The Unpardonable Sin
 
Nearly every Christian I have ever talked to fears that they have at one time or another committed what is sometimes called "The Unpardonable Sin."  Most of this fear comes from the fact that there is much confusion out there as to what exactly this sin is and how it is committed.  For Christians, this uncertainty steals the joy and assurance of salvation.  For non-Christians who worry about this ( few ever do ) , they lose the hope of ever being saved.
 
To help clear up the issue of what it is, lay some groundwork.
 
Basics to Remember about the Unpardonable Sin
 
First, Scripture is very clear that Jesus died for all the sins of all people throughout all time (Col 2:13; 1 John 2:2).  His death covers all the sins we committed before we believed in Jesus for eternal life and after we believed in Jesus for eternal life .  Since all of our sins were yet future to God when Jesus died on the cross, He is not surprised by any sin we commit, nor does He ever regret giving us eternal life and therefore take it back.  Once saved,a person is secure in Christ forever.
 
 
Secondly, no where in Scripture do we ever find the term  The Unpardonable Sin."  People get this term from Matthew 12:31 where we read that " ththe blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.  "Here we learn what the so - called "Unpardonable Sin" is,__it is blasphemy against the Spirit.  So the question is not "What is the Unpardonable sin?" But rather "What is blasphemy against the Spirit?  
 
Some people consider the blasphemy against the Spirit to be the "really bad" sins like fornication, adultery, murder, homosexuality, breaking one of the ten commandments, or something similar.  But the blood of Christ was even shed for these sins.  Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians that some of them had been washed from such sins( Cor6:11).  A study of the events surrounding David's adultery with Bathsheba reveals that he broke all ten commandments, yet we know he will be in heaven. 
 
So, what is the Blasphemy against the Spirit?  To "Blaspheme" means to speak evil or injuriously about someone.  But notice that one can blaspheme Jesus and still be forgiven (Matt 12:32; Mark 3:28), so blasphemy against the Spirit must be something different.
 
Various Options about the Unpardonable Sin
 
Let's look at the various opinions.
 
First, as already mentioned, some consider the blasphemy to be a certain "big" sin.  But since many people in Scripture committed these "big" sin and were forgiven, we know that this cannot be the answer.
 
Second, Some think it is Israel's rejection of Jesus as the promised Messiah.  They look at the context of Matthew 12 and notice that it is the Jewish Religious leaders Jesus was talking to, and they did not accept Jesus as the Messiah, nor listen to the Holy Spirit's testimony about Him.  So they said that Jesus was from Satan, which was a blasphemous thing to say.
 
Those who hold this view say that since Jesus is no longer walking the earth, and since Israel has already rejected Him as the promised Messiah, this sin can no longer be committed by individuals today.
 
A few things can be said against this.  Notice that Jesus says "anyone who " This means anyone, not just the Israelite people of that day.  Also, there are other places where people accuse Jesus of acting according to the devil, and He says nothing there about blasphemy against the Spirit.
 
Third, some believe that it is unbelief of the Gospel.  We know that those who do not believe will not go to heaven, and so will never be forgiven for their unbelief.  They relate it to the Holy Spirit because He is the one who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (John 16:7-11).  when people refuse to listen to Him, they are committing this sin.  In this way, non-Christians can commit this sin even today.
 
But this seems to be a little too simplistic.  The warning is quite strong.  And if this were true, why wouldn't Jesus have just called it the "sin of unbelief"?
 
Fourth, some think it is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of Satan.  In other words, if you see someone doing something when they claim to be under the power of the Holy Spirit, you better not hint that maybe they are actually under demonic influences, because that might be the blasphemy against the Spirit.
 
But this seems to go against much of what Scripture says about "testing the spirits" (1John 4:1), and ignores warnings about how false prophets come in sheep's clothing (Matt 7:15).  It is a Christian's duty to question whether something is from God or not.
 
All of these then, are not quite what the passage and the overall message of the Bible is teaching.  What is this sin then?
 
What is the Unpardonable Sin?
I bellieve it is this.  There are two sins against the Holy Spirit which an unbeliever can make: resisting (Rom 1:18-20)and blaspheming.  We do know from John 16 that the Holy Spirit's job in this world is to convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment.  When non-Christians resist the Holy Spirit, they are trying not to hear what the Holy Spirit is telling them.  They try to drown out His still small voice with constant music and recreation and entertainment and sex and alcogol and drugs.  They listen to people who tell them they are "pretty good " people.  It appears that every non-Christian is in a state of resistance to the Holy Spirit.
 
But from this condition, one of three things will happen.  First the person may stop resisting, and submit to what the Holy Spirit is saying, and so , having understood that they are a sinner and in need of salvation because judgment is coming, they will believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life.  They are now and forevemore a Christian.
 
Second, the non-Christians may continue to resist throughout his or her life , and will die in a state of resistance and so go to eternal punishment.  They never believed, and so do not receive the benefits of salvation.
 
