Wanda Elizabeth “Beth” Moore is an American evangelist, author, and Bible teacher. My wife has heard her speak at a women’s conference and has reported to me the power of her teaching. My adult Sunday school class is beginning a Beth Moore study this Sunday and as I prepare to present her opening thoughts, I am struck by the nature of her ideas on teaching and learning: “The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know . . . but I hunger to know.”* She goes on to explain that as she learns, she has the need to share.
I learn something new every day and my attitude is that I know so little and I want to know more. Maybe like Beth Moore, when I learn something, I want to share what I have found out with others. Perhaps that is why I enjoy teaching to this very day. Maybe that is why I enjoy writing on this blog. I get to learn so much and then I get to share.
Today, I found that there is one sin that is unpardonable by God and I want to share that with you.
Billy Graham describes it “Of all the sins men commit against the Holy Spirit none is worse than that of blaspheming Him. … It is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness.”
Think about that.
If this is a sin for which there is no forgiveness, then this sin dooms us for eternity.
Matthew 12: 31, 31 says “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven….in this age, or in the age to come.”
I speak from experience here as I have lived a life where I have known about God. My parents made sure I had some conception of God even as a young child. Growing up, I was baptized and became more active in my church, again maintaining contact with Christians and the concept of God. Going away to college was different because I had many distractions that allowed me long stretches of time where I had no contact with church [predictably, I felt much less connected to things Christian while in college]. I got married in church and began a family but that did not guarantee a close connection to church, other Christians, or God. In fact, over commitment to my career caused further drift away from my religious upbringing.
But I never blasphemed God from the point of view of an unbeliever. Underneath it all, I always believed.
As I look back on all those years, I did my share of sinning but I was also disturbed by those many acts. I felt convicted by those many acts. Eventually God drew me close after years and years of drifting apart.
I may have blasphemed God by my wayward actions but it was always from the point of view of a believer. Was I a “solid” believer? No. Was I “born again?” No. Did I have my share of doubts? Of course I did. But when someone asked me if I was a Christian, I said yes. When someone asked me if I believed in God, I said of course.
Even when a person resists the power of the Holy Spirit, that does not label them as an unbeliever.
A person is an unbeliever when a person has resisted the Holy Spirit so much that the Holy Spirit is not an active force in their life at all any more. They repudiate Jesus. Jesus Christ has been totally and irrevocably rejected. This is blasphemy from the point of view of an unbeliever.
We all suffer sin in our lives. I do things every day that I am ashamed of, ashamed before God. But it is that shame that tells me God cares; He cares enough to have the Holy Spirit convict me. We all have a human nature and it is at war daily with the Holy Spirit. We get distracted by some earthly concern and walk away from God.
But that walk for many Christians is not a permanent walk. It does not lead to a total rejection of the Father. As we stray away there is a nagging feeling that we should be doing better. We know better; we are just not doing better.
Many people are just like me; you have sinned and you feel that the sin has doomed you to eternal damnation, but no matter what that sin is, God loves you and He wants to forgive you. God will not condemn you; He wants to pardon you. Even if you feel so distant from the Father, He is still there for you; you are saved by faith through the shed blood of Christ. You need to cast your sins on Jesus and your transgressions will be removed.
You may think you are an unbeliever, but you are not.
This is what I have learned today…
This is what I want to share…
If you feel ashamed, that is God seeking a relationship with you.
Confess your sin to Him and say yes to His offer of a better life. You will no longer be walking away.
You will be walking toward Jesus, a believer making an effort to return to the Father.
*from Beth Moore, Praying God’s Word
**from Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit