map
Support I.B.C
map
map
map
map
map
map
map
An irrational fear that many followers of Jesus have
Matthew 12:22-37 and the unforgivable sin

Scripture reading: Luke 11:14-28

This morning I want to talk to you about a fear that many Christians struggle with-- The fear that they have committed the unpardonable sin.

Jesus speaks of this sin in Matthew 12:22-37, Mark 2:20-30, Luke 11:14-28. The same account is in view, told from 3 different perspectives.

READ MATTHEW 12:22-37

While I'm going to address the question of "What is the unpardonable sin -- and is it possible for a Christian to commit it?"; we would be remiss if we didn't consider the passage as a whole.

Things to note from the text

I. JESUS PERFORMS AN INCREDIBLE MIRACLE

-Jesus heals a man who was demon possessed, mute and blind (meaning, his was a complex case)
-in Luke 11:14 we learn that the man's being mute was due to the working of the evil spirit who possessed him
-Jesus healed him by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwelt him, directed him, filled him, and gave him words to speak (all in fulfillment of the many prophecy's of Isaiah)

Note on Demon possession

-demons are evil spirits/fallen angels who rebelled against God along with Lucifer/Satan
-there are many on this Earth, roaming and looking for those whom they may afflict, inhabit, and destroy
-demons are behind all idols and other religions (1 Corinthians 10:19-22)
-many people open themselves up to demonic inhabitation and affliction (by their involvement in the occult, eastern religions, yoga and hinduism, spiritism, the filling of their minds with violence and filth). DON'T GET SUCKED INTO SUCH THINGS!!! You will only bring misery to yourself.
-Note: A Christian cannot be inhabited by a demon since they are indwelt by the Spirit of God (they can be afflicted though)
-for more info see Ephesians 6:10-18 and Daniel 10

Good news: Jesus has power and authority over demons and Satan. Jesus came to set captives free


II. NOTE THE RESPONSES TO THE INCREDIBLE MIRACLE THAT JESUS PERFORMED

a. The people who witnessed it were astonished and they wondered somewhat skeptically if Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Son of David, the promised eternal king who would reign on David's throne

Strangely enough, it doesn't say any believed. Sadly, it seems that the soil of their hearts were hard

b. When the Pharisees heard of what Jesus did they immediately attacked Jesus declaring that Jesus was in league Satan and that it was by Satan's power that Jesus had cast the demon out of the man

NOTE: Beelzebub: "Lord of the flies" -a ref. to a Philistine god. "Lord of Dung". Basically a derogatory term for Satan

-interesting thing to note: no one denied that a demon had been cast out
-another thing to note: The Pharisees minimized what Jesus had done- failing to address the matter of his blindness and muteness-- both of which Jesus had healed.

As you might surmise: Accusing Jesus of being in league with Satan and working miracles by power of Satan--- that's not a good thing

WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE RESPONSE?

This incredible miracle is cause to believe in Jesus as Savior, Lord, and God

-In his ministry Jesus demonstrated power and authority over sickness, nature, death, sin, and evil spirits.
-The intended conclusion is that one puts their faith in Jesus as God and Savior, believing his words, teachings, and claims-- and committing themselves to obedience and worship to him

III. NOTE JESUS' RESPONSE TO THE PHARISEES

1. He logically refutes their assertion that the miracle he performed was by the power of Satan v.25-29

Ponder the underlying message about the importance of unity that is found in v.25-29

2. He makes it clear that it was by the Spirit of God that he drove out the demon-- this then serving as proof that the Kingdom of God had come

-Such pointing to His being the Messiah, the Savior, the fulfillment of the prophets messages

3. He asserts his power and authority over Satan v.29

4. He makes it clear that there are only 2 kingdoms -Satan's and Gods- and that one is either with him or against him

Have you joined Jesus' Kingdom? Have you personally responded to his call?

5. He indicates that they, by attributing the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit to Satan, had committed an unpardonable sin. v.31-32

Subtext: Those who blaspheme him may still receive forgiveness

Blasphemy in and of itself is a serious sin

-To curse the name of God. To misuse and revile the name of Christ. Such are sins that the Bible says is worthy of death. Note that in Leviticus 24 that it says that blasphemers are to be stoned. While this penalty was not always carried out, Romans 1:32 reminds us that such a sing makes us worthy of death. This is course brings to our remembrance "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23
-Interesting: Before Paul became a follower of Jesus, he sought to force Christians to blaspheme that he might have them killed (Acts 26:11)
-I would say that the majority of the population has blasphemed the name of God and Christ -- using his name as a curse word and speaking negatively of Him

Note the character of the Pharisees: Jesus calls them bad trees, bad fruit, a brood of vipers (basically they in league with the Devil), and evil people who were incredibly careless with their words v. 33-37

There was no room in these men's hearts for Christ. They were his avowed enemies, plotting to kill him, opposed to him at every step, rejecting every sign that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies and the Messiah.

Further thoughts about the unpardonable sin

-It's way outnumbered by the sins that God is willing to forgive. God's grace is amazing
-Though we might have our suspicions about some people i.e Marilyn Manson, it's not for us to definitely say "They have committed the unpardonable sin"
-A Scripture that may relate--1 John 15:16-17
-It's not possible for a true follower of Christ to blaspheme the Holy Spirit- such is incompatible for one indwelt by the Spirit**** So if you are afraid that you have committed this sin, you haven't. The sensitivity of your heart to sin is indicative that you haven't done it.

Read and emphasize Philippians 1:6 "He who began a good work in you will carry it to the day of completion in Christ Jesus"

IV. ONE FURTHER POINT: IT BEARS THINKING ABOUT WHAT JESUS SAYS ABOUT OUR BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY CARELESS WORLD THAT WE SPEAK v.36

-We are responsible for what we say
-we need to choose our words carefully
-when we sin with our words against others we need to apologize and seek forgiveness
-what we say is indicative of what's going on in our hearts
-be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2)

Ephesians 4:29 says; "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

CONCLUSION

Most people when they read this passage only focus on the sin that Jesus identifies as unforgivable, however...

Jesus performs an incredible miracle. People should have fallen down in worship, acknowledging him as Savior and Lord

The Pharisees blasphemed the Holy Spirit by saying that Jesus had cast the demon out and healed the man by the power of Satan

Jesus refutes what the Pharisees said, ultimately charging them with committing an unpardonable sin

As Jesus teaches, there is an unforgivable sin- the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit--- the attributing of the work of the Spirit to the Devil

It's not possible for a follower of Jesus to commit this sin-- because the Holy Spirit indwells the followers of Christ

Lastly, as it regards our words, we need to be careful for God holds us accountable--this means that when we say and write stuff that we shouldn't, we need to confess, seek forgiveness for it, and move forward