March 4; Unforgiven

Numbers 14-15

Mark tells us in his gospel that there is a sin God will not forgive. It’s not the sin of homosexuality, or even the murder of babies still in the womb. It’s not adultery, or idolatry, or stealing…

Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.

What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? I hope you’re sitting down.

But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised the Lord’s word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him. (Numbers 15:30-31)

The next paragraph in chapter 15 gives an example. A Jew who knew that God had demanded the Sabbath be kept holy, went out and gathered wood anyway. Right there in front of people, an in-your-face defiance of God’s Law. The consequences? They took him outside the camp and stoned him to death.

Have you ever knowingly sinned against God? I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that. Even Paul struggled with this issue. Romans 7:15-20 is his admission that sometimes he did what he knew he shouldn’t do, and sometimes he didn’t do what he knew he should. So are we to assume Paul could not be forgiven?

I am reminded of 1 John 1:9. Does God forgive sin or not? The Bible is clear that God forgives a repentant soul. He is faithful and just. But, an unrepentant soul He will not forgive.

And that’s what I feel God would have us consider today. If you are knowingly holding on to a sin, maybe hatred or jealousy, dishonesty, adultery, homosexuality, gluttony, laziness…, be warned:

God does not forgive an unconfessed sin. He calls it blasphemy. And He takes it very seriously.

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