible, “whoever comes to me, in no wise I will cast out” He does not say if you havent strayed or if you did not know before, He makes it very clear that it is unconditional, His love for you is bigger than you could imagine if you spent a whole lifetime x 50 trying to imagine every single second, I have been praying for you, and know that God will restore your faith and your life to better circumstances, i too have doubts it is very hard for me, but maybe you are going through this for a reason, have faith that God will deliver you, do no try and do it on your own, that is when i experience the most anxiety and fear thinking that i have to be perfect now, all you have to do is turn from your sins, and ask Jesus Christ our Savior, to keep you from them, ask Him to inhabit your heart and clean all unrighteousness, get baptized, go to church ans ask Him to pour out His Spirit onto you, It does not matter what your passport says, quit doubting and have faith, enjoy life as a servant of Christ and truly give yourself to Him, and ask Him to restore your faith and your life, continuing in prayer, Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 18:22 when asked how many times should we forgive our brothers “not up to seven times but seven times seventy times” Imagine how much more is God willing to forgive us, “if we confess our sins and repent from them,” He is faithful and righteous to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9. God bless you. Amen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3wwWFsSlNQ this song will definetley help!

    • JOSEPH

      Thanks I’ve been battling this for some time. I to was a backslider. Recently I was told I have cancer and only a short time to live. At first I feared for my soul that I would be a castaway for eternity.

    • Tiribulus

      Do you have assurance that you are safe in Christ Joseph? I ask because I want to know. Not to make you doubt. This prodigal knows all about backsliding and a faithful father. .

    • Mother of 3

      Actually, when you reject the Holy Spirit, you can not repent. The thief on the cross did not know Jesus at first, but when he believed in his heart that He was the Christ, he found repentance and eternal life.

      Hebrews 6:4-6King James Version (KJV)
      4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
      5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
      6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    • Kelli

      I have been struggling in the way many have commented previously. I had learned about Christ as a child, and made a decision for Christ as an adolescent. In my teens I turned from God and willingly let myself fall into sin. I felt convicted later on and tried to repent of my sins and build a relationship with God but I ended up being so legalistic in what I was doing that the stress of it all caused me to give up for many years. I always felt it tugging on my mind, though, but every time I would attempt to come back I felt all the anxiety and stress again. Any time I try to read the Bible I find stories like that of Esau and I feel condemned. I can find messages of condemnation anywhere I open the Bible. Apparently I suffer from scrupulosity a religious branch of OCD. I fear that I am hopelessly Hell-bound and that I am jut lucky enough that God gives me each day on Earth before my final fate. It is so difficult for me to repent and I struggle with the same sins every single day. I will catch myself impulsively acting out a sin and continue in it anyway. I feel so wicked and when I look online all I find is dire warnings not to grieve the Spirit or frustrate the Grace of God. That it is a limited gift and once you put it aside, that’s it. It’s all over. Because a gift like that can’t be given twice. When I read explanations to these things it all boils down to we are all evil and deserve Hell and should just be grateful that God even offered a chance to some people because He didn’t have to offer anything at all. I keep falling into despair and I feel like it’s all my fault for not taking everything seriously. I am filled with so much fear and dread it hits me as soon as I wake up.

    • emanuel

      Focus on Jesus. Let Him take over. Ask His Forgiveness. Jesus Will Take Over. Do you feel Love For Jesus In your heart? Of course you do because you know He Loves you. The Holy Spirit Tells you this. Where does all the pain, hurt, fear, and loneliness come from. From ourselves- from our selfishness, sin, and lack of love for anyone but ourselves. The answer- turn to Jesus. He will take the selfishness, sin, and fear away and replace it with His Love. What is our role in this? Just to have Faith. Just to Believe. That is all we have to do.

    • Kelli

      I have had similar worries like many of the previous commentators. Even today, on my way to work the thought suddenly hit me: “what if the story of Esau is an analogy about salvation?” Like, what if his birthright is supposed to be symbolic for salvation? I have felt nauseously sick ever since. It just feels like it could really mean that, I mean, God’s gift of Grace is such a huge deal, and to squander it on something so petty, like a temporary sin, and lose it forever, just seems like a possibility. I came to knowledge in Christ when I was younger, and made a decision for Christ when I was younger, too. Fell back in teen years into some serious sin, telling myself I could pray for forgiveness later. Tried to go back to God after feeling guilty, and I looked up if salvation is something you can lose. Horrifyingly, I found numerous articles to confirm my fears. I tried anyway and failed because I became so legalistic in my approach. Still that fear stayed in the back of my mind, and it seems as time goes on, I find more and more scripture to back up my fears. I have put God to the side for so many years of my life because trying to go back to Him meant facing my anxieties again. Just recently, over the past few months I have been having some serious panic attacks and anxiety over this kind of stuff. I read some revelations a few months ago, and some verses in there scared me so badly I had lost my appetite sobbed uncontrollably for weeks. There are so many verses in scripture that seem to warn people to endure and to run the race and not to sin and to ‘do this or that lest you fall into condemnation’ someone posted for people to read James 5:10-20 in these comments so I looked it up and the first thing that stuck out to me was this “12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12 every time I open the Bible the word ‘condemnation’ seems to be there!! Someone please help me.

