Forgiven or Not Forgiven? That is the Question

Paul GarnesDevotionalLeave a Comment

If you don’t watch sports–you’re forgiven.

Most modern professional sports offer many of the rest of us an outlet to relieve the stress we accumulate on a daily basis. The technology brought to the game today allows us to watch our favorite teams in the kind of high-definition video that immerses us even further into the competitive atmosphere.

It is not uncommon, though, for that technology to pick up some gems that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Now, I didn’t watch this NFL game but you can figure out from the clip below exactly what’s going on.



Yes, that’s Carson Palmer on the turf. A player from the opposing team, Clay Matthews, pretends to offer to help him to his feet. When Palmer, extends his arm to accept the help, Matthews pulls his hand away, leaving Palmer “hanging.” He must fend for himself. The irony here is that both these attended the same college–USC!

Maybe the exchange went something like this:

“Hey man, need some help?” “Really? That’s cool of you even though we’re not–” “Just kidding!”

This is funny.

Now read Matthew 12:22-33.

Wait! What? Did Jesus just say that there is something you can do/say for which you will never be forgiven?

“All your sins are forgiven!” “R-Really? I feel so free now. That brings tears to my–” “Just kidding!”

This is not funny.

Dude! I'm kidding. You're not adopted. I want to be forgiven.


When Jesus says he’s forgiven all your sin he means all your sin (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 1:7). He’s not kidding! So…

Am I forgiven all or not? What is going on here?

Jesus healed a man who was demon-possessed. When the religious leaders saw it, they said that Jesus did it by the power of Satan. If that were true then Satan would be attacking and defeating Satan, which makes no sense at all. Jesus showed them how foolish they were yet they persisted in their unbelieving rejection of Jesus’ power.

Jesus’ warning then is straightforward. If you reject the Holy Spirit, you reject the only person who can perform that work of regeneration (salvation). The people who blaspheme the Holy Spirit will never be saved. Not only because of what they said but because they were never chosen to begin with. They are only showing exactly who they are and are also exposing the final judgement that they will receive later on. They will never be forgiven because they were never saved and will not be. They are responsible for this and God is sovereign–at the same time.

Also, you can’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit by mistake. This is not a casual offense. This is deliberate, purposeful rebellion. This is knowing the truth that God/Jesus/Holy Spirit has done a work and attributing the source of that work it to his enemy, Satan.

A believer cannot blaspheme the Holy Spirit but you can grieve (Ephesians 4:30) and quench him (1 Thessalonians 5:19). May you look to the Holy Spirit today as the Source of real power to live the Christian life effectively.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

Romans 8:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

More: What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Can a Christian commit it? and What is the unpardonable sin / unforgivable sin?