Can an ex-Christian who commits blasphemy against the Holy Spirit ever be saved

        The simple answer is no. Jesus calls this the "unforgiveable sin." To
quote Luke 12:10, "but who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."
This naturally raises the question, what does it mean to blaspheme against the
Holy Spirit? Is this somehow saying something bad about the Holy Spirit? Is
this some specific sin which, if you commit it once, it is all over for you?
The answer to both of these questions is definitely not. The Bible is clear
that there is no single sin one might commit at one time which is unforgivable.

        I believe the best practical hints about this question are found in
Hebrews. For example, one reads in Hebrews 6:4-6, "It is impossible for those
who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word
of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back
to repentance, because, to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all
over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." Considering Luke 12 and Hebrews
6 together, one is left with the idea that falling away from God is blaspheming
the Holy Spirit. This makes sense, as when one is saved, God sends the gift
of the Holy Spirit as "a deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance." (Ephesians
1:14).  If we so turn our back on God as to cause him to take the Holy Spirit
away from us, then we have, in the words of Hebrews 6 fallen away, or in the
words of Luke 12, we have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Both passages imply that
this situation is irreversible.

        Another relevant passage is Hebrews 10:26,f which says "If we deliberately
keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice
for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire…
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled
the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the
covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" This
passage clearly teaches that prolonged deliberate sin will not be tolerated
in the life of a person who has been saved by the blood of Jesus. At some point,
such deliberate sin, in defiance of the grace of God, becomes so insulting to
the Holy Spirit, that he will no longer dwell in that person. He or she becomes
liable to judgment and eternal condemnation.

        All three passages quoted present a whole picture, if a sober one. God’s
grace will cover any and all sins. No single sin will cause one to lose their
salvation, to fall away, to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. However, a prolonged,
deliberate turning away from God and return to sin will eventually result in
God removing his Holy Spirit from us. At that point, a person has fallen away.
The Bible clearly says that there is no longer hope for that person. I pray
that neither you nor myself will ever be found in such a terrible position.

John Oakes

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