Bible Question:

What does Matthew 12:32 mean? Is there any connection with Hebrews 6:4 (i.e nobody who has tasted the fruit of the Spirit if they fall away will be restored)?

Bible Answer:

We will start by looking at the second of the two passages that you are asking about. Matthew 12:32 and Hebrews 6:4-6 read as follows:

Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (NASB) Matt. 12:32

For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. (NASB) Heb. 6:4-6

The two passages are related in the sense that they both talk about a person’s final rejection of Jesus Christ. In both cases the individual experienced the power of the Holy Spirit. In both cases he or she had been exposed to Jesus. In both cases he or she finally rejected Jesus. In such a case, a person is doomed to an eternal hell since he or she heard and saw all that there is to know about Jesus and still rejected Jesus.

Here are some brief explanations of the two passages. Links for further study are provided at the bottom of the page.

Matthew 12:32 is a warning to anyone who sees the display of the power of the Holy Spirit and concludes that God was not at work. Jesus spoke these words to the Jewish leaders who had heard Jesus speak and watched Him perform miracles and then concluded that His power had come from the devil. They had finally rejected Jesus Christ. Anyone, who after witnessing and experiencing the power of Jesus, rejects Jesus also rejects the Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew 6:4-6 passage is similar. Here we are told that anyone who after being 1) exposed to the truth about God, 2) has been taught the Word of God, and 3) experienced the power of the Holy Spirit and then rejects Jesus Christ, will not be repentant again. The message is simple. When a person comes to God, he or she has a repentant heart over his or her sins. This is the result of hearing the Word of Truth and the work of the Holy Spirit in one’s own life. But if at some point these individuals finally “fall away” or finally reject Jesus, then it will be impossible to bring them back. Why? The answer is found in their minds and hearts. They have come to the conclusion that Jesus was not the Christ, not the Lord, and not God. Such a final decision results in their final judgment

Conclusion:

Anyone who denies that Jesus performed miracles, died for our sins, and returned to life has rejected the Holy Spirit. Why? Because the Holy Spirit helped Him perform the miracles, helped Him die, and returned His physical body to life.

Reference Links:

Did Jesus have the Holy Spirit in Him before He was baptized?
What is the unforgivable sin?
Warning Part 1