Sunday, March 13, 2011

THE UNPARDONABLE SIN -- Part 2

THE UNPARDONABLE SIN
"Blaspheming the Holy Spirit"
Mark 3:22-30

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, “Why is the bride dressed in white?” The mom said, “Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.” The little girl pondered that for a minute and then said, “Then why is the groom wearing black?”

Last week we started talking about a sin that, once it’s committed, dooms that person to the pits of hell for eternity with no possible forgiveness. The Bible calls it “blaspheming the Holy Spirit.” Let’s see what Jesus said about this sin.


The mention of this sin came about when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan. In other words, they gave credit to the devil for the work of the Holy Spirit.

The definition of this sin is any deliberate, premeditated, and knowing insult to the working of the Holy Spirit as coming from Satan. It is a willful rejection of the last and only instrument of God held out to the human race for the purpose of bringing about forgiveness of sin.

This morning, I want to take a look at 3 groups of people and pose the question,
WHO CAN COMMIT THIS SIN? Let's first all consider:

CAN A CHRISTIAN COMMIT THIS SIN? -- The answer is NO. Why?
First, a true born again Christian, would not deliberately and with pre-meditation, do anything that is as malicious as this sin. They love the Lord and they want to please Him. That's not to say that some Christians, in a time of discouragement, have said things they would like to retract. Some Christians have even held a grudge against God for something they thought that He did or could have prevented and just didn't. But God will forgive all of this when that person seeks forgiveness.

Secondly, the true Christian is doing everything within his power to be Christ-like. There isn't anything in God's Word that would suggest that anyone living for Jesus would or could commit this horrific sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that this sin is a willful, deliberate, premeditated act of knowingly insulting the work of the Holy Spirit. Let's move on.

CAN AN UNSAVED PERSON COMMIT THIS SIN? -- Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:13, Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
Paul said that before he met Jesus, he was a blasphemer but that he didn't know what he was doing.

Unsaved people say a lot of silly, foolish, stupid and wicked things without knowing what they are doing or just how serious those things really are. They are acting out of ignorance.

One commentator said, "If God held the unsaved accountable for everything they said or did, there would be very few unsaved left alive—and thus very few potential candidates for salvation would survive long enough to become Christians."

So, when a person commits their life to Jesus Christ, they don't have to worry about something they said when they were unsaved as blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

One of Satan's favorite tricks is to bring up some stuff out of the past that the Christian did before they got saved. He hopes that the Christian doesn’t know that he is what 2 Corinthians 5:17 says he is, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Coming to Christ makes them a new person. Those past sins were committed by a different person that the Christian WAS before they came to Christ. Again, there isn't any indication in the Bible that would suggest that an unsaved person, who has never experienced the mercy and forgiveness of God would commit this particular sin.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. If a person is unsaved, even though they do these things in ignorance, those sins are not forgiven unless they accept Christ. Without Jesus in their life, they are totally and eternally lost. Let's go on:

CAN A BACKSLIDER COMMIT THIS SIN? -- Hebrews 6:4-6. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened (that’s a Christian), who have tasted the heavenly gift, (that’s a Christian) who have shared in the Holy Spirit, (that’s a Christian) who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,(that’s a Christian) IF they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

This Scripture doesn't mean that it's impossible for a backslider to come back to Jesus. Anyone can return to God if they will humble themselves and ask for His forgiveness. This area of Scripture is talking about Christians who have willfully turned their backs on God and have become apostate. They have made a pre-meditated, willful, deliberate choice to reject Jesus Christ.

A Christian can cease being a Christian by their unbelief and their disobedience and completely reject Christ and His atoning work on the cross. These people cannot be renewed. This verse does away with the thinking that a Christian can’t lose their salvation. The writer of Hebrews is talking about someone who has tasted the good things of God, have been enlightened to the truth of God’s Word, have experienced the Holy Spirit. He’s talking about Christian.

