Monday, January 3, 2011

anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven

Matt. 12:24-31(NLT)     
   24 But when the Pharisees heard about the miracle, they said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan, the prince of demons.”
   25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A town or family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is divided and fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 27 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 29 For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
   30  “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.
   31 “So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

The people of this evil world will always lie, always deny the truths of God, always resist and protest the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life and mine. Freedom of religion, to them, means that everyone but Christians can do as their religious faiths teach, but not Christians. We are to be restricted and constrained at all costs. In the Western nations the constraints are more subtle than in Comunist and Islamic controlled nations. There Christians pay, with their lives quite often, for their faith. But Jesus challenged them back in 33 AD and He challenges them today.

Jesus pointed out to his detractors (vv 25-29) about the weakness of divided kingdoms and how they fail. That HIS kingdom is ascending, evidences the unity. Beginning in verse 30, however, we see his message to HIS people. We must guard against any type of disunity among believers. We must not promote our own local church by denigrating another local church, so long as the churches seek to live centered upon the Lordship of Christ. We must not allow circumstances and opinions to separate us from other true believers.

There is danger in disunity among believers. In speaking disharmoniously about our true brothers and sisters in Christ, we risk speaking against His lordship. Verse 30-31 point out our circumstance when we are not 'with Christ.'  How can we think we are 'with Christ' when we separate ourselves from large portions of other Christ-followers over silly issues? Isn't Christ with them too? I can't be absolutely certain of this particular opinion, but I think vv 31-32 are NOT a new topic but an extension of what Christ is saying about oneness with Him. Is it possible that when one group of Christ followers reject or denigrate another group, they are, in fact, rejecting the Holy Spirit? According to verse 32, rejecting the Holy Spirit could be 'speaking against' Him. Such behavior has eternal consequences that have no remedy.

From my perspective, I want to remain in unity with all who truly love The Lord, and who live as ones 'called according to His purposes.' Please never let anything I say make you think I am separating myself from any of you.

Your servant in Christ's love

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