I was going to write a little tribute to all the moms today. But after attending Worship Service yesterday, my mind wandered off to something else. I know many feel the same way. “That felt so heavy” was the reaction of many. We all KNOW that the lesson was outlined by Brother Felix Manalo, God’s Messenger, as we were reminded several times during the sermon, so as not to FORGET. But it was the spirit and application that was very heavy. There was nothing uplifting about the entire gathering. I was hoping it was going to be an inspirational lesson about the sacrifices of Brother FYM, who endured many trials and his love for the Church. Instead, it was such a threatening sermon on how “you will go to the lake of fire” if you commit such acts that you cannot return to the fold.
One of the verses was about Judas Iscariot who betrayed the Lord Jesus and then hanged himself even though he repented. Because he BETRAYED the Messiah. Right there I knew it was going to be a pretty heavy lesson.
From what I recall, one of the verses also used was Hebrews 10:25-27. Those who intentionally neglect the Worship Services after you have known the truth, there is no longer a sacrifice left. You cannot be forgiven and therefore cannot return. But then the Minister pulls back and says but some can return because of the ignorance of the law. WHAT??! But it just said after you have come to the knowledge of the truth. So how can you say that some can return because of ignorance of the law?? That’s why they were baptised in the first place wasn’t it? Because they came to the knowledge of the truth. And now, that they intentionally miss worship service, some can still return because they did not know? Which is it?
And then there is the part about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Also a sin that cannot be forgiven. The example we are given, which is actually not part of the verses of the lesson, is Ananias and Saphira. Because they did not unite with the Administration, they sinned against the Spirit and was therefore punished. Conclusion, you go against the Administration, you cannot be forgiven. Lesson to be learned: DO NOT GO AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OR YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGIVEN.
Actually, when the couple kept back a portion of the proceeds they still had a chance. If you noticed the Apostles even asked them first. It was not automatic that once they did not unite, they were doomed. It was when they were asked and did not take the opportunity to admit their wrongdoing which is why they were punished. The sin they committed is like what is in Malachi 3:
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.” And we all know about those robbing God when it comes to offerings don’t we?
What is actually referred to in the lesson about the unpardonable sin is in Matthew 12:31 – “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”
It is the sin of BLASPHEMY. One example given is 1 Timothy 1:20 – Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
What is Blasphemy? New World Encyclopaedia has this:
“The word blasphemy is derived from the Middle English blasfemen, which in turn is related to the Greek blasphemein, from blaptein (“to injure”) and pheme (“reputation”).
In Judaism, blasphemy is the uttering of God’s name and/or speaking evil of Him. In the New Testament, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is considered unforgivable, and denying the Trinity has also been defined as blasphemous. In Islam, blasphemy constitutes speaking ill of God, Muhammad, any other prophet mentioned in the Qur’an, or the Qur’an itself. In Buddhism and Hinduism there is no formal concept of blasphemy, while Jainism calls the teaching of what is false blasphemous.”
In short, it is the sin of speaking directly against or maligning God. But somehow, in the lesson yesterday, anytime you do not follow the Administration’s decision, that is a sin is unpardonable. So my question is, is the Church Administration now higher and more important than Jesus Christ? Because if we go back to Matthew 12 and continue verse 32: “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.”
So I rephrase, you can speak against Jesus Christ and you can be forgiven? But if you go against the Administration you will NOT BE FORGIVEN? Interesting.
And of course, indirectly, the message is also about the INC UNITY in the Philippine Elections. So based on the lesson this weekend, just like Ananias and Safira, IF YOU DO NOT UNITE AND NOT VOTE DUTERTE/MARCOS, will that be a sin that cannot be forgiven? We shall see then on May 10 if there will be a bunch of dead bodies of those who did not unite, shall we?
Lastly, if we will talk about what grieves the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4 has this:
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
Jesus said these things are pardonable. But it does grieve the Spirit. So if some are wondering why the Worship Services feel empty, it is because when there are those are speaking unwholesome things, things that do not build up. When there are those who malign others; when brethren are filled with bitterness, rage and anger; when they slander anyone who speak up; THOSE ARE THE THINGS THAT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.
I went in to worship yesterday looking for some inspiration, instead, I heard threats and fear mongering. Do not threaten the brethren for the sake of unity. Unity is the result of having faith and love, not because of fear. That is why Apostle Paul wrote:
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,”