Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mk. 3:28-30)
Many people have speculated as to exactly what Jesus meant by this saying. Some have concluded that if they said some particularly bad thing about God or used some profanity or obscenity against the person of the Holy Spirit, they would not be forgiven. However, Jesus’ words seem to be more of a warning. Not that the scribes have committed this sin, but that if they are not careful they may. It seems more likely that the immediate application of Jesus’ words is in the history of first century Israel. Jesus was rejected by the Jews, and yet God was patient. Even on the cross Jesus prayed for the Father to forgiven them, for they knew not what they were doing. And after the Ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower his apostles and disciples to proclaim yet again to Israel the good news of the Messiah Jesus. However, this time, if Israel did not repent, God would not forgive them. He would subject them to eternal condemnation. And this is precisely what happened in 70 AD. After roughly 40 years of testing after the resurrection, Jesus poured out judgment on Israel, and Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed.
The temptation of course is to breathe a sigh of relief, ‘whew! Glad I don’t have to worry about that!’ But the reality is actually just the opposite. Look at what God can do to a nation. If He can do that to Israel, then beware, lest He grow weary of your insolence too. Are you harboring sin your life? Do you think that God does not see? Is our God mocked? Everyman reaps what he sows. The writer of Hebrews is clear: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”
This is not a call to worry about whether you are saved. This is not an exhortation to despair. This is a call to repentance. Drop your sins now. You may not come in here with them. Drop them all now, and come, worship the Lord.
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