The Unpardonable Sin

 

Introduction Text ¾  Matthew 12:

 

31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

 

 It is impossible for one to overestimate the solemnity of our text. These words of Jesus, who is often tender and compassionate, have been considered some of the most difficult of all His saying of interpretation. There have been many wild, and false based upon this text.

 

Perhaps I speak for nearly everyone, preachers, teachers, and individuals  who have spent time in teaching and dealing with others concerning their soul,  that at some time or another, someone has come to you and told you that they fear they have committed the unpardonable sin. After many years of such work, and having met with many such cases,  I have come to the conclusion that this is the result of Satan's attempt to harass and destroy one who is  Christian,  a precious child of God.

 

 As I make this statement I remind you of the words of Peter in his first epistle chapter 5 and verse 8 where he declares:

8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 

Now that may seems strange, but I speak entirely from my own personal experience when I say that I have never yet found a man or woman hard and rebellious against the word of God hardened in sin, possessed by this fear. It is always the fear of a Godly person. I do not say this is always the case, but that I personally have never seen the exception to this statement. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that it is the attempt of Satan to harass and defeat a godly man or woman.

 

The method I have followed to respond to those who come to me with this fear is this. I say to them, "If you have committed this sin, will you please tell me what it is." I have not yet found one who could tell me what it is.  Never the less, these words of Christ are full of severity. Our Lord uttered no idle words, and Himself taught:

36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.   Matthew 12:36-37

 

No words more startling than these fell from the lips of the Savior. No words uttered ought to make men stop, look and listen than these.  Hear them again ¾

 

31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come

 

I linger a moment longer to ask you to remember that though these are some of the most sever words to ever fall from the Savior's lips, yet  there is here some of the most gracious words to ever fall from His lips.  Listen to verse 31 again: 31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men ¾ Christ did not say may be forgiven but SHALL BE forgiven.

 

It is one of the most profound things Christ ever stated about forgiveness  Christ virtually declares that the value of the Cross covered the whole race and the redemption provided was for every man and woman, every sin, except blasphemy against the Spirit.

 

 There is another passage I  find much comfort in recorded in 1 John 1:7-9

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

 

 All unrighteousness, the one sin excepted of course, the forgiveness was for all men walking in light, their sins SHALL not MAY be forgiven.  I hope these passages offer you the comfort and hope they offer me.

And now in order to have a better understanding of the meaning of the Lord here, I want to briefly cover a large area of the Bible in the next few minutes as I remind you what the Bible teaches concerning the Holy Spirit, as to His mission in human history. Having considered this, we will inquire reverently "what is the sin against the Holy Spirit, of which there is no forgiveness,  not in this life or the life to come".

 

What then does the Bible teach about the Holy Spirit?  As we turn our attention to Genesis 1,  We find His work referred to as "brooding over chaos",  out of that chaos, instead of darkness, light, instead of disorder, order. I pass along the pages of the Old Testament, and I find: The Spirit was with Joseph and he was able to explain dreams,  The Spirit fell upon Bezaleel, and he was able to be a cunning worker in gold, for the beautifying the temple of God.

 

 The Spirit came upon Gideon, and he became the deliverer of his people against Midianite oppression. Samson,  a man upon whom the Spirit came, and he was able to accomplish great feats of strength, and deliverance, against the Philistines.   The Spirit spoke through the prophets giving them the word of Jehovah to deliver to the people. The Hebrew writer describes the method in Hebrews 1:1 as "sundry ways and divers manners."

 

I pass to the New Testament and immediately find that I am in a new age. One man is presented to me, and from Bethlehem to Calvary lives in fellowship and co-operation with the Holy Spirit of God. I want to quickly review with you the Lord's teachings  concerning the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus declared that the Spirit should be sent from the Father through Himself,  and the mission of the Spirit would be that of making Christ's words known unto men. In John 16:14

14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

 

The Holy Spirit was to bring to their minds the things Christ had taught during His brief ministry.  He also declared that the Spirit would have a special mission in these words:

8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  9Of sin,  because they believe not on me; 10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

 

We therefore consider the ministry of the Holy Spirit not prior to the coming of Christ, but in His new relationships to the world as a result of that coming.   Therefore understand that the work of the Holy Spirit in the world after the Lord's ministry ¾ was not to glorify Himself, not to bring a consciousness of Himself but Christ. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you   John 16:14….. The work of the Holy Spirit in the world was not to present Himself, or offer Himself to the world, but Christ.

 

The Lord's church all over the world is confronted with a religion that places a prominence on the Holy Spirit, that is wholly unwarranted by the New Testament. The movement associated with the gifts of the Spirit through men today, is a movement DECEIVING many because they lack the intelligence of what the Bible has to say regarding the mission of the SPIRIT.   

 

The mission of the Holy Spirit was to reveal and conform the message of Christ to the disciples, and was to stop when the written message was completed. - If we can understand that  the MINISTRY of the SPIRIT was to REVEAL CHRIST, to GLORIFY CHRIST, to EXALT HIM before the world, then we are ready to answer the question,  what is the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?  That is why I have taken this time in attempting to carefully declare the work of the Spirit. 

 

The sin against the Spirit is that of persistent, willful rejection of His testimony concerning Christ.  There are other passages in the New Testament which has created fear in the hearts of some. Passages that refer to the sin which has no forgiveness. You will find two in book of Hebrews

 

The first of these is in Hebrews 6:4-6

4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

 

The sin of the Hebrews was that of abandonment of the faith once delivered.  They had been taught, and became Christians, but now  were leaving the only sacrifice ever given for sin.  That this is true is plainly revealed in Hebrews 10: where we find the other passage that refers to a sin unforgivable.  Hebrews 10:26-29

26For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

 

 I realize there are other difficulties in the two  passages  we have read,  and I don't propose to deal with these now, I have only read these that I might bring you face to face with the matter contained here concerning a sin of which there is no forgiveness.

 

What is the sin,  look at it …..  trampling under foot the Son of God, and counting  the blood of the covenant, wherewith we are sanctified, an unholy thing,   BY DOING   despite unto the Spirit of grace?

 

What is the sin against the Holy Spirit?  The sin of deliberately refusing to accept His testimony. The sin of deliberately rejecting Christ as presented to us by the Holy Spirit Himself. Had these men to whom Jesus spoke in our text, committed this sin?  No as Christ stood in their midst He warned against  their doing so…  He in effect said:   "You may blaspheme my name, speak what you will against Me, and all that this kind of sin shall be forgiven… But there is a new ministry coming… that of the Holy Spirit,  If you disobey, and disbelieve that testimony, then there is no forgiveness, because you have rejected your Savior and forgiveness in His name.

 

Now follow me patiently one step further ¾  This is not a sin of an hour, or  the moment.  It is not a sin of a single act. It is a sin of an attitude. An attitude persistently taken until the choice becomes destiny. When does that hour come?  It cannot come while men walk among the light of that testimony, It never comes until a man crosses the boundary between this life and that which lies beyond.  The Spirit never abandons while a man's life last.  Have you ever heard the Scripture of the Old Testament quoted

  3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, " Genesis 6:3  spoken to those of Noah's generation. Allow me to ask when did the Spirit cease to strive with men in Noah's day? Never until God shut Noah in, and shut them out, and the day of judgment immediately ensued. While Noah remained a preacher of righteousness, the Spirit was still striving with men,

 

Thus lifting this ancient figure into our own age remember: God's Spirit never ceases to pursue and woo men until the hour comes for crossing over Jordan's death, and we enter into our destiny we have created by our choosing here in this life.

 

Hear me once again, every time you refuse the Spirit's testimony, you are sinning toward that sin.  The final hour never comes while there is breath of life. Where is the dividing line?  Who shall mark it out for himself? Who can know that the Spirit's testimony so often refused will not be completed, ere this day ends?  Beloved the solemnity of our text needs to be upon all our hearts, it may be that I am on that border of that sin!

 

You remember when Christ passed into the synagogue and read the great words of His Ministry?  The words of Luke 4:18-19

18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

 

That is a quotation from Isaiah 61:1-2  Have you ever noticed where the place Christ ceased His reading? There is a COMMA placed where He stopped His reading, and the next sentence is this: 

2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;¾  

 

But Christ did not read that part,  I have always thought He omitted the part after the comma, because He had not come then, for the day of judgment. Twenty centuries have run their course and the comma is still there, but it is only a comma.  He will come again  Rendering vengeance on all who obey not the gospel, who have not yielded to the testimony of the Spirit.

 

Why did I read the prophecy from Isaiah? Because Jesus continues by the Spirit to proclaim liberty to the captives, proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord. BUT THERE IS A COMMA THERE,  and beyond it the day of vengeance.  Where does the comma end in your experience? When we pass the acceptable year. When we pass out of the time described by the Hebrew writer by an ordinary word "TODAY"

 

The day of vengeance of our God has broken for no one here this morning….The invitation of our Lord is still open for everyone of us. 

"today if you hear His voice harden not your hearts."

 

 No one here has committed the unpardoned sin against the Holy Spirit, but you may do so before this day ends,

31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

 

Would you not render obedience to the Savior today, while is it called TODAY?  Repent of your sins, confess the sweetest name known,  and be buried with Him in baptism, having your sins washed away…

 

contact:: Ron Cope minister

email:  RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone:  (678)617-9658

 

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