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The Unpardonable Sin – Matthew 12:28-32


The Unpardonable Sin

Text Matthew 12:28-32

The kingdom of God has come in the person of Jesus.  But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.  He has proved that to the people and to the religious leaders. He has proved it by a series of proofs, but the Scribes and Pharisees are determined to destroy him and have accused him of healing and casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, – a shocking blasphemy against Christ. See how he challenges them…

1 How Satan was Bound.   V29  

This is the illustration that Jesus uses to show the Pharisees how he has cast out It’s a PARABLE.  Let’s get to the bottom of this… 

  1. Who is the Strong Man?  It is Satan, – let us not underestimate his strength.  He is a powerful foe.  
  2. Where is his house?  
    1. RIGHT NOW, He has a kingdom, the kingdom of this world, that he holds in his grip.  He is a tyrant who enslaves its citizens.  
    2. IN ETERNITY. Eternally his dwelling place shall be the lake of fire Revelation 20:7-10. Satan will spend eternity in the fires of Hell, not as some kind of ‘king of hell’ as modern myth depicts but being eternally punished for his rebellion against God and he wants to take every human being with him.  
  3. How are his goods plundered?  By the GOSPEL!  Every time a soul is saved, he is plucked from the devil’s grasp, brought from darkness to light, from the devil’s kingdom to God’s kingdom.  
  4. How is he bound? Now this is the really important question, for there are many today who think that this reference to ‘binding the strong man’ is something that we must do. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Jesus gained victory over Satan, and Satan was bound at the CROSS!  1 John 3:8  

Chained and bound

2 The Seriousness of Indecision. V30  

We’ve already seen this in the context of verses 22-28.  It’s clear enough to need no further comment.  You cannot be neutral about Jesus.  You must be completely committed to him, his follower, and his alone, or you are against him.  Its a straightforward, black and white issue.  Joshua 24:15  


3 Which Sins Can Be Pardoned?  V31  

The Pharisees had blasphemed against God and against His Son, by attributing his healing power to the work of the devil.  They had said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. (V24)  A terrible blasphemy!  Blasphemy is a spoken – verbal or written sin against God, and a shocking breach of God’s law.   cf Exodus 20:7 The fact that blasphemy is so common in society is a shocking revelation of the depth of our sinful nature.  Blasphemy is sin and the wages of sin is death.  YET, here is some amazing good news…

  1. The expansiveness of forgiveness.  Like every other sin, BLASPHEMY CAN BE FORGIVEN! Isaiah 1:18   The vilest of blasphemers can be in heaven, not because God just overlooks that kind of language, but he does FORGIVE it, for at the cross Jesus took all of their vile calumnies and filthy language upon himself, he bore it in his own body, and God poured out his wrath upon sin on his son, so that the fine for our bad language is paid, and we can be forgiven.  In verse 31-32 Jesus sets the sin of blasphemy firmly in the context of his atoning work.  He says…
    1. Every sin!  Every sin will be forgiven.  That should fill our hearts with joy and gratitude!  Every sin can be forgiven – no matter how filthy, no matter how vile, how hideous…   1 Corinthians 6:9-11   What marvellous salvation!  We are all sinners, but every sin can be forgiven!  And that includes BLASPHEMERS!.  For Jesus makes it clear…
    2. Every blasphemy, even blasphemy against Jesus. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him. 
  2. The restriction on forgiveness.  There is one sin that can never be forgiven. but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.  There is this single sin that can NEVER EVER BE FORGIVEN.  Just one, and it is speaking AGAINST the Holy Spirit.  

Now there are people who become really anxious about this.  Pastors will testify to people coming to them really worried about their soul, and asking, “Have I committed the unpardonable sin?”  The answer to that must be a resounding NO, for if they had committed that great sin, they wouldn’t be concerned, and they wouldn’t be asking!  

How does God reveal himself to a blinded, careless sinner?  Through the work of the Holy Spirit. John 16:7-11  It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin, who makes us aware of the law we have broken, and the dreadful and just punishment that awaits us in eternity, and draws us to the cross, who gives us faith to trust in Christ and who regenerates our dead spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who REVEALS CHRIST TO US.  The Pharisees have rejected the work of the Holy Spirit, and since it is only through the personal work of the Holy Spirit that a person can be saved, – they can NEVER EXPERIENCE FORGIVENESS!

Jesus’ words are a warning to every unrepentant sinner.  In the book of Acts chapter 28 Paul testified before King Agrippa.  Agrippa was moved by his testimony.  28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.  The American hymnwriter Philip Bliss, in a hymn that is too challenging for modern Christians, paraphrases that.  He wrote:- “Almost persuaded,” now to believe; “Almost persuaded,” Christ to receive; Seems now some soul to say, “Go, Spirit, go Thy way, Some more convenient day On Thee I’ll call.”  “Almost persuaded,” harvest is past! “Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last! “Almost” cannot avail; “Almost” is but to fail! Sad, sad, that bitter wail, “Almost,” but lost.

© BobMcEvoy February 2019

From → Bible Study

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