At The Imprint Institute, our students are challenged with real life situations and utilize their acquired biblical foundation and theology to reach out to those who are hurting and in need. Below is an example of one of the case studies we did our first year. The students were learning about the concepts of blasphemy and “unforgivable sin”, and in this scenario, they receive a letter from an eight-year old kid struggling with these concepts.
My name is Orangejello. I had a kwestion and the paster told me I could come and axe you.
He said you was really really smart and that you would be able to answer my kwestion. So here it goes.
As I was reading my bible the other day I read Matthew 12:31-32. It says there is a sin I can’t be forgiven for. I am really scurred because before I became a Christian I think that I did this. Matter of fact, I know that I said this same thing to the holy spirit. I have changed since then. I believe Jesus died in my place and served as substitutionary atonement for my sin. I know that I am justified completely by His work alone and that one day I will be judged by His righteousness not mine.
I am scurred because I believe the bible is true and if it is true then that means there is no hope for me, right? Am I a Christian or am I destined to go to hell because of the mistakes that I made?
Can you please write me a three-page double spaced typed letter, clarifying what the sin of blasphemy really is and let me know if I should be concerned if I have committed it or not? Also, when answering my kwestion, can you back it up with scripture? I don’t need no opinions. I want to know what the bible has to say. Thank you.
Hopefully not eternally condemned,
P.S. I am only 8 years old so please use vocabulary I can understand.
What’s up buddy! I got your letter that you sent and I wanted to write you back. Pastor Onwuchekwa was right in saying that I am really smart, so hopefully I can answer your question well. I just want to say that I’m happy you are reading your Bible and you really want to do what it says.
Your question about Matthew 12 is a very good one. I think it is something that many people wonder when they read it, but most people probably don’t take the time out to search for an answer like you did. Honestly, it’s one of the scariest passages in the Bible to me. I’m like you. If I am guilty of this sin, and don’t have any hope that Jesus would forgive me, I don’t know what I would do. But thankfully, the more I read it, the more I am sure that I am not guilty of that sin of blasphemy like the Pharisees in Matthew 12. And I am sure that you’re not either.
I know you’re a Bible man and want more than just my opinion to make you feel better, so let me explain from the Bible. At this part in the chapter, Jesus is in the synagogue (which was like church back in those days) and sees a man with a messed up hand. Like he did with a bunch of other people, Jesus healed the man’s hand and it was like new! I’ve never seen anything like that, have you? I cut my hand when I was trying to fix my car the other day. Now I have a big gash on my palm and it hurts. It was bleeding for a long time. What if somebody came up to me and touched my hand, and then just like that, I watched this cut close up and all the pain go away in 2 seconds! Like something from a movie, right! But that’s what Jesus really did. And all the people who saw it were so amazed and wondered whether or not he really was the Son of God, because that’s who he was saying he was.
Well, everybody was amazed, except for the Pharisees. They were a group that was teaching people about God. They were teaching people about the Son of God too, except they were teaching the wrong stuff! They thought he was going to be a big warrior and conquer all of the country’s enemies and be a great king. Jesus was poor, and was the son of a carpenter. They thought that Jesus couldn’t ever be the Messiah. If he was, then they had it all wrong! So, they were so angry with Jesus because he was doing all this amazing stuff, and he kept saying that he was the Messiah. They spent all of their time trying to prove that he was wrong, and they were right. So even before he healed the man’s hand in chapter 12, they had been following him around, trying to convince other people that he was not the Messiah.
So when the people who are seeing Jesus’ miracles ask if he is the Messiah, the Pharisees say “No!”. But they have to explain how he was doing so many miraculous things. Their explanation: He uses the power of Satan, the devil, not the Spirit of God. It was obvious that Jesus was not working with the devil, because everything that he was doing was an attack on the devil. That’s why Jesus says, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” If you get in a fight with your brother Tar’Quell, you don’t punch yourself do you? Of course not! I don’t think the Pharisees really believed what they said. I think it was just a result of what they had been feeling in their hearts. They were so opposed to Jesus, and hated him so much in their hearts, that they had to come up with something to prove that he wasn’t who he said he was. The Pharisees hated Jesus. They saw that he could do supernatural things, and this proved that he was supernatural. The Holy Spirit was working through Jesus, and they could see it. They knew it. and they hated it! This is what Jesus was condemning! This was the Blasphemy.
In the next couple of verses, Jesus makes this clear. He says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” He warns that we all will be judged by what we say, one day. But he is clear, that the words show what is going on in our hearts. So, when the Pharisees say, “It is only by Beelzebul that this man casts out demons”, it’s an indication of what’s going on in their hearts. They hate Jesus, and will say anything to make other people hate him too. So, going back to your question, the Blasphemy against the Spirit that Jesus says won’t be forgiven, is not just a word said carelessly in anger. It’s more of a degree of sin, than a type of sin. It’s when God is trying to show you Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but instead of loving him, you hate him. Then you start to hate him so much, that you will say anything to show him that you hate him. That’s what the Pharisees were guilty of. But, thankfully, I don’t think you are guilty of the same thing. I’ll show you why.
First of all, you are worried about sinning against God, and that is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit. Even though you sin, the fact that you repent and ask for forgiveness is proof that God is still with you. John 16:8 says, “when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin…” To convict means to prove someone to be guilty. So, if you feel convicted when you sin, it is because the Spirit of God is convicting you. And if he is convicting you, it is because he wants you to repent. And if he wants you to repent, it is because he wants you to be with Jesus! It’s like the way the Spirit let Jesus heal people so they would know that he was their savior. The Spirit shows us our sin so that we know we need Jesus. The reason you feel guilty about doing bad things is because the Spirit wants you to repent and be forgiven!
The second way I’m sure that you haven’t committed that Blasphemy is you want to know Jesus and believe that he died for your sins. The Pharisees didn’t believe anything Jesus said. They hated him, but you want to love him! 1 John 4:15 says, “Who ever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” I would encourage you to read the whole book of 1 John. I believe he wrote that letter to people like you, who were not sure if they were going to heaven or if they really loved Jesus. But he said that he wrote the letter to people who “believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” (chapter 5:13) It’s such a good book and it helped me to know for sure that God still loves me!
I hope this answered your question. Feel free to write me whenever you want. Make sure you continue to ask questions! When you feel like you are sinning, pray that the holy Spirit would continue to let you know. And when he shows you that you are sinning, repent and ask Him to forgive you. He will!