Q. Hello pastor Jack. I suffer from extreme intrusive thoughts. These thoughts can be blasphemous, or doubtful, or sometimes pure evil. My greatest fear is being rejected by God, and considered unforgivable by Him.
And some tell me “These thoughts aren’t yours. So long as you fight against them, and don’t agree with them, you have nothing to worry about.” And then I think okay, yes, that makes sense. But then I worry: *Am* I fighting against them? What if I absentmindedly agree to an evil thought, or let it sit too long? Then the thoughts come back again, and I find myself evaluating my feelings towards the thoughts as well as the thoughts themselves. “Was that a hint of admiration? Was that a bit of assent? Did I just agree to something I should not have?”
I’m sorry for bugging you with this, sir, but I’m a trainwreck right now and need some definitive answers from someone more knowledgeable of the Bible than I am. Would you say that I am in fact condemned? Or is there hope even for me?
A. It’s clear that Satan is toying with you, trying to get you to take these thoughts into your mind and give them conscious consideration. As long as you refuse to do that, you haven’t sinned.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
The best way to resist the devil is to quote scripture. Every time you experience the fear of condemnation you can quote:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
So if you continue to resist him, he’ll eventually leave you alone. But even if you have allowed thoughts like this into your mind from time to time, what you’ve done is committed a sin that Jesus knew about when He went to the cross and payed for it there.
If you are born again, all the sins of your life were forgiven at the cross and as soon as you accepted that and believed it they were all forgiven. Therefore you cannot be condemned. (Romans 8:1) From the time you were born again when you confess your sins they are automatically forgiven. So your fears that you are condemned, or even that you could be, are unfounded.