Thursday, December 29, 2005

Blaspheming of the Holy Spirit

There has been some confusion, in Christian circles, regarding the "blaspheming of the Holy Spirit." Note the following Scriptures:

Matthew 12:22-37 (The additional Scriptures in parentheses are cross references)

A House Divided Cannot Stand

(Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:14-23)

22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the *blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"

24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by *Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons."

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

The Unpardonable Sin

(Mark 3:28-30)

31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

A Tree Known by Its Fruit

(Matt. 7:15-20)

33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure *of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

In Matthew 12:31 & 32, the Pharisess had blasphemed against the Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan (12:24) instead of the Holy Spirit. The unpardonable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God's power in Christ. It indicates a deliberate and irreversible hardness of heart. Sometimes believers worry that they have accidently committed this unforgivable sin. But only those who have turned their backs on God and rejected all faith have any need to worry. Jesus said they can't be forgiven - not because their sin is worse than any other, but because they will never ask for forgiveness. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit removes himself or herself from the only way or means that can lead him or her to repentance and restoration to God.

In Matthew 12:34-36, Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts. What kind of words come from your mouth? That is an indication of what your heart is really like. You can't solve your heart problem, however, just by cleaning up your speech. You must allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with new attitudes and motives; then your speech will be cleansed at its source.

In Mark 3:20-30, we read an additional account of where the religious leaders accused Jesus of being under Satan's power.

I have read in other blogs that Christians sometimes wonder if they have committed this sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. True believers in Christ need not worry about this sin because this sin is attributing to the devil what is the work of the Holy Spirit. It reveals a heart attitude of unbelief and unrepentance. Deliberate, ongoing rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit is blasphemy because it is rejecting God himself. In Mark 3:20-30, the religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy, but ironically they were the guilty ones when they looked Jesus in the face and accused him of being possessed by Satan.

What is being done, today, by nonbelievers is the final rejection of the prompting of the Holy Spirit at the door of their hearts. Jesus is a gentleman and will not force belief in him on any soul. The Holy Spirit will continue to knock at the door of the hearts of the lost, but every lost person on earth must choose to open that door to their hearts and invite Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Lord of their life!

We can see that the pride of the heart often is the culprit that causes nonbelievers to reject Jesus Christ. In Mark 3:22-27, the Pharisees and teachers of the law could not deny the reality of Jesus' miracles and supernatural power. They refused to believe that his power was from God, however, because then they would have had to accept him as the Messiah. Their pride would not let them do that. So in an attempt to destroy Jesus' popularity among the people, the teachers of the law accused him of having power from Satan. Jesus' reply showed how silly they were and that their argument didn't make any sense!

Mark 3:20-27

A House Divided Cannot Stand

(Matt. 12:22-30; Luke 11:14-23)

20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, "He is out of His mind."

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebub," and, "By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons."

23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: "How can Satan cast out Satan?

24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.

The Unpardonable Sin

(Matt. 12:31, 32; Luke 12:10)

28 "Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation"-- 30 because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."

No comments: