THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 11-28-04
LESSON TITLE: "FROM HEAVEN OR MEN: THE UNPARDOMABLE SIN"
In James 1:17 we read, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." Oh, the many wondrous things we have to be thankful for in this life as those who are richly blessed in Christ Jesus.
I hope you're having a great Thanksgiving weekend, and I hope you were able to enjoy your time with family and friends. But most of all, I hope you were reminded of the many reasons we have to be thankful in this life. We truly serve a loving and caring God.
I'm also glad you chose to give this time to God, on this beautiful Lord's day morning. What could we have to be more thankful for than this opportunity to come before our Father's throne and to Worship Him. Won't you do your part this day to see that all that is done is to His glory and according to His will!
Now let's take a moment to speak with our God and show our thanksgiving in prayer!
It's now time to begin our song of praise this morning. So wont you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together the first hymn of the day, it's name, "Anywhere is Home!"
(SONG # 1)
We started out this morning with an encouraging verse which reminds us of the fact that our God blesses us with all good things. In fact, James said that "every good gift and every perfect gift," is from God. No doubt this is why our God expects us to show our thankfulness and love toward Him, by doing those things which He commands.
I think this is exactly what Paul had in mind in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, where he said, "pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Notice the things we are encouraged to do here if we want to accomplish the Will of God!
First we are to Pray. And not just now and then but as often as we can, "without ceasing." As followers of God we are to ever have an open line of communication with our God as we speak to Him and thank Him in prayer.
The second thing we learn about our duty is a need to give thanks in everything! As we pray, God wants us to show our thankfulness for all He has done, all He is doing, and all He has promised to do for us. Do we give thanks for all things as we pray to our God.
Finally, notice that these things are not just suggestions or actions that might be good to consider. This verse says that this is God's own Will! So when we pray always, and give thanks for all things in our prayers to God - we are accomplishing the very Will of God almighty. And we all know that when we accomplish the things of God, we thus are found pleasing in His sight!
So let me exhort us all to be more thankful toward God for all that we are and all that we have. Let's all get into the habit of always showing our thankfulness to God through prayer, for everything that we have been blessed with in this life. It's never to late to express out thankfulness to God. Furthermore, we should never wait to do so only once a year during a holiday that reminds us of these things. Let's show our thankfulness, every moment, of every day, as we have been blessed with the very breathe in our bodies to bring honor, glory and praise to our God! As far as our study of the day, we are continuing with our series which is entitled, "From Heaven Or Men. Our specific lesson of the day deals with, "The Unpardonable Sin!" So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will be leading us in the main thoughts of the day.
But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Be With Me Lord."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
In Matthew chapter 12 beginning in verse 31, Jesus said, "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him either in this age or in the age to come." As we continue to look at our series in relationship to the things whether they be from heaven or man, we look today at the unpardonable sin. A verse here, as Jesus in His own words talks about a reality of some type of a sin. He seems to suggest that if a man does it or participates in it against the Holy Spirit, then he can not be forgiven of that sin. If you'll notice further, he even indicates there in verse 32, again Matthew 12, that if one does such against the Son of God, that is blaspheme, he could be forgiven. But if it is against the Holy Spirit, the idea was presented there that he could not be forgiven.
There are many different ideas that some attribute to this fact and that's what we would like to discuss today. What is it that heaven or God says about this compared to what many men say? Some men say that, "Well, this was a certain type of a miraculous thing in the days of Jesus that was against the Holy Spirit directly because certainly there was much more miraculous being done in the New Testament day.
Others might and have suggested the fact that some really refer to the neglect of the gospel by an individual here, possibly even the idea that some chose not to do God's Will and rejected the Holy Spirit. In some sense, again a possibility of truth.
Others might even have said that possibly this is an individual who commits suicide or someone who has taken their own life, or somehow died in a way that was due to their self inflicted harm.
All of these different ideas are interesting to consider, but what is it that God says? That's how we need to understand the verse. It's interesting to maybe consider what man has said, but God's Will always is greater. So as we look here at the Will of God, what does it really mean? Look at the concept if you will that is first spoken of here, the ages. "In this age," he says, "and age to come." What age were they in? Well Jesus was born in the day of the Old Law. In fact if you'll remember he and his family were under the law of Moses and even were following the feast and all of those things as were commanded of the children of Israel as they were bound by the Old Law. In this age, the age, he says, that I am living of the Old Law. He had not yet died. He had not yet paid the price or shed the blood or purchased the church and enacted what we know to be the kingdom of God. He had not yet built the church or the kingdom. And so the age to come would obviously be that kingdom that was coming, this new age that Jesus would usher in through His death. So Jesus here is speaking of something that is now true and something that will be true in days to come after I have done things differently and have given my life and thus have purchased a new law and put away the old. So we know that this is something against the Holy Spirit, something that will not be forgiven, and something that is contrary to really what God had wanted.
Now to best understand this, I think we need to really maybe look at an example for a moment. We have several rivers throughout Missouri, in fact, that many of us like to go and fish in. But as we are there, we certainly know that they can go for a long way. Let's say we can go down that river and we know that up ahead there is a waterfall, a larger waterfall that certainly we know that something will happen physically. We most likely can even lose our life, if not get seriously injured. And so along the way, people are warning us, "Hey, get out of the water. There's a waterfall!" We here the first warning and then the second individual screams, "Hey, there's a waterfall ahead! Get to the shore! Get out of the boat and save yourself!" And yet, we keep floating. And then the third shout is heard, "Get out of the water! You're going to fall over the edge. You're going to die! You're going to kill yourself!" But yet we continue to go and eventually we go over the falls.
I want you to compare that to what we're discussing here. Go back to the Old Testament. Throughout the Old Testament, what did God do for His people? Initially, we see that He sent Himself and that He spoke Himself with the patriarchs, but then under the Law of Moses He spoke through leaders like Moses. Then we have a period of the kings and we have a period of the prophets and we have all these periods where God kept sending man after man after man after man and throughout all of the books of the Old Testament to say, "Do MY Will! Repent and follow Me." And yet, what was it that Israel did? Reject God. They kept being warned. They saw the waterfall, but they kept heading towards destruction until eventually they were taken into captivity, as we well know in Babylonia.
We might actually continue to consider and think about when John the Baptist came. We know that on that day, he was preaching the kingdom. He was saying, "Repent because the Lord is at hand, the kingdom is at hand." And then Jesus came and He was saying the very same thing and Jesus lived and men came to Him and responded but many, many rejected Him. So again, they called out, "Save yourselves. Save yourselves!" But they rejected Him. They had refused the prophets. They had refused those who had come before. They now were rejecting Christ, but then what about the Holy Spirit? The last opportunity that we read about in the New Testament is that Jesus prayed to the Father in the book of John. Chapter 14, 15 and 16 deal with this. And he says, "I will send you the Comforter, the Comforter that will guide you and help you in all things and really help you to do the miraculous and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit that will do whatever it is to help you to teach others to know the truth. But after He has come, after the proclamation is made, "Save yourself, save yourself," what else would there be? We know the Holy Spirit did guide men, inspire men of God to write the Word and we thank God for that because today we have through the Holy Spirit and His inspiration, we have the final opportunity. But after this, the question is: What else will come? What other holler will come? Or what other yell will be really proclaimed? Or what other proclamation will be made that will save the soul of someone? The reality is that God now has left it in our hands. He has talked about through the prophets of that which was coming. He has seen it come to fruition through Jesus Christ and gave them another opportunity, that is the people of God, Israel and even the Gentiles and now He has fully revealed and given all of His knowledge through the Word of God and has again called out, "Save yourselves, save yourselves," and so many of our day, in fact the majority continue to head towards destruction and to head towards the what? Thus, once they have rejected the Holy Spirit there is no other opportunity for forgiveness. Why? Because there is no other chance that will be sent so that they might know the truth. God has done His part. He has fully now made known to man what it is that is required of man in order that they be found pleasing in the sight of God Almighty Himself. Those who reject the Holy Spirit's plea have then thus rejected the Father's initial Will through the Son as well, and as well the Holy Spirit, and the culmination of the Godhead, all that has been done from the beginning of time now is fully rejected. Therefore, how can they be forgiven if they will not hear those that have been sent? If they will not hear the Son of God Himself, if they will not hear God's Spirit who inspired men to give us the "full revelation and perfect will of liberty," as James 1:25 says, who else will they hear? The reality is there is no one else. There is no other opportunity and thus no other chance for forgiveness because they have rejected every opportunity through the Father, through the Son and the fullness of the Godhead ultimately through the Holy Spirit.
