Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
WHAT IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN?
“Dr. Lovett, a few years ago I went into business, and everything went wrong. When I came to the end of my rope, I blamed God for my problems. Even though I was born again, I was so upset with Him that I cursed Him. Now, two years later, I am terrified that I committed the UNPARDONABLE SIN. I am desperate for relief. Could you help me?”
When people write for help, they usually cite two passages:
“Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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 one to come" (Matt. 12:31 & 32).
And again, in Mark:
“But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:29).
See what’s puzzling here? You can SPEAK EVIL against the Son of Man, and it is forgivable; but if you show such despite toward the Holy Spirit, it is unforgivable! That raises all sorts of questions, especially when we consider that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are ONE. You may think blaspheming Jesus would be as serious as blaspheming the Holy Spirit. So, what is the difference?
JESUS WAS HUMAN
Jesus was GOD INCARNATE, i.e., God in human FLESH. He chose to enter the human stream via the physical birth process. Though Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35), she gave birth to her child the same as any other woman and her child grew up the same as any other man. Since His “father” Joseph was a carpenter, He also became one. For the first 30 years of His life, there was little to distinguish Him from anyone else.
Later, when He was introduced to Israel by John the Baptist as the “Lamb of God” and Savior of the world, it was hard for men to believe such a thing (John 1:29). There was nothing about Him to set Him apart from anyone else.
Thus, when Jesus began making claims as to His divine origin, they were hard to swallow. More than once, they tried to stone Him, accusing Him of blasphemy (John 10:33). On one occasion He informed the Pharisees, “Before Abraham was, I AM!” That was too much. So, they picked up stones again (John 8:58 & 59).
I mention this because it was natural for people (in those days) to challenge the claims of Christ. While He was on earth in a body, it was hard to believe He was Who He said He was even when all kinds of SIGNS (miracles) attested to His deity. Therefore, it was normal for them to call Him all sorts of things—like being out of His head and having demons.
That is what was occurring when Jesus made His remark about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. He had healed a demoniac and the Pharisees said it was done in the power of Satan (Matt. 12:24). It was natural and in no way blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This attack on Jesus, while insulting to the Son of Man (the human Jesus), was forgivable.
The Lord was aware of the difficulty men had accepting Him as being from God. A carpenter—turned Rabbi was not exactly an easy object of faith. Despite all the miracles He performed, it was just too much for them to believe He was EQUAL WITH GOD! So, their attack on the person of Jesus was understandable. . .and forgivable.
But in the process of scorning the Lord, they were doing something else quite unforgivable—RESISTING THE INNER WITNESS OF GOD’S SPIRIT! That is what is unforgivable. The outward signs of Jesus’ ministry and the inner witness of God’s Spirit are two different matters. You see, it is the Spirit’s task to CERTIFY THE TRUTH when a person hears the claims of God.
Jesus made this noticeably clear. For example, Peter and the disciples heard from the Lord the very same words. They RECEIVED THEM. When Jesus questioned them later, they confessed, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!” (Matt. 16:16). Then it was that Jesus commented, “Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but My Father who is in heaven” (vs. 17).
Now the Pharisees enjoyed the SAME WITNESS to their hearts, but they chose to harden their hearts against the Spirit. It was not the terrible things they said about Jesus that was so unforgivable but denying and rejecting God’s witness surging in their own hearts!
THE INNER WITNESS
Jesus made it very plain that the Holy Spirit does a work in people’s hearts BEFORE SALVATION:
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me DRAWS HIM” (John 6:44 NASB).
Note the word “DRAWS.” Without this “drawing” of the Spirit, no one would be saved. The process is called PRE-SALVATION ILLUMINATION. Unless the Word of Christ is made real to people, there is no way for them to put their faith in an UNSEEN LORD. Note what the writer of Hebrews ascribes to the Holy Spirit as PRE-SALVATION ILLUMINATION (Heb. 6:4-6).
The Spirit does a tremendous work in the hearts of those who hear the Gospel. Thus, when people hear of Jesus and understand what He has done for them AND THEN REJECT HIM, they are in fact, despising God’s witness to their souls. The Spirit faithfully testifies, “Jesus loves you and wants to save you. Trust Him. Let Him come into your heart!” The man who rejects that witness commits the UNPARDONABLE SIN. When an unsaved man treats with DISGUST the sweet wooing of God’s Spirit that is the BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
DOES SCRIPTURE CONFIRM THIS EXPLANATION?
Indeed. Hebrews 10:26 is a parallel passage:
“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.”
The congregations of the early church (before 70 A.D.) were filled with people who were not sure whether to follow Jesus or stay with Judaism. The “we” in the verse above is addressed to them. It is a warning. The writer says in effect, “If you reject Jesus and willfully go back to Judaism, you’ll condemn yourself. Jesus is the ONLY sacrifice acceptable to God. THERE IS NO OTHER.”
