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The Unpardonable Sin Mt. 12:22 - 37

August 30, 2015 Speaker: Jim Galli Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 12:31–12:37

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22Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”
25And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26“If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27“If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
30“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
31“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
33“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35“The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Here's our outline.

Incident vss. 22-23
Indictment vs. 24
Impossible logic vss. 25-30
Irreconcileable sin vss. 31, 32
Impeccable argument vss. 33-35
Insolvency exposed vss. 36, 37

We made it half way through the I's last week. We'll pick it up in Vs. 31 this week.

We're looking at this story and teaching surrounding what theologians call, the unforgivable sin.

I remember as a teen, as a baby christian thinking yikes! There's an unforgivable sin?? What if I commit it! I'm prone to sin. What if I manage to commit a sin that can't be forgiven!

Did you ever have those thoughts?

I celebrated another anniversary last week. Besides my bride of 40 years and my advanced elapsed time on earth, on August 26th, last Wednesday, I am 45 years a christian. I prayed to receive Christ on August 26th, 1970, and my life was changed forever. Going strong, 45 years later.

In the christian race, there are many starters. I want to be a finisher. In christian slang, a room full of silver and white haired folk is called a room full of finishers.

Anyways, when I was a starter, and brand new baby christian, my neighbors across the street asked me if I'd like to go to a Bible study with them. Sure! Why not.

So, their idea of a Bible study was a room full of people whose eyes sort of roll back in their heads and they all start babbling in un-intelligible gibberish. I'm looking around thinking, now what did I sign up for. What have I gotten myself into. I'm lookin for an exit before they pass out the Kool-aid.

A guy pipes up with a "prophecy". Somebody in the room isn't with us. Somebody feels very uneasy. They aren't part of us. Whoever that person is, they should just start saying "Hallellujah" over and over and over. So, I'm like hallellujah. Not feeling any better.

You grow up in a fundamentalist household, even if you're not yet indwelt, you get a nose on you. I can smell weird. Very weird. Hallelujah.

Another prophecy. That person really feels uneasy. Perhaps it would be better for the unity of the body if they waited out in the foyer. I'm thinkin, good idea. But another voice chimes in. A 3rd prophecy. No we're all one now. Whoever it was, is in harmony with us now.

They were a little early with that one because as soon as they were done with that, I was makin for the exit. Why? Even as a brand new baby christian, I was aware there was only one Holy Spirit. So how did these folk get 2 opposing messages from 2 different spirits. One too many for me. Out I go.

So, on the ride home I proceed to tell my neighbors, y'all are nuts. That stuff you're doing is coming from someone else, not God the Holy Spirit. This is from an 18 year old about 3 weeks old in the Lord. Guess what they told me.

Caution Jim. You are coming very close, if you haven't already crossed the line, to committing the unpardonable sin. Saying bad stuff about the Holy Spirit.

Guess what. At 18 years old, a few weeks old in the Lord, I flopped my Bible open to 1 Corinthians 14 and read, if people do stuff like that, other people will think they're crazy. That's what the book says.

Guess what else. I may be wrong, and I didn't do any due dilligence, but I don't think there were any "finishers" in that family. And here I am, 45 years later, still thinking with my brain. Pretty good chance I'll finish this race. Excellent chance really, because the one who started me is going to see that it happens. He'll make sure I finish. If it was up to me, I probably wouldn't. I'd have messed it up by now.

So, what is the un-pardonable sin. What is Jesus talking about here.

31“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32“Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit?

The word is blasphemia, so our word is just a transliteration of the greek. And the greek word is a combination of 2 root words to form a single idea. blax which means slow or sluggish, and pheme which means fame, or honor.

It has inherent in it the idea that Paul delineates of trading the truth which is honoring to God, and which is obvious for a lie.

You look around you at what God has done and you don't give Him the honor and the credit. You come up with a rediculous explanation instead. Slow to give honor where honor is due.

