Thursday, June 15, 2006
The Heinous "Act" That God Does Not Forgive
Bill and Mike decided to try out for the basketball team. They found out when the try-out practice was, and showed up early that day. At first, they did every thing the coach told them. They ran all the laps, did all the work out exercises, and all the different type of things he asked to do. Bill, however, became disenchanted with all the working out, and the fact that, for a whole week they had not touched the ball. Then the coach asked them all the try-out players to get up early Saturday (they were not Adventists) to come practice at school. Bill complained to Mike, "This is ridiculous; I am not missing my Saturday morning sleep for this." Bill decided to quit, partly hoping Mike would quit also. But, Mike decided to come and practice Saturday morning. At first nothing seemed to change. Bill and Mike still saw each other and did things together. A few weeks later the couched announced the final cut of the team, and Mike's efforts paid off, he made the final cut. Bill and Mike saw each other less, but it was not bad. However, Mike's game improved so much; a large university offered him a scholarship. Bill continued to sleep his Saturday mornings. And, he only heard from Mike on the few occasions he was visiting home. Four years later, Mike graduated from college and was drafted by a professional team. Bill, although in college, continued sleeping his Saturday mornings. After graduating he refused many job offers because they asked him to work early Saturday mornings. Bill only heard of Mike when he was mentioned in the sport news. Ten years after that try-out week many considered Mike a success and Bill a failure.
What was the difference between Mike and Bill? Mike submitted himself to the process of becoming successful and Bill resisted this process. No one would think that Bill's path to failure started 10 years ago when he decided to stay home sleeping. Bill did not wake up that fateful Saturday morning deciding he was going to be a failure. For that matter, neither did Mike get up that morning and decided he would be a basketball star; his thought went as far as making the team. There was no real defining moment in Mikes life, just little decisions that lead to success. The same went for Bill; there were just little decisions that lead to failure.
This issue of the 'unpardonable sin' is similar. Many believe that there is this one heinous act that God dislikes so much that after one does it God turns His face from us, to never look on our favor again. This deception has lead many to believe that they are beyond the reach of God's grace when they commit this Sinful deed. If you were to ask anyone what this action is, no one would know. The Bible never speaks of such wicked act, either. Not to say we could not commit heinous actions, but the action would not be the unpardonable Sin; it would, however, be a result of the unpardonable sin.
The unpardonable Sin, or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31), is nothing more than refusing to listen to the Holy Spirit. This is the heinous act, the Bible talks about. It is, in other words refusing to believe Jesus, His Gospel, His messengers and message, or the Holy Spirit's ministry. It is, in a short word, nothing more than unbelief. God considers unbelief a worse Sin than the most horrendous actions you can ever commit. Perhaps it is because, unbelief causes unbelievers to commit the worst and lowest actions possible.
Unbelief is the opposite of faith. The Bible says that Faith - "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1) - "cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). We also know that it is by this type of hearing that we receive the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3: 2, 5). When we refuse to hear the Word of God, we reject the Holy Spirit. Now we also know that the Holy Spirit speaks of Jesus (John 15:26), so when we reject the Holy Spirit we reject Jesus.
The hearing of faith is embedded with a willingness to do without understanding or making sense of what we are told by the Holy Spirit. Trust is essential in Faith. The wise man said in Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." The Word of the Spirit may sound illogical and beyond reason, nonetheless those with Faith follow it. The Word of God may lack scientific evidence and sound proof, but those with Faith still follow it. Those who wait for evidence or understanding do not have Faith. In fact they may never take any action, beacuse they never understand. The wise man counsels us to trust, because "Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in him" and when we put our trust in Him we are safe (Proverbs 30:5; 29:25). Isaiah counsels "Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength" (Isaiah 26:4). I pray that you and I do not resist the Spirit's prompting, lest we blaspheme against the indwelling Holy Spirit. I pray that we hear, trust, and follow the Word of God.
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