    • Kelli

      A friend once told me that once we become ‘children of God’ we are always His children. I have a 6 year old daughter, and often, when I question salvation my friend will ask me if I would ever not forgive her for something. Of course the answer is no, I would always be wiling to forgive her, even if it was something against me. She also said that no matter what she did, even if she one day went as far as to legally divorce herself from me as my daughter she is still my daughter by blood. And we are God’s children by blood. Jesus’ blood. Just something to think about. Even if I wasn’t willing to forgive her, the Bible says that if we being evil know how to give our children good gifts, how much more does God know how to bless His children? In the same way, God is everything we are not, and the Bible tells us if a brother has sinned against us, and he comes to us seeking forgiveness we are to grant it to him. So how much more would God do that for us? (Even if we weren’t willing to do it for others?) I go up and down through feeling hopeful and back to feeling hopeless again…

    • Kelli

      I don’t know why it is just now showing my original post from a few days ago, that’s why I retyped it and submitted another similar to it. Sorry about that. Anyway, I just saw mother of 3’s comment as well. It’s verses like that that make me worry. So what is someone like me to do? Just wait out the rest of my life with fear and sadness? Is that all I can do from this point on? This is such a terrible place to be, because I don’t want to live like this, but suicide only means a quicker route to hell ??!?!

    • Maggie

      Kelli … I know exactly how you feel. It took a year or so, but here is how I came to peace with God, and He has wonderously, by his Holy Spirit confirmed in my heart that I am a child of God.
      First: what must I do to be saved ?
      Read every verse you can find on this important step.
      Romans 10:9, John 5:24, Romans 10:13, Psalms 9:10, I John 4:15, I John 1:9 & 12, Romans 8:1, Romans 5:1, John 5:24, Romans 3:22-24, John 1:12, Psalms 103:8, John 20:31, I John 4:10
      If you BELIEVE that Jesus died for your sins, that He was raised from the dead … whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.
      Write out all the verses, read them over and over every day, pray and ask God to confirm in your heart.
      Do you believe God’s word is true and faithful, that He cannot lie ? Then you are born again.

      When step one took hold in my heart I looked up verses that addressed my fears, and wrote them out.

      When Satan’s next stumbling block came along, I looked up more verses on line … wrote them out and read them constantly. For example, trust, refuge, loving kindness, promises etc.
      Confess lack of trust … Psalms 51:10, Psalm 86:11

      My notebook of verses became my lifeline !!! Because, as you said, all I could see was condemnation. I believe Satan was keeping me bound in fear. Focus on one step, one thought, at a time. I understand scrupulosity. Our minds become bogged down in too many thoughts at once.

      I understand waking each morning in abject fear … it was an horrendous year. But this way of coping changed my life. Yes, I am still sinning and struggling … but as you pointed out, God knows how to give good gifts to his children, and He is slowly bringing me along, as I yield my unclean habits and fears to him.
      Learning theology can wait … start at the beginning, the basics … leave the difficult verses for a later time, and KNOW you are born again.

    • Maggie

      As far as the verse about Esau goes … we must remember that God blessed Esau most abundantly … that Joseph came “crawling back” to his brother for forgiveness, which he received. After which they both dwelt together in the land until they had so much cattle that there was not enough vegetation for them all … so they separated. God did not condemn Esau … he may very well be heaven right now … it was his descendants that chose not to follow God.
      When the Israelites were conquering the promised land, God told them NOT to hurt the Edomites, Esau’s descendants, because they were their brothers.
      Joseph was chosen for service to be the line from which Jesus Christ would descend.
      Middle Eastern language has always been extreme … love and hate … no middle ground. It only means that one is chosen over another. ie: Love thy father and mother vs. if you don’t hate your mother and father, you cannot be my disciple. Jesus is saying, you must love me MORE than your parents or anything else.

    • Kelli

      Thank you for your replies, Maggie, but I’m afraid I still feel completely empty right now, and completely sad, all I can do is sob. Previous comments here point to Esau just proving himself not able to stick with God and likening him to a cheating spouse, of whom complete trust is lost so God doesn’t trust us to stay with him because we’ve already ‘cheated’ on him once. I feel like in foolishness and not really counting the cost I’ve squandered my only hope for salvation on small meaningless things in life.

    • Kelli

      Even looking to another source, I found an article on the importance of birthrights in the Bible, and they even compared them to having a birthright from Christ: “Christians are warned not to imitate Esau who, on impulse, gave away his birthright for a bowl of stew (Hebrews 12:16-17; Genesis 25:19-34). Because of his foolishness, Esau lost his birthright and the blessings of his father (Genesis 27). The lesson for us is to respect what is holy. We should never throw away what is important, godly, or honorable for the sake of temporary pleasure.” But it doesn’t offer advice on what to do if you have done that. I suppose it’s because there is nothing one can do, just lie In this horrible hopeless state and wait for death to come.

