Is There Really an Unpardonable Sin?
Lorraine Day, M.D
So, how does this make a difference? Well, one very important result of properly translating the word "eon" pertains to the study of what is often referred to as "The Unpardonable Sin" where the King James Version states "And whosever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall NOT be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." Matt 12:32.
However, the word is NOT "world" but "eon." Thus, the text really reads, in the original Greek, "it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this eon, nor in the eon to come." That means that "the sin against the Holy Ghost will not be forgiven him" in the eon that these words were written in (the present eon we are living in), nor in the eon to come - which is the millennial eon. The Bible teaches that the wicked will be dead during the millenial eon, so naturally "his sin" will not be forgiven him while he is dead. But the Bible states that there is ANOTHER eon after that, the Fifth and Final Eon of time, when the wicked are resurrected and the Great White Throne Judgement takes place! The Bible does NOT say that "his sin" will not be forgven him in that LAST eon! This is clearly a matter for much further study.
When we study the different specific eons, we find there are a total of FIVE eons, in the Total Eonion Times of this earth's history. We will not discuss the first eon at this time, as that is a total study in itself. It is mentioned in Heb 1:2 We can find from scripture that the second eon began at Creation as described in the first chapter of Genesis and extended until the flood, a period of at least 1600 years (Genesis 1-9). The third eon (Gal 1:4; 1 Thess 4:13, 5:11; Matt 24:29,30) began with the flood and will end at the Second Coming of Jesus, a period of around 4000 years. This is the eon that we are living in right now. This eon and the previous eon are termed the "evil" eons in the Bible. (For more information, see the reference at the end of this study.)
When Jesus comes again, that will begin the fourth eon, the one thousand year millenial eon, the only eon for which the Bible gives us an exact time -- one thousand years (Rev 20:1-10; Luke 18:20). But the Bible tells that there will be ANOTHER eon, the fifth eon, AFTER the millenial eon (Rev 21-22; Eph 3:21; Rev 11,14,15; Rev 20:11-15). That's when the Second Resurrection (the Resurrection of the Wicked) and the Great White Throne Judgment will take place. But please note, that will take an ENTIRE eon!
How Long is an Eon?
The word "eon" just designates that it is a period of time, with a definite beginning and a definite end. It is NOT eternity, as eternity has NO end! Each eon appears to be a different length of time. But one thing is certain, every eon is a VERY LONG period of time. The shortest eon that the Bible speaks of is the millenian eon (the fourth eon) and that is 1000 years long. The second eon, from creation to the flood, was at least 1600 years long and the present eon, from the flood until the Second Coming of Christ, is at least 4000 years long.
So, we have reason to believe that the last eon (the fifth and final eon) will be AT LEAST 1000 years long and possibly longer! Christians have the impression that the wicked will be resurrected, judged and "thrown in the lake of fire" in a very short period of time, --- maybe minutes, hours, days, weeks or months. Really, no one gives it much thought. Everyone is just under the impression that it will all happen quite rapidly.
But if billions of people are going to be "eternally lost" as most Christians believe, and God's going to resurrect billions of wicked people just to "judge" them, then kill them again, supposedly to prove to them that He was right all along (Have you ever stopped to ponder what kind of a God would do that?), then wouldn't God allow each person to have at least a few minutes individually in front of the Great White Throne, before God "eternally" destroys them? Is that too much to ask? After all, we're told that each person is so precious to Jesus that He would have died on the cross for "just one person," and that we're much more important than the sparrows that He assures us He watches over.
Or are billions of people going to be resurrected and judged as a gigantic, impersonal mass of humanity, then communally consigned to the fire to die all over again, but this time in an excruciatingly painful way?
In addition, the wicked will HAVE to be resurrected in better bodies (but not "glorified" bodies as the righteous have) than they had when they went down into the grave, as some were brain-dead in comas on life-support when they died, some died with Alzheimer's, and some were burned to death in accidental house fires. They're at least going to have to be restored to such a degree that they can understand what the "judging" is all about.
What would it prove to have a comatose patient, or a person with Alzheimer's placed before God at the Great White Throne Judgment? That would be stupid. God wouldn't do that. The "judgment" would be nonsensical and meaningless if the person being "judged" couldn't understand what was going on.
