Summary: What exactly does it mean to "sin against the Holy Spirit"? Why does God hold this offense to be so serious?

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Matt. 12:22-37

INTRO. (Prov. 29:1) -- He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."

The Bible indicates that God has 3 points which, if you go beyond them, you go beyond the point of redemption. To exceed these points will require that you pay an eternal cost.

1. We know from I Jn. 5:16 that, for the saved person, there is a sin unto death.

2. The second point of no return is found in our text, "Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit".

3. The third is the sin of wasting away your day of grace.

I. The Definition.

A. (read vs. 32)

B. Background

1. Jesus had healed a man possessed by a demon. Upon seeing this some proclaimed that this was the prophesied Messiah (vs. 23).

a. The demon had made this man blind and dumb.

b. The people were aware of the prophecy concerning the coming Messiah in Isa. 35:3-6.

2. The Pharisees quickly took exception with this idea. They began to say that Jesus was able to perform these miracles by the power of Satan. To them, Christ was one who was taking away their glory and honor and prestige.

3. These were religious men. (but lost)

a. They had the knowledge. (the prophecy)

b. They had the proof. (the healing)

c. The Holy Spirit was dealing with them, pointing them to Jesus. But they rejected the evidence forthright. Theirs was an intelligent, willful rejection of truth.

C. Jesus took this accusation very seriously.

1. You may speak against the Son of man.

a. You may speak against his lowly birth.

b. You may speak against his home in Nazareth.

c. You may cast dispersions on his humanity.

2. But when you cast reproach upon His divinity, you have gone too far. This is an unpardonable sin.

II. The Unpardonable Sin.

A. When we think of an unpardonable sin many heinous ideas come to mind.

1. Hitler’s terrible war crimes, The Spanish Inquisition, the unspeakable acts of the Marquis De Sade.

2. We read and hear of parents who abuse and murder their children, mothers abandoning babies, kidnappers, gang violence, dope peddlers, pornographers.

B. But if these would fall on their knees and seek forgiveness from God they could be saved.

C. (Mark 3:28-29) -- "All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost HATH NEVER FORGIVENESS, but is in danger of eternal damnation."

1. This is a deliberate, definite choice of rejecting God’s message and messenger. While at the same time attempting to influence others to do likewise.

2. This is much more than just ignoring the invitation of Christ to come to salvation. This means that you are defying God; spurning the Holy Spirit; and abusing the gift of Jesus Christ.

a. Belshazzar committed this sin when he defiled the holy vessels of the temple.

b. Pharaoh committed this sin 10 times over when he defied God in Egypt.

c. The self-righteous Pharisees committed it by attributing the works of God to Satan.

D. These men had gone way past just refusing salvation. They were deliberately fighting against God with all they had.

III. The Third Point Of No Return.

A. Prov. 1:24-29 Could God get any plainer?

B. This is saying, "NO" to the Holy Spirit for the last time. Holding back until the call comes no more.

C. The Bible tells us of times when God has said, "Let them alone."

1. To Hosea the Prophet (Hos. 4:17) -- "Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone."

2. Concerning the people of Noah’s day (Gen. 6:3) -- "My spirit shall not always strive with man" He then said that He would give them 120 years to repent.

3. Concerning the Jews of Jesus’ time, it is said in John 12:38-39, "They could not believe."

D. Wouldn’t it be awful today if, after you have said NO to God for so long He should suddenly say to the Holy Spirit, "Leave him alone"? It could very well happen.

1. Romans 1:21-23

a. (vs. 24) -- "Wherefore God also gave them up..."

b. (vs. 26) -- "For this cause God gave them up..."

c. (vs. 28) -- "God gave them over..."

2. Some of you have heard the call of God from your mother or father, son or daughter, S.S. teacher or Pastor. And still you say "NO".

3. Today may be God’s last call to your soul:

E. A preacher told of a member whose wife hated God and was growing to hate him and made life miserable for him. But he told her, "I am not going to leave you. I am going to love you and stay with you. If you choose to reject me and reject God, then I’ll let you leave."

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