The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
The Bible paints a bleak picture of what happens to someone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit, yet, few Christians even know what that means. Before we get into what it does mean, let's go back to the beginning to understand how and why the Holy Spirit enters into a person in the first place.
Jesus gave a promise to His disciples, as listed in John 14: 16-26 that He would give them a Helper - the Spirit of Truth - and that He would come to dwell within them. The Spirit of Truth's responsibility then was to teach these disciples all things and bring to remembrance all things that He had told them during the time while He ministered over them. Then continuing on in this chapter, Jesus tells His disciples that He, meaning the Holy Spirit, cannot come to them until Jesus leaves this earth. While the disciples did not understand what Jesus meant at the time, a time would come after His death where all would be made clear.
- We know that Jesus was crucified, died, and God resurrected Him from the dead. He then spent the next 40 days with His disciples on earth again teaching them many things they needed to know so that they could then pass on to others what Jesus had told them.
- The 40 days were complete and now it was moments before God ascended His Son back to heaven. Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives and gave a promise to His disciples (Acts 1:8) that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them - to be witnesses for Him throughout the earth. Within a few days, that promise came true - on the Day of Pentecost. Not only did the Holy Spirit come upon them, He came to dwell within them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4). From that point on, they went throughout Jerusalem, and later spread to other parts of the world, giving others the same promise of the Holy Spirit to those who would come to believe in Jesus.
Many people became believers in Jesus as their Savior, having faith and truth in Him, and the moment they accepted that belief, the Holy Spirit entered into their lives. They were then no longer guided by the spirit of the world, but by the Spirit of God Who was now living within them. As many other scripture verses bring out, the indwelling Holy Spirit gives a believer everything they need in this life. A believer's body then become a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:9) Who desires to continuously work in the believer's life. In essence, as believers, we are the Body of Christ down here on the earth. Finally, it is the indwelling Holy Spirit Who powerfully ascends believers up to heaven when death comes (Rom 8:11). All these promises were for Jesus' disciples then and for all future generations of His disciples, which includes you and me when we come to believe and trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as our Savior and Lord.
Romans 8:9 tells us that we cannot have the spirit of the world and the Spirit of God operating in our lives at the same time. We choose who will be the operator of our life. Even when the Holy Spirit indwells our Spirit, we still make daily choices to live righteously, relying on the Holy Spirit's power within us, or we can choose to live carnally, being selfish to do what we want to do, which then opens the door for Satan's oppression to overcome us to then take over our lives.
Satan does not like Christians, and he will do whatever he can to oppress them with selfish or evil desires, if they, as immature believer, allows him to do so. Satan's oppression starts with carnal living. His desire is to bring these carnal believers believers back to the ways of the world to eventually leave their Christianity to be a follower of him again.
We make choices everyday to whom we allow to control over our lives. We can choose to rebelliously lead a carnal, fleshly life, rendering the Holy Spirit inoperative in our lives, or we can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide, instructor of truth, providing protection, and everything we need in this life. Every choice we make either brings rewards or penalties - so then the results of our choices is really up to us.
The Blessings of Righteous Living
Jesus gave His promise to those who would believe and follow after Him, having many blessings that would come from walking in the ways of the Lord. Aside from the promise of eternal life spent with Him forever, which goes beyond our comprehension, His promise to us while we walk this earth is amazing and one, if we truly understand it, brings us to do all we can to keep our right-standing with God. We discover the abundant life that can be had in Christ, walking in the continuous blessings that He offers to all of His children.
While we don't deserve our salvation in Christ, He freely offers it to us anyhow! All He asks of us is that we believe in Who He is and what He has done for us. Jesus wants us to take our inherently sinful nature and turn our belief from what we were living in to believing in our heart that Jesus is the Son of God, yet He is God, that He died on the cross from our sins, and God rose Him from the dead. It's free, and it doesn't cost us anything. In doing that, our hearts are changed to believe in Him. Our bodies then become the temple of the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit of Jesus has now come to live within our heart. As such, we are the Body of Christ here on earth.
Eph 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Once we have come to believe in Jesus and all that He is, God then wants us to walk in that belief by being His workmanship here on this earth for good works. That means reaching out the love of Jesus to a dying world so that others too can can receive that same gift of salvation as you have received. Jesus sent His promised Holy Spirit to dwell in us so that we can be empowered to walk out that belief in ourselves and empowered to reach out to others to also receive what you have. Since, we are the Body of Christ here on earth, we are His hands and feet, as well as other parts of the Body to be used to bring others into the Kingdom of God. God gives us gifts and talents to be used for Him as the Holy Spirit empowers us to do what is needed to help others receive as well. While God doesn't force us to be obedient to His ways, He does offer it to us, and give us the power to do so. And with that offer and power comes many blessings. Some of the promises and blessings that we see in Scripture are:
- The indwelling Holy Spirit will never, ever leave us nor forsake us.
- The indwelling Holy Spirit comforts us, leads us where to go, empowers us to do His work here on earth.
- Because of the blood of Jesus,' our sins are forgiven and cleansed (as if we never had sinned).
- Believers can lay hands on the sick and they will recover.
- As the Holy Spirit wills, miracles can be done through believers.
- Believers can and love to commune and worship the Lord.
- Believers can call upon the Lord any time for help.
