Is rejecting God a sin?

Is rejecting God a sin?

It seems strange that a “matter of choice” should be asked in such a way. If choosing to reject God is a sin, then what is the opposite, that is to accept Him?

Sin is an often misunderstood word. Sin means “to miss the mark” or “to miss the target” as it was used in Old English archery. So, when we sin it means we are falling short of the standards God has established. The English word ‘trespass’ is perhaps a more appropriate word in most instances as it infers a willful act of disobedience [evil]. Another word used in the Bible is ‘transgression’, which is used to describe non-intentional actions that are contrary to God’s standards.

Some would say that rejecting God is the only ‘unforgivable sin’. It should probably be argued that rejecting God is not a sin but never-the-less, as any physicist will tell you, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law). In the spiritual world the reality is the same. There are two equal and opposite reactions recorded in the Bible:

  1. If you choose to accept God and the gift of salvation He offers, He accepts you. In fact God goes even further – He adopts you as his own child!
  2. If you choose to reject God and the gift of an intimate relationship that He offers, He will not force himself upon you. In this instance the opposite reaction is permanent [eternal] and total separation. Remember, it is you rejecting God, not the other way around.


Even though there are countless “unanswerable questions” out there, the Bible teaches that there is more than enough evidence in nature to show the existence of God “so that YOU are without excuse”. As King David taught thousands of years ago, “It is a fool who says in his heart ‘there is no God.'”

The consequences of rejecting God are clearly articulated throughout the pages of Scripture; that is why Jesus describes Hell (total separation from God for all eternity) in such horrifying and graphic detail.

God looks at the heart and knows all things. God is totally righteous in all He does and no one who accepts Him will be rejected. No one will end up in Hell except by one’s individual choice.

6 comments have been left.

  • Alex left comment on June 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    What is the evidence in nature that proves the existence of God?

    BSBS Response:
    On the surface this seems to be a very straight forward question. However, we believe the real question being asked here is, “What is the evidence in nature that will convince me of the existence of God?” A far, far deeper question. You can find a ‘superficial’ answer on the web page where we ask one to Consider the Peacock. You will likely respond to this article from one of two paradigms; ‘Wow! That is so amazing! Someone would have to be crazy to think this could have happened without a Supernatural Designer!’ or, ‘I believe there is no God regardless of what ever contrary evidence you may provide.’

    More importantly, beyond what one sees in nature, there is the experiential relationship of knowing God. God can only be known when one determines in one’s heart to earnestly seek Him. Please refer to the page Can I find God?

    Alex says: Okay, I read your link and I think I get what you’re saying. Different people take different levels of convincing to find and accept God. I was just mislead a bit because you phrase things such as “regardless of what ever contrary evidence [may be provided]”.

    I can appreciate what you are trying to do, which is guide people to God, something you truly feel will bring peace and joy to people, but I just think you could do it in a less pushy way, especially when your evidence to the contrary has three different interpretations to it.

    I take a bit more to be swayed than a book of stories and seeing something beautiful, but different strokes for different folks. Good luck to this website and your organization, but at least try to accept that there are other view points with equal (if not greater) amounts of proof!

    BSBS response: Thanks Alex. We certainly accept other points of view however we do distinguish between [scientific] ‘proof’ and hypothesis and theory. Scientific proof does not contradict the Bible in any way, or what it says about God. Science and the Bible actually affirm one another. The hypothesis of evolution (no, it’s not a theory) is just that and not scientifically provable.

  • Jerry left comment on April 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    If you know of any arguments theologians make on “the matter of freewill (and predestination)” that can show me where my logic fails, I (and maybe others reading this thread) would appreciate you sharing it with us. I think this would be in the best interest for all of us.

    Thanks for sharing with us the Rom.9:14-24 passage written by the Apostle Paul. Paul seems to be experienced in discussing with others who do not share his point of view. Here he demonstrates for his readers the common questions that could be asked about Paul’s theological views. Verse 19 provides a wonderful example of where our knowledge or logic can fail us.

    And this is where it gets most interesting, because many people might respond with the words, “It is a mystery” or “God works in mysterious ways” or “You just need to have faith”. But Paul responds in another way that is also common, although more so in his day. Paul basically says, ‘This is where you must stop questioning. God is more powerful than you.’ In other words, MIGHT IS RIGHT. Morality must submit to whoever sits in the seat of power.

    BSBS, you introduced this passage with the words, “The following are a few insights from God’s perspective:” Could you point out exactly where in this passage God is providing His “perspective”?

    By the way, I noticed that you italicized one specific statement within the whole passage. I’m not sure why you did this. Could you be a little more direct?

    BSBS Comment: We will endeavour to provide reference material on the subject of freewill and predestination and will advise ASAP.

    On the subject of ‘might is right’ this is where one must consider all the characteristics of God. BSBS and the majority of Bible-believing Christians would say that God and His ways are perfect in every regard: God is omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (He is ever-present throughout space and time), eternal (without beginning or end), etc. There are also those characteristics that are so important to understand in our personal relationship to Him: He is perfectly Holy (no sin can be in His presence), He is perfectly righteous (all sin must be punished), He is perfect in His love (He is not willing that any should perish) and He is full of Grace (taking the punishment for our sin, demanded by His perfect righteousness, upon himself). If God is to be God, He does sit in the seat of power and because of His character He is perfectly moral. Morality in this instance does not submit to the seat of power – they are one and the same. Morality, as you infer, is a human perspective on right and wrong and, together with human might, have often caused untold suffering throughout the ages.

