Call-In Classic Christianity Radio – Bob George P527 (04-09-20)
I have heard believers, when reading the scriptures, Christians come across the passage in Matthew 12 where Jesus says that every kind of sin can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. With such a strong statement, people have wondered if they have committed such a sin. What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? First, Jesus spoke while living during the time of the Old Covenant, while proclaiming the New Covenant to come. He spoke that he would prove the world wrong about righteousness, judgment and sin, and about sin, because of unbelief in Him (John 16:7-11). So, the world’s sin is unbelief in Jesus. Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is refusing to believe in the totality of the godhead; that God the Father sent the Son into this world to take away the sins of the world. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth about God to men, testifying that Jesus is the promised Messiah, God in the flesh. So the only sin attributable to man is the sin of unbelief in Jesus, that after having taken away the sins of the entire world, he was raised to new life to offer new life to men.
Another passage that people ponder is when Jesus said he will be three days and night in the belly of the earth, like Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a whale (Matthew 12:40). As you study this passage, and compare that with more details of Jesus death in Matthew John 19:31-32, you will recognize that there are several Sabbaths in Jewish culture. The special Sabbath, on Thursday, was a day to cleanse your entire house of unleaven, a picture of cleansing of sin, of preparation. So Jesus died on a Thursday. The cross is preparatory for salvation. The cross in and of itself is not salvation. It is what prepared us for salvation. It is the cleansing of all the leaven. In this case, he cleansed us of all unrighteousness at the cross so in the resurrection he can fill us with His righteousness.
People deceive themselves that they have come to know Christ, but their lifestyle gives no indication of it (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). There are behaviors that are indicators of a lost person because that is what lost people do. When a person comes to Christ, you would expect to see such behaviors as adultery, sexual promiscuity, drunkenness, lying, and stealing to be set aside. So, if a person says that all my sins, past, present and future are all forgiven, and because of that he can go ahead and commit adultery, then he has not understood the gospel. Forgiveness is not the issue. The issue is you are a new creation. The issue is Christ Jesus lives in you, and if He lives in you, then you have been made into a brand new creature, and behold all things pass away and behold all things become new. You do not return to the same things you were doing when you were lost.
The scriptures has practical advice and wisdom for the tough issues we face in life. Are you facing a divorce? Does it mean it is always a sin to be divorced? Why did Moses allow a certificate of divorce? Those are the types of questions people ask? God has called us to live in peace. A woman could be in a situation where she has to seek shelter and be in a place where she is safe. In 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul provides insight on this, in the case of a non-believer married to a believer. If a non-believer does not want to remain married, and you being a believer, then you are not bound by him. If he wants to go, then let him go.
So often, as we are learning, and continue to learn, about grace, we struggle with the thinking we had in the former way of life we once lived under law. When we come to Christ, we are a new creation, with new desires. Because we are a new creation, we are instructed to set aside those old ways that make no sense anymore, and to study God’s word so our minds are renewed. What helps us to live in the new life God has given us is to ponder over how Jesus lived in total trust in His Father, a dependency where, although God, showed us how to live, who are not God, when he said he did only what he saw His Father doing and only said what His Father told Him to say and how to say it. He modeled perfectly for us what it means to abide, to trust in God. The best illustration that he gave to help us grasp this relationship of trust in God is the parable of the vine and the branches in John 5. As we abide in the vine, the vine produces the fruit of the Spirit what we could never produce apart from him. We rest in Him, and the fruit will show up on the branches. We do not grunt and groan it out in the flesh.
Sometimes, we try to intellectually understand spiritual truth. That does not mean you turn of your rain, and not use reason, but you are not going to figure spiritual things out without the Spirit of God revealing truth to you. Do not overwork yourself, or get bogged down in trying to understand something that you are missing out on the peace of God, the fruit of the Spirit, but learn to trust God and ask Him to reveal truth to you. The natural man cannot discern the things of God for they are spiritually discerned. So, first of all, you must be born again. And when you are born again, you have the mind of Christ, the Spirit of Christ living in you, who will and has promised to guide you into all truth. So, enjoy the journey. Rest in Him. Little by little He will make you grow. He has promised to complete the work He began in you. And, He has even promised that He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability to endure, and with the temptation He will provide a way out. You are safe and secure as a child of God. Just make yourself available for Him, so He can live His life in you and through you.