    • Kelli

      Also, just thinking about things I think I can vaguely remember a few times where there was some sin I was tempted to commit, probably gossip or just saying negative things about someone, and I think I remember telling myself (or God) that it was ok I would just to to Hell for it, like I traded my salvation for the moment of being able to commit that sin. I am freaking out right now because that sounds exactly like the story of Esau someone please help me I am feeling so many things right now I can’t deal with this alone

    • Kelli

      if you take it to mean Esau was sad over losing his birthright I’m trying to take a literal approach here and say Esau sold his birthright (salvation) for food (sin) and I did exactly that many times in the past

      • cg16

        I can 100% relate to your experience. It is the worst. Are you feeling any peace yet?

    • Maggie

      Kelli … God chose Jacob to be the forefather of Israel … NOT for Salvation … and he foretold us this because
      he knew what Esau would do. The firstborn always inherits from the father, but that does NOT have anything to do
      with salvation.
      “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” … Jacob actually did quite a lot of sinning with his deceit.
      ALL, EVERYONE of us … none of us can stand before a holy God.

      Jesus said to forgive 70 x 7 . If he expects that of us, how much more will he pour out his love and forgiveness
      to those who ask. God will NEVER say “no” to anyone who seeks him.
      So many of us have abused him and turned our backs … but Jesus’s sacrifice, his own blood, covers EVERY sin,
      not just some … or no one would be in heaven … but He makes us whiter than snow.
      If you ask Him, repent with genuine sorrow, our Father God hears you. He can not lie !!!
      “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
      “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.”

      Please BELIEVE AND TRUST in Jesus’s own words. Do you believe right now? Then start thanking and praising God
      that he accepts you … and me … and the many many many other people who turned their backs on him.

      WE crazy human beings turn our backs, but GOD never does. He wept for Jerusalem and the Israelites because they turned their backs on him over and over again. What did God say to this?
      “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
      God is weeping for you to confess and then trust Him, to be gathered into his arms.
      He always leaves the 99 sheep safe in the pen, and goes out hunting for the one who is lost. BELIEVE HIM.

    • Maggie

      Jesus NEVER ignores the one who seeks him … and will search and find a wandering Christian

      Song: Ninety and Nine

      There were ninety and nine that safely lay
      In the shelter of the fold;
      But one was out on the hills away,
      Far off from the gates of gold.
      Away on the mountains wild and bare;
      Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
      “Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
      Are they not enough for Thee?”
      But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine
      Has wandered away from Me.
      And although the road be rough and steep,
      I go to the desert to find My sheep.”
      But none of the ransomed ever knew
      How deep were the waters crossed;
      Nor how dark was the night the Lord passed through
      Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
      Out in the desert He heard its cry;
      ’Twas sick and helpless and ready to die.
      “Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way,
      That mark out the mountain’s track?”
      “They were shed for one who had gone astray
      Ere the Shepherd could bring him back.”
      “Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?”
      “They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn.”
      And all through the mountains, thunder-riv’n,
      And up from the rocky steep,
      There arose a glad cry to the gate of heav’n,
      “Rejoice! I have found My sheep!”
      And the angels echoed around the throne,
      “Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!”

    • Sdr

      I understand those feelings of loss of closeness with the Lord. The enemy is very clever. I too have felt the “too far gone” and “knew” I was Esau, not Jacob.

      The main thing I see with these posts of hard heartedness (and with myself) is a focus on self (I messed up too far, I am going to hell, I sit in a closet in the dark, my spouse does it better, etc).

      Stop. It is still focus on YOU. It is not trusting God. It is not acknowledging His power. It is not throwing yourself wholly at His feet and trusting His wisdom and sovereignity to make that decision, whatever it is.

      We are just part of His plan and our whole purpose is to glorify Him. Are we glorifying Him by focusing on ourselves, even to hate ourselves? No.

      When I have been so far from God, I decided that I was still going to worship Him, to acknowledge His Holiness. Not dwell in my mire but focus all on Him. IT CHANGES ME INSTANTLY. You can repent of every sin. You can love others when you stop thinking of yourself.

      When you are willing to be poured out completely–COMPLETELY– for the glory of God, trusting His perfect will WHATEVER it is, this will crack the hard heart within you. Had Esau recognized the Lord’s moving with Jacob, acknowledging his own weakness then dedicating himself to the Lord’s plan through Jacob, praising God and serving Jacob joyfullyI think he would have been saved as that would be true repentance.

      Surrender yourself to the Lord, choosing to praise the Lord even if He makes you chaff not wheat. I think you will then find the fruit of wheat begin to grow within you because you will finally surrender yourself to Him. Even if you are chaff,though, you will praise Him for His perfection and, again, I think you will find your heart grow right with Him.

    • Sdr

      I do have to fix one comment in my post. There is the unpardonable sin–blaspheming the Holy Spirit. However, I am not entirely sure that those who feel the loss of the Lord have committed that.

    • Donna Yates

      After reading all comments here, I have good news for all. Acts, Chapter 1, verse 8, says we will receive power AFTER that the Holy Ghost has come on us. If you do not know the original apostolic plan of salvation, it is Acts 2:38. John 3:5tells us we must be born of water and Spirit. Matthew 28:19 commands to be baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Notice it says the NAME. The verse before tells us that all power is given to Jesus in heaven and in earth. That’s because He is the mighty God who came in the flesh. His Name was called over those being baptised, not the titles. The apostles obeyed this commission all through the book of Acts; Acts 2, Acts 8, Acts 10, Acts 19. All those on the day of Pentecost received the gift of the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance , and were baptised in Jesus Name. This is how we receive the power over sin, no other way. Find a church that teaches this full gospel message and you will find that God has answered your cries. Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus, scripture says. The power is in His Name, not His titles. The apostles knew this. I was of the Baptist faith for 30 years, when I found myself asking God for a church that would teach all I needed to be saved. I was so afraid of going to hell. His answer came so fast, it was amazing. I pray for you who are struggling in much pain and sorrow, and God has heard you and has the gift of the Holy Ghost for you. Do what the apostles did and you will get what they got. Power to overcome sin and be saved. Acts 19 says, “Have you received the Holy Ghost SINCE you believed. It is not an extra blessing, but the actual birth of the Spirit within you. Jesus said, I have been with you, but shall be IN you.” The thief on the cross was saved because he lived during the dispensensation of faith. Only faith in God was the requirement for salvation at that time. When Jesus ascended and came back as the Holy Ghost, we are in the dispensation of grace, but salvation begins with obedience to Acts 2:38. Now baptism must be in His Name and we must receive the Holy Ghost. “Without the Holy Ghost, we are none of His” . “Jesus in you, the hope of glory!!” Believe and receive God’s gift, and find your mourning turned into dancing!! God Bless You on your journey as you seek His truth!!

    • Christopher

      Hi All,

      I want to write you a message of hope to all who are worried about having “Lost” their salvation. It is Jesus who offers us the gift of salvation by believing in Him. You cannot ever do anything to earn your salvation. Jesus won salvation for you and you cannot lose what you never achieved.

      It is up to you to respond to His Grace. If you are stuck in the place where you think you have “lost” your salvation, realize that that heart itself is a sin!

      Think about why. Jesus died for ALL sin and came back to life so you can be redeemed in relationship to God. If you are afraid of God and think that He’s removed your salvation despite your desire to return, that goes directly against the prodigal Son story. It is heresy. The father RAN towards the returning son! God is RUNNING towards you and you just need to embrace Him!

      It doesn’t matter how bad you were before. You need to TRUST that Jesus is ENOUGH to redeem you from those sins. If you don’t then you are sinning by letting your fears be greater than Jesus.

      The verse in Hebrews about impossible to be brought back to repentance does NOT apply to you and let me tell you why. If you read the book of Hebrews, know that it is a letter of ENCOURAGEMENT to Hebrews enduring persecution and not one of Condemnation and Exclusion. That verse is essentially a warning given to THOSE people, “Don’t even think about turning your back on God when you have made it this far!”

      Another thing to keep in mind is the conditions of the described person in that verse. Such a person has tasted the Goodness of the word of God. They have tasted the powers of the coming age. In order to taste such things, it takes a lot of maturity and/or wisdom in your relationship with Christ. The person is making a conscious decision knowing exactly what they are doing and turning their backs. Then brought back to repentance is NOT something a person does but that verb ‘brought’ can only be done by Jesus. The person will not want to repent because they cannot be brought back to repentance. It is impossible. They HATE the idea of repentance. It is unlike you guys who desperately long to return to Christ.

      If this has still not alleviated you, there is more encouragement. Read the book of Revelations. It talks about 7 churches found to be in pretty serious sins. Those churches are not condemned but rather urged to REPENT by the angels. I don’t know about you but this chapter was the final flag over the demon of fear and self-condemnation for me. Christ wants you back. As long as you are alive God is calling. So do not harden your own heart with fear. God pursues you like the Dad in the Prodigal Son Story. Don’t hurt Daddy by running away! Run TO HIM!

      There are some pretty great today world examples where God is continually pursuing people who have really fallen many, many, many times. Stories like: http://www.net-burst.net/guilty/extreme_grace_testimony.htm
      Show God’s mercy and Grace.

      It may take time for you to completely get through your fear of having been sealed in condemnation but in Ephesians 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” completely negates what that demon telling you you are finished is saying.

      Yes! That thing that made you sick with fear is NOT God. It is a demon pretending to be God’s voice. Resist it in Christ’s name declaring that Christ is enough to forgive you and restore you.

      People are by nature sinful and that is why we need Jesus to be saved. If it were possible to lose our salvation by sinning or even having had once turned our backs on God, heaven would be empty except for God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Angels.

