A.S.K 6 – Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

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BIBLE READING: Mark 3:20-35

TEXT: Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin (Mark 3:28-29).

This is a really tough and scary question. I know how you feel. Many years ago I was hitchhiking through Europe as a sixteen-year-old, with one of my friends. We managed to survive and get back to London, where a friend invited us to a church meeting in a YMCA. At first it seemed fine – if a bit lively! But then it got really weird. People all around seemed to be babbling (I understood later that it was called ‘speaking in tongues’). I was a bit freaked out about it – and I was especially concerned for my friend, who was not a Christian. I was worried that he would think we were all mad! So, because it was an open meeting where anyone could speak, I stood up and read from my Bible.

‘When you pray, do not keep babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words’ (Matthew 6:7).

There was a stunned silence and then it got even weirder. People gathered round me, ‘laid hands’ on me, someone ‘prophesied’ and thanked God that ‘this thorn was being turned into a rose’! We got out of there as quickly as possible! I didn’t feel very rosy!

The next day the leader of the group asked to see me. He then told me one of the cruellest things you could ever say to a young Christian – ‘You have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit.’ For two years I was really concerned that I had committed the unforgivable sin – until a wise, older Christian met with me, and told me that if I had committed the unforgivable sin, I wouldn’t be bothered about it, because my heart would be so hard.

I don’t know what sin it is you think you have committed when you are concerned about having ‘blasphemed against the Holy Spirit’. But let me assure you that every sin is forgivable – even the most horrendous ones.

‘If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’
(1 John 1: 8-9).

So what is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

It is the deliberate shutting of our hearts and minds to the witness of the Spirit about Jesus. That is what the Pharisees were doing. It is when we know that the gospel is true, when we experience its power and yet still refuse to come to Christ – and so remain as a non-Christian for the rest of our days.

 

Before I became a Christian I was conscious of God working in my life and speaking through his Word to me. But I didn’t want to become a Christian. I thought it would be too hard – or that I could do it later. But there came a time when I knew both that it was true and that this time could be the last time. I knew that God had said, ‘my Spirit will not always strive with man’ and I knew that it would be wrong of me to turn away from Jesus. I guess if I had continued to do that throughout my life, I would have committed the one unforgivable sin – the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Maybe you are bothered and worried that that is what you have done. But the reason you can be certain you haven’t, is the very fact that you are bothered. If you were hardened against God, you couldn’t care less. But you do care.

Whatever it is that is bothering you, whatever it is that you feel God cannot forgive you for, don’t hold back. Take it to him. Just look back at what we read from John and believe God’s Word – not your own fears. He is faithful and just and will forgive us for ALL unrighteousness. What a wonderful and marvellous freedom that is!

CONSIDER: It is good to confess our sins, specifically as well as generally. If you are worried about this particular sin, ask God to show you his mercy. Think about what other sins you might want to confess. Pray that God would show you your sin, and lead you in the way everlasting.

RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING:

Psalms – The Prayer Book of the Bible – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

PRAYER: Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

A.S.K – 5 – – Harry Potter

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9 thoughts on “A.S.K 6 – Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

  1. Thanks David, appreciate the answer. It was around the time of my conversion, I had the same fear and became unsettled and worried that I had blasphemed the spirit somehow. I spent a lot of time reading into it. My dad helped me understand it better also.
    Some theologians suggest it ties-in with the heart of Esau when he had sold his birthright and wept because he found no place for repentance (Heb 12:17). Also heard it paralleled with the sin unto death? thoughts?

  2. To quote David – reference ‘Blasphemy against the Spirit’:
    It is the deliberate shutting of our hearts and minds to the witness of the Spirit about Jesus. That is what the Pharisees were doing. It is when we know that the gospel is true, when we experience its power and yet still refuse to come to Christ – and so remain as a non-Christian for the rest of our days.
    I strenuously disagree.
    Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the simple act of attributing the Holy Spirit’s eternal identity and power to Satan – thereby insulting and denigrating the divinity and power of the Holy Spirit….
    Jesus performed miracles by and through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Pharisees ascribed that power to Satan.
    Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with resisting His power – because the reality is that the Holy Spirit’s power is irresistible. God is sovereign, He can do as He wills – and no-one, or no nation of men can withstand Him: 2 Chronicles 20/6. Romans 9/19.
    To suggest that there are unredeemed men and women walking this earth without salvation because they have been endowed with sufficient (negative/evil) power to resist and repel the divine, unconquerable power of the Holy Spirit, if not blasphemy against the Spirit, is certainly a disparaging insult!
    In effect it is calling the Holy Spirit impotent in the face of Satan’s power – when the reality is the polar opposite – as witnessed by Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection at Calvary….

    1. Another factor which is essential in truly understanding the consequences of ‘Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit’ is based on the recognition that Jesus spoke these words while the Old Covenant was still very much in force – for all humanity. Jesus had not yet fulfilled the Old Covenant Law through the introduction of the New Covenant – achieved by His sacrifice and crucifixion at Calvary.
      When the New Covenant came into force (for true believers) the consequences of breaking Old Covenant Law were nullified – because Jesus, through His sacrifice and death, paid the full penalty for the Sin and sins of those who would be enabled by His Father to believe in Him.
      Truly, no spiritually regenerated believer has any reason to fear this scripture.

  3. I had a very similar experience when I was a new Christian. I had been thrown out of my home by my mother because I had become a Christian. She told me she would rather that I was a drug dealer.
    Well anyway I found myself homeless. I was new saved and spent most of my time reading the Bible and worshiping the Lord. When the pastor of the church I was attending found out he put me up in a flat that the church had, it was used for missionaries going out to the field and for those returning. I was very fortunate, my flat mates were all strong in the word and we spent most of our time talking about the bible.
    I was reading through Hebrews for the first time and as I read the warnings in Hebrews I realised that I must have failed as a Christian because I still sinned and so since the only thing the Lord would not forgive was blasphemy of the a Holy Spirit then I must have somehow committed this unforgivable sin.
    The next time I saw the pastor I explained what was going on and I asked if he thought that I might have lost my salvation. He wasn’t in a good mood to begin with and was short of patience, which at the time I didn’t notice because I was sort of preoccupied. So the pastor said yes it was possible, I don’t think he had actually been paying attention.
    So off I went. I was crushed, I remember praying and saying that although I may have separated myself from the Lord I would still worship and still testify about the gospel because only God was worthy and if I had committed some unforgivable sin then no blame could be laid at Gods feet since it was my own fault.
    I sank into a very deep depression. I stopped going to church and started drinking. I just could not face life knowing I had been given such a tremendous gift of love and grace but had spoiled it to such a disastrous degree. I could not stop thinking about the Lord. Neither could I stop worshipping Him or praying to him.
    This all climaxed in an attempted suicide. Which failed and deeply hurt a great number of people, which was proof positive to my immature mind that I truly had lost my salvation. Indeed I was told this now by a number of folk from, not just my church but others too.

    I realise now, more than 30years latter that I had not lost my salvation and that my salvation is not one of works but is reliant upon Him who had begun the good work in me, that He would be faithfully to complete it in me even if I was faithless He would remain faithful.

    It’s a horrible feeling to be convinced that you have hurt the Lord, who loves you to such depth that He gave His only begotten Son as a ransom for me, so much that you have lost your salvation and cannot be forgiven any more.

  4. Hello i have been k ksing god for a long tine and welcoming him but i have been still living in sin
    What could i be able into doing

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