From time to time, I am asked about the meaning of “the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,” because Jesus said it was an unpardonable sin. He said, “Every sin or blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31).
When God is trying to bring a person to faith and he or she says no, that is resisting the Holy Spirit. This is a sin that only an unbeliever could commit. The work of the Spirit, as Jesus said, is to “convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). And when someone refuses to accept Christ, they are denying the very mission of the Holy Spirit when they say they don’t need salvation, when they say, “Not only am I saying no to this, but I am saying that I don’t care if Jesus died. And if He did die, then His death was a waste. I don’t care if He shed His blood. It means nothing to me.”
That insults the Holy Spirit, because the Bible says, “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29).
Therefore, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when unbelievers say no to the Spirit’s work of showing them their need for Jesus and bringing them to faith. By resisting and turning their back on God’s gracious offer of forgiveness, they can ultimately insult—and even blaspheme—the Holy Spirit and go beyond a point of no return. To resist the Holy Spirit’s appeal is to insult God and to effectively cut off all hope of salvation.
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