    • Christopher

      Hi All,

      I want to tell you all the awesome power Jesus has to deliver you from what you are going through. I was attacked and oppressed by a demon that pretended to be God and told me I was going to Hell. I was under this oppression for weeks and Hebrews 6:4:6 was the demon’s weapon against me. I was so convinced by so much of the bible that I was going to hell that I was losing my mind and performing very terribly at work. There was a church retreat I went to where one of the faithful brothers in Christ prayed over me and prayed in Christ’s name to cast the demon out. Instantly, I felt restored as if none of that ever happened and I perceived a very strong feeling of Jesus saying He still cares about me and is with me.

      Do you want to know what originally had planted the demon? Back when I was a senior in college, there was one time when I got so angry at God that I had told Him to leave my life and never come back. I publicly denounced Jesus and disowned him online. I spent 5 days without Christ. On the 5th day, something terrifying happened where I was most certain that the Holy Spirit withdrew from me telling me that it was a done deal and there was no turning back. I was so terrified and I remember even perceiving, “You can call your mom but nothing changes.”

      I wanted to repent but I couldn’t, it was as if God ceased to exist in my life.

      I still felt there was nowhere to turn but call my mother. I had a tearful conversation with her telling her that I had abandoned God but my mom reassured me that that is not how God’s love works, that you can’t throw God out of your life. After the long conversation, I was able to pray and apologize and repent to God in Jesus’s name and I felt the Holy Spirit come back. Just like the Prodigal Son and his Father.

      The perception that God was telling me it was a done deal and it is over was NOT God!! God would NEVER say that to you. God is like the father in the Prodigal Son story times infinity!!! The voice that pretended to be God saying it is over was Satan!!! Recognize that!!

      Even though this had happened, the demon lay dormant for 8 years and struck terror in my life one day using Hebrews 6:4:6. Again pretending to be God, the demon told me, “You had your chance with Christ. It is not fair that you are asking Christ to die for you again and no way will that be happening. You are going to hell. Give it up. You never belonged to Christ.” The oppression lasted for weeks before I was finally healed through Christ’s loving and infinite power at the church retreat. Sometimes, the demon needs to be casted out like that through a deliverance prayer.

      So if you are struggling like that where every warning in the bible seems to be applying to you and you are convinced that you are going to hell – Remember that it is a demon!! Tell someone about it and ask them to find a pastor to pray for you for deliverance from the demon.

      Satan wants nothing more than to make you believe that it is impossible to be restored in Christ’s name. God greatly weeps when He sees his children suffer like that and God really hates having to say goodbye to people. For He does not delight in the death of the wicked but would MUCH rather they repent and be saved as written in Eziekiel. God is waiting on the other side but it is like the Prodigal Son story where there is a demon blocking the road between you and Jesus. That demon needs to be exterminated in Christ’s name before the road is opened back up. It can and will be done when done in faith in Christ’s Holy name.

    • William

      No matter what mindset I use, I can’t find relief. I want so much to sense God’s presence once again! How could I have been so foolish to value the things of this world more than eternal things?!

      • Anonymous

        Hey William, any changes?

    • Solomon

      Hey guys,

      I’m awestruck at how many people can relate to what torment I have been going through in this same regard.

      I too felt ( or rather still feel ) like Esau. I feel I came to know christ (like many of you) at one point as well. I know ( and knew ) that only Jesus blood saves us and I felt I had that faith ( through hearing the word ) but my ongoing struggle with sin ( if u want to call it that cause sometimes I think it hasn’t been a struggle – I’ve just been giving in ) has been making me think that i traded my faith for one last meal ( but I’m not sure at what point this happened or; if everytime I gave into drunkenness or porn/mastrabation over the last few months was a slow gradual ” trading in my faith for worldliness”…..I’m tormented with OCD and scrupulousity to the point of wondering if I’m already in Hell.

      This brings me to another topic…I see many who posted here fear that they are ” gonna be in hell”. My head has been telling me that I’m already in hell ( and it connects that reality to me maybe losing my faith over time )..

      Has anyone else felt this way ( that they are in hell already )? Is this really a trick of the devil or is it a reality? Isnt my worrying that I slowly have been giving away my faith for that last porn or drink a kinda of confirmation that I’m now stripped of faith in Jesus saving power? And if we really don’t have faith maybe we can never know and so this cycle of worrying about it and trying to get it back is the hell of regret etc….

      Can a person stop believing they are in hell?

      I’m sorry if this sounds scary or too much for people but I really am in a confused but and don’t know where or how to get out? I don’t want to believe that it is already too late but I’m already believing it.

      Has anyone had the belief that they were too far gone after sinning much willfully after knowing Christ (and then been free of the conviction that they are doomed?

      • Steven

        Yes, plenty of people have been were you are and have been completely restored! Why – Because God promises if you genuinely seek Him with all your heart you will find Him, so don’t give up. It may take 1 year or 20 years; but you will find if you seek with all your heart. News flash, your not the first person who felt like God had left them, when it was not the case. David felt like that when Saul was chasing him around for I think (like 7 years) trying to kill him, Job felt like that as the devil tried to destroy every part of his life, the restored Corinthian in 2nd Corinthians could have felt like that if Paul didn’t tell the other people in the church to reaffirm their love for him, (lest he be Swallowed up with excessive sorrow); well even Jesus seemly felt like that as he cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I am sure there are others; but those are the ones coming to mind right now. But in all those cases it was just a feeling; truth was – God never left them; they only felt like it.