In Romans chapter 1 where Paul gives a progression of this, we find
these words. 24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Instead of looking at creation and honoring God who made it, they dishonor God by worshipping the created thing rather than the creator. Truth obvious. Lie, preferred. That is a form of blasphemy. It dis-honors God.

Boys have outies. Girls have innies. Let's figure out a way to dismantle what God obviously designed and couple up 2 outies or 2 innies together in spite of God. That is blasphemy.

Or, let's completely get rid of God, in spite of the science of DNA particles that have more information in each cell than a super-computer can hold, let's ignore that and come up with the most rediculous fable about how we were formed by accident, or chance, from some 1 cell animal in pre-historic slime. That blasphemes God.

The Spirit over-saw creation. To take that truth and replace it with something rediculous is blasphemy. The Spirit designed boys and girls and their respective quirks and differences and blessed that for His honor, and orders that they be married, and when our government dismantles what God designed, it is a form of blasphemy. Our government dis-honors God.

You think those supreme court justices don't know exactly what this book says? They made a conscious effort to say the lie. Replace the truth that honors the Creator with a lie that is obvious to anyone with eyes. Blasphemy. OF the Creator.

they exchanged the truth of God for a lie . . Ro. 1:25

Men call good evil and evil good. That has in it the idea of blasphemy.

God is tolerant of those sins. But there's a limit to His tolerance. And that limit is reached when God the Holy Spirit working in the spiritual realm, frees someone from Satan's grasp, and you call that good thing, evil.

To get a grasp on this, consider what Jesus says about the ministry of the Holy Spirit to this world after His departure in John 16:7 - 11

7“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

The Holy Spirit has a ministry among lost and fallen men, to convict them concerning righteousness and sin and judgement.

In the case of these pharisees, that ministry of conviction of sin and righteousness and judgement has reached it's logical end.

A miraculous spiritual and physical healing has occured. A man has been delivered from the spiritual and physical torture of Satan. The demon who was indwelling and tormenting this man was ordered out. Then the man was made to speak and to see. A phenomenal miracle the likes of which had never happened in Israel.

Clearly, to everyone at least but these highly religious leaders and rulers, God is in the room. No one can do what his man does.

And instead of glorifying God's Holy Spirit who just caused these things to happen, these men tell everyone who will listen, the devil did this.

What more could the Spirit of God do in His ministry of conviction over these men. It's the end of the road for them. They've seen all of the evidence that the Holy Spirit has done, and they call good, evil.

And that's what men do. God convicts of sin, convicts concerning righteousness, convicts about judgement, and men, because they aren't willing to leave their evil, they want their evil more than God, and they don't respond with belief.

In Romans chapter 1 we see that progression. The Spirit convicts, the men choose sin, and God gives them over. Each time that happens, the possibility of salvation gets more and more distanced. A hardening occurs each time God woos sinners and they choose sin. And they get harder and harder and the call of God to them is more distant, and more distant, and one day they die in their unbelief.

The unforgivable sin is to go down that path to it's ultimate conclusion. Unbelief, compounded, hardened, more unbelief, more compounded, more hardened until that last breath comes and you die in your sin.

Withstanding the Holy Spirit in unbelief, becomes the unforgiveable sin. When you die in your unbelief, that sin is impossible to retract. All of the Spirits calling and wooing and patience and love is spurned in unbelief, and that is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

These men have rejected more evidence than almost anyone before or since has even had the opportunity to experience. They see the miracle of Gods authority over Satan, and they say, Satan caused it.

End of the line for them. That level of unbelief is irretractable.

Think about Judas Iscariot. He walked with Jesus every day, experienced all of the miracles, heard all of the teaching, and somehow, rejected a greater amount of evidence to the deity of Jesus than anyone else except the 11 who believed has ever been witness to.

The unpardonable sin is to take all of the evidence, all of the conviction, all of the Spirits wooing, and say, thank you very much, I don't believe. End of the line. Not believing the evidence, bourn by the Spirit of God, is unpardonable. The only thing left is hell.