    Concerning ‘God’s perspective’, we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that Paul, like all the other writers in the Bible, wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Paul wrote exactly what God wanted him to.

  • Jerry left comment on April 14, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Anybody can be active without overriding another’s freewill. Why can’t God? And repeatedly, you use the argument that the ends justify the means. Without consent, this is clearly unethical.

    BSBS Comment: Jerry, even amongst learned theologians there is much contrary opinion when it come to the matter of freewill (and predestination). The following are a few insights from God’s perspective:

    Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.

    Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”

    No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles. Romans 9:14-24

  • Jerry left comment on April 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    BSBS, you responded to Jenny with these words, “Before Pharaoh was even born God foreknew that Pharaoh would reject Him. God is “not willing that any should perish…” but God’s foreknowledge of Pharaoh’s eventual rejection allowed Him to use Pharaoh for an ultimate, beneficial purpose.”

    How does the rejecting of God in the future forfeit that person’s freewill in the meantime?

    BSBS Comment: Although God has given man freewill it does not mean that He is an inactive God and does not ‘override’ that freewill on occasion, especially when it is for an ultimately beneficial purpose.

    God said to Moses, “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you.” The purpose for God performing His miraculous signs was for the benefit of His chosen people, that they might ultimately have a strong faith in God. It turned out they were slow learners but God foreknew that they would ultimately turn to Him, which, in part, is why they were ‘chosen’.

    A little further on we read, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.” Here we can infer that Pharaoh hardened his own heart without God’s intervention, but God did harden his heart on those occasions when it was beneficial to do so.

    We are taught by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, “And we know that in all things [both good and bad] God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 Paul is pointing out that God is active and always has the ultimate good of His children in mind.

  • Jenny left comment on April 11, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    If, as Eph ch 2 says, God chooses those who hear Him, then it’s not really a choice is it? God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. God chose for Pharaoh to reject Him.

    8 For by grace you have been saved a through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

    If you guys are teaching people that they have to follow a strict set of rules, that they must live without sin, you will teach people to be religious without knowing Jesus at all. THAT is a sin. The goal is not to avoid sinning but to be satisfied in God. And the message above does not say that whatsoever.

    BSBS Comment: God is omniscient (all knowing) and lives outside of time. Before Pharaoh was even born God foreknew that Pharaoh would reject Him. God is “not willing that any should perish…” but God’s foreknowledge of Pharaoh’s eventual rejection allowed Him to use Pharaoh for an ultimate, beneficial purpose.

    We definitely are NOT “teaching people that they HAVE TO follow a strict set of rules…” The Bible teaches us that we have “freedom in Christ”. In his letter to the Galatians Paul teaches”It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery [to sin]”. Galatians 1:5 It is not that we “must live without sin”, it is that, having been forgiven through the precious blood of Christ, that one to chooses to live a God honouring life – to resist the temptation of deliberate sin. But, when we do fail God, we know that we can come to a merciful God who’s forgiveness is without limit in Christ.

  • Jessica Sideways left comment on April 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Where is this evidence in nature? Areas of the planet that are totally unlivable such as the Sahara Desert, Antarctica or Siberia? How about all of the lovely little diseases that this god supposedly created along with all of the other animals?

    You quote the Bible to try to expound the belief in your god but every cult has this hook into it. I think that L. Ron Hubbard took some things from Christianity to create his own cult, Scientology. If you leave Scientology improperly (the formal process is called “routing out” where they make you jump through hoops in order for them to have more time to work you over), they claim that you have given up any hope for eternity.

    People don’t choose eternal torture. Do you think the Jews, homosexuals and Poles CHOSE to have their homes and property taken from them and placed in concentration camps? Did the prisoners of Abu Ghraib choose to be tortured and humiliated by American soldiers? Your god’s behaviour is analogous to the behaviour of any cruel dictator – either toe the party line or be tortured. Dictators look up to the God of the Bible because he’s the ultimate dictator, torturing the living and un-dead for dissent.

    The reason why your religion depends so heavily on torture and threats of torture is to encourage a quick sale without giving people freedom to choose and the space to do so. I suspect that if Christianity did not infest Europe and the Americas, it would still be some odd little desert cult. If there were no threats, people would see the god for what he is, a vicious, evil monster. Hell, *I* am kinder than your god, since I don’t discriminate and won’t torture anyone, for any reason!

    I don’t expect honest and open discussion on this topic on this blog and I expect that my comment will be deleted. Which is why I am posting it elsewhere so that the discussion can continue.

    BSBS Comment: You wrote on you own blog about “why it is that Christians run homeless shelters”. You ask a good question but in your commentary you miss the reason completely! Likewise you make the same mistake when you talk about Christianity as only a religion. It is not – it is a relationship. Those who deny this are not Christians even if they call themselves such. We do not wish to indoctrinate or push religion any anyone. Our mandate is to encourage you to seek, and hopefully find, God. If and when you do, you will realize that a personal relationship with God is possible. This is something we can only tell you about – the reality of God is something you have to experience personally. God has extended the invitation. You can accept of reject but don’t say that you were never invited.

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