        I personally know three people who have gone through this (i am one of them) and I have read about many others who have been delivered from this. Its just the devil, getting in your head. God is so ready to forgive. God is Love. There isn’t one instance in the entire Bible where a person or a group of people were genuinely sorry for their sins and decided to turn their lives back to God; who were not forgiven. Thinking like this rips at the very fabric of God’s Character. Anybody struggling with this; needs to get off the internet and get someone to help them through it; who is in Love with Jesus.

        There is soooooo much you don’t understand about God; that He wants to reveal to you about His Grace and Love. You want to see some people who willfully sinned; read this study i did on Ezekiel.

        Here is a study I did on the Book of Ezekiel

        The book of Ezekiel is arguably one of the most terrifying books about God’s judgement. God goes into great detail about how He is going to destroy them, He leaves nothing to the imagination of those that He is going to destroy. These people were God’s people, they new the 10 commandments, but they could care less about them. The basically spit in the face of God with no second thoughts.

        Read this part of Ezekiel to see what kind of children God was dealing with.

        “Now this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, are you ready to judge Jerusalem? Are you ready to judge this city of murderers? Publicly denounce her detestable sins, and give her this message from the Sovereign Lord: O city of murderers, doomed and damned—city of idols, filthy and foul— you are guilty because of the blood you have shed. You are defiled because of the idols you have made. Your day of destruction has come! You have reached the end of your years. I will make you an object of mockery throughout the world. O infamous city, filled with confusion, you will be mocked by people far and near. “Every leader in Israel who lives within your walls is bent on murder. Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things. Men sleep with their fathers’ wives and force themselves on women who are menstruating. Within your walls live men who commit adultery with their neighbors’ wives, who defile their daughters-in-law, or who rape their own sisters. There are hired murderers, loan racketeers, and extortioners everywhere. They never even think of me and my commands, says the Sovereign Lord.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭22:1-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        In reality they could make the worst Christian look like a saint, and this was God’s chosen nation!

        But if you read the book of Ezekiel, you will quickly see starting from the beginning of the book and throughout, God was only threatening to bring such disaster to try to break through to their unmovable, calloused, Stoney heart; and cause them to repent.

        These people were as hard as stone to God, and such a impending disaster is the only thing that may cause them to repent. His ultimate purpose for such a warning because He wanted to save them from hell. Such a warning was given out of love, otherwise why give them a warning at all.

        Read (below) some of the verses woven into the book of Ezekiel. All these verses tell the same thing, God brings warnings to people not to destroy them, but so they would repent.

        “But if you do warn the righteous not to sin, and they don’t sin, they will be declared righteous. Their lives will be preserved because they heeded the warning, and you will save your life.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭CEB‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        “But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done. “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins. “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I. “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭18:21-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        “Son of man, give the people of Israel this message: You are saying, ‘Our sins are heavy upon us; we are wasting away! How can we survive?’ As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die? “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live. “Your people are saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right,’ but it is they who are not doing what’s right. For again I say, when righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and turn to evil, they will die. But if wicked people turn from their wickedness and do what is just and right, they will live.”
        ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭33:10-19‬ ‭NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

        Did a something cause you to repent? (repent basically means to think differently about sin, which then leads to a different lifestyle) – if so, its because God worked that out in your life to bring you to a place of repentance. God loves you, relax and let Him comfort you.

        God loves you and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Anybody feel free to reach out to me I can help you. [email protected]

        Your not doomed; your loved. God loves you.

    • Moz

      The thing that bothers me most about this whole story is that Jacob used deceit to rob Esau of his birthright and blessing and then he was honoured and blessed for this deceitfulness! Does anyone else feel that this just isn’t right?

    • William

      I am still struggling, but I do have times of relief when I concentrate on Christ’s finished work on the cross instead of my sinful past. I still suffer the consequences of my past, but at least I am no longer suicidal and am believing that God gives second chances. Someone told me that no matter what to cling to the cross—that’s what I am doing and it is helping, praise God!

    • William

      Although my heart sometimes still feels hard, I believe the Lord is gradually softening it. I hope this encourages those in this thread who feel it’s too late to keep seeking the Lord. Turn to Him and He will abundantly pardon. He is good!!!

    • William

      Each day I see God’s mercy in my life. There are some major and permanent consequences for my sin, but Christ’s atonement knows no limits. My eyes are fixed on Him, regardless of what my feelings are like.

    • solomon david

      Thanks William. That was encouraging

    • William

      One thing that’s helping is keeping my thoughts pure. Christ said the pure in heart will see God. Porn and impure thoughts cloud God out. I’m beginning to sense God’s calming and cleansing presence again. Still a long ways to go.

    • William

      Today I preached in church to fill in (I was a preacher before falling morally). It felt so good to be used by God again to be a blessing to His people. I hope and pray for more opportunities like this one. It helps me to believe that I am not just a broken off branch, withering and waiting to be thrown into the fire. PTL!