Andy from Vancouver, British Columbia
Andy: I have a question in Matthew 12:31-32.
31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Andy: What exactly is Jesus speaking about in those two verses?
John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me
Bob: In the Old Testament, you had God the Father proclaiming the coming of the Son. In the New Testament, you have the Son that is here. Then you have the Holy Spirit, whose job is, as Jesus said, to go into the world and convince the world about sin and about righteousness and judgment, and about sin because you do not believe in me.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
Bob: So when a person is ultimately blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, he has literally blasphemed against the totality of the testimony of the Son of God. He blasphemed against the Father, saying “I do not believe him”. He blasphemed against the Son, saying “I do not believe him”. Then, lastly, he is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. So the only sin attributable to man is the sin of the rejection of the Son of God. There is no way that that can be interpreted in any other way except that anyone who speaks against the Son of man will be forgiven. In other words, Jesus is kind of secondary to the Holy Spirit. But if anyone speaks against the Holy Spirit, he will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. No one will be unforgiven except to deny Jesus Christ. So blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy against the Spirit’s testimony about Christ Jesus, the final testimony of the godhead.
Andy: Okay. I have misinterpreted those two verses. People have different interpretations.
Bob: People have interpretations that are all over the place, especially if you go to charismatic services. They will have another slant on that. There is only one sin unforgivable, and that is according to Jesus himself. So when you are talking about sinning against Jesus, and that is okay, but do not speak against the Holy Spirit, that is ridiculous. What it is saying is there is one message. The Father has given it, and the Son has explained it, and now the Holy Spirit is proclaiming it. When you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, you have blasphemed against the totality of the godhead. Today, as an example, the only testimony we have about Jesus is the Holy Spirit. His job now is to go into the world to convince the world wrong about righteousness, sin and judgment, and about sin because you do not believe in Jesus. The role of the Spirit today is to explain the meaning of the gospel. When you blaspheme against that testimony, you have now blasphemed against the totality of the godhead.
Ryan from Lake Forest, California
Ryan: Jesus was speaking to someone saying, as Jonah spent three days in the belly of the fish, so too is Jesus going to spend three days in the belly of the earth.
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Bob: That is why he was not crucified on Friday, but crucified on Thursday. There has been much confusion on this. What was interesting is that the Thursday that you are talking about was called a special Sabbath. There were a number of Sabbaths mentioned in the scripture. There were special Sabbaths and there was a regular Sabbath. If you look at the passage carefully, it says it occurred on a special Sabbath.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.
A special Sabbath is a day of preparation. A day of preparation is where people had to clear their homes of any leaven. They not only cleansed it of leaven, they had to cleanse the smell of leaven out of the house. So it was preparation for the Sabbath. So you had a special Sabbath, on Thursday, and the Sabbath, that would of course would have been on Friday evening until Saturday evening, Jesus death was actually on the day of preparation, which is exactly what the cross is. The cross is preparatory for salvation. The cross in and of itself is not salvation. It is what prepared us for salvation. It is the cleansing of all the leaven. In this case, he cleansed us of all unrighteousness at the cross so in the resurrection he can fill us with His righteousness. So that ties into the prophecy that he was crucified in the belly of a whale, or in the earth, for three days and three nights.
Bob: You see the word special Sabbath, then you see the Sabbath. When you understand Jewish tradition, and you see the different Sabbaths there were, and what they amounted to and were, it becomes very clear. One thing for sure, Jesus did not die on Friday. You can spin it any way you want to, but it will not put him three days and nights in the belly of the earth unless the crucifixion occurred on Thursday.
Delores from Sandia, Texas
Delores: I have been reading the bible for 7 or 8 years and studying it as much as I can. I also have been distributing your Born Free tracts out in my area. I had a question on 1 Corinthians 6, in regard to sexual sin. This man said his spouse is not in good health and he wants to know if he was going to sin what would happen.I told him that he made a commitment to his wife. He said he did not think it would be a sin to be with another woman since he said your sins are forgiven; past, present and future. I warned him that if you play with fire you will get burned. This happened to my cousin. He was a womanizer. My aunt called me that he had gotten shot because of a woman. He was 53 years old. He shortened his life because he was doing what he was not supposed to. In scripture I read that none of these will have a share in the kingdom of God. What does that mean?