This is what Paul is talking about in Hebrews 10:26-27 “If we deliberately keep on sinning AFTER we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

Paul isn't saying that if a Christian sins after they are saved that they can't be forgiven. He's talking about a Christian who has turned their back on God, denies Jesus Christ and goes into total apostasy and totally rejects the gospel and the life giving work of the Holy Spirit.

If any backslider retains their faith in Jesus Christ and His work on Calvary, they can be renewed to repentance if they come back to Jesus and seek forgiveness. It is when that person totally REJECTS Christ and His Word that they become hopeless.

By way of illustration, there was a man by the name of James Pike who was a Episcopalian Bishop and who got saved as a young man. After he became bishop in his church, he became very liberal in his theology, denied the Trinity, denied the Virgin birth and rejected the atoning work of Jesus. He said that the blood of Jesus was no more than the blood of a dead dog.

Now, IF he made that kind of statement, he blasphemed the Holy Spirit because he knew what he was doing. He had full knowledge of his statements and he made them willfully, thus rejecting the light of Jesus Christ. At that point, there would be no for sacrifice for his sins. But only God knows for sure.

So, it would seem from this brief investigation of the Word of God, that basically the only persons who could blaspheme the Holy Spirit and thus commit the unpardonable sin (and that maybe with some exceptions that only God knows) are those people who have once known God and then willfully turned their back on the Light, Jesus Christ, and subsequently turned their backs on the giver of life, the Holy Spirit.

So, how can a person know that they have committed this sin? Simple. You won't care that you did. There will be no more desire for God, for His Word or His ways. In fact, there doesn't appear to be any Biblical evidence that they would even TRY to be forgiven.

There's lots of people who can't or won't get saved because they won't accept God's plan for their lives. It's the ATTITUDE of the sinner that keeps them from salvation. God doesn't reject them – they reject God.

But in the case of someone who commits the unpardonable sin, the sinner not only rejects God, but God rejects the sinner. They cannot be forgiven.

Let me close with this thought. Any sin, no matter how horrible it might be, can be forgiven. I don't care if that person is the worst reprobate on this planet. If they come to Christ, confess their sins, accept Him as Lord and Savior, they can be forgiven.

But if AFTER they are saved, they deliberately turn their back on Christ, denying His blood and they credit the works of the Holy Spirit to Satan, they are toast and doomed to spend an eternity in the pits of hell.

However, it's important to remember, God is the judge of this sin and not us. There are some in the church world who have a difficult time with the idea that there is even one sin that cannot be forgiven. But God does have His limits and there are appropriate consequences for inappropriate actions. He reminds us in Genesis 6:3
Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever,

CALL --- The good news this morning is that God love you and He has a plan for your life. All you need to do to have every sin you have ever committed, totally and completely forgiven is to confess your sins to the Lord, ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior and live for Him. Living with guilt and condemnation is not God’s plan for you. He has a plan to give you hope and a future. All you need to do is surrender your life to Him. Will you do that?

Friends, for many months we have been talking about the Holy Spirit and His desire to pour out His presence and power in our life and in this church. But that can only happen if we will totally surrender to His control. If we ask for His presence and then work at controlling our lives in our own strength, then it’s pointless. He’s not going to move. I want to again encourage you to pray with fervency for a move of God’s Spirit in your life, in this church and in this city. Let’s come and pray.

Father, thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit, the giver of life, to us. Thank You for making it possible for us to come to You, and seek Your forgiveness for those times when we sin. Holy Spirit, we ask that You work daily in our lives, showing us how to be all that You intend us to be. May we never take for granted Your forgiving grace. Continually convict us of the times we say foolish things that are not pleasing to You. And may we always have a sense of urgency about us on the coming return of our Lord so that we will live our lives in holiness, and purity. In that process, may others see You in us and so be drawn to Jesus. We ask You, Holy Spirit, to manifest Your presence and power in this church body collectively and in our lives individually. In Jesus name. AMEN.

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