    • William

      I think there was some demonic oppression involved with me earlier through my immorality. As the Lord has been enabling me to keep my mind pure, my mind is clearing up, like the demoniac in the Gospels who ended up in his right mind, sitting at Jesus’ feet.

    • William

      Having a tough time today—satan is relentless at accusing, but still forcing myself to look toward Jesus.

    • William

      No matter what, Jesus still is and will always be Lord and Savior!

    • William

      I will trust in You, O God, and not be shaken

    • William

      Plugging away at seeking the Lord’s face and not looking back

    • William

      Everyday it gets a little better. The Lord is good

    • William

      His mercy is new every morning. Never give up seeking His face

    • William

      Some of the most powerful words from the Bible for this thread are in Hosea 14:4–“I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.” This is a God who delights in turning from His anger and showing mercy.

    • William

      I just went through my life in my mind thinking of every sin that I could and thinking of Christ on the cross atoning for them and God casting them as far as the East is from the west.

    • William

      Looking toward the finished work of Christ rather than trusting my feelings

    • William

      Isaiah 55– God says He will abundantly pardon if we turn from our evil ways and forsake our thoughts.

    • William

      His mercies are new every morning

    • William

      Had a moral lapse today, but confessed it and am trusting in God’s cleansing

    • William

      Finally starting to pick up the pieces from my fall by God’s grace

    • William

      Trusting in Jesus

    • William

      He is a God of second chances, e.g., Samson, David

    • William

      The Lord is softening my heart and comforting my soul

    • William

      I will heal their apostasy
      I will love them freely
      For my anger has turned from them

    • William

      I feel like the Lord has removed the demons that were afflicting my mind. My heart still feels hard, but I believe He is gradually softening it.

    • William

      Yesterday was rough— my beautiful, godly ex-wife married another man. But the Lord ministered to my heart and reminded me that He is the only One I need

    • William

      I believe God has miraculously granted me repentance. I was sorry what I did against Him and His people while in the ministry. I look forward to experiencing His healing hand.

    • William

      Just read several articles online about God’s mercy to Manesseh in the OT— amazing!

    • William

      Happy Thanksgiving! God is good. He is letting me visit my little granddaughter for the first time. I should be dead because of my sin

    • William

      Reading a book entitled The Inescapable Love of God

    • William

      Had another moral lapse this morning, but confessed it to the Lord and my accountability partner and resolved not to repeat

    • William

      Tough time today. Satan’s attacks are relentless. I will keep crying out to God— it’s all I can do

    • William

      God was merciful to king Manasseh. He is a merciful God.

    • William

      I am forcing myself to rely on God’s promises that He will forgive instead of my feelings

    • William

      I felt what I believe was demonic pressure to look at porn. I tried to get around Covenant Eyes, but could not. Then it was as if I heard the Holy Spirit whispering to me to stop resisting Him. I did and felt the demons leave.

    • William

      Spent extended time in prayer this morning begging God for forgiveness and for the Holy Spirit to remove any and all demonic activity. Felt relief I haven’t felt in a long time and my depression lifted—PTL!

    • William

      Merry Christmas everyone! God is good even to those who have rebelled against Him!

    • William

      Blessed day with Christian family and friends!

    • William

      Happy New Year to everyone who looks at this thread! May we all experience God’s unending mercy as we turn away from our sins and return to Him.

    • William

      Trusting in the power of the cross to mortify sin in my body. Someone once said (I can’t remember who) “Be killing sin or it will be killing you”.

    • William

      After seven horrible years, I feel like God is with me again. My heart feels softer and my mind is clearing up. I can now read His Word without a sense of condemnation. Praise the Lord! His mercies are new every morning!

    • William

      After seven horrible years, I feel like God is with me again. My heart feels softer and my mind is clearing up. I can now read His Word without a sense of condemnation. Praise the Lord! His mercies are new every morning!

    • William

      Psalm 85– The Lord gets angry at sin, but restores us after we repent

    • William

      Praise God, He is restoring me and has not cast me away like I worried about before?

    • William

      “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul”—Ps. 29:7

    • William

      I am amazed at God and His love and mercy. He has taken my depression away and is filling my life with good things. For so long I was afraid I was an Esau, but through the Psalms my eyes got back on the Lord. Now I am His for sure forever. Praise God! Praise Jesus Christ! Praise the Holy Spirit!

    • Kim

      I too fell into sexual sin..feel hard feel like esau..I can’t hardly function..want an appetite for the Lord but seems there is none..all I think about is hell..trying to find someone who went through this but was able to come out of it .William u gave me hope..if u or anyone else feels led to call me,please do.hopefully someone whose went through the same thing,but came out..660 620 3759..Been stuck like this for about 6 months..

      • Solomon David

        Kim,

        How are you doing now? Any changes?

        I had a similar experience and I can tell you now. God is still with you. If you need to talk you can msg me 609-902-3380. That goes for anyone wrestling with this. My line is open.