- God is always on the side of the believer (having the believer's back) in that He is always protecting us. He gives His angels charge over us to keep us in all of our ways. Even if we mess up here and there, God's angels keep lifting us with their hands to protect us from evil.
- Believers receive the blessings of Abraham and more, which include prestige, respect, honor and wealth.
- And then finally, when we leave this earth, we will one day co-rule and co-reign with Christ for 1000 years, ending by enjoying our eternity with the Lord forever.
The Dangers of Carnal Living
We live in a very ungodly world, filled with temptations at every turn in our life. Since Adam and Eve gave in to Satan, bringing on the fall of man, Satan became the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), and until his lease is up, which will expire with the 2nd return of Christ, he will remain the god of this world. Man's heart became sinful, and that sinfulness carried on through the bloodline of Adam - even until this day. Thus, Satan's ways have become the world's ways. Satan is always on the prowl looking to rob, kill, and destroy wherever he can (John 10:10). Satan roams around like a lion, seeking whom he may devour, and as his time is drawing closer to the end of his lease, his efforts have multiplied substantially to where it looks like evil has completely overtaken the world and mankind throughout the earth is blindly following in his ways.
For those who have chosen to follow Christ, now having the indwelling Holy Spirit within, a supernatural divine power lives on the inside of their spirit to overcome all the temptations and power of Satan and his hosts of demonic beings. Not all Christians, however, choose to devoutly follow God's path. They get side trapped by temptations all around them, as well as surcomb to fleshly temptations along the way. Yes, they believe in their hearts in Jesus, and yes they are saved; however, their fleshly desires are strong and overtakes them, and they are either ignorant of the power of God within them, or they are being rebellious to that power, simply wanting to do their own thing. Fleshly desires seem more important at the time. What a powerful opening for Satan to take over.
We see that kind of carnal Christianity going on around us all the time. There are churches full of these kind of people who think they are saved because they at one time said a prayer to Jesus to come into their heart, but they keep going after one sin after another. Sloppy grace to the max. Or worse yet, they follow church traditions believing they are saved, never having surrendered their lives over to the Lord, when in reality they are not saved at all. They are simply being religious.
- Oh, they will go to church on Sunday, or say a quick "I'm sorry, Lord," expecting that will suffice, but then go right back to their own pet sins.
- Or, they think, "I'll do this or that for God, and surely He will see my efforts and be happy with me. That for sure will get me into heaven."
- Or, what about many Christians who live in fear thinking that if they did a certain sin, not knowing what sin that could be, but they would be blaspheming the Holy Spirit and be damned by the unpardonable sin.
Please, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, never forget that God looks at the heart - not at our outward appearance. It isn't that He doesn't care about our actions - because He does, but that's not the issue. You see, if our hearts are right with God, we don't have to worry about our actions, because we won't even want to do those things that displease the Lord.
The Cost of Carnality
But let's look at the downward track of carnality and to where it can lead. You see, that path only leads to destruction. Because sin begets sin, and it pulls like a magnet, we need to confess it as soon as we recognize we have sinned coming to the Lord in repentance. But if we don't however, those accumulated sins keep multiplying and it gets easier and easier to sin, and we go deeper in it. Along with that, our conscience is no longer tender toward the things of God. It hardens to where sin doesn't bother us anymore.
- We no longer want to read our Bible or pray.
- We no longer want to go to church.
- We no longer want to fellowship with other believers, or have anything to do with Christians and Christianity.
- We simply do not care about the Lord any longer.
We do, however, want to continue with our sin by allowing our sin nature to take its full course. Do this long enough, our hearts become so hardened to where we no longer believe in Jesus and what He has done for us. Repentance then can never return because our hearts are so seared and hardened. That is when WE PUSH THE HOLY SPIRIT OUT OF OUR HEARTS. It isn't that the Holy Spirit left us, because He promised to never leave us, but we pushed Him out through our unbelief. That is what the Bible calls the "Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit."
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 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.
Once a person has accepted the beautiful gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, experiencing the indwelling Holy Spirit and the goodness of God in their lives, and if they choose to fall away, their hearts, through carnal living, are on a downward spiral to where they will eventually become so atheistic toward Christ to where they will with their heart, mouth, and actions openly crucify Him, putting Him and themselves to open shame.
The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is mentioned three times in the Gospels (Matt 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30; Luke 12:10). There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven - God calls it the unforgivable (or unpardonable) sin in that the person is denying Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit that was placed within them. You see, before people came to Christ, many came against Christ, but once one believes, and accepts Him as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit- the God-part of the Trinity - comes to dwell within the believer. To now come against Him would be blaspheme.
Matthew 12:31-32 Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
At what point of unbelief does a person's heart become so hardened to the things of Christ to where they blaphemed the Holy Spirit? Only God knows the answer to that! While the Bible does tell us that we shall know a person by the fruit in their lives (Matt 7:16), we can never judge the person. We do not know the condition of a person's heart - only God knows that, and only God knows whose heart has totally rejected Christ.
Remember, we came to Christ through our belief in Him and not by any action or obedience on our part. We can only leave Christ through our unbelief in Him - not for any particular sin we commit. Christianity is by faith in Christ and faith alone.
It is up to all believers to pray for one another - for God to do a work within all believers. Our hearts may cry for loved ones who live in carnality, not knowing the depths of digression they may be in. Our responsibility isn't to lecture or preach, but to continue to pray for them. Then we leave the results up to God - for He know the heart of all men.
Pastor Joyce Erickson