The element of speech is in those verses. Whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit. Why is speech important?

We'll see in these next couple of verses that speech is the fruit that is a picture of the heart. The mouth gives birth to what is already unseen in the heart. The heart is the parent, speech is the baby. The heart is the tree, speech is the fruit.

The pinnacle of evidence given produced in these men the pinnacle of insult. They opened their mouths and revealed the blackness of their souls. End of the line for them. Evidence is over for them. Next stop, hell.

33“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.

In the Florida everglades there is a tree called the manchineel tree that produces a small apple like fruit from yellow green flowers. A few bites of that fruit can kill you, it is so poisonous. If it burns, smoke from the fire can blind you. It's considered earths deadliest tree. Just touching the bark can cause blisters.

You don't walk up to that tree and say, I wonder if there's any ripe peaches on this manchineel tree?

It's a simple but profound illustration that takes us back to the first page in our Bibles. Day 3 of creation. Genesis 1: 11 - 13 11Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

According to it's kind . . after their kind . . over and over and over in Genesis. That's all they can make. Each tree can only make itself. Olive trees make olives. Period. It's impossible for them to make anything else. Science has proven this. We can now see the DNA in the cells of the tree that have the information in each cell, to make more olives. No peaches.

The 11th verse in the Bible blows evolution to bits. Actually the first verse does. But God is kind enough to tell us why. After their kind.

These pharisees opened their mouths, and fruit was bourn, according to it's kind. After it's kind.

Jesus says, look at the fruit, and tell me what the tree is please. Totally clear concept. Crystal clear. Evil heart produces evil fruit. Satan, exposed. By the fruit.

Jesus; produces physical creation miraculous healing and exerts authority over the spiritual realms. What was the tree? Very good class.

34“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

The pharisees; call good evil and evil good. What kind of tree? It's the viper tree. The poisonous snake tree. Speech betrays the heart. The tree produces poisonous fruit. Danger. Snake bite danger. Poison and death comes from this tree.

35“The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

Vs. 35 re-states it again. No peaches grow on the manchineel tree. Just poisonous fruit. The conquistador's called it the 'apple of death'.

In this situation, and indeed, very often, the evidence against these men, is black and white.

Sometimes it's not so easy for us. We get confused. There is a principle for us in this verse. Because Jesus is talking about the spiritual realm here. And the fact is that in that realm, fallen men are bankrupt. Listen again to a familiar passage in Isaiah. Isa. 64:6 - 7

6For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.…

That gives a whole new light to what Jesus is saying. 35“The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.

The fact is that unless we are born again, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, indwelt by Him, nothing we produce is anything but filthy rags. I don't want to get too graphic and gross you out, but we're talking stench here. That kind of filth. That's what all the righteous acts that non regenerated righteous (in their own eyes) folks offer up. Paul called it dung. You get the idea. That's our righteousness without the quickening of the Holy Spirit.

I was reminded of this again this week as I rode along at work getting to know a new employee a little better. I was quizzing him on where he grew up etc. etc. and everything he was saying was adding up to Mormonism. So I asked point blank, are you mormon? Yes. Decidedly so. And we went almost immediately to 'live a righteous life and it's going to be OK'.

I had to tell him, it's not going to be OK. Not for him, not for these pharisees, not for anyone that has not been quickened from the dead by Jesus. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good

Let me tell you, from the worlds standards, this guy is a 10. A good man. His problem is he's still fallen and there's no good treasure. All he has is Isaiah 64 righteousness to offer.

Satan parades as an angel of light. Religion is home base for Satan and his armies. In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul talks about a similar case. In fact so similar that the source may have been the same as the men Jesus is dealing with. Religious jews who were wreaking havoc on the church.

2Cor. 11:12 - 15 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.

