Summary: A sermon on blaspheme against the Holy Spirit based on Matthew 12:22-37 (Material taken from Dr. Jack Cottrell’s book, Power From On High, pages 228- 235 and Carl Ketcherside’s book, Heaven Help Us, chapter 7)
Nightmare, I have to preach a sermon, no preparation, lack of clothes, can’t speak.
What is common about this nightmare is the sense of panic – and the lack of control. I realize I’ve done something, or should have done something – and it’s too late. I think that feeling is also the source of more Christian nightmares than any other – the worry that you may have inadvertently committed the unpardonable sin – the blaspheme of the Holy Spirit – and now on judgment day God sends you to hell for calling the Holy Spirit a bad name and off you go, plummeting down into the fire, totally out of control- dumbstruck on the stage of judgment.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Main text comes from Matthew 12:22-37. Two others:
Mark 3:28-29: I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.
Luke 12:10: And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
Few teachings of Scripture leave us more frustrated than this one. Of all the sins mentioned in the Bible, this is the one our hearts want most to be sure about, since it does seem to be the one unpardonable sin. Is it divorce? One man thought it was a murder he committed. Just a brief glance of saints of old tell us that this sin is not adultery (King David), murder (Moses and Saul of Tarsus), lying (Abraham), doubt (Job), the denial of Jesus (Peter). Some have said suicide is the unpardonable sin but Samson in Hebrews 11 makes us scratch our heads. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 tells us that some in the church were guilty of fornication, idolatry, adultery, effeminacy, homosexuality, thievery, covetousness, drunkenness, reviling and swindling. But vs. 11 says “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Before we say it is this or that, Scripture says so little about it that we can do little more than speculate about its true nature. Among those who have attempted to explain it, there is much disagreement about so many questions related to it.
We shall plunge ahead where few dare to go and seek to explain this doctrine the best that we can. Sticking close to Dr. Jack Cottrell’s book, Power From On High, pages 228- 235 and class notes. More detail, go to Carl Ketcherside’s Heaven Help Us, chapter 7.
Thesis: Talk about the two main views of this blasphemy, how these two views interrelate, and then end with the question, “Can this sin be committed today?”
Two main views of blasphemy of the HS
1. A general state or attitude
Rather than a particular act, it is a disposition of the will. Unwillingness to respond to gospel.
This attitude or state of mind could be forgiven IF abandoned or repented of. What makes it unforgivable is that in fact it persists until death. A sinner who is not forgiven and then dies.
2. It is the deliberate, malicious, verbal rejection of the Holy Spirit's clear testimony to Jesus Christ while knowing that it is true.
Ketcherside says, “Without speaking, it is impossible to commit the sin of blasphemy. Blasphemy is a sin of the tongue and not merely of the heart. Blasphemy is a specific sin against the Spirit as contrasted with every other sin.”
This is the preferred view. The context of Matt. 12:31ff. seems to require it. Vs. 36-37
The sin in the first view is unforgiven or unpardoned, but not in principle unforgivable. "One who stubbornly persists in rejecting the call of God's grace will die in an unforgiven state because he dies in his sins. But his sins and stubbornness could have been forgiven at any time" (Ketcherside, 105)
The statement in Matt 12:32, that this sin shall not be forgiven "in this age," means that it must be a sin that can be completed in this age, i.e., before death.
A rejection of Jesus Christ as God and Savior in the face of clear and convincing testimony by the Spirit. (This is why it is blasphemy of the Spirit.) Such rejection of Jesus Christ even though the mind KNOWS that Jesus is truly God and Savior.
A deliberate, verbal rejection of Jesus--which may or may not involve an actual mention of the Holy Spirit. Occult- Three stages to be initiated; Blaspheme against the Father, Blaspheme against Jesus the Son, Blaspheme against the Spirit
2 weeks ago we said that modern Holy Spirit miracles might be coming from Satan or demons