My girlfriend some time ago after reading a Benny Hinn book about the Holy Spirit, whom she heavily disagree with, found herself unable to resist thinking against the Holy Spirit. I'm not sure what she thought, but she assures me that it was terrible. Since then she has had other thoughts while praying and worrying about it. It seems like she's constantly telling herself not to think of pink elephants. It's terrible to watch her suffer like this. So I've been trying to work through it with her. First by talking about the effect of committing the sin, which seems to be the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit; and secondly, what impact that would have. She accepts this but still thinks that her thoughts were too serious to be forgiven without really analyzing it further. And she gets hung up on ideas like "It was blasphemy, so I can't be forgiven" and "Is my repentance genuine?" I've been trying to research what is written about the Holy Spirit, and what scripture could be used to show her that, for example, her desire to praise God and avoid sin are only possible through the Holy Spirit, so she would be able to forget her doubts and be sure, I guess, that she has already been forgiven. Do you think this is the correct approach? And, do you have any advice on the situation?
Yes, Benny Hinn is a false prophet. I don't blame your girlfriend for disagreeing with him. It has no relevance to the matter.
Second, your girlfriend is putting herself on the throne of God. She has become judge, jury, and executioner in her own case. I would put it very bluntly: "Who does she think she is to tell God that He can't forgive her?" "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). What part of "all" does she not understand?
There is only one thing that keeps us away from God and that is our own sins. "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2). What God wants us to do is give up our sins so that He might welcome us home.
When Jesus warned about blaspheming the Holy Spirit, his point is that when a person goes too far into sin, he might go so far that he no longer desires to return. "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven" (Luke 12:10). You see, forgiveness is based on repentance. "Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you" (Acts 8:22). It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of sin (John 16:8). If you reject Jesus or the Father, the word of God brought by the Holy Spirit is still there to work on your heart and perhaps turn you around. But if you reject the Spirit and His work, then the tools needed to convict and turn you from sin are no longer there. Such a man won't come back -- not because God wouldn't welcome him back, but because he is of the mind to never turn around.
I can prove she hasn't blasphemed the Holy Spirit: she is praying. A person who blasphemed the Holy Spirit wouldn't care and won't be trying to talk to God.
Thanks for the response. You helped her a lot. 🙂
About the Benny Hinn thing, it was while reading his book that she had the thought. And don't worry, she won't be reading anything else by him.