Paul was doing a bit of what he called boasting. It wasn't. He was telling them some of the things God had accomplished in his life, some of the stories of things only God could do, that he had seen. He was building spiritual confidence in them. That was necessary because some religious folks had showed up and said, Paul got it wrong. Listen to us.

13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

These men who followed Paul around, paraded themselves as righteous men. Religious jews who quickly added all kinds of works salvation requirements to the free gift Paul was sent to offer. Angels of light, bringing death.

Part of the problem is that after salvation, we're an odd mix of good and evil. My spirit is quickened, made alive together with Christ, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, - and my flesh still wants to do horrendous things.

How often do I find myself in Romans 7 - defeated - again. The flesh won, and I pick myself up and go to 1 Jn. 1:9, confessing my sin. Asking for cleansing and forgiveness. Again.

That's normal for most of us. But in the spiritual realm, what men say - compared to what this book says - reveals the tree.

Gal. 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Words, causing the false teacher to be accursed. Another gospel. Words make known what the heart believes.

I used to enjoy getting a haircut up at David's shop. Sweet. Gentle. Positive. Outgoing David. And a christian too. Then one day he says he doesn't go in for this trinity stuff. Oops. The words defined the tree. He doesn't believe in the God of this book.

In the spiritual realm, - the mouth, and I might add, the pen, reveals what's in the heart. We can be confused. Joel Osteen might sound great the first few times you listen to him. But the day will come when his words will tell you. He believes in a different God than who this book describes.

36“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

As I thought about this, there's probably a big fancy name for this type of argument. It's similar to how we say the blood cleanses us from sin. Yet, if you were the Roman soldier who thrust his spear into Jesus side and some of His blood splattered on you, you wouldn't be cleansed of sin. Blood is death. The life of the flesh is in the blood. We're talking about death. It was the death of Jesus, in our place, on that cross that cleansed us from sin. Blood equals death.

Likewise in this passage, the words condemn. But only because they reveal your inner state. The words are tied to you soul's condition like the blood is tied to Jesus death. Words reveal your belief of unbelief in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

Years ago I was part of Evangelism Explosion at Grace Community Church. We would knock on the doors of folks who had visited the church, and if they were cordial and invited us in for a conversation, we would talk about the weather etc etc for a minute or two, but it wouldn't be long before we would ask them a couple of questions.

The words from their mouths would reveal the hearts state.

Question one was; If you died today, do you believe you would go to heaven? Some would say yes, some would say no, some would say they don't believe in pie in the sky by and by, and so on.

Then a second question similar to the first. If you did die, and God said to you, Why should I let you come into my heaven, what would you say;

And here the standard answer is the same as the Mormon fellow. I've lived a good life. Surely God grades on the curve. I'm in the top 78 percentile. Surely. I haven't killed anyone. I'm faithful to my wife. I don't steal. I don't lie. etc. etc.

Every once in a while you'd get someone who would say, Why, because the blood of Jesus was shed for me, and my sins were removed and left at the cross. Jesus is in my heart.

Words tell us the state of the person. So in the first case you would say, if you will give me a few minutes, I think I've got some really good news for you. And in the second, you would rejoice with the person and enjoy fellowship with likewise believers, then move on to another door. Words reveal a heart that believes, or a heart that does not believe.

Un-belief in Jesus as Son of God, sent to earth, born of a virgin, lived among men, a sinless life under the Spirit's control, died for men on a cross, rose from the dead on the third day, appeared to many witnesses, ascended into heaven, is alive at the right hand of His father, co-regent in the trinity, God of very God, worthy of our worship and has all authority over every created thing.

This same Jesus, now alive in heaven, will return to this earth and physically depose Satan and his demons and all who refuse to believe, and rule on David's throne.

Words that tell me, you don't believe in that Jesus, are words that will condemn you. Words will reveal, you've gone off the tracks or you haven't.

Unbelief in Jesus is a dangerous sin. Dieing in your unbelief, is the unpardonable sin.