    • Kim

      I got into sexual sin..holy spirit would convict but I kept going back..felt so tormented.i repented but feel it was worldly.only concerned about me,not gods heart.i feel so tormented and in fear.i feel hard.almost like God has hardened me and turned away from me.i say I want him back but can’t seem to spend time with him or his word..I feel I’m lost..but I don’t want to give up..has anyone on here ever been able to come out of worldly sorrow into godly..if so,please call me..especially u William..660 620 3759..please please post this..thank u

      • Feri

        If u go down the page you will see someone comented “If you are reading this thread and are worried that you have apostatized, don’t give up no matter what. I was as lost as a person possibly could be, but I kept crying out to God for seven years and He heard me. Trust in God’s mercy no matter how long it might take or how far you have sunk!” I saw this comment and i saw yours and i wanted to share it with you

    • William

      Let those who delight in my righteousness
      shout for joy and be glad
      and say evermore,
      “Great is the LORD,
      who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
      Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
      and of your praise all the day long.
      Ps. 35:27-28

    • William

      Kim, I sent you a text message. I think I can help you as I went through exactly what you are going through.

    • William

      If you are reading this thread and are worried that you have apostatized, don’t give up no matter what. I was as lost as a person possibly could be, but I kept crying out to God for seven years and He heard me. Trust in God’s mercy no matter how long it might take or how far you have sunk!

      • Ray

        William…
        I came across this thread, and I just can’t believe how many people seem to have my same story. I fully admit to being a dog that has returned to his own vomit time and again and, like you said I believe, this only became startlingly apparent to me after reading a sermon that basically said that you can sin yourself out of the grace of God.
        I made a profession when I was about 10 years old, but got into a gross, habitual sin of the flesh at about 14 or 15. Not normal sexual attraction, but gross stuff. I got convicted of my habitual sin in about 1994, apparently “repented” of it…made a profession of faith…but then went back to it. And then lived in it for about 25 years. I would “get convicted”…pray for salvation again…time and time again…But I’d always go back to it. Round about last year, I finally said “Maybe I need to stop this…”, and I started really trying to put the brakes on…but then I read that sermon about not being able to be saved anymore, and my world basically exploded. Now I go through every day terrified…and rightly so, I think….But I’m always wondering now if there’s still any hope for me? Again, some of these stories really seem to mirror mine, words, thoughts and all…Please, if anyone can help…please…!

    • Ray

      Please, if at all possible, I’d like to try and contact someone about what I’m going through… So many of you seem to have similar stories as mine. Basically a lifetime of secret sin, and a sudden realization and dread that God has turned his back on you. My story is that, being born and raised in the church that I still attend, at about 10 years old, I made a profession of faith. However, there was never any fruit. And to make matters worse, at about 14, I got into some particularly vile sins of the flesh. I was convicted about them to the point of depression at about 19 years old, and made another profession, even getting rebaptized, yet I turned again to my vomit…I went back to my sins…and wound up basically secretly staying in them until very recently, when I felt compelled to try and rein them in. Yet I feel like my heart had grown so hard and cold that it was almost like I felt I was doing God a favor by trying to stop them. But all the while, had you told me I had a hard heart, I probably would have said I didn’t, as I still attended church, and every now and then I would pray another salvation prayer concerning my condition. (That’s another thing…because of these habitual sins, I never really believed I’d ever been saved, and so I think I’ve prayed the “sinner’s prayer” more times than I can count…yet I’d always go back to my sins, and I don’t feel like I ever really took seriously finding the answer to what is the most important question on my life…until NOW, that is…)
      And then COVID hit…and that’s when I thought that maybe I should start getting a little more serious about my relationship with God. Cut out the swearing, control my thoughts, read the Bible and pray more…etc… And so I did. And then, somehow a question began to arise in my heart about that verse in Hebrews 6, the one about “falling away”, and that’s when I started searching for sermons online. And then my world exploded, when I read a sermon by John Piper, talking about how we may go over a line with God, and reach a point of no return. And I started looking back at my life since I went back into my sin, and I started to wonder if maybe I’ve gone past that point with God, and I just never realized it until now. This was about three weeks ago, and I’ve honestly been almost borderline suicidal since. This, I think, is the first time that Hell, death and judgement feels extremely real to me. Please, if anyone would like to reach out, I’d really appreciate it.
      [email protected]

    • Ray

      I think one of the problems with me also is, as someone else stated, lately it seems like I can only relate to the negatives in the Bible. The threats, essentially, but not the promises.

    • William

      Ray,

      I just read your posts. Don’t give up! I thought I was hopeless for over seven years, but I kept crying out for and seeking God. Now my walk with Him is the closest it’s ever been, and I am getter g more and more involved in ministry once again in my church. Don’t believe the devil’s lies that God isn’t listening to you any more. Just keep seeking Him and believe that His mercies are new every morning. Also, read sermons about King Manasseh. That turned on the light for me that if God would accept his repentance, he would accept mine.

    • Leah Rose

      William are you here?
      Pls I need to talk to you

    • William

      Leah, I just saw your post. I’m sorry I’m so late. How can I help you?

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