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.
The teaching of an “unpardonable sin” has been hijacked away from the teaching of Jesus to all sorts of controlling ideas. You see, if you can scare someone into thinking that there is an unpardonable sin then you can also control what they do and don’t do. For instance, if suicide is the unpardonable sin then people contemplating it might think twice before sending themselves to hell. If blasphemy of Allah is the unpardonable sin then men and women can never leave Islam with any hope of ever getting to their heaven. Every religion will have some controlling unpardonable sin to keep its followers from committing it.
As a pastor, I have met people who were convinced that they had committed the unpardonable sin. Though they often could not put their finger on it, they just knew they were beyond the forgiveness of God.
What did Jesus say? Jesus taught that the only unpardonable sin was blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at an example that makes this clear. When Jesus was crucified he hung on the middle cross. On one side was a man, a criminal of society, who heard the call of the Holy Spirit, realized his sin and realized that Jesus could save him from the damnable sin of his life. All of his life this man had lived in his sin growing in its severity until ultimately society said, “Enough is enough,” and so condemned him to death by crucifixion. He knew he was a condemned sinner facing eternal punishment. In a moment of submission to the Holy Spirit’s call, this man cried out to the Lord Jesus for mercy and found mercy, forgiveness and the most wonderful words he had ever heard, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
The other criminal, just as bad as the first, was hanging next to the same Savior. Let’s assume that he had the same opportunity as the other fellow. Let’s assume that the Holy Spirit also spoke to his heart that day. But this man rejected the truth he heard, rejected the Lord Jesus, and blasphemed him instead. As far as we can tell, this man committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, died in his sins, and was eternally condemned.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is rejection of His call, rejection of His application of the Word of God, and rejection of the extended mercy of God. When rejects the call of the Holy Spirit, that person has committed the unpardonable sin and without repentance before death will be eternally condemned along with the unrepentant criminal on the cross.
Let us, as followers of Jesus Christ, be ever submissive to the Holy Spirit who brings the Word of God to our minds. Let us pray for those who are living rejecting lives that they, before they die, will also come to submit to the call of the Holy Spirit to their salvation. I ever remember the call of Jesus to all, “Come unto me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Those who hear and come are the ones who are saved.
We had a great time at youth group last night. Three teens who haven’t been able to come much this school year and we really enjoyed having them back. Young Zach had his first night in youth group, having finished the 6th grade this year. He brings his youthful zeal to the group. Andrew and Stefani prepared a lesson and brought it to the teens. It was very personal and very pointed to their friends in the room. Pray for our teens to have a revival of heart for the things of God.
We will be going out Saturday afternoon to pass out flyers for VBS. If you can grab some and go to parks and places near your home, please do.
Have a great day in the Lord,