devotional

08JUN
2012

A question about the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

          On 1 Jun, Ken M. asked:

 

          I want to accept Jesus but I think I might have performed an unforgivable sin. I once took part in something called the blasphemy challenge where a bunch of people blasphemed and denied the Holy Spirit. I said, "I Kenneth, in accordance with Mark 3:28-30, Matthew 12:30-32, and Luke 12:8-10, deny and blaspheme against the Holy Spirit whose works are common and of the devil." But now I think I will go to hell, can I be saved?

 

          Response:

 

          In response to this email, I asked Ken what had changed since then.  For length, I’ve decided not to include all of our correspondence here. After a few emails, he answered in some detail that he simply feels he made a mistake. That he has had many doubts regarding Scripture presented to him over the years. That he now wants to know Christ, but is scared that he will be in hell. This is my first response to his emails.

 

          Ken, in no contradiction to the words of Jesus, yes I believe you may be saved. I’ll tell you why I believe this, and will work from my least sure foundation to my most. Please hear me out here in this brief reply.

          My least sure foundation in this is you. This is good news. If God had to wait for us to help Him save us then none of us would ever be saved. Those against whom the charge of blasphemy against God the Holy Spirit was first laid would scorn the very idea of ever needing or wanting to be saved. The more they saw Jesus and His works, the more they showed their hatred, John 3:19. They chose the darkness willingly, knowing the light, and called God Satan, Isaiah 5:20. It is always those closest to the light with the least excuse for not seeing. They would not stop until Jesus was murdered in the most gruesome fashion. Ken, by definition, no one who worries about every having committed this sin could ever have done it.

         My most sure foundation in my belief that you may be saved is the Lord who saves. Salvation is of the Lord! If there is genuine conviction in you then it’s not from you; it’s from the Holy Spirit, John 16:8; Romans 2:4; John 6:44; Ephesians 2:8-9. If He has begun His work in you then it’s a sure work.

         The most fruitful Christian who ever lived wrote the following. I pray you’d hear it like nothing you’ve ever heard before:

          “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen,” 1 Timothy 1:12-17.

          Not only was Paul himself a blasphemer, he writes elsewhere that he also, “…Punished [followers of Jesus] often in every synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities,” Acts 26:11. [Words in brackets mine]. Paul said that God redeemed him and set him up as the chief of sinners. No one could be viler than he! God did this, he said, to, “…Show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe…”

          Your sin was awful, yes. The very effort put forth in it displayed either 1) a level of evil showing that you are indeed a blasphemer beyond rectification (perhaps even toying with me here) or 2) that you just followed some web based goons in a wrote formula of collective ignorance. Sin, yes, but not that sin which the goons think. I believe it was the latter for most if not all of the folks on the challenge. Dare I say even of you who sinned in this way that the salvation of Saul of Tarsus is an example of hope for you? I think it is, sir. I truly think it is. Blasphemy challenge types are like tourists on the mountains of ignorance that never leave the gift shop. They challenge people to battles of wits and then come unarmed. You’d be better off listening to Oprah. Well, maybe not Oprah! I digress. 

          Listen to what one scholar writes as commentary on Matthew 12:31: “The sin He was confronting was the Pharisees’ deliberate rejection of that which they knew to be of God (cf. John 11:48; Acts 4:16). They could not deny the reality of what the Holy Spirit had done through Him, so they attributed to Satan a work that they knew was of God (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22).” -John MacArthur. Was this you? Think on this, sir. Had you seen and undeniably witnessed miracles of the Holy Spirit going into the blasphemy challenge when you confessed what you did? If so, then none can help you, but I doubt it. Most people doing it probably logged on just long enough to “Join in the fun” between potty breaks and their online World of Warcraft finales or Simms games.

          Regarding the alleged contradictions in Scripture you mentioned (not included here) boy, I was shocked when I saw that the nonstampcollector had found all those! No, I’m kidding. Those arguments are nothing new. The game show thing was though. I gotta give em that. All of us who study the Bible come across things such as these. They cause us to dive in. All of their objections have been answered. In fact, we raised them long before they ever did. There are no contradictions in Scripture. Copyist errors? Yeah. Verses that have been added? Yes. We know of the few of them there are and where they are. There are no contradictions at all. Our knowledge of inerrancy stands firm. It’s not just a statement of faith; it’s a statement of fact. I would like to talk on this more here, but I’ll resist. It’s nearly 0200 and my lovely wife’s going to sleep without me. Hate that!

          Real assurance of the truth of the word of God only comes as a gift of the Holy Spirit. This assurance grows over time. No one comes into the faith with the slightest clue comparable to what they know twenty years in. If you are convicted of sin and wish to come to Christ then please don’t think that God has to first solve all your textual dilemmas before He can save you. Ask lots of questions, that’s good. You’re welcome to. Just please go to some good sources to get answers. I’ll refer you to just a few here. I can certainly offer you a lot more on my Recommended Listening List.

          Genuine repentance and faith in Jesus is what you need if you’re to be saved! To die in your sin without ever repenting and putting your faith in Jesus is the only certainly unforgiveable sin, 1 John 2:23; John 3:18. I can say this without knowing anyone's heart. Jesus, on the other hand, knows the hearts of all and can speak much more directly as to the sin in each, John 2:24-25. Look at all of God’s moral law, Ken, Exodus 20. How are you going to do on Judgment Day (Hebrews 9:27; Acts 17:31) in light of them all? Ever lied? Stolen? Or lusted after someone? If you have then you’re as guilty as anyone else. You’re a liar, a thief, a blasphemer, etc. These are not “petty” things to a holy God. Your whole life is nothing but a blasphemy challenge. You have not just one sin to answer for; you have all of them to answer for. Consider it all. From your birth to your death, every one of your sins stands as a knife to your throat. Your only hope is a stay of execution. That’s the Gospel, the good news. It isn’t good news to fools, but it’s good news to those who can hear it, 1 Corinthians 1:18; John 18:37. God, who is indeed rich in mercy, became a Man and suffered and died in the place of those He came to save, Luke 19:10. It’s real. Oh, if you could only know! He got down on His knees and washed the feet of the first of us, John 13:3-12. It’s not true because I believe it; it’s just true. All I can say to you, Ken, is, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,” Hebrews 3:7.

          Repent. Acknowledge your sins to God. Turn from them. Call on the Lord to save you from judgment, Romans 10:9-10. There are no prayers for me to put down before you. If it’s genuine, you won’t need it. Pray now. Not tomorrow. Tonight your soul may be required of you. Call out to God and ask Him to save you. Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again, taking the punishment for the sins of all those who would trust in Him alone. It’s the kindest thing anyone has ever done for anyone. On the Day of Judgment you can go free because He has paid your fine. Get a hold of a Bible. Go to the Gospel of John. Read it daily. Get to a good church. I can help you find one. I'm here for you. Sir, I don’t know your heart. I don’t know what plans God has for you. There is one thing I’m more certain of than my next breath, however, and it’s this: “…Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened,” Luke 11:9-10.

 

I hope to hear from you again. You are in our prayers.

 

May I invite you next to see:

 

A message from Mr. Ray Comfort called, Hell’s Best Kept Secret.
John MacArthur has a wonderful two part sermon called The Character of Scripture that I’d very much like your input on.
Also, the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) has an excellent online course for the questions you mentioned.
If you really want to go the distance, check out The Theology Program. Lot's more here than what you initially asked about, but all great stuff. 

 

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