Blog Archive

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hell's Unpardonable Sin

The fifth chapter of John presents a scene common in the Gospels—Jews (most likely religious leaders) in conflict with Jesus concerning His claim to be the Son of God.

Jewish law requires the testimony of two or three witnesses to establish a matter (as might common wisdom). Jesus acknowledges that His testimony of Himself isn't valid on its own. He goes on to enumerate the numerous witnesses to His identity:

The Holy Spirit (verse 32)
John the Baptist (verse 33)
The works [miracles] Jesus performs (verse 36)
"The Father Himself" (verse 37)
The whole of Scripture (verse 39)
The writings of Moses (verse 46)

"But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life."
~ John 5:40 (NKJV)

Religious people seem to be the most difficult to convince about the Holy Spirit's testimony. The rules and standards and tenets of religion can be solidly defined. But the Holy Spirit is alternately called fire and water and wind—fluid elements that can sometimes be contained, but which defy assumption of any concrete shape when left to themselves.

"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
~ John 3:8 (NKJV)

The person who does not wish to enthrone Jesus as Lord and God, Messiah and Savior, Christ and King will listen to neither the internal whisperings of the Holy Spirit nor acknowledge the indisputable and miraculous signs of His presence.

Whatever other testimony is rejected, this final voice of authority must be heeded. The blood of Jesus Christ will cover all other sins with which Hell tempts—except Hell's unpardonable sin of calling the Spirit a liar, in the refusal to accept His testimony to the Person of Jesus Christ.

"Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation."
~ Mark 3:28-29 (NKJV)

Though most people reading this blog have accepted the Spirit's testimony about Jesus, we sometimes deny His voice about lesser things. Such denials are not the unpardonable sin of blasphemy, but we might at least consider how much weight Jesus puts on His Spirit's voice.

Comments are welcome and will receive a reply.
You may also contact author via Twitter – @anne4JC
or e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2011, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, be blessed.

  2. May my words ever bring glory to God and encouragement to you, dear one.

  3. Maybe I am just tired and not reading this in the context that was intended, but would you give me an example of two things that you wrote here?

    "Religious people seem to be the most difficult to convince about the Holy Spirit's testimony."


    "Though most people reading this blog have accepted the Spirit's testimony about Jesus, we sometimes deny His voice about lesser things."

    Forgive my lack of understanding here.

  4. (My previous comment had a critical typo and was deleted.)

    Mary, I might define "religious people" as those who embrace a set of moral standards and beliefs, who might be characterized by criticism and conformity. While there is nothing wrong with knowing what we believe and holding steadfastly to it in word and action, I think the emphasis of the religious person is on the outward more than the inward, perhaps even without awareness of the inward. If a person's religion is something put on rather than something that springs from the heart—out of the love put there by God's Holy Spirit—it will be difficult to hear or even listen for the voice of the Spirit, if it doesn't conform to the standards and beliefs which a person has embraced. A faith so fixed that it doesn't grow is going to remain a very small faith. It may be a faith so small that it hasn't yet even come to a saving knowledge of Who Jesus is.

    For those who have accepted the Holy Spirit's saving testimony about Jesus, I think we can still have a tendency toward religion rather than relationship. We have read and heard and applied Scripture to our lives in good ways, and then become comfortable enough to resist the Holy Spirit when He challenges us to expand our perspective. (I have not known you to be one of those people very often, if at all.) I find myself often treading lightly around other Christians. Sometimes that's good, when I need to be careful not to expect that just because God has worked in my life in a certain way, He must want to work in the same way in another life. I'd call that a good caution, so that I'm not trying to be the Holy Spirit for someone else. But other times, I sense the Holy Spirit revealing to me where He is being limited by religion's spirit of conformity and criticism, and I am cautious to say no more than what I think someone's ready to receive. That's good if the Spirit is prompting me to remain quiet, and to use the information only so that I am motivated and empowered to pray. It is not good if I allow my fear of man or religion to quench how the Holy Spirit might want me to speak.

    You well know that testimony to Jesus often comes with a cost—sometimes from those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit's testimony of Jesus, and sometimes from Christians who at the moment place more emphasis on religion than relationship, more reliance on logic than on love. I confess that I have sometimes been guilty of standing among the latter. I pray that I become increasingly sensitive to the Spirit's leading about which truth to speak, when and where and to whom to speak it, and always in a spirit of love that balances God's righteousness and mercy.


Your comments are appreciated and you can expect a reply. If Blogger doesn't accept your comment, or if you prefer
another method, I hope you'll respond via Twitter or email
(see sidebar icons or the "Contact Me" tab, above).

(Comments to older posts and will appear after approval.)