Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Dangerous Ground

Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. (Hebrews 10:29 NLT)

Some people go out of their way to mock God and to slander His holy name. They go out of their way to defy Him. And they are treading on dangerous ground.

In the Old Testament book of Daniel, we read that King Belshazzar had all the holy vessels brought out that the Jewish people used in the worship of God. Then he filled them with wine and toasted the gods of silver and gold. He was openly mocking God and going out of his way to ridicule Him.

And that was his last night on earth. He was weighed in God’s balances, and God’s judgment fell upon him.

The Bible says that one of the sins we can commit against the Holy Spirit is to insult Him. Hebrews 10:29 warns, “Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us” (NLT).

One function of the Holy Spirit is to present the saving work of Jesus Christ to nonbelievers. And when nonbelievers refuse to accept the Lord into their lives, they are insulting the love of God. They’re saying they don’t need salvation, they don’t believe that Christ can save them, and they don’t believe that Jesus’ work on the cross was necessary.

To resist the Holy Spirit’s appeal and, therefore, to insult God, is to cut off all hope of salvation. Undoubtedly these sins lead to the ultimate sin. First people resist the Holy Spirit, then they insult Him, and one day they can go so far as to insult or blaspheme Him.

The word blasphemy speaks of a conscious denouncing and rejection of God. It is a defiant irreverence, a uniquely terrible sin of intentionally and openly speaking evil against God.

Yet this will be characteristic of people in the last days. The Bible says the Antichrist will go out of his way to blaspheme God. And Revelation 16 tells us that in response to God’s judgment, people “cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory” (verse 9 NLT).

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin (see Mark 3:29). It represents not just unbelief but a determined unbelief. The Bible speaks of Esau, who had gone beyond this point of no return. Hebrews 12:17 tells us, “It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears” (NLT).

It’s a fearful thing when people go out of their way to mock God, ridicule God, and insult God. They think they can do this for as long as they want, without any penalty. But ultimately it will catch up with them. And the worst thing of all is they can cross the line and commit the unforgivable sin.

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