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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, March 16, 2003

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

Dr. John R. Rice said:

There is a sin "that shall not be forgiven unto men." There is a sin which, if a man commits it, "it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." There is an unpardonable sin…The unpardonable sin [is] that one may cross the deadline while still alive, may pass into the realm of the damned while still alive, may pass into the realm of the damned, may pass forever beyond mercy while yet alive in this world!...Yes, the unpardonable sin can be committed now. Any sinner who has heard the Gospel, who has been deeply convicted, who has been enlightened as to his sin and his need of the Saviour, is in deadly danger of committing the sin that has no forgiveness. Some person you know may have already crossed the boundaries of mercy and entered forever the realm of the doomed and damned! Some person who is not troubled, who neither knows nor cares what he has done, may have driven the Holy Spirit away forever…that person is as certainly doomed forever as if the iron doors of Hell had clanged shut behind him and he had already entered the torments of the lake of fire! (Dr. John R. Rice, Crossing the Deadline, Sword of the Lord, 1953, pp. 3-5).

Great preachers of the past like B. H. Carroll, George W. Truett, R. A. Torrey, and D. L. Moody preached that it is possible for a person like you to commit the unpardonable sin. They taught that you can reject Jesus Christ and be permanently given up by God while you are still alive. I believe that there are some people here tonight who are on the verge of committing this sin, that can never be forgiven. The Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart during the evangelistic meetings we have had in our church the past few Sundays, and last night, on Saturday. You have said "no" to Christ in your heart - and for some of you it will be the last time you say "no" to Christ. Some of you will be given up by God. Some of you have crossed the deadline.

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

I want us to think of three Bible examples of people who committed the unpardonable sin, and were given up by God forever. They lived on, but they could no longer be saved. There are many other examples in the Bible of people who were given up, but I have chosen these three.

I. First, there is the example of Cain.

Turn in your Bible to Genesis, chapter four, verse three:

"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth [angry], and his countenance fell" (Genesis 4:3-5).

The Scofield note correctly says that Cain's "religion was destitute of any adequate sense of sin, or need of atonement…[he] refuses to bring a sin offering" (The Scofield Study Bible, note on Genesis 4:1). Of Abel's sacrifice, the Scofield note says, "His sacrifice, in which atoning blood was shed, was therefore at once a confession of his sin and the expression of his faith in the interposition of a substitute" (ibid., note on Genesis 4:2).

Abel brought a blood offering and God "had respect" for it (Genesis 4:4). But Cain brought a bloodless offering and "unto Cain and to his offering he [God] had not respect" (Genesis 4:5). I know that some modern men say that blood was not the real difference in their offerings. I will not go into their arguments, because I personally consider them worthless. I think it is quite simple - Abel brought blood, and Cain did not. I'll stick with what the old preachers and the Scofield Study Bible said about the subject. That is the Biblical view.

My friend, you cannot be saved without blood - the Blood of Jesus Christ. It was typified by the blood offering of Abel. The Bible plainly says,

"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"
   (I John 1:7).

"Without shedding of blood is no remission" (Hebrews 9:22).

You are either cleansed from sin by the Blood of Christ or you are lost. "Without shedding of blood is no remission." Abel brought blood. Cain did not bring blood. Abel's offering was accepted by God. Cain's offering was not accepted by God. Simple!

Many people try to become Christians today without the Blood of Christ washing away their sins. It is as impossible to do that today as it was in the time of Cain and Abel. You cannot be saved without faith in the atoning Blood of Jesus Christ! The Bible says:

"Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood" (Romans 3:24-25).

Cain became angry when his bloodless religion was not accepted by God. God tried to correct him. God said, in verse seven:

"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…" (Genesis 4:7).

God tried to get Cain to do well and bring a blood offering. But Cain was wroth. He was angry. He rose up and killed his brother. And then look at verse eleven. God said:

"And now art thou cursed from the earth" (Genesis 4:11).

"A fugitive and a vagabond [wanderer] shalt thou be in the earth" (Genesis 4:12).

Cain committed the unpardonable sin when he attacked his godly brother. God gave up on him and he became a no-good wanderer on the face of the earth.

Young person, that can happen to you. I've seen it happen. One young person gets saved in meetings like this - but another one refuses to trust Jesus and have his sins washed away in Christ's Blood. The one who refuses to get saved becomes angry at the Christian sooner or later, leaves the church and becomes a wanderer throughout the rest of his life.

In Romans chapter one we read,

"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness"
      (Romans 1:24).

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections"
      (Romans 1:26).

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:28).

God gave them up! God gave them over! God gave them over to a reprobate mind! They were given up by God forever! That could happen to you - maybe tonight! If you go on rebelling against Christ and His Blood, God could give you up forever - right now - in this service!

