It is hard to look at old, familiar passages with 'fresh eyes'. Such a passage is Mark 3:28-30.
When I read these verses I usually focus on verse 29, the famous 'unforgivable sin' passage. I note the finality and clarity of "never has forgiveness". It immediately creates a strong sense determination. I want to make sure I stay away from that sin (which should be my reaction to all sins).
I have heard many speeches and panel discussions, and read commentaries on the passage. So much rhetoric on the one thing guaranteed of sending someone to hell. Why all the fuss? Jesus did not stumble or st-st-studder. He clearly said what he meant, and meant what he said. Anyone who says the work of the Holy Spirit is evil, or is associated with the devil's work is . Period.
But I do not think Jesus spoke this passage to condemn. His point is not only what to avoid, but also the wonderful forgiving power of God. What did he say in verse 28?
Jesus said ALL SINS CAN BE FORGIVEN except.... Our sins CAN be forgiven.
- *Our sins are forgiven as long as we forgive others.
- * The thoughts of your heart can be forgiven.
- *We were 'dead' in our sins, but he had us 'alive' by FORGIVING ALL OUR SINS.
- *John's readers were forgiven. There is no mention of any sin not being forgiven.
- *Through "this man" forgiveness was preached, and obedient believers are "JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS", something the old law could not do.
- *Paul's work was to turn us (Gentiles) from Satan to God, so we (Gentiles) could "receive ,...".
If I spend all my effort and attention dodging thorns on rose bushes I will miss their wonderful smell and the delicate, intricate beauty the Creator placed in them. If I place all my attention on the one thing that will send me to hell I will miss the comfort and confidence I can have through Jesus.Which way should I live?