Do you realize that all sins can be forgiven, no matter how serious? Except, of course, for one.  You can do any of the following and with a repentant soul ask God to forgive and He will:

•  Hate, lie, deceive, gossip, adultery,         steal, murder.

•  Worship false idols.

•  How about being part of a group of likeminded people plotting against others who don’t agree?

•  Family against family, husband         against wife, wife against         husband, friends against         friends, us against them!

•  Even everyone against God!

All forgivable!  But there is one sin that cannot be forgiven and that is to sin against the Holy Spirit as seen in Mark 3:29, “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

The position of our synod on this is, “Placing a target on the Holy Spirit and deliberately slandering Him implies that the person who commits this offense knows exactly what he is doing. The sin, therefore, manifests a heart hardened in impenitent opposition to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. Every effort on the part of the Holy Spirit to bring or restore such a person to faith in Christ is rejected, repulsed and repudiated.”

Does that mean we can go around sinning to our hearts content, especially when it involves the willful destruction of another human being, and as long as we avoid degrading the Holy Spirit, we expect God to forgive us?  Now isn’t that an interesting question for us to ask ourselves?  Isn’t that just a challenge and a half as we think about all the times we have sinned against others in the past or have been the brunt of someone else’s sin and have not seen fit to forgive them?  

We live in a world that is in desperate need of knowing the forgiveness that God provides for all sin (Holy Spirit excepted).  In Foresthill, we deal too often with the sin of judging others instead of helping others.  We must never forget that we are all equal in God’s eyes and that whatever we do to help those in need is ultimately what we do to Jesus.  Matt 25:40, And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” If we help others, we help the kingdom with a heart for servanthood.  That said, if we judge others, we judge God and the work of the Holy Spirit within us. We will talk more about the forgiveness of sin at worship on Sunday, June 6th. Please join us for a blended worship service at 9:30am.  Bible study is every second Wednesday at 5:00pm.  All are welcome so come as you are!  New Hope Lutheran Church is located at 22200 Foresthill Road, Foresthill, CA 95631, call (530) 367-3650.

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