 Finally, a person may get tired of always resisting, and may lash out in anger and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit for what He is trying to tell them.  This person knowingly and maliciously rejects and slanders the Holy spirit for His efforts to bring them to salvation.  This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit .
 
The result is that the Holy Spirit stopstrying to convict them.  They have once and for all chosen their path of rebellion.  He will no longer convict them of their sin, of the offer of salvation, or of impending judgment.  They have demanded to be left alone, and so thier request will be honored.
 
Have You Committed the Unpardonable Sin?
 
So, how do you know if you, or a friend, or relative, have committed this sin?  If you have believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life, then you are saved, and it is no longer possible for you to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.  You're safe and secure in the arms of Jesus.  No one can take you out of His hands, or His Father's hands ( John 10:28-29).  Nothing can separate you from the love of God-not even yourself (Rom8:38-39).
 
If you, or your friend or relative is not a Christian, then be encouraged.  Almost nobody who commits the blasphemy against the Spirit wonders if they have.  They don't care about such things anymore.  The unbeliever who commits this sin has become so morally and spiritually blind that their heart is harded  to the point that they no longer care about spiritual things and will never believe in Jesus.
 
But nevertheless, some people are afraid they have.  To them, I would simply say, "Worrying about it pretty much proves that you haven't  so in order to make sure you never will be able to, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.  Whatever sin you may have committed, you are still being convicted by it, which is good.  God's grace will cover over that sin, and all other sins if you will just believe in Jesus for eternal life.
 
Dont dampen the Spirit
Don't stifle the Spirit. (Thessalonians 5:19),HCSB
 
The sin described in Scripture as "blasphemy against the Spirit" rarely occurs in the life of a  Christian.  It is rather a conscious resistance, and anyone worrying about it has not committed it.  There is , however, a more frequent sin.  It is one that almost all Christians have committed and is known as" quenching the Spirit"
 
How do we "quench" the Holy Spirit?  We can do this in many ways, but the chief way is by refusing to let Him have full control of our lives.  The Amplified Bible says: "Do not quench( suppress or subdue) the (Holy ) Spirit. "You see, it is possible for you ro possess the Holy spirit without the Holy Spirit possissing you.
 
Dr. Handley Moule, the great Anglican bishop of a past generation, used to say:"The difference between someone who is quenching theSpirit and someone who is allowing the Spirit to have free course in their life, is the difference between a well in which there is a spring of water choked, and a well in which the obstruction is removed so that the water springs up and fills the well."  If we are choked by fears, resentments, indecision, self-centeredness, then we are suppressing the Holy Spirit who resides in us in order to free us.
I know that many are afraid to surrender completely to the Spirit, afraid that they will become what some people all "hot-pots."  But the danger to the present church is not from "Hotpots"  but from "cold fish"! Unless I am greatly mistaken, our churches are more in danger of freezing up than burning up.
 
Daily Prayer 
O God , forgive me, I pray , for not allowing Your Holy Spirit to have full sway in my life and experience.  Let Your divine fire burn within.
 
This devotional is courtesy of Every Day with Jesus.
In Luke 9:62, Jesus says:  " No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back i is fit for the kingdom of God. "Many take this to mean that a person who has been born again, who then backslides, is not fit for the kigdom of God, and so they lose their salvatiion.  But that isn't what Jesus is saying at all .   When you look at the context, it is clear that He is referring to those who have NOT BELIEVED IN HIM!  First, Jesus tells one man to follw Him, and the man asks to wait until his Father dies.  Obviously, the father was not yet dead, or the man would have already been involved in burial activities.  His father's death may have been many years away.  But he wanted to wait, rather than obey Jesus right away.  Another man said"I'll follow you, Lord, but first let me go tell all those at home goodbye. "That is when Jesus made this statement.  Neither one of these men were willing to fully commit their lives to Jesus. 
 
A man putting his hand to the plough (plow) is a man who is preparing to work.  Plowing is a difficult job, and you have to pay attention to what you're doing.  A person can't look back, and plow a straight row.  You can't move ahead while you're looking back.  These men had put their hands to the plow , saying they were ready to follow Jesus but they were looking back , not ahead.  Thus, we see that a person preparing for Christian service, but never having actually committed their life to Jesus Christ, is not fit for the kingdom of God.  This passage has nothing at all to do with a true, born again believer.  It refers to those claiming to be Christians, but who have never truly accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  They give lip-service to the truths of God's word, but have no actually put it into practice in their own lives. 
 
A person who has truly been born again will not be looking back---they will be looking ahead, to the time Jesus will return!  A person looking back hasn't truly trusted Jesus and repented of their sinfulness.  Looking back indicates a longing for what you had, for what you are leaving  behind.  Remember Lot's wife?  A true born again Christian has no desire to go back to what they were; they don't look back with longing for what they've left behind.  Instead, they praise God for saving them and delivering them from their old sinful life!
 
Typed by Patricia Blaine 

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