Reading Scripture: Matthew 12:31-32
Verse to Memorize: Hebrews 10:26
Reference: Hebrews 6:4-6
Goal: To help believers clearly understand both sins leading to death and sins not leading to death so that they will never commit sins leading to death
If some land is contaminated with toxic chemicals or radioactivity from factory waste or pesticides, it takes quite long time for it to recover-or it may be impossible for the land to be renewed. The same applies to the heart field of men. Sins leading to death are like these toxic chemicals, so if your heart field is ‘polluted’ with sins that lead to death it is very hard to restore it to an original state and it makes it hard for you to reach salvation.
However, God can restore the heart field of man that has been devastatingly contaminated. As much as they thoroughly repent and purify their hearts, they can receive the mercy of God. If you have not cultivated your heart field but have tainted it, I hope you will reverse the effects and restore it to a clean heart by fully and completely repenting and casting off every form of evil.
1. We must not commit sins related to salvation
When we realize we are sinners, repent of sins, open our hearts, and accept Jesus Christ, God will give us the Holy Spirit as His gift. This is because we become able to throw away sins and live in the will of God only when we receive the help of the Holy Spirit. But some people set themselves against the Spirit and commit works of the flesh though they have received the Spirit as a gift.
Here, ‘works of the flesh’ refer to sins shown outwardly in the form of actions. Although you have accepted Jesus Christ and have been forgiven of your sins, you might not receive salvation, if you are still sinning repeatedly. Why is that? God wants to forgive you again and again. Though you have already been saved, however, if you do grave sins or keep committing sins beyond a certain limit, the enemy devil and Satan will bring accusation against you, saying to God, “How can they be God’s children?”
God is love but He is of justice at the same time, so He accepts the accusations of Satan when Satan accuses men in accordance with spiritual law. Thus, we should not commit any kind of sin, but above all we must not commit sins that affect our salvation. If you have already committed such sins, you have to repent immediately and turn back from it.
Not every sin falls under the same category. Among many sins against the Word of God, some are relatively light that can be promptly forgiven through repentance whereas others are so grave that people who commit them will not receive salvation.
2. Sins leading to death and sins not leading to death
Galatians 5:19-21 reads, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
If you perpetually commit such evident deeds of the flesh, you cannot be saved as the verses above say, “Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” But even though you perform an act of ‘sins depriving of salvation’, if you completely repent, unceasingly pray, and turn back from it, the way of salvation might be opened for you. Even if someone is now of a heretical sect, if they separate themselves from it and repent, God will have compassion on them and open the path of salvation for them.
As explained, there are sins that do not lead to death because the one who has committed them can be saved through repentance. But there are sins that you cannot repent of because the spirit of repentance sometimes is not given no matter how hard you try. Such sins are called ‘Sins Leading to Death’. They are too grave to be forgiven even though people ask for their forgiveness.
1 John 5:16 says, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.”
Then, let’s specify the sins leading to death that we cannot make request for forgiveness for here.
The first of these sins is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31-32 reads, “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
The second one is to crucify to oneself the Son of God and put Him to open shame. Hebrews 6:4-6 says, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”
The third one is to go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth. Hebrews 10:26-27 reads, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.”
3. The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit by opposing, speaking against, and disgracing Him
Throughout the Christian church history, some churches and believers have been condemned as heretical due to minor difference of religious doctrines or personal and unfavorable feeling towards one another. But it has not been in accordance with the teachings of the Bible. That’s why we must not bring judgment against churches who do not deny Jesus Christ, believe God the Trinity, and share the same common core biblical beliefs on regeneration, resurrection, second coming of the Lord, the last judgment, and Heaven. In particular, if you carelessly condemn or judge churches or pastors whom God is with, it is to blaspheme the Spirit and it eventually leads to eternal death. We must remember it (Matthew 12:31-32).
The sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is categorized into three kinds-opposing, speaking against and disgracing the Holy Spirit.
Above all, opposing the Spirit is to try to hinder the achievement of God’s kingdom by interrupting works of the Holy Spirit. In other words, someone disrupts the work of God out of evilness even though it has been done by the Holy Spirit just because it does not agree with their own thoughts
For instance, if some people condemn a church where the works of the Spirit occur as a heretical faction, or they try to thwart a religious rally by spreading false rumor and fabricating documents, such things belong within the scope of opposing the Spirit. If they have done it because of ignorance of the truth, they can be forgiven of it when they repent and turn back. However, if they have done such things out of evil attributes such as jealousy and envy in them even after receiving the knowledge of the truth, they can never be forgiven of their sin.
The second is to speak against the Spirit? It is acting against the voice of the Holy Spirit through which God is guiding us to do His will, or trying to excommunicate or do harm to churches filled with works of the Holy Spirit by judging and condemning the churches as heretical. It includes the case that someone judges a church where fiery works of the Holy Spirit are occurring, makes a false report, and then is trying to remove it from the denomination that it belongs to.
Matthew 12:32 reads, “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Speaking a word against the Son of Man means defying and disobeying the words of Jesus because they recognize Him merely as a person. Inability to recognize Jesus as the Savior results from the lack of knowledge. In this case, they will be forgiven and can be saved only if they thoroughly repent and accept the Lord.
For example, if someone committed this kind of sin without knowing the truth or before he received the Holy Spirit, God gives him a chance for repentance and forgiveness. However, those who are opposing and speaking against the Lord while they exactly know who Jesus Christ is and say they believe in Him can never be forgiven for this because it is the same as opposing and speaking against the Holy Spirit and His woks.
The last and third is ‘disgracing the Spirit’. It is a sin of profaning the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of God and His divinity (Luke 12:10). If you slander the works of the Holy Spirit, or say His works are of Satan, or insist that something is the work of the Holy Spirit when it is not, it is a sin of disgracing the Holy Spirit. It is also disgracing God’s eternal power and divinity. Also, perverting the teachings of the Bible by preaching the truth as untruth and claiming what is not true as if it were true, and condemning what is true as if it were untrue are all “disgracing the Holy Spirit.”
here fore, you must not heedlessly judge and condemn others as heretics by acknowledging the works of the Spirit. If you opposed, spoke against, or disgraced the Spirit due to ignorance in the past, it is time to repent thoroughly and to receive God-given mercy.