Tuesday, December 19, 2006

what is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

In response to the efforts of the Rational Response Squad to try to get folks to commit the unforgiveable sin, I need to say, Guys, I don't think its that easy.

On March 19, 2006 I made a post about the blaspemy of the Holy Spirit entitled The Unforgiveable Sin. I thought I'd rerun that post to offer another voice on the issue. Here is that post:

Today I preached on Mark 3:20-35, the text that deals with "the blaspemy of the Holy Spirit," or the unforgivable sin. I've always been curious about what that meant and wanted to get a firm and simple understanding of it. What I came up with is that the unforgivable sin is "the continual rejection of all God's efforts to save you," or "the refusal to be saved."

I derived this definition partly from the context in Mark 3. The scribes from Jerusalem are looking at all of the people who Jesus has saved and delivered from demons and diseases by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus who saves and delivers and regenerates us when we believe in Jesus. They saw the evidence of the power. They could have responded in faith and been saved from their sins and joined the Family of the Forgiven. Instead, they responded with disgust and rejection. Jesus warned them that if they continued in that direction, they would never find and experience God's forgiveness.

The other source I found helpful was Jesus' teaching on the work of the Holy Spirit in John 14-17. Jesus says in 15:26 that the Holy Spirit will testify to people about him, and in John 16:8-11 that the Holy Spirit will convict people of their sin, Christ's righeousness, and the coming judgment. To respond to the Holy Spirit's conviction with faith and repentance results in salvation, to reject it is to reject the only source of salvation for the human race.

I believe that the opportunity to repent is offered us until the day our fate is sealed by death. Then our salvation or our seperation takes us into one of two eternal places. Never give up praying for those who aren't saved. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and use you in his ongoing efforts to save people.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jason,

I generally agree on your view that the Holy Spirit doesn't giv up trying to save us until our last breath.

One troubling text is
Acts 5:1-11, the sin is lying to the Holy Spirit. Here we have two members of the early church struck dead for what seems to not be a truthful account of their "love offering" (a great deal more than a ten percent tithe.

What is your take on "lying to the Holy Spirit' as oppossed to "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit"?

Some blogs have even said such and such pastor because he is too worldly or lived a double life of immorality (gambling, illicit sex, etc.) was never truly saved in the first place or has fallen into apostasy.

This is a difficult question, I don't have an answer other than the Lord will judge the heart of every man and I am not an elder of X church so I can not comment on the character of X pastor.

But if a biblical truth of the virgin birth, the atonement of Christ for our sins, the resurrection of Christ, the miracles of Jesus, and His Return are attacked, then that is the spirit of antichrist and every believer is called to speak out against this (IMHO).

I stand with you in defense of Christ and the unique distinctions of the Christian faith with love and charity.

John Flores
Frisco, Texas

Anonymous said...

Seperation???? Who does the seperating. Us, or God?

Mike

Jason Woolever said...

hey john,
the whole "lying to the Holy Spirit" issue is obviously very serious. i think we should avoid it at all costs. from what i can tell, its not the same thing as the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

you're right about that being a tricky text!

Jason Woolever said...

mike - we do the separating - :-)

JD said...

Jason and John,

I have gotten to the point when I see a comment by John, I have to scroll down to see his benediction before I read anything else. I enjoy the way he closes his comments, different and encouraging everytime. I am not that original. :)

PAX
JD

Sad Mom said...

The video you are referencing made me sad for those children who uploaded their statements. If they only knew the Wondrous King they were trying to push away, they would never have said it. It reminded me of the times to come (and past/present in other countries)when Christians may be pressured to deny Christ on pain of death. Is our society and more specifically our nation moving closer in that direction?

Jason Woolever said...

it sometimes looks like it!