Sunday, March 20, 2016

Day 28: Matthew 12:15-32 & Psalm 28 - What is the Unpardonable Sin?

Today's Bible Reading: Matthew 12:15-32 & Psalm 28

Get the full reading schedule.

What is the Unpardonable Sin?

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. - Matthew 12:31-32

The idea that we might commit a sin that could never be forgiven is terrifying, isn't it? In today's passage, Jesus warns against such a sin, "blasphemy against the Spirit" which "will not be forgiven." So what is this sin which "will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come"? 

To understand, it's much more helpful to look at the context than at the verse themselves. In the context, what were the Pharisees guilty of doing? They had said of Jesus, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Thus, they were attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil. 

But why did they do this and what did it mean? The reason the Pharisees committed this sin was their hardened unbelief and refusal to follow Jesus, despite clear evidence that He was the Son of God, the long-awaited Messiah.

If someone has a hardened heart of unbelief and will not acknowledge Jesus, despite clear evidence compelling them to do so, they are cut off from the grace of God and without hope, with is this life or in the life to come. Now, a person may seem to be in this state for a season and then later repent and trust in Christ. In that case, they were never really in this state; they only seemed to be.

So, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is persistent, hard-hearted unbelief. It is the condition of the person who never repents and never trusts Jesus, who refuses salvation for their whole lives. This person has no hope. 

Anyone who asks if they might have committed this sin and is concerned about possibly having said something or done something that might be this sin is showing by their concern that they are not guilty of the unpardonable sin. Those who are guilty of this sin never care, never question and never express concern or regret. So if you trust Jesus and you sincerely desire His salvation and forgiveness, you may have it always, freely and fully!

Prayer Based on Psalm 28:

To you, O Lord, I call;
    my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
    I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
    when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
    toward your most holy sanctuary.

Heavenly Father, You are my rock and my salvation. You are the One I desperately need and cannot live without. I need You to hear my prayers and I need to hear truth from You. I need Your mercy and Your help. Lord, I desire to worship You and glorify You as You deserve, but my distracted mind and my sinful heart keep leading me astray from my proper focus on You. Save me and draw me back to You. 

Do not drag me off with the wicked,
    with the workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors
    while evil is in their hearts.
Give to them according to their work
    and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
    render them their due reward.

Father, when I look around me in this world, I see so much wickedness and do much evil. People exploit, oppress and hate one another. Powerful wicked men, like ISIS and the dictators of North Korea and Eritrea and elsewhere powerfully oppress and violently persecute Your people. Bring them down from their wicked positions of power. End their oppression of Your people, O Lord!  

Because they do not regard the works of the Lord
    or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.
Blessed be the Lord!
    For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
    and with my song I give thanks to him.

You are not only my strength and my my shield, but You are the strength and shield of all those who trust in You. You come to our rescue and help us. I give You thanks for Your mercy and Your help, given in times of need. Be the strength of Your people. Be their hope in dark times of sorrow and loss. Save and shelter Your people.  

The Lord is the strength of his people;
    he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!

    Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

 In Jesus' precious name I pray these things for Your glory and honor, Amen! 

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