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Bob: Because they are lost. You do not just stop with just sexual morals. What about idolaters, people who worship money, adulterers, male prostitutes, female prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, slanderers. That would be a good old deacons meetings. Swindlers? That is what some of you were? Why did they mention that? That is the indicator that you were lost. That is the kind of activities that lost people engage in. That is what some of you were. You were washed. You were sanctified. That means you are saved. You have been set apart. You were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of the Lord. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.
1 Corinthians 6:12-13
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say – but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” – but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
Bob: What you are seeing is the fact that those things are indicators of the activities, and certainly not all of them, of how lost people behave, or try to fill the void that is in their life. We have been set apart. As far as this guy is concerned, saying, “my sins are forgiven so I can go and commit adultery”, that is somebody who does not understand the gospel. Forgiveness is not the issue. The issue is you are a new creation. The issue is Christ Jesus lives in you, and if He lives in you, then you have been made into a brand new creature, and behold all things pass away and behold all things become new. You do not return to the same things you were doing when you were lost.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Delores: What about my cousin? He was lost and he died.
Bob: Then he is in hell. It was not because of what he was doing. It was because of what he did not do because he did not accept the Lord Jesus Christ.
Delores: That is what I was going to tell him. I wanted to make sure what I tell him is from the scriptures.
Bob: You are right on.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins
Bob: A person will go where he decides to go. If you did not decide to go there, you would have chosen Jesus.
Raymond from Belmont, California
Raymond: When I went to church on Sunday, they did some skit on the parable of the talents. What does that mean? The way it was done, it sounded like if you did not do enough, or do exactly what God called you to do, you were thrown into hell. I know it is not the case in the New Covenant. It sounded like a person is thrown into outer darkness. I did not understand the relevance of that.
Bob: When you are talking about “not doing what God has given” is talking to the Jews. To the Jews, here, “I have given you everything you need, and you turned your back on it”. But of course the same thing happens to people today. But we do know one thing that the only reason people go to hell is not by not using your talents, but by not accepting Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior. That is the world’s sin. All of the sins of the world were taken away at the cross.
Bob: It does mean that if you are a branch, abiding in the vine of Christ Jesus, the vine will produce in you what it wants to produce. We will know our talents when we abide in the vine. Many people will put their worldly talents to work and say, “I am doing good for Jesus because I am an outstanding business man, and I am a Christian doing good business.” Well that is not God’s talent for you. God’s talents are wrapped up in gifts of the Spirit and in the fruit of the Spirit.
Bob: So, Raymond, sometimes you see those things take place where people miss the whole point of what the parables are about. If you are truly in Christ and abide in Him, you will be using talents God has given you to do those things He wants to do in and through you. If you are not using talents because you are not abiding in Him. So if you are not going to abide in Him, even though placed in Him, you are like a branch that needs to be thrown away. It does not say He will throw you away but it means you are worthless to God as far as bearing fruit. You are worthless to Him because you refuse to be used.
Delores: The outer darkness part, is that about the Jews not accepting Him.
Bob: To the Jews, who he is talking to, it is like saying, “I am here to give you everything you need for life and godliness.” Everyone is saying, ”No. I am going to hold onto my self effort. I do not need you, Jesus.” If we do not come to Christ Jesus, we do not have any power to do anything God is interested in, Raymond. Whether we use talents, and not in Christ, then using them in the energy of the flesh, and bible calls that wood, hay and stubble. Take that as it is, and if a person is truly in Christ Jesus, and truly abiding in the vine, the vine will be producing in that branch what it wants to produce. It is not sitting around thinking about how I am going to use my talents. It is thinking about living in a dependent relationship with Jesus Christ.
Bob: Jesus said, “I do not do anything unless the Father tells me to do it”. He lives in total dependence of the Father and told you and me to go and do likewise.
Terry from Lake Elsnor, California
Terry: Have I been foolish for standing for a marriage I am in right now. I am married to a person who pursued me for 9 years relentlessly. I gave up a community and a whole lot. I married him and I married him forever. The day I married him the marriage was over. It was all emotion on his part. There were issues before I married him and I realized that. Him and I against the world, and in time he will know I love him, is what I thought.
Bob: You thought you could change him.
Terry: The marriage ended the day we got married. I made a decision to stand until the very end until there was an actual divorce. The divorce has been in process for a year. It is being extended due to a lawyer going on vacation and this and that.
