Jesus heals again on the Sabbath, but grieved over the religious leaders' hardness of heart. They were initially silent and then counseled with the Herodians how they might destroy Him after Jesus asked, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?" on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6). Anyone with a hardened heart hurts God's reputation because they follow rules and regulations instead of sacrificing to help others.
A great multitude came to Him after hearing about all the healing He was doing. Jesus did not want to be crowded since those with afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. He didn't want the unclean spirits to make Him known either (Mark 3:7-12). Focusing only on miraculous and supernatural dimensions instead of God's attributes like love, righteousness and faithfulness hurts His reputation.
Jesus appointed 12 apostles to be with Him, to send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons (Mark 3:13-19). Those who spend much time with Jesus will preach a true and undistorted Gospel in opposition to the devil. They won't be guilty of tickling peoples' ears by giving them what they want and thereby hurting God's reputation (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
The scribes accused Him of losing His senses and being possessed by the devil. Jesus told them their reasoning was ridiculous since Satan can't cast out Satan and a house divided against itself won't stand. He who blasphemies or rejects the Holy Spirit won't receive forgiveness of sins, but be guilty of eternal judgment (Mark 3:20-30).
When Jesus' mother and brothers arrived, He used the situation as a teaching moment to explain that his real family were those who do the will of God (Mark 3:31-35). Obedience to God enhances His reputation. Disobedience hurts His reputation.
The proportion believers resist the promptings of the Holy Spirit is the degree their lives hurt God's reputation. As a result, their enjoyment of heaven is lessened even as they are "saved, yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15). Believers who persist in sin may die prematurely to prevent them from hurting God's reputation on earth (Acts 5:1-11; I Cor. 11:28-34). Both unbelievers and believers hurt God's reputation if they continually reject the Holy Spirit's convicting work by not believing in Christ's death and resurrection or disobeying His promptings.
The decisions you make on earth affect how you spend or enjoy eternity. Two ways you hurt God's reputation, which reap eternal consequences:
1. Unbelievers who continually reject Christ experience eternity in the lake of fire or eternal separation from God at the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).
2. Believers who have placed their faith in Christ at a point in time but harden their hearts to the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit during their earthly lives will suffer loss of reward at the judgment-seat of Christ (1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:9-10).
Consider the following:
1. If you have not trusted in Christ's sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sin, believe in His death and resurrection right now to forgive your sins.
2. If you are a believer who has trusted in Christ, ask God to search your heart for any unconfessed sin. Confess or agree with God about that sin to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-10).