Jesus has come to create a new people, characterised by faith & obedience, not by tradition or heritage.
In: Two kinds of people…
1. Crowds and Critics
2. Followers and Family
Out: Jesus – Friend or Foe?
The below section of scripture raised some tricky questions for some people:
1) What is the “unforgivable sin” exactly?
2) Will people be given a 2nd chance to be saved? I.e. once people die, could they be given a 2nd chance to be saved, particularly if they haven’t really heard the gospel before?
3) How will God judge those who have never heard the gospel before? (e.g. tribes in a jungle that haven’t never had contact with Christians.)
Could you please tell us what you think Scripture says about these things? (or put a link up to articles that you’d recommend).
Mk 3:22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” 23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
These 2 articles are good for questions 1 and 3
For me Hebrews chp9 vs11 to 28 particularly from 24 on-wards for question 2
one amazing true story I heard from a missionary on how God is working in peoples lives is the time he came across a old man sitting saying to people ” have you come to tell me about the one who will save me and do you have His words with you?” The missionary leaped for joy when he heard this and said “yes I do”. The old man wept saying” He said in a vision you would come praise be to Him” The old man lived way up in the mountains and had been walking down for 30 years sitting down asking the same question everyday”.
For me out of this story I see a God who is at work all the time calling His people together wherever they are.It doesn’t mean we stop what we are doing but should compel as more to obey His calling for us to ,go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
They’re big questions and ones which often crop up when reading such a passage. Thanks for the links Trev, the Gospel Coalition is such a good and reliable source of biblical and evangelical truth.
But for anyone who’s after a quick answer I think the unforgivable sin/blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is perfectly portrayed by the Pharisees who when confronted with Jesus’ miraculous work achieved through the Holy Spirit attribute it to the work of Satan. It’s important also to understand that blasphemy is fundamentally a matter of the heart. God always judges the heart. You can’t accidentally commit the unforgivable sin. Part of what makes it unforgivable is that it’s a decisive rejection of Jesus and his Spirit empowered ministry without any intention to repent.
As for 2nd chances, now IS our second chance! We’ve all stuffed up/turned away from God but through Christ we have a second chance. Or as Hebrews 9:27 puts it: “man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment”. So don’t waste your second chance thinking you’ll get another!
Which of course leads to the 3rd question: “what about those who haven’t heard the gospel?” I find this a very difficult question to answer with complete certainty in every detail. I think it’s more complicated than it might first seem. But in the end, Jesus’ death and resurrection are the evidence we need to be sure that God is both just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26). In other words he has proven himself to be righteous in judging sin AND merciful in paying the penalty of sin for us. And that’s good enough for me. Knowing that God is and always will be both righteous and merciful means that I don’t have to worry about whether he will do what’s right. I know he will.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.