Bob: It is too late to think about those things. Whether you were foolish or you were not is not the issue. The issue is you did. The issue is now the divorce is occurring. The issue you and Jesus will have to get on with your life. That is really all you have to think about. You cannot think of the would of, could of, should have, in anything in life. You did what you thought you should do, and hung in there. I assume that he initiated the divorce.
Terry: He initiated it. I said I would never get a divorce.
Bob: You never want to say never. I will do something even if the Lord told me not to do it. Never say never on those kind of things. By the grace of God, I will be able to walk by faith in Him. How that turns out, we will wait to see. The issue is you made a commitment that you yourself could not keep, because you are going to divorce. Do not do that again. Those things are devastating. For one, that is law. You put yourself under law saying you will never divorce. Then you run into a jerk, and what are you going to do, live in misery for the rest of your life. That does not make any sense.
Terry: God has given me a supernatural love. I just decided to do that. But should I now just leave because I stayed here in the home?
Bob: I do not think leaving is the issue. Obviously the marriage is over, however you arrange that.
Terry: Leave the home? Should I stay here as if still married?
Bob: If it is over, it is over. Put it behind you and move on with your life. I have known situations like that where the marriage was never even consummated. Again, sometimes you have people who are homosexual, and get married to hide their homosexuality. There are all kinds of things people will do to deceive people You were deceived. A person says he loves you dearly and wants to get married but then wants to do nothing with you physically. You fell into a person who deceived you. Now it is over. You need to get on with your life. Did Jesus die for the sin of divorce?
Bob: Yes. It is all over. If he initiated the divorce, then do what the scripture says, let him go. You and Jesus move on.
1 Corinthians 7:12-16
12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Tom from Bakersfield, California
Tom: Some time ago, in a church service, the preacher made reference to some part of the bible where evidently some people were entering into prayer, and he admonished them not to pray to him but to pray to the Father.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Bob: I have no idea what some pastor said. Jesus prayed to the Father. When he gave us a sample prayer, he did not give us a prayer. He taught us how to pray. He was teaching the disciples how to pray, not himself. How did he start? “Our Father who is in heaven.” God is not nit-picking up there saying you did not mention my name. That is ludicrous. The procedure Jesus gave us is to pray to the Father in the authority of Christ Jesus. As we end a prayer, we often pray this in the name of Christ. It is in the authority of Christ Jesus who gave us the authority to pray to the Father in His name. That is the correct way to address the Father. Again, I do not think He is nit-picking stuff. He is looking at our heart anyway. It is not praying to Christ Jesus. It is praying in the authority of Christ Jesus to the Father.
Benedict from Denton, Texas
Benedict: I try to understand things intellectually. I have committed to giving my life to God. Whether reading the bible or having someone telling me about God, there is doubt. Is there a reason for this? My mind is always trying to figure out what I should just believe? How do I take care of that?
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Bob: When you are trying to figure something out, you are trying to figure that out in the flesh. The flesh is never going to figure out spiritual things.
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Bob: The natural man trying to figure out God is engaged in an exercise in futility because the bible tells us the natural man cannot, never could, never can and never would understand the things of God.
Bob: If you are born again, and there is only one way to be born again, and that is through a relationship with the Lord Jesus. If you accepted the death, burial and resurrection for your life, knowing what that means personally for you, then you are indwelt with the Spirit of God who lives in you. The Spirit of God’s work is to reveal truth to you. When it says the peace of God surpasses all understanding, as an example, that means you cannot understand it. You can experience it but there is no way you are going to figure out how it occured. It is a by product of trusting Christ.
13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Bob: It is like a doubting Thomas and people are like that, but Jesus wants you to choose and believe. Quit doubting and believe.
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Bob: The only way you are going to do that is to keep studying the word of God, asking Him to reveal truth to you as you go. When the Spirit reveals truth to you, then there is nothing to doubt anymore. If I teach you something, as a teacher of the gospel even though I may be teaching you truth, you can doubt that, but when the Spirit teaches you, you are taught. So lean on the Spirit, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all ways and He will direct your path and He will give you the ability to understand with the Spirit, the truth of the word of God. Do not worry about it. Just continue doing what you are doing, studying the word of God, allowing Him to reveal truth to you.
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