Three Ways to Offend the Spirit

I've marked down three ways that people can commit this sin. The first way is for a man simply to say, "I don't want to be saved; I don't want to be bothered with God and the Bible." Once in a while you'll find a person like this. I'm glad to tell you that it's not very often. Most people really want to be saved, but now and then you'll find some who just aren't interested. They are perfectly satisfied with their materialistic world of the flesh. Notice what it says in Proverbs 28:13: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confess-eth and forsaketh them shall have mercy."

Those who don't want to give up their sins will finally convince themselves that they are happy without Christ. They will eventually feel no conviction, and the Holy Spirit will leave them alone.

The second group which is so vulnerable to this sin reaches the same state of rejection by a different route. They really want to be saved and will tell anyone that it is their primary future priority to get right with God. Unfortunately, this class keeps waiting for that opportune time to step out into the path of total surrender. With all good intention, they allow the golden moments to slip by them until their wills have been paralyzed by indecision. Such people still talk about following Christ all the way, but their ability to act has been destroyed by procrastination. At last they linger too long and pass the point of no return.

Without doubt the largest group of unpardonable sinners is to be found in the third group I want to talk about. Strangely enough, these folks appear to be the most unlikely ever to commit the unpardonable sin. They are church members—perhaps even pillars in the congregation. Does that shock you? Why should these Christians stand in greater danger of this sin than the other two groups? Because they do not understand that truth is progressive. Millions of Christians have settled back in their comfortable pews, complacent about being saved. They feel absolutely secure in their conformity to a church, not realizing that baptism is only the beginning of a long, growing experience.

Said the psalmist: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). The farther we walk into the Bible, the more truth is revealed, and the more accountable we become before God. He has never unfolded all the truth to any one person at any one time. A lamp only shines far enough to expose one safe step. As we move into that step, another one is revealed.

As we grow in grace and knowledge, God requires us to move with the advancing light of truth.

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