1. The last eon, the eon of the Great White Throne Judgment, will be at least as long as the shortest known eon, at least 1000 years, possibly longer. For a Christian that does not believe in "eternal" burning, what in the world is going to take place that would take such a long time? By the way, the concept of the wicked "burning forever and ever" has no Biblical basis when one reads the original Greek. The longest period of time the wicked could possibly "burn" would be for the "eon", a specific period of time with a definite ending. (The question of whether the wicked will literally burn, and for how long is the subject of yet another study. See the study on "When is Fire Not Fire?")
2. There must be some means of feeding, sheltering and governing these billions of people while the Judgment is taking place and while the wicked are preparing for battle against the Saints. Will there be a whole "civilization" set up?
3. The wicked will be resurrected in better bodies than the ones in which they went down to the grave (though not "glorified" bodies as the righteous will have).
Clarification of the Scriptures by the proper translation of the word "eon."
Here are some examples of the Biblical contradictions produced by the mistranslation of the word "eon."
1. The word "everlasting" is applied to things in some Bible passages that the Bible states, in other passages, is clearly NOT "everlasting".
"the everlasting hills" Gen 49:26 and Deut 33:15 (R.V.)
Yet the Bible states that the hills are NOT "everlasting."
Isa 54:10 "For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed"
Amos 9:13 "and all the hills shall melt"
2 Peter 3:10 "and the earth shall be burned up"
2. Contradictory expressions as "the end of the world" and "world without end."
Matt 24:3 "the end of the world" (KJV) The accurate translation is: "conclusion of the eon."
Eph 3:21 "world without end" (KJV) The accurate translation is: "unto all the generations of the eon of the eons."
The inaccuracy and inconsistency of the translation of the words "olam" in the Old Testament and of "aion" and "aionios" in the New Testament has led to a tragic perversion of what the Scriptures actually teach in regard to the destiny of God's creatures.
Let's remember that we are told that God "is the Saviour of ALL men" (1 Tim 4:10); that He will justify ALL (Rom 5:18); that He will reconcile ALL unto Himself (Col 1:20);that He will give life to ALL (1 Cor. 15:22); and that finally when all enemies have been subjected, and death is abolished, that God will be "ALL IN ALL" (1 Cor 15:28).
If these statements are true, then it cannot be true that millions of His children are to be held in never-ending torment or that they will be permanently annihilated (by whatever method you may believe), nor that even one should receive such treatment. "Behold the Lamb of God, that TAKES AWAY the sin of the WORLD." He doesn't "offer" to take it away --- He TAKES it away. And the "sin" is not taken away from just "some people" in the world -- No, it is taken away from the WHOLE world!
This does not deny that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men" (Rom 1:18). There is no doubt whatever as to the fact that the Bible clearly teaches wrath -- not only in this age (eon) but in the age (eon) which is to come. "God will NOT be mocked." Whatever we sow, we will reap. But God's wrath is defined in Romans 1:18, 24, 26, 28. God's "wrath" is just giving us up to our own evil desires and allowing us to reap what we have sown.
Let us ALL remember that God says, "I'm NOT like you." "My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
The word "Judgment" means to "set right" or to "turn around" or "turn back." God chastens us to turn us around, so we'll head in the right direction. That's the way we discipline our own children. Psalm 94:15 says, "But judgement shall RETURN unto righteousness."
Psalm 90:3, speaking of God, says, "Thou turnest man to destruction: and sayest, Return, ye children of men."
If destruction means annihilation, then how could anyone return to God after they have been permanently annihilated?
In 1 Cor 5:5, Paul tells us to "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
Notice that "destruction" is NOT annihilation, but the prelude to SALVATION! (Please see the study on "The Destruction of the Wicked.")
1) An Eon is a period of time, NOT eternity.
2) There will be a total of Five Eons in the history of this world.
3) We are living in the third eon of earth's history
4) The millenial eon (the fourth eon) will begin at the Second Comig of Jesus
5) After the millenial eon, there will be a fifth and final eon during which time the wicked will be resurrected, the Great White Throne Judgement will take place, and the wicked will reap what they have sown. But that will NOT include permanent annihilation. Their "Judgement" will have a PURPOSE -- to turn them back to righteousness! Psalm 94:15, "But Judgement shall RETURN unto righteousness!"
6) When death is abolished and God is "ALL in ALL" (1 Cor 15:28) --- THEN eternity will be begin