The Unpardonable Sin

The unpardonable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Jesus states in Matthew 12, ” And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

This warning sounds sounds very frightening at first glance. I know that the first time I was told about this I immediately began to think about all the bad thing I had done over the years and trying to determine if I had committed the unpardonable sin… am I going to Hell?

First of all, as with most statements from the Bible, it is very important to look at the context… what exactly is going on? Why would Jesus give us this warning?

If you go back a few verses you will find that Jesus has just finished healing demon possessed man who was deaf and dumb (could not speak). The crowd was amazed began to wonder out loud if maybe this guy really could be the Messiah they were waiting for. But when the Pharisees got wind of the healing, they accused Jesus using the power of the devil to cast out demons. There are a lot of names for the devil or Satan out there but the one that the Pharisees used was particularly unflattering. Beelzebub is a term used for Satan that actually means “Lord of the dungheap”.

Now Jesus was fully human when he lived here on this world and could not perform miracles without the power of the Holy Spirit.  So essentially the Pharisees were calling the Holy Spirit “Beelzebub” or the “Lord of the dungheap.” That’s why Jesus was warning them that they were dangerously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit and that it was an unpardonable sin to do so.

God for President

God for President

Wouldn’t that be great? God for president. Why not? Doesn’t it say, “In God We Trust” on our money? The problem has always been exactly that… we don’t trust God.

God has always wanted to be our leader. God hasn’t been the leader of any country since Samuel in the Old Testament. When Samuel got old he appointed his sons as Judges over Israel and the people complained. Samuel’s sons were disreputable and Israel wanted to have a king to lead them. They wanted a king and to be like all the other countries.

The truth is that all governments not led by God are led by Satan. Even Jesus acknowledges Satan as “Ruler of this world”. When Satan tells Jesus that he has authority over all the world and says he also has authority to give this power to whomever he wishes, Jesus doesn’t dispute his claim. And Satan doesn’t rule alone. He has a whole army of fallen angels (or demons if you prefer) to help him carry out his agenda.

Governments are a necessary evil in this fallen world, but with Satan ruling over all nations, is it any wonder that our world in it’s present evil condition. Is it any wonder that it is so hard to find a candidate or politician that is honest and upstanding. Why do they all have the reputation of being liars and cheats? Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

What is really frightening is the way Satan can influence men toward evil without them even realizing it themselves. It’s this self-centered, self-serving attitude that influences men to hunger for power and self-importance over the good of mankind in general.

God is love and love will conquer all in the end. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. But it is not a power that Satan recognizes. In fact, love is seen as weakness to those who are not aware of the truth of God’s power.

Dogs In Heaven

A friend of mine told me this story about dogs in Heaven.
He couldn’t remember where he saw the story so I apologize if someone else has previously posted this. It is just goes so well with my “Do Dogs Go To Heaven” theme that I have to use it. Besides, it is just a wonderful story and I love it so I’m going to post it. I just wanted to admit that it is not my original story. But, of course, I’m going to tell it in my own words.

It goes like this….

A man woke up one day only to find himself walking down a long and winding road in an unknown land. He finally realized he must be dead. He figured out that he was dead when his beloved dog who had died years before suddenly showed up and joined him in his winding journey through this unknown land. After some distance the man became very thirsty.

Eventually the man and his dog came upon a beautiful gated community with a huge set of ornate gates made of solid pearl. Beyond the pearly gates lay a magnificent city with streets of gold and a crystal sea of inviting clear blue water running along one side of the city. A man dressed in a beautiful golden robe met them at the gate.

The man with the dog asked the robed man, “Is this Heaven ?”

“Yes, it is.”, answered the man in the golden robe.

“Wonderful, may we come in and have some water? My best friend and I are very thirsty.”, said the man with the dog.

The man in the golden robe answered, “You are welcome to come in and drink  but dogs are not allowed in Heaven.”

Without hesitation, the man with the dog turned away and continued walking down the long winding road. Eventually they came to an old farm gate that was hanging by one hinge. Nearby the gate was a man sitting on a log whittling a stick of wood and humming a tune.

“Excuse me”, the traveler said, “Could a trouble you for a drink of water?”

“Sure, there is a well right there. Just help yourself”, replied the whittler.

“How ’bout my dog?”, asked the man.

“There’s a bowl right beside the well for you dog.”, was his answer.

The water was cool and awesomely refreshing.

After drinking his fill and also watering his dog the man asked, “What is this place?”

“Heaven”, he replied.

“That’s funny… a man back up the road aways  said that that was Heaven”

“No, that was Hell”

“Doesn’t that make you mad that they are claiming that their place is Heaven?”

“No, not at all. We are just happy that they are weeding out the people who would leave their best friend behind”

Now isn’t that a great “dogs in Heaven” story?

Anger is the Second Stage of Grief?

Grief, Anger & God

I have read about the different stages of grief.  Anger is the second stage of grief according to I don’t think I really went through the first stage “denial”. I don’t see how you can deny something that you personally witnessed. I didn’t really care when my Sammy Boy died. I was just devastated. That was my first stage. I still can’t get the image of my best friend looking up at me as he took his last breath. I made absolutely sure he wasn’t still alive when I laid him in his grave. He still looked pretty good considering the circumstances. He was beginning to get cool but I didn’t wait for the stiffness (rigormortis) to set in. No, there was no denying that he was gone.

I do have a strong belief in Heaven and spirituality and very quickly found comfort in my faith that Sammy’s spirit was in Heaven. (see my post “I’m Dealing with Pet-Loss“) But I think I was trying to skip right to the last step of grief which is acceptance. I was of course in shock at first and trying very hard not to be depressed to the point of dysfunctionality. It gave me great comfort to imagine my friend in Heaven. I even wrote a song and kept singing it in my head all the time.
“I know you’re the lucky one,
you’re up in Heaven having all kinds of fun…
while I’m down here feeling lonely and glum
I know you’re the lucky one.”

Actually, maybe that was my form of denial.

I had written a book to help people with pet-loss called “My Pet Letter from Heaven” (available on Amazon). In my book I allude to the fact that when our pets get to Heaven they will actually be with us… not the us that we are here on this world but the perfect us… the us that God sees… the “Jesus version” of us that becomes evident when we accept Jesus as our Savior and our old self dies with Jesus and is then raised with Jesus and is with Jesus in the “Heavenly Realms”… only to be manifested fully after we die and go to Heaven. So I imagined that Sammy was with this version of me in Heaven and we were having great times together.

Well, that worked for a while but I kept saying out loud, ” I miss you so much Sammy”. Everything I did around the house reminded me of him. I kept reliving the last moments before his death and couldn’t help but think how it didn’t have to happen that way. I blamed myself and I finally blamed God. How could he let this happen? I’m still going through this anger stage right now I think.

I really don’t think God minds if you get mad at him sometimes. It’s not a matter of lack of faith. It’s more a matter of having an honest relationship with God. Sometime you have to let your anger go so God can help you with it.