There are other verses that actually help us with the same idea. I want you to turn just briefly with me to the book of Hebrews and notice with me in Hebrews chapter 6 a similar idea beginning in verse 4 where it talks about the impossibility of one to repent. In fact, it talks about in verse 4 one who is enlightened, who has tasted of the heavenly gift, who has become a partaker of the Holy Spirit, who has actually tasted of the good Word and of God and has actually tasted of the powers to come. This individual has been touched by God and has partaken of God. He is a Christian. But it says, "It's impossible..." Notice with me in verse 6, "...if they fall away to renew them again." Why? God said in Peter that He wants all men to repent, that the blood of Christ is to save everyone. Why? Well the reality is because if they have rejected the Father, if they have rejected the Son, if they have become partakers and knowing what they are losing, that is in the promises and blessings of God, they still turn away. It's impossible for them to repent. Why? Because they don't want to repent. They chose knowingly to leave the fold of God. You see again, a great example.
In Hebrews chapter 10 beginning in verse 26, we find there the willful sin of man being mentioned. There in verse 29, the Bible says, "of how much worse a punishment do you suppose it will be for those who have trampled the son of God under foot." He continues. "And counted the blood of the covenant as a common thing and have insulted the Holy Spirit." Verse 30 goes on to say, "Vengeance is mine says the Lord."
What about the one who rejects God? The one who rejects Jesus and the blood that was shed, who rejects ultimately the Holy Spirit who reveals all that Jesus did, all that God did during the period of the prophets? What other opportunity is there? God forbid. That person will see the vengeance, the vengeance of God. And verse 31 in chapter 10 of Hebrews says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God."
Think about the things that we're talking about today. We're talking about individuals who have had every chance, every opportunity, and in the age of the New Testament and the age to come, that is our age, they now have every opportunity to not only see parts of the puzzle as they saw in the day of the prophets, or maybe even to see Jesus Christ or meet Jesus Himself, but now to see the whole puzzle come together, the whole picture through the full revelation to know everything that God wanted revealed to man unto salvation. If you've rejected that, who do you reject? Not only the Holy Spirit who has last come, but the Son and the Father.
I'm reminded as well there in a great example in Luke chapter 16, the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Actually as we look there in the story, we find that in chapter 15 actually there are many things that are said there about final things. In chapter 16 as well, we find that as really Jesus speaks of all these different stories and parables, there's an interesting thing that is brought out there. When the rich man is really speaking to Abraham and he says, "Send Lazarus back. Surely they will hear one from the dead." What was it that Abraham said? "If they've not heard Moses and the prophets," add with me if you will, "the Father and the Son, the Spirit. If they've rejected all those who God spoke through directly, why would they hear one from the dead?" Why would another opportunity be needed? The reality is brethren and friends, we have the opportunity today. We have it. All men of every nation throughout all of this globe have the same opportunity and we can now respond to the precious gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved, but if we reject the opportunity today, there is nothing else that is going to change our mind. There is no other opportunity to be forgiven because now we will have rejected all that the Father has done Himself, even through the Son and even the final Holy Spirit and the work there.
Will you not today choose to serve your God and to do exactly what He has said through the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
(SONG # 3 - "Blessed Assurance!")
Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Lord's Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!
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We thank God that He loved us enough to allow His Son to die for our sins. May we never take this fact for granted, and may we always realize that it is only the blood of Christ which is strong enough to forgive all sin!