The Sin Against the Holy Spirit

Above Niagara Falls a place called “Past Redemption Point” marks the spot where the waters quicken and the current becomes so swift that no possibility exists for a person to turn back. Similarly, for those walking in the gilded and glittering broad way there comes a time when the current of evil quickens and nothing can save them. Why? Because they have refused to be impressed by the Holy Spirit so often they go beyond their soul’s “Past Redemption Point.”

This is the sin against the Holy Spirit – a sin so irreversible that no future probation for repentance is possible. (Matthew 12:31,32.) Those who consistently refuse to listen to the voice of God eventually destroy their capacity to hear it.

The appeal of the Spirit heard within the sacred precincts of the soul is called “conviction.” Conviction brings the soul under moral obligation to heed and obey. Jesus Himself speaks, saying, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. “ Revelation 2:7. Through conviction the Spirit invites us to repent. However, repentance or sorrow for sin is not enough; the soul must turn from sin to Jesus, the Sin Bearer.

Alas, many refuse to heed the pleadings of the Spirit. They treat conviction as an unwelcome annoyance. They “kick against the  pricks.” Attempting to hush the voice of the Spirit, to ignore His promptings, reject His appeals, defy His restraints. Thus, man plays the traitor to his soul. Overriding conviction produces presumption. As time goes by, the voice within becomes fainter and fainter until at last it does not bother the sinner anymore. Though he “call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20), he finds no happiness, only “a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27).

God never gives anyone up. He says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5. Man forsakes God. Paul describers those who reject God: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful… Wherefore God also gave them up; … who changed the truth of God into a lie… For this cause God gave them up… As they did not like to retain God in knowledge, God gave them over.” Romans 1:21-28.

However, no Christian should presume to judge who has committed the unpardonable sin, for many, like Paul, who called himself the chief of sinners, have been snatched as a brand from burning. There are, of course, many who have heeded the voice of the Spirit and in spite of trials and afflictions have followed through to gain notable victories for God.

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been called the Bible Hall of Fame. This chapter lists such heroes of faith as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. By faith many of the men listed gained victories in situations that some would call defeats: they endured mockings and scourgings and imprisonments. They endured! And that is victory! They endured because they obeyed and kept on obeying the “still small voice” within, doing whatever that voice asked, believing that God would do as He had promised (Isaiah 3:10.)

However, most have taken another course. God says, “I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:… when distress and anguish cometh upon you; then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; … they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way.” Proverbs 1:24-31.

Jude referred to these as the “twice dead.” “Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core… Clouds they are without water [a symbol of the Holy Spirit]; … trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead; … wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” Jude 11-13.

The Apostle Paul said, “It is impossible for those who… have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance.” Hebrews 6:4-6. The bodies of those who have rejected God’s Spirit become like corpses. Today many a treacherous Judas betrays his Lord with a kiss, many like Ananias and Sapphira lie to the Holy Spirit, many a covetous Achan troubles Israel, and many a painted Jezebel worships Baal. For them the harvest is past, the summer is ended, and … [they] are not saved.” (Jeremiah 8:20.)

When the whole world in Noah’s day was about to commit the unpardonable sin, God sent Noah, a preacher of righteousness, to warn them. God declared to that sin-drenched generation, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” Genesis 6:3. This warning has application today, for “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” Luke 17:26.

When Lot rushed to his sons-in-law in the dead of night with this warning, “Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city,” “he seemed as one that mocked.” Genesis 19:14. The Spirit of God had left them. Again: “As it was in the days of Lot; … even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:28-30. And when Israel refused repentance, the Lord declared, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Hosea 4:17.

The sin against the Holy Spirit is always self-inflicted, and entirely needless—there can be no excuse for it. He who continually disregards the warnings of the Spirit until his soul at last becomes stone-deaf to the voice of entreaty carries full responsibility for his condition since he himself has chosen deafness. The unpardonable sin might be termed spiritual suicide.

The Holy Spirit always has our best interests at heart. He labors with us to help us overcome inbred tendencies and inclinations to sin and battle the evil suggestions and influences of Satan and his angels, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but … against wicked spirits.” (Ephesians 6:12, margin.) Too often, we have failed to recognize the supernatural nature of the struggle in which we are engaged, and we do not realize our inadequacies. The battle for the soul goes on within the soul. To ignore the Spirit’s promptings means to reject the divine help Heaven has provided. Soon the world will be divided into two classes: those filled with the Holy Spirit and those filled with an unholy spirit.

Actually the only sin that God cannot forgive is the sin we refuse to forsake. “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.” Hebrews 7:25. The first work of the Spirit is to plead with the soul to come. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come.” Revelation 22:17. To respond to this invitation is the finest thing a man can ever do—to resist, the worst.

The Bible gives several ways in which we might sin against the Holy Spirit:

  1. By refusing to hear the Spirit. “They refused to hearken, … and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets.” Zechariah 7: 11,12.
  1. By quenching the Spirit. “Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
  1. By grieving the Spirit. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God.” Ephesians 4:30.
  1. By resisting the Spirit. “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.” Acts 7:51..
  1. By vexing the Spirit. “They rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit.” Isaiah 63:10.
  1. By doing despite to the Spirit. Hebrews 10:29 speaks of some who did “despite unto the Spirit of grace.”
  1. By hardening our hearts against the Spirit. “The Holy Ghost saith, to day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 3:7,8.

However, the Christian who loves Jesus, who lives up to all the light he has, will be in no danger of committing the unpardonable sin as long as he grows “in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18.)

Daily we must reaffirm our past consecrations and renew our past decisions to go all the way with Jesus. “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13.

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but it any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; bit of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:35-39.

My friends, I make an appeal to you, today make Jesus Christ your personal Savior, renounce this old world, and learn to develop the kind of faith that will get you through the closing chapters of earth’s history. The Great Tribulation is about to begin because the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are almost completely fulfilled. Listen carefully to the Holy Spirit’s sweet voice in your heart and mind, He will lead you Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God where eternity lasts forever and ever.


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