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Daily Devotional | Right and Wrong - What the Bible Says About Sin and Righteousness. - Street Sign with arrows. Today in the Word September 2022 graphics

Right and Wrong | Questions and Answers

I have been a believer for years, but as a young person I would curse God. Now I am concerned that I blasphemed the Holy Spirit and committed the unpardonable sin. Is there hope for me?

The fear of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (being irreverent toward the work of the Spirit) is one of the most common fears people have. Despite the clear teaching of Scripture that nothing can separate followers of Jesus from God’s love (Rom. 8:31–39), many remain anxious. This fear derives from Jesus saying, “Every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matt. 12:31).

We need to understand what the blasphemy of the Spirit means. In Matthew 12, certain Jewish leaders were attributing the works of Jesus to Satan rather than the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when we attribute the work of the physically present, incarnate Son of God to the power of the enemy. Since the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven and is not physically present with us, it is not possible for us to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

You can take a deep breath and rest in the power of the Lord’s forgiveness. Remember, “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:36). The Lord said of those who believe in Him, “No one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28) nor will anyone “snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29). We are secure in being forgiven of sin and in our status as children of God.

I'm concerned about those who have never heard the gospel. How can God judge them for not believing in Jesus?

It would be hard to find anyone today who does not have access to the good news of Jesus through the internet, radio, or other media. Of course, there may be some remote people groups who have not heard, but even they have sufficient revelation from God.

Paul reminds us that God has revealed Himself through creation. He writes, “God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

Paul is saying that there is enough general revelation to lead people to know there is a Creator and to seek Him. Therefore, general revelation is sufficient for God to condemn people who don’t respond to it. However, it is also insufficient to save them. Even though God has revealed Himself through creation, they too often reject that revelation. They are lost not because they haven’t heard the gospel but because they have rejected what God revealed.

So what is our responsibility? Paul tells us we are to proclaim the good news to all, even those who have never heard. He asks, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” (Rom. 10:14–15).

It is our responsibility to go ourselves and to help send others through financial and prayer support. We shouldn’t ask what will God do for those who haven’t heard, but what am I doing to get the good news to them?

One Scripture tells us God has removed our sin as far as the east is from the west, and He remembers it no more, then another tells us on judgment day we will have to hear our sins recounted. How do these go together?

The first passage you’re thinking of is a combination of Psalm 103:12 (“As far as east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”) and Isaiah 43:25 (“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions...and remembers your sins no more”). Both deal with God’s removal of the guilt and condemnation of our sins (Rom. 8:1).

The second passage relates to the Judgment (or Bema) Seat. One day, we will give an account of our service to the Lord. When our works are tested by fire, some will be like wood, hay, and straw and burn up. If our works are like silver, gold, and precious gems we’ll receive a reward. But even those without rewards will still be saved, “as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor. 3:11–15). If we’ve experienced God’s forgiveness through Jesus, we should be committed to holiness and service. And even though “we have only done our duty” (Luke 17:10), God still promises us rewards.

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is a professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line with Michael Rydelnik. He is the author of 50 Most Important Bible Questions inspired by both his radio show and his columns for Today in the Word. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

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