— By Barrett Vanlandingham
I actually watched videos one day this week of individuals online who sit smugly in front of a camera to announce they are “blaspheming the Holy Spirit.” That’s sad!
Many people have wondered over the years what it means to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. After all, the Bible pegs this act as the only unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31-32 and Mark 3:29). Many have also wondered if they might be guilty of this sin since they’re not quite sure about the meaning of the phrase.
To put some of you at ease, I’ve heard it said that if you’re worried about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, you are probably not guilty of it.
However, the attitude of the Pharisees was that the miracles Jesus had been performing were only made possible through the power of the devil! Can you imagine telling Jesus that?
In the above passages Jesus says that all other sins, even including speaking against Jesus are forgivable. But He says that speaking against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
According to John 16:8, one of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to guide people into a belief of Jesus as the Son of God.
If a person’s attitude is that of permanently rejecting the Holy Spirit’s guidance to Christ, then it only makes since that salvation made possible through the blood of Jesus would not include the unbeliever and those unwilling to repent (turn to God).
It may be possible for a person to reject Jesus out of ignorance. But once taught the words of the Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), a person no longer has any excuse for walking in darkness. Hebrews 10:26 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.”
In Acts 26:9 the apostle Paul says that he used to be convinced he was right in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and putting Christians in prison.
But his feelings on the matter quickly changed when he was struck blind on the road to Damascus.
However, if Paul would have continued in his unbelief and his refusal to acknowledge that Jesus was God’s son, even after his encounter with Christ’s Spirit, he would have been guilty of committing the unforgivable sin.
The good news is that until Judgment Day, the Holy Spirit calls patiently and lovingly for unbelievers to come to the Father, and for straying Christians to return to Him. What will your answer be? Have a blessed week!
Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.