Since my last two blog entries have covered: Quenching the Holy Spirit and Grieving the Holy Spirit, we might as well complete the trifecta of “Holy Spirit don’ts” and look at Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. My experience is that many people worry about committing the “unforgiveable sin.” Many Christians fear that they just might have committed this sin and forfeited their salvation. If you are bothered by the prospect that you have committed a sin that cannot be forgiven I think I have gospel (good news) for you. I hope that after reading this you will have a confident assurance of your salvation which is God’s will for your life. It is true that Jesus said there is a sin which won’t be forgiven (blasphemy of the Holy Spirit). However, if you are worried that you might have committed it, it doesn’t apply to you. Let’s look at the context in which Jesus spoke of this blasphemy from Mark, chapter 3:
20 And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” 22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 23 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! 27 But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.
28 “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
What is Jesus Doing?
What in the wild, wild world of sports is going on here? At this time Jesus had gained considerably popularity in large part because He (through the power of the Holy Spirit) is performing miracles. Traveling around and turning water into wine, healing lepers, giving: sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, mobility to the lame, life to the dead and yes…. casting demons out of those afflicted has caused people to take notice! Seekers were coming from all over to check out this Jesus Christ. So much so that Jesus and His companions were having trouble moving around or sitting down to enjoy a meal. Crowds were coming to encounter the promised Messiah and people were receiving salvation of their souls…. what an incredible and exciting time this must have been! But in the midst of this excitement, amongst the movement of God were “blasphemers.” Not doubters, these were outright rejecters of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Remember, Jesus came to move mankind from strict adherence to a harsh law to a covenant of grace and relationship with God. Jesus became flesh, and dwelt among us; He became fully man which allowed the physical world to see God in a way that it could understand. Jesus emptied Himself, leaving the right hand of the Father and entered the physical realm as a Human being. Not a fallen and fallible human but a human being how God originally intended – without sin and therefore an undamaged relationship with God’s Holy Spirit. The miracles Jesus performed as this perfect man were through the uninhibited power of the Holy Spirit. Also remember that the way Jesus was to move mankind from law to relationship was by paying the massive penalty for the sins of the world and in effect purchasing a place for us in heaven. This offer of forgiveness, salvation and relationship is offered to mankind as a free gift (grace). All one must do to receive this gift is say “yes” to the One who paid for it (Jesus). Say “yes” to Jesus as Savior (provider of your salvation) and Lord (ruler of your life). If you have done this go ahead and say halleluiah; you know you want to!
Before we move on, let’s take a pop quiz…. DON’T LEAVE – I’ll give you the answer to each question; the answer is “Holy Spirit”:
- Who convicts the world of sin and draws people to Jesus for salvation?
- Who seals our salvation after we say “yes” to Jesus?
- Who illuminates our minds and acts as a highlighter for God’s truth as we walk through this life?
- Who grows us into mature Christians?
Good job on the quiz guys and gals. The knowledge that it took to ace that quiz is essential in determining precisely what it means to commit the “eternal sin.” The people Jesus was speaking to in Mark 3 saw the Messiah with their own eyes performing miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit. These people were so callous toward the work of God that not only did they reject Him but they attributed His wonderful work and the miraculous events that were occurring to the power of the Devil. Therefore, Jesus responded, “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”.
Defining the Unforgiveable Sin
So, based on this passage and your pop-quiz knowledge, what is the “unforgiveable sin?” Answer – the unforgiveable sin is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit for an entire lifetime. The eternal sin is rejecting the Holy Spirit which causes a rejection of Jesus Christ (our only way to God, the Father). Rejecting the Holy Spirit is rejecting His conviction of sin. Rejecting the Holy Spirit is rejecting the need for a Savior. Rejecting the Holy Spirit is rejecting relationship with God. Rejecting the Holy Spirit is rejecting God. Make no mistake about it people, a rejection of the Holy Spirit’s work in the salvation process (drawing a sinful heart to the Savior) is a sin that can never be forgiven!
What’s the Good News?
Here’s the good news; if you have truly received Jesus, the unforgiveable sin does not and cannot apply to you. If you are worried that you have committed blasphemy of the Holy Spirit then your heart is not callous or hardened like the people to which Jesus was speaking. So stop worrying and receive the benefits that come with your salvation – security and peace to name a couple! Oh, and one last thing…. if you have truly said “yes” to Jesus and received salvation, the enemy wants you to doubt it. He wants you to doubt it because that kills your effectiveness in the Body of Christ. It keeps you wrestling with the concept seen in Ephesians 2:8-9 which prevents you from launching to Ephesians 2:10. So Christian, stop worrying about whether or not you are saved and allow yourself to be launched to good works!
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB)