Daily Archives: 12/24/2013

Must I walk an aisle to show I am saved?

DO I NEED TO MAKE A “PROFESSION OF FAITH?” MUST I WALK A CHURCH AISLE OR SHAKE A PREACHER’S HAND TO DEMONSTRATE MY SALVATION?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Is it true? Do you have to walk up an aisle and shake a preacher’s hand in order to show that you are saved, that you have trusted Jesus Christ alone as your personal Saviour? Must you go before a local church assembly and “make a profession of faith?” Let us see what the Bible has to say, and let us not blindly believe something simply because we have heard it all of our lives.

It is quite clear what Jesus said: “[32] Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. [33] But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). But, before we grab this passage and follow it, to whom and about whom was Jesus speaking? (This is the context and it makes all the difference in the world, but, unfortunately, religion usually ignores the context because it has an agenda other than what God has!).

Matthew 10:32-33 is often used to force (intimidate) people to stand before a congregation so they can publicly claim to have recently trusted Christ as their personal Saviour. Some may even go so far as to deny your salvation if you refuse to get up and give that testimony! However, the context demonstrates that this is unnecessary: these verses refer to people living during the Tribulation period (Matthew chapter 10 is actually Jesus Christ commissioning Israel’s 12 apostles). And, they are not giving a “testimony” before saved people; they give their “testimony” before lost people!

Read Jesus’ comments made just before He uttered Matthew 10:32-33: “[16] Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. [17] But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; [18] And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. [19] But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. [20] For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”

What Jesus meant in Matthew 10:32-33 was that those Jews during the seven-year Tribulation who will confess Him before men will do so by publicly rejecting the mark of the antichrist (Revelation 12:11; Revelation 20:4). Those Jews during the seven-year Tribulation who will deny Jesus Christ before men will do so by publicly accepting the mark of the antichrist (Revelation 14:9-10). Israel’s believing remnant will be brought before crowds of lost people and persecuted, humiliated, and even killed; this is what Jesus meant in Matthew 10:32-33. Jesus Christ is testing these Jews whether they will be true to Him or not! Again, they are not giving a “testimony” before saved people; they will give their “testimony” before lost people! Why these verses are used today to make saved people give their testimony before saved people, makes no sense, since these verses teach the opposite.

“Walking the aisle” is nothing more than a work of the flesh, a denominational invention, designed to praise the “goodness” of a man when he performs a religious duty. It is a mishandling of Matthew 10:32-33, and God’s Word is not being treated with respect. Aisle-walking invites people to hang their soul salvation on something they did, and walking an aisle does not keep anyone out of hellfire! Furthermore, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul condemned works of the flesh performed in religion in order to boast in people’s performance: “[12] As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. [13] For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh” (Galatians 6:12-13). Our performance is not the issue; if you must boast in something, boast not in making your profession of faith by walking an aisle, but boast in what Jesus Christ did at Calvary’s cross to keep you from going to hell! “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

While we should tell other Christians when we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit through Paul never instructs us to make a “profession of faith” before a local church assembly. Again, our performance is not the issue. What matters is what Jesus Christ did to secure our salvation, not what we do to prove our salvation. We are not required to join a local church, but if we do find a sound grace church, we can become a member if we so desire. The main thing to remember is that church membership is not salvation, it will not bring us any “closer to God,” and it will not result in “greater blessings from God.” We are “complete in [Christ]” (Colossians 2:10). We lack nothing in Christ! We need to do nothing to “enhance” or “complete” our Christian life. Jesus Christ did it all, and we rest in what He did!

Also see:
» Must I be water baptized to show that I am saved?
» Must I confess my sins?
» What is repentance?

What about repentance?

WHAT ABOUT REPENTANCE? WHAT IS IT? IS IT NECESSARY FOR SALVATION?

by Shawn Brasseaux

What is “repentance?” Is it necessary for salvation? Repentance is a rather difficult topic to discuss because the Bible has a definition for “repentance,” and religion has a definition for “repentance.” The Roman Catholic Church has invented “penance” (suffering for your sins, such as flagellation, or beating yourself with a strap) whereas Protestants have a doctrine called “penitence” (feeling guilt or sorry for your sins). Neither of these religious doctrines is in the Bible. Unfortunately, people have confused Biblical repentance with religion’s penitence and penance. My intention here is to sort out this mess by using the Bible to determine what repentance is and what repentance is not!

Biblical repentance is not “turning from one’s sins” and it is not “feeling sorry for one’s sins.” These are religious definitions, and we are unconcerned regarding church tradition and denominationalism. We need the Bible’s definition of “repentance,” not some religious authority’s opinion. After all, God’s Word carries the most weight in eternity!

In Genesis chapter 6, God beholds a wicked world filled with murder and other violence. Here, some 1600 years since Adam’s fall, and humanity is further declining, both morally and spiritually. Genesis 6:6 says, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Did God repent of sin? Was God turning from His sin? Did God feel guilty because of sin? God is GOD, and He has no sin, so obviously “repentance” does not refer to turning from sin or feeling sorry for sins. When God had repentance, He had a change in thinking, a change in mind. God began to think about man differently, now that man had become worse and worse in his rebellion against Him. Biblical repentance is simply a change in the way you think about something: you view it a different way than you previously did. Let us look at other examples in the Bible.

Turn to Exodus 13:17: “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:” Notice that word “repent.” Had the Jews saw the war in the land of the Philistines, they would have changed their mind, and wanted to return to Egypt. Again, it had nothing to do with feeling sorry for sins or turning from sins.

Exodus 32:14: “And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.” Again, the LORD was not repenting of sin; He was going to chastise Israel, but then He decided not to do so. Again, it was a change in thinking.

John the Baptist’s message to Israel in Matthew 3:2 is: Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Israel had been murdering God’s prophets for centuries, so now John the Baptist is saying, “You better start thinking differently about God. Start obeying Him and listen to the message I am preaching! Quit being rebellious, and have a change in your thinking, because your Messiah-King is coming!”

By the way, it is interesting to note that the Greek word for “repent” (metanoeo)—which is used throughout the New Testament—literally means, “a change in mind; a reconsideration.” You can see the prefix “meta-,” which means, “change” (such as in our English word “metamorphosis”).

Or, take for example, in one of the Lord Jesus’ parables, the son refused to work in the vineyard. Then, the Bible says in Matthew 21:29 that he “repented;” he changed his mind and went work in the vineyard. Are you beginning to see the Bible’s definition of repentance? Can you see that religion has totally misconstrued what repentance is and what it is not?

In Acts 2:36-38, the Apostle Peter is urging Israel on the day of Pentecost: Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” They could not undo the crucifixion, but they could change the way they thought about Jesus of Nazareth. Peter was telling them that they should now embrace Jesus as their Messiah/Christ, the same Jesus they refused and murdered 50 days before because they thought He was an imposter (Acts 2:23,36).

Now, turn to Acts chapter 17, where the Apostle Paul is confronting Athenian philosophers on Mars’ Hill. In verses 22-28, Paul notices these pagans have an altar with an inscription that reads, “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” Paul tells them “we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device [thought]” (Acts 17:29). In verse 30, Paul says that God now “commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Did you notice the word “think” in verse 29? “Repent” in verse 30 correlates with “think” in verse 29. These philosophers had to change their way of thinking—stop thinking of God dwelling in a manmade temple and stop thinking about the Godhead as if it were a dumb idol. Change your thinking!

In Romans 11:29, the Bible says: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” God will fulfill His promises to Israel one day; once God promises something, He will not repent (He will not go back on His word and break the promise; He will not change His mind). Again, repentance in the Bible has nothing to do with suffering for sin or feeling guilty for sin.

Turn to 2 Timothy 2:25 and read: “…if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” A change in thinking will result in you coming to the truth: in the context, this is Christians and lost people coming to the understanding “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15), or learning how to study and understand the Bible dispensationally and learning how to be saved from their sins, respectively. You do not come to the truth by feeling sorry for your sins or turning from your sins. You repent (have a change in thinking), and then you respond positively according to the doctrine in the rightly divided Word of God.

Okay, we will look at one more reference. The church at Corinth had a wealth of problems (attested by the fact that Paul had to write a 16-chapter epistle we now know as “First Corinthians”). His follow-up letter is Second Corinthians, writing to commend and encourage the Corinthians for straightening out that long list of problems that existed a year earlier.

Please pay close attention to what 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 says: “[8] For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. [9] Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. [10] For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. [11] For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”

After chiding the Corinthians in his first letter, Paul admits that he felt “repentance” (verse 8). Paul, after sending the letter of First Corinthians, had second thoughts about sending it. But, when Paul saw it had its positive affect on the Corinthians, he no longer had second thoughts (“I do not repent, though I did repent”). In verses 9 and 10, the Corinthians “SORROWED TO REPENTANCE.” Notice verse 10 says “godly sorrow worketh repentance.”

Notice what the Bible said. Godly sorrow is not repentance; it brings about repentance (a change in mind). Worldly sorrow, feeling sorry for your sins or feeling guilty, “worketh death” (verse 10). In contrast, godly sorrow addresses the situation, brings you to repentance (a change in mind), and that in turn brings about a change in lifestyle. So, because of godly sorrow, the Corinthians repented (had a change in thinking); this change in mind brought about the change in their lifestyle. Let me clarify this too: the change in lifestyle is not repentance. Repentance is the change in mind that brings about the change in lifestyle.

In conclusion, repentance is changing your thinking, your thought processes, having a renewed mind brought on by the indwelling Holy Spirit as your read and study and believe the Bible rightly divided (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10). Repentance will cause you to think differently, and the change in lifestyle will follow. Remember that Biblical repentance is not “turning from your sins” and Biblical repentance is not related to penance or penitence. Repentance was necessary for salvation for Israel in time past, but it is not necessary for salvation today (it is a result of salvation). Hopefully, you have a better understanding of repentance as the Bible defines it. We all need to change our thinking—throw away the denominational definitions we have been taught for so long, and rely on God’s definitions that will last all eternity!

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SUPPLEMENT:

“Is repentance necessary for salvation today in this Dispensation of Grace?” And the answer is NO! NO! NO! So what about Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized…?” As we discussed earlier, that was spoken to Jews, the entire nation Israel, not us Gentiles (Acts 2:14,22,36). Furthermore, Acts chapter 2 was in the Dispensation of Law, separate from our current Dispensation of Grace. Before Jews could be saved in Christ’s earthly ministry, they needed repentance (Matthew 3:3; Luke 13:3-5; Acts 2:38; et al.). Today, repentance is a result of salvation. When Paul told the Philippian jailor how to be saved, Paul said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…” (Acts 16:31). Paul did not say, “Repent and believe,” but merely “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Read Romans 3:26: “To declare, I say, at this time Christ’s righteousness: that He might be just [fair], and the justifier of him who believeth [trusts] in Jesus.” Notice, you did not see “he who believes and repents, or he who is baptized, or he who has joined the church, given money, walked the aisle, etc….” Repentance is not necessary for salvation today: it is a result of salvation. Repentance will cause you to have a change in thinking because you will become a new creature in Christ, and you now have the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1,2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:23; Titus 2:11,12)!

In fact, here is how repentance relates to us today as members of the Church the Body of Christ. Look at what Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:23: “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” This, beloved, is Biblical repentance. Our Apostle, Paul, also writes in Romans 12:1-2 (take special notice of Biblical repentance in verse 2): “[1] I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. [2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Also see:
» What is penance? (UPCOMING)
» What is the sin of presumption? (UPCOMING)
» What is lordship salvation? (UPCOMING)

Have I blasphemed against the Holy Ghost?

WHAT IS “THE BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST” OF WHICH JESUS WARNED? HAVE I COMMITTED THIS “UNPARDONABLE” SIN? HAVE I LOST MY SALVATION BECAUSE OF IT?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Have you ever wondered if you “blasphemed against the Holy Ghost?” Oftentimes called the “unpardonable sin,” this concept can be very troubling to some Christians because it causes them to question whether they are still saved and going to heaven. What is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost? Once we answer that question from the Scriptures, then we can determine how it relates to us. Again, we do not appeal to denominational doctrine; we appeal to the Holy Scriptures!

Jesus Christ said in Matthew 12:31,32: “[31] Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. [32] And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” What did Jesus Christ mean when He said this?

 

YOU CANNOT LOSE YOUR SALVATION IN CHRIST

Firstly, a Christian who is genuinely saved is never in danger of losing his/her salvation. Matthew 12:31,32 is often misquoted/twisted in an attempt to promote the idea of a Christian losing his or her salvation. If you have genuinely trusted in Christ Jesus alone as your Saviour (you have placed your faith entirely in the Gospel of Grace of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), the Bible says that you have the Holy Spirit permanently indwelling you. God’s Holy Spirit “seals” (confirms/brands) you, and you cannot lose your salvation (Romans 8:31-39; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Ephesians 4:30; 2 Timothy 1:12).

Today, in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, the Bible says that God accepts those who are “in the beloved,” in His Son Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6). How do we get “in Christ?” The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body [the Church the Body of Christ], whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”  Ephesians 1:13-14 explains: “[13] In whom [Jesus Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection as sufficient payment for your sins: see Paul’s Gospel of Grace in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4. “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day for our justification.” Salvation from sins and hell and salvation unto justification (right standing before God) is instantaneous, not a lifelong process. If a true believer in Christ ever lost his/her salvation, that would mean God rejected His Son! You would have to throw away all the verses that Paul says confirms the believer’s salvation forever (Romans 5:1,2; Romans 8:29-39; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Ephesians 1:13,14; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12). Our salvation from sins and hell is not dependent on what we do, but on what Jesus Christ did, and He did enough, so we do not worry about losing it (if Jesus Christ could not save us, then what good are our efforts anyway?).

 

MATTHEW 12:31,32 HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US

What God was doing with Israel in “time past” is different from what He is doing with us Gentiles (non-Jews) in the “but now.” In Matthew 12:31,32, Jesus was speaking to Israel under the Mosaic Law. Jesus Christ was speaking in light of God’s earthly kingdom, over which He would be King. We cannot follow what Jesus said in the Four Gospels, because that was God’s message to the nation Israel.

Jesus Christ said in His earthly ministry: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24) and “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22). The Apostle Paul confirmed this in Romans 15:8: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:”

The Apostle Paul says “I am the apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 11:13 KJV). Paul is our apostle; the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ sent Paul to us. Just as Jesus spoke God’s message to Israel in the Four Gospels, God’s message to us Gentiles (non-Jews) is Paul’s 13 epistles, Romans through Philemon. We are not part of Israel’s prophetic program of Law.

Paul wrote in Romans 6:14-15: “[14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. [15] What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” We are under grace, in the Body of Christ, separate from Israel.

The Apostle wrote about Israel’s current status in Romans 11:11-12: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?” Spiritually, Israel is fallen, and we are not Israel, for that would mean we (Christians) too are spiritually blinded!

Although Jesus said that Israel could blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, Paul never mentions us today in the Dispensation of Grace as “blaspheming against the Holy Spirit,” but rather grieving the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30) and quenching/hindering the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Because the Holy Spirit indwells us, it makes Him sad when we sin and it keeps Him from working His will in us. However, even though we make the Holy Spirit sad when we sin, we are never in danger of losing our salvation. Matthew 12:31,32 says that God will impute sin to those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit. If God says He has “forgiven you all trespasses” (Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 2:13), obviously you as a Christian have not committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit—Jesus said that sin could not be forgiven. Rest assured, you are never guilty of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit because Matthew 12:31,32 does not apply to us today. Matthew 12:31,32 was spoken to the Jews so it applies to the Jews.

 

WHAT MATTHEW 12:31,32 MEANT FOR ISRAEL

Find Mark 3:28-30, which should help us better understand what Matthew 12:31,32 is saying: “[28] Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: [29] But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. [30] Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.”

In Mark 3:22,23, there are people falsely accusing Jesus of being devil-possessed. In reality, Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit, not an “unclean spirit”/devil (see verse 30 above). These people were guilty of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit because they were claiming the Holy Spirit was a devil, an unclean/evil spirit! These false accusers of Jesus were lost—they were filled with unclean spirits, not Jesus.

Now, go back to what I just mentioned about that earthly kingdom Israel had been promised. Through John the Baptist, God the Father urged Israel to prepare for their coming King, Christ Jesus (Mark 1:1-4; Luke 3:2-4; Acts 13:23-25). In unbelief, the Jews rejected God the Father by allowing king Herod to behead John the Baptist (Matthew 14:10). God the Son (Jesus Christ) comes to present Himself to Israel as Messiah-King, but Israel rejects Him and crucifies Him. While Jesus is hanging on the cross, He asks the Father to forgive them (Luke 23:34). Compare that with “whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him” (Matthew 12:32).

After Christ’s resurrection and ascension, God the Father forgives Israel as His Son requested, and this is the purpose of Peter’s sermon in Acts chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost. Here, God gives Israel a renewed opportunity of repentance. The Apostle Peter urges the nation Israel to repent (change their mind), to trust in Jesus as their King-Messiah, and to tell Israel He has resurrected, and that He will still bring in their kingdom (Acts 2:36-38). Remember on the day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and filled the Jewish believers there in Jerusalem. Still, only a small remnant of Israel chooses to have faith in Christ. Israel is mostly rejecting the Holy Spirit’s ministry through the apostles.

Now, in Acts chapter 7, about a year after Calvary and the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the prophet Stephen is also filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5; Acts 7:55). Again, most of Israel is still refusing to embrace Jesus as their King-Messiah. Stephen tells Israel, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51). Israel’s leadership hates Stephen’s message (God’s Word convicts them), and they stone Stephen to death, thereby rejecting the Holy Spirit. This is the blaspheming against the Holy Spirit spoken of in Matthew 12:31,32 (cf. Acts 7:55-60)!

So, returning to Matthew 12:31,32, we read “and whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him.” Remember, God the Father forgave Israel of killing their King and Redeemer Jesus Christ (just as Jesus asked God the Father in Luke 23:34). Now, Matthew 12:32 says “but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

“The world to come” was Israel’s future kingdom (cf. Hebrews 2:3-5)—not heaven or the afterlife as some claim. Those Jews who rejected the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 7 were actually rejecting the last person of the Godhead. They had already rejected God the Father, and they had already killed God the Son! As the saying goes, “three strikes and you are out.”

In Romans 11:11,12, we read about Israel: “[11] I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. [12] Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?”

Israel did stumble because Romans 9:32 says, “For they [Israel] stumbled at the stumblingstone; As it is written [Isaiah 8:14, 28:16], Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth in him shall not be ashamed.” What was this “stumblingstone and rock of offence” that God laid in Zion? According to 1 Peter 2:6-8, that stumblingstone is the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather than Israel recognizing Jesus as their Messiah, they stumbled over Him and crucified Him!

But, Romans 11:11 says Israel did not fall at Calvary’s cross. Israel fell in Acts chapter 7; by Acts chapter 28, Israel’s program was fully set aside (temporarily) and the transition to our Dispensation of Grace. From Acts chapter 7 onward, Israel was “diminishing” (Romans 11:12). Because Israel blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, God set her aside for a time.

Any Jew who rejected/spoke against the Holy Spirit, they would be purged out (destroyed in the seven-year Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; Matthew 3:11,12; Matthew 13:38-42; Luke 3:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Hebrews 10:26-31; et al.), and not be allowed to enter into that earthly kingdom (“it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come”).

But, God in His grace, and despite their wickedness, will one day establish that promised kingdom to Israel and we know it as the “Millennial (1,000-Year) Reign of Christ.” That kingdom will be brought in at the Second Coming of Christ, after the seven years of Tribulation.

Today, national Israel does not exist like she did in time past. Jews are scattered all over the world today. In fact, God says in His Word that Israel is “fallen,” “cast away,” and “spiritually blinded” (Romans 11:11,15,25). An individual Jew can receive salvation by becoming a member of the Church the Body of Christ, but one simply being a descendent of Abraham is not required for salvation today. A Jew, like a Gentile, must come to God through Paul’s ministry and Paul’s Gospel, not through the nation Israel.

Actually, did you know that Saul (the Apostle Paul), who was encouraging the death of Stephen, was guilty of blaspheming against the Holy Ghost? After all, Jewish Saul was leading the world’s rebellion against Jesus Christ (Acts 26:9-11). Paul wrote that he was a “blasphemer” in 1 Timothy 1:13. Paul was saved, but he blasphemed against the Holy Spirit! How was Paul saved? God opened our Dispensation of Grace, a program separate from Israel’s program. Saul/the Apostle Paul could only be saved if God interrupted Israel’s program with a new program. Paul was saved in our dispensation, not Israel’s program.

CONCLUSION

The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not apply to us today. This was God’s message to Israel. Israel blasphemed against the Holy Spirit when she refused to hearken unto the voice of the apostles during the early Acts period. This is why Israel was temporarily set aside and her program was momentarily suspended. Because Israel’s program is inactive, our program (the Dispensation of the Grace of God) is in operation. Unlike Israel, we cannot blaspheme against the Holy Ghost.

Also see:
» Can I lose my salvation in Christ?
» What is the Holy Spirit doing today? (UPCOMING)
» What should I do when I sin? (UPCOMING)