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

II. Second, there is the example of Pharaoh in the time of Moses.

Dr. Rice says,

Pharaoh, of the time of Moses, seems to have committed the unpardonable sin. Warning after warning he received. Sign after sign, miracle after miracle came upon him to convict his heart, to turn him from his course [of action] (ibid., p. 15).

Turn to Exodus, chapter nine, verse twenty-seven:

"And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked" (Exodus 9:27).

Now drop down to verse thirty-four:

"And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart…And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened…"
    (Exodus 9:34-35).

Pharaoh hardened his heart. I saw that happen to a girl in our church last Sunday night. She hardened her heart against Christ. I said, "Will you believe in Jesus?" She looked at me with anger, and said, "No." My wife was there with us. My wife looked sadly at that girl's face and said, "She's very hard." The girl hardened her heart, just as Pharaoh did.

Now turn to Exodus chapter fourteen, verse eight:

"And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh" (Exodus 14:8).

At first, Pharaoh hardened his own heart, like that girl did last Sunday night. But then, after many warnings from Moses were rejected by Pharaoh, God Himself hardened the man's heart. He had committed the unpardonable sin. God gave up on him. God sealed his heart forever and gave it to the Devil. Now Pharaoh was "judicially hardened," as the old preachers called it. He lived on in this world, but it was now forever too late for him to get saved.

Will that happen to the girl my wife and I spoke to last Sunday? I hope not - but it could. It could happen soon - maybe tonight.

"God also gave them up" (Romans 1:24).

"God gave them up" (Romans 1:26).

"God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:28).

God can give you up! God can give you over to a reprobate mind! You can be given up by God forever - just as Pharaoh was! It could happen tonight!

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

III. Third, there is the example of the Hebrew people at Kadesh Barnea.

Turn in your Bible to Hebrews chapter three, verse eight:

"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness" (Hebrews 3:8).

The Hebrew people who came out of Egypt did not enter Canaan at Kadesh Barnea. They did not believe God would give the land to them. They hardened their hearts. God gave up on them. I believe that most of them committed the unpardonable sin. Like Cain, they became hopeless wanderers on the earth. They wandered through the wilderness until they died - and I believe they went to Hell. Why? Because they hardened their hearts like Pharaoh until they committed the unpardonable sin and were given up by God forever.

Now look at Hebrews three, verses ten and eleven. God said:

"Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest" (Hebrews 3:10-11).

They shall not enter into my rest! They could have entered in and been blessed. But they said, "no." Their hearts were hardened and God gave them up. They committed the unpardonable sin. They wandered for forty years, then died and went to Hell.

Do you want God to give up on you? Do you want to commit the unpardonable sin? Do you want to be given over by God?

"God also gave them up" (Romans 1:24).

"God gave them up" (Romans 1:26).

"God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:28).

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

Saturday night I told you the true story of a girl. They begged that teenager to come to Christ on Sunday morning. She said, "No, I'll wait until the evening service tonight." She hardened her heart that morning. She thought she would have another chance to get saved. But she was wrong. When she said, "I'll wait," something terrible happened to her heart. It was hardened forever. That afternoon she was killed in a car wreck. Her church friends cried uncontrollably as they passed her open casket at the funeral. They knew she was lost. They knew they would never, ever see her again.

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

Young person, don't end up like her! Don't harden your heart against Christ tonight! Get down to business and get saved now! What sin holds you back? Do you want to run off somewhere, far away from your parents and church, to go to college, against the leading of God's Spirit? Give it up! Give up that idea! Have you thought about leaving the church and not coming back? Don't harden your heart! Give up that sinful thought and do it now - right now! Have you been rebellious to your parents? Have you? Give it up! Stop it! Repent of your rebellion and do it right now! Have you put off making sure you are saved? Have you waited and waited?

Then how sad facing judgment You'll recall with no mercy
That you tarried and lingered Till the Spirit was gone;
What reproaches and mourning, If when death finds you helpless,
You have tarried and lingered And have waited too long!
     ("If You Linger Too Long" by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

Let's you and me get down to business tonight. Christ died on the Cross to pay for your sins. He arose physically from the dead and ascended into the Heavenly place, where He is seated at the right hand of God.

Get down to business! Turn from your sinfulness and come to Christ! Do it now, tonight. Don't go home with our text still true of you,

"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

Turn with me to the last hymn on the song sheet. While we sing it, leave your seat and come, stand here in front of this pulpit. Then we will go to my office and talk about you getting saved - tonight!


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 12:31-32.

Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"If You Linger Too Long" (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).



by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" (Jeremiah 8:20).

I.   The example of Cain, Genesis 4:3-5; I John 1:7;
Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:24-25; Genesis 4:7,11,12;
Romans 1:24,26,28.

II.   The example of Pharaoh in the time of Moses,
Exodus 9:27, Exodus 9:34-35; Exodus 14:8.

III. The example of the Hebrew people at Kadesh Barnea,
Hebrews 3:8,10-11.

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