It is obvious, the only time a person would want ANOTHER SACRIFICE is when he rejects the one being offered to him. Consequently, that person blasphemes the Holy Spirit. Or as the writer goes on to say in verse twenty-nine, he has:
- trodden underfoot the Son of God,
- counted the blood of the covenant unholy,
- despised the Spirit of grace (Holy Spirit)
It is confirmed—the BLASPHEMY of the Holy Spirit is the rejection of the INNER WITNESS of the Spirit.
CAN CHRISTIANS COMMIT THIS SIN?
No way. To become a Christian in the first place, one must ACCEPT the Spirit’s witness and act on Jesus’ offer to save him. After that, he does not need ANOTHER SACRIFICE for sin. The one he has received is sufficient for every sin—past, present, and future. Consequently, anyone who has received the Lord need never fear he may have committed this sin. While he might GRIEVE the Holy Spirit, he could NEVER be guilty of blaspheming Him (Eph. 4:30).
Observe how the writer to the Hebrews confirms this: “the worshipper, having ONCE been cleansed, would NO LONGER have any consciousness of sins” (Heb. 10:2). Once cleansed, the believer (equipped with the new nature) has no need for any other provision for sin.
So, here is what to keep in mind: Blasphemy of the Spirit has to do with spurning and despising God’s witness to your soul that you need Jesus, and feeling that way, refuse the gift of Christ. It has no meaning beyond that. It CANNOT apply to Christians, for they have already respected the Spirit’s witness and acted upon it. If you can accept the truth of this article, you will never again have to worry about. . .
COMMITTING THE UNPARDONABLE SIN!
C. S. Lovett
Copyright © 2021 Personal Christianity. All rights reserved.
SINCE YOU ASKED!
Question: “There are so many different translations today it’s difficult to know which one I should rely on. Which one do you prefer?
Answer: The word “rely” is significant. We really should not rely on any translation, but on the “Spirit of Truth.” It is the task of the Holy Spirit to protect and reveal the truth. While I continually ask the Holy Spirit to keep me from error, that does not guarantee my work to be infallible. As do many Bible handlers, I love the good old King James version for its beauty and power. I grew up with it and came to appreciate the 1611 Elizabethan music of words.
But for study, two translations help me most, the New International Version and the New American Standard Bible. As one of the early developers of the NASB, I have great confidence in it. It is foolish to fuss over any version, for all present Jesus as the only Savior and set forth the life that pleases God. The main point is to be in the Word of God every day and listen as the Holy Spirit speaks. That is what is really important.
GRASP ON BIBLE TRUTHS: “I want to express my appreciation for your ministry. It’s as though you have taken me gently by the hand and have led me from being an idle Christian to an active one! Thank God! Your LIGHTS ON JOHN have given me a grasp on the truths in the Bible, which doesn’t seem to me I could have achieved in a month of Sundays. How can a price be put on such treasures as I am receiving. I thank God for you!” (N.K.—CA)
WILL TEACH THE LIGHTS: “I’ve moved and lost tract of you, but I haven’t forgotten how much I’ve been helped by your books. I am now living in a big building where most are retired elderly people and I’ve decided to teach a Bible class. I have 35 people on the roll! I remember using your LOVETT’S LIGHT ON JOHN some time ago and was thrilled when I saw all you Lights Books. I’m sending for them to teach. I am 86. Pray for me and the class.” (K.B.—MA)
LOVETT'S LIGHTS ON JOHN (2021 edition): 381 pages. The "Lights" in this book reveals the hidden meanings and show how they relate to other great truths of the Bible. Background information such as customs of the time and the way certain words were used in Bible times are included where they provide a key to interpretation. This book will be so helpful in your personal Bible study time as you compare the Scriptures to the insights of the book. Available on Amazon.com sells for $15.99 HERE.
WITNESSING MADE EASY (2019 edition) helps motivate you to get out of your comfort zone in small and easy steps such as leaving a Gospel tract in a locked restroom and then progresses gradually to handing a tract to someone with easy dialog suggestions. It also includes ideas for using your computer as a witnessing tool as well. Discover the thrill of sharing the Gospel with others in non-threatening ways. It is 231 pages and is available for purchase on Amazon.com for $14.99 HERE.
DEALING WITH THE DEVIL (2018 edition) offers hope for today's readers. Are you tired of having Satan put dreadful things into your mind? Does he ever make you worry or get upset? Have you noticed his stepped-up activity in your life? Dr. Lovett's best-selling book is 241 pages and is available on Amazon.com and sells for 14.99 HERE.
THE PREPARED LIFE (2015 edition) is a valuable resource for you and your family that can help you be prepared to deal with today's problems and end-times events. This book is 149 pages and available on Amazon.com and sells for $13.99 and is also available in Kindle form for $7.99 HERE.
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