Stay close to hear His divine promptings.
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sabbath, January 24, 2015
Based Upon John 16
A friend of mine called the other day to ask me what is the unpardonable sin. I had this strange thrill come over me, because I knew I had a prime opportunity to provide a bit of Bible clarity on a subject that has caused fear in the minds of so many. Since I knew we had only a short time on the telephone, I asked her how sins are forgiven. She said, “If we confess them.” I said, “Good! The Bible says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and then cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). Then I asked, “How do we know that we need to confess our sins?” She was unsure. I rephrased and asked, “Whose job is it to help us understand that we need to get right with God?” She said, “The Holy Spirit.” “Great!” I said. I then quoted, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32).
Then, I illustrated by asking her to imagine hearing a voice coming from directly in front of her saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it…” Then, I said, “Now, imagine moving a little to the left of the sound, and keep moving until the sound is no longer heard.” I explained that in some ways, this is what it is like when the Holy Spirit tells us the way to turn from our sins and we do not listen. If we continue to ignore His voice, we eventually cease to hear Him. Thus, the unpardonable sin, is not some particular sin we can commit that is too powerful for God to forgive. No! It is the sin(s) for which we do not seek forgiveness. Confessed and forsaken sins are forgiven, but if I place myself out of position to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, I will no longer be able to recognize the fact that I need to confess and forsake my sins.
I said all of this to say that today we should give thanks for the ministry of the Holy Spirit! When, according to our theme chapter, He guides us into all truth, the original language suggests a very interesting principle: The Holy Spirit teaches us all truth about ourselves, and about God. The truth about us is that we are sinful and on our way to destruction. The truth about God is that He is holy and loves to save sinners. Now, somehow these two realities must collide in a way where we accept them and receive the blessing. Our God desires above all things that we hear and heed the voice of His Spirit, so we can be ushered into a vitalizing relationship with Him. One day soon, Jesus will be returning. And, when He returns, He will take those who have accustomed themselves to embracing His guidance, to be with Him eternally.