Guilty of an Eternal Sin

Mark 3:20-35

 

20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Two brief stories about family bracketing the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders.

Family is struggling to come to grips with what Jesus is doing. They are confused.

The religious leaders are rejecting who Jesus is and are actively working against Him.

It is not uncommon to have uncertainty and confusion in our relationship with God that needs to be resolved. The Jewish people are the ones that should be following. The confusion in some get’s resolved over time (Jesus’ family). But for those who live in rejection, there is no resolution.

So, why is there confusion to begin with? We have the combination of what Jesus is doing and what Jesus is saying.

  1. The Significance of Jesus’ Claims

        Unique identity: The very uniqueness creates challenges to believe! I am going to take a broad look, because this gospel is written to people 25 years or so after the fact. The impact of telling these stories is meant to bring faith and obedience to the hearer. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, believe that God has raised Him from the dead.

  1. Messiah the Son of God

        I am statements in John:

                I am the Bread of Life

                I am the Light of the World

                I am the Good Shepherd

                I am the door for the Sheep

                I am the Resurrection and the Life

                I am the way, the truth and the life

                Before Abraham was, I AM.

       

        Unique miracles, unique teaching, unique authority over the        demonic.

If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father! How can      you say, “Show us the Father?”

I and the Father are One!

John 4: 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.

 

        Unique abilities: The very uniqueness creates challenges to believe. Think about your sibling claiming to be able to forgive sin!

 

  1. The Only Savior from the penalty of sin

        Hebrews 10: 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 

        Acts 4:11-12 11 Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

I Timothy 2: This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

 

        Ultimate realities that are hard to wrap your head around:

  1. The Creator and Judge

Creator:

        John 1: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Colossians 1: 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

Colossians 2: Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Judge:

John 3: 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 5: 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

John 12: 47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.

And so we have two groups of people who are struggling with Who Jesus is and what role He is to have in their lives. Family and the religious leaders. The way that they react is not good, but one response to Jesus is fatal, eternally fatal!

 

  1. His Family Struggles to Accept Him

Surely this is a sign that Jesus lived a relatively average life until He began His public Messianic ministry after His baptism. You can imagine the confusion in His family members.

  1. Is Jesus mentally ill?

        Have you ever met a person who claimed to be God that was not mentally ill? At least God in the classic sense, not in the secular humanistic sense.

 

  1. What are the options?

        If His claims are true: Lord

If His claims are false then:

  1. He knows and is a liar
  2. He doesn’t know and is a lunatic

His Apostles lied and suffered and died for that lie and their lies have laid the foundation for the greatest ethical system we know which claims to be based upon truth.

 

        The answer from our culture seems to me to be:

        We cannot know because He cannot be…

 

  1. They are going to believe

        James is Jesus’ brother.

        I Corinthians 15: Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

When you read the book of James and compare it to the Sermon on the Mount, you see the SOM almost everywhere!

Family is struggling, the Jewish leaders have decided! And I think a lot of this is because leaders have to decide. Think about the conversations in John 8 and 9. The decision to seek to kill Lazarus. The persecution of early Christians etc.

 

III. The Jewish Leaders are Condemned

        28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

 

  1. Believe and teach a false reality

        John 7: 45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.

47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

John 8 they seek to trap Jesus by killing a young girl. Then they seek to kill Jesus outright. John 9 they refuse to accept that a man born without eyes is himself. John 11 and following they seek to kill Lazarus because of his testimony that Jesus healed him.

 

  1. Reject Jesus and help others to reject Jesus

        Matthew 18: “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble,

it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!            

        Matthew 23 statements:

        13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.

Matt 10: 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 

 

  1. The unforgivable sin

        All must decide about Jesus. To fail to decide that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and to follow Him is to commit the unforgiveable sin.

It is the decision to own your own sins before God.

        I John 1: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

What is the biggest hindrance to walking in the light?

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

 

        If you sin, but repent and ask Jesus to forgive your sin, believing in Who He is, will your sin be forgiven? Yes it will. But, to abandon this process of finding life is to walk into eternity on your own merit. You will surely die.

The soul that sins will surely die.

There is none righteous, not even one.

John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

Hebrews 10: 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[e] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.