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The Unforgivable Sin: Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

HAVE YOU EVER SQUIRMED OUT OF CONCERN that you may have committed the unforgivable sin? I did, when I first read about it in Matthew 12:31. What is “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and why is this sin unforgivable?” Let’s look at the larger context of Mt 12:22–32 to better understand what Jesus meant.

Holy Spirit_MergedLayers2

The passage begins with Jesus healing a demon-possessed man who was both blind and mute. The crowds were amazed at this miracle and asked if He was the Son of David, the promised Messiah. When the Pharisees heard what the people were asking, they declared in 12:24, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

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Gray-haired Heroes of Faith

SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER, I’ve been a discussion leader in the Alpha evangelism program on Thursday nights at our church. It’s an international program that’s been around since 1990. You probably know about it.

Each night participants streamed into the auditorium and made their way to their tables. Well, not all of them streamed-in. There were two people who struggled to swing their legs out of their car and then they’d wrestle with their walkers to get them out of the back seat. Once mobilized, they proceeded to, and I can’t think of a better term, ‘snail’ their way toward the front double doors where they’d noisily wrestle with each of those too. Others would usually come to their aid.

Eagle in flight above the clouds

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Suffering: A Good Opportunity for Spiritual Growth

Those closest to me keep encouraging me to write about navigating through suffering, disappointment, and discouragement. They think that because I have a nero-muscular disorder (see my post God is With Us In Our Pain), was diagnosed with cancer last November, and had surgery in March to end three years of suffering with a prostate condition, that I must be good at it. Good enough, anyway, to offer some insight and wisdom. But, frankly, I’d rather be known as a great rock-climber, surfer, or skydiver.

Its bad news (Essentials)

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Why Jesus was Born – Let’s get real

Today, in a Facebook post, my wife and I learned that a friend named Mark Price died in a car crash yesterday morning at 9:30. He was 48. Our hearts are deeply saddened. Such an event causes us to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas — Jesus came to bring eternal life for all who choose to believe in Him. Earlier this year, our friend wrote on Facebook about his choice to believe in, and follow, Jesus. Below, he wrote:

Mark_Price_12-13-2017

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Is Self-forgiveness Biblical?

Is God’s forgiveness enough, or does complete forgiveness require self-forgiveness? The biblical answer is: “God’s forgiveness completely absolves us of our sin.” Self-forgiveness, is not a biblical concept.

However, our emotions are quite real and we must distinguish between the efficacy of God’s forgiveness of sin and the management of our grief and self-condemnation. We receive His forgiveness, but we often have to work through our emotions.

Forgiveness Medicine

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How did the Magi know when to look?

How did the Magi know when to start looking in the sky for signs of the Messiah’s birth? The answer is in the instructions Daniel received from Gabriel over 500 years prior to the Magi’s journey. Daniel had given them a heads-up as to when to expect the King to be born. All we need is the right starting point and some simple math to figure out this little mystery.

Magi

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Is Christmas a Pagan Holiday?

Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas someone will say: “Christmas is just a pagan holiday.” That statement casts doubt about the validity of Christmas, and for that reason it irritates me. This year I decided to determine if this claim was true. There’s a lot of detail involved, but I will summarize the support for Christmas not being a pagan holiday by first considering Simple Logic, then the Historical Data, and then the Astronomical Data.

Nativity_GrinchQuote2

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Christlike Character vs Sarcasm and Slander

At noon each Monday, I go to the church sanctuary and spend an hour before the cross in prayer. I know, I know, I’m exceedingly holy. This week I had expected to spend the hour asking God to bless a specific family member, but, instead, God wanted to talk about character—mine, mostly. #intimacywithGod

What do people think of you

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