Opposition to Jesus – Part 3 (Mk 3:20-35)

The Gospel of MarkDownload Sermon Outline

Sermon Manuscript . . .

Opposition to Jesus

and Committing the Unforgivable Sin–part 3

Mark 3:20-35 part three, 28-30


Something terrible happened in the last ten years to the American Special Forces.  Through pressure created by politicians and the media, neither who have been in combat, the men who fight for our freedom are now required to submit to R.O.E. (Rules of Engagement).  They may not open fire until they are fired upon or have positively identified the enemy, having proof of his intentions.

That sounds gallant until you’re in combat and a group of terrorists brandishing AK-47’s and rocket launchers are charging down a hill at your team after your group has been on patrol for two days without sleep, having dodged bullets for 48 hours.  Do you wait until they open fire and kill your fellow soldiers, and only then return fire?  Do you stand up and issue a warning before you shoot, just to make certain they’re truly bad guys?

The situation looks simple in the halls of decision-making, but it’s not simple on the battlefield.  And as a result, sadly, Rules of Engagement are getting our soldiers killed.  It seems we are more concerned for the rights of terrorists than we are for our own soldiers.  I recently read Lone Survivor (a Navy Seal spared the lives of a few, who then told 200 Taliban and killed their team).

Those same policies are now being imposed on our police–and even citizens like you and me, who might seek to defend our homes from criminal invaders, now have R.O.E., or Rules of Engagement.  Again, we’re more concerned for the rights of criminals, than of the protection and rights of everyday citizens.

Though not combat, Jesus and His disciples are being attacked–their friends have come to stop them, and their foes have begun a huge slander campaign to destroy them.  They are telling the populous that Jesus does supernatural miracles using the power of Satan, not God.  And in the midst of upholding the truth, while the Lord is proving their charges false He, Jesus, issues a warning.

The Lord lets them know they are about to cross a line.  The leaders are now in danger of violating the ultimate R.O.E.  Worse than being shot or blown up–they’re in danger of committing the unforgivable sin . . . the one sin that will cast them all into hell forever.  Grab your outline and open your Bible to see this incredible warning of the deadliest sin, found in Mark 3:28 to 30.

In Mark 3, it’s halfway through the Lord’s public ministry, and Jesus has chosen His team of twelve apostles in verses 13 to 19.  Because Mark is mostly communicating to a Roman audience, he writes this gospel of go like an author of action.  He selects from the incredible life of Christ those events which will most connect to his action-oriented Roman readers.  Though it’s hard to imagine, between verses 19 and 20, Mark leaves out some amazing events from Christ’s ministry.  Between 19 and 20 Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, raised the widow’s son from Nain, dissed John the Baptist’s ministry, proclaimed woes on key cities where he did lots of miracles yet they still remained in disbelief, including Capernaum.  Jesus was also dissed by a Pharisee who didn’t wash his feet when entering his home, yet repeatedly had his feet washed by the tears and dried by the hair of a repentant woman.  And lastly between verses 19 and 20, Jesus healed and delivered to full health a demon-possessed man who had also been blind and dumb.

All of this, especially this last event, caused the crowds to be amazed and think possibly Jesus was the promised Messiah.  Matthew 12:23 tells us, “All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, ‘This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?’”  This causes the Pharisees to panic.  But as soon as Jesus returns to Capernaum, he faces . . .

#1  The Opposition of Friends  20 to 21

Read Mark 3:20 and 21, “And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, He has lost His senses.”  Possibly his brothers and buddies try to kidnap Christ, foolishly trying to protect Him from Himself.  Jesus is ministering so hard they think He’s out of His mind.  Add to that hit, Jesus faces . . .

#2  The Opposition of Foes  22 to 30

The highest officials, the scribes of the Pharisees, the ones who get the chief seats at all religious events, travel from the Holy City and begin to counter to the idea that Jesus could be the Messiah, clearly declaring their . . .

First  The Rejection of Christ  22

Read 22, “The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul,’ and ‘He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.’”  No one could deny the authentic miracles Jesus was performing.  Lepers were cured, dead raised, possessed people delivered.  But instead of admitting that only God could do this, they say Jesus must be possessed by or working for the devil himself.  But believing that lie condemns you to Hell forever.  So Jesus counters with . . .

Second  The Rebuttal by Christ  23 to 30

They slandered Christ from a distance, “working” the crowds.  But Jesus calls these men to stand before Him close, and exposes their slander as a lie by asking them, “How can Satan work against Satan?”  Communicating in picturesque and proverb-like instruction, using principles of likeness and comparing well-known facts with the truth of God’s Word, Christ demonstrates . . .

1  Christ’s undisputed wisdom  23 to 27

He proves to all that the scribes are fools and He is all-wise by publicly destroying their accusation in front of them.  He begins by asking . . .

A  Christ’s driving question  23

Read 23, “And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan?’”  In a true sense, the Lord actually says to them, “You mean to tell me, when I delivered all those people from demons it was actually Satan, working through Me, to free all those people and send all those demons away?  You actually think Satan is working against himself, seeking to destroy himself–really?”  And to drive the nails in their coffin, Christ gives three proverb-like illustrations of comparison.

One  from the secular world  24

Read 24, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.”  A nation can’t survive an unending civil war, and Satan can’t survive if he continues to destroy his own army like you leaders are suggesting.  Christ’s next key point is . . .

Two  from the social world  25

Read 25, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”  Families can’t survive where the parents hate each other and the children rebell–and Satan won’t survive if he battles against his own family of demons.  Then . . .

Three  from the spirit world  26

Read 26, “If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished.”  There is no way Satan can continue to rule as the prince and power of the air if he is the one behind all of Christ’s exorcisms, since it means he opposes himself–if that’s true, he’s finished.  Finally, the Lord wraps up his wisdom against their slander with . . .

B  Christ’s discerning proof  27

Read 27, “But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.”  A burglar can’t steal the property of a really strong man unless he ties up the strong man–only then can he take his property.

Christ is the one who is stronger than the strong man, because Christ came on his turf, bound him and took all his stolen property.  Every time Christ cast out a demon, He was freeing one of Satan’s slaves–Christ was taking someone owned by the tyrant Satan, the strong man, and freed that person from slavery to that tyrant.

Christ proved He was not working for Satan, but is actually stronger than Satan, which means only one thing.  Only one person is stronger than Satan, and that is God.  Therefore Jesus is God–Jesus does His miracles, casts out demons, calms the sea, feeds thousands from a few loaves and fish because He is God come in the flesh, God in a bod.  God the Spirit works through Christ to accomplish the works of God for the glory of God, because Jesus is God.  Then out of love for these rebellious men, Jesus not only demonstrates His wisdom, proving He is God, but He also gives them . . .

2  Christ’s undiluted warning  28 to 30

Look at where Christ steers His teaching now, in verses 28 to 30.  “’Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 because they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”

Few passages have been more misinterpreted and misunderstood.  Few Scriptures have generated more questions and caused more anguish of heart than this one.  So can you commit the unpardonable sin?  Have you committed the unpardonable sin?  Is it a sin only for the earthly ministry of Christ, or can this sin be committed today?  If not today, then is there a sin, like this sin today?  What exactly is the unpardonable sin?

Jesus was very concerned that these leaders were ascribing His power to the devil instead of to the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is saying, as long as you ascribe My works to the devil you will never seek forgiveness from Me.

Hey FBC church attendee today–are you full of guilt over your sin?  Are you sick of your bad motives and self-centered desires?  Are you guilty over your lies, lusts, pride, greed and anger?  There is only one answer–seek forgiveness from Christ.  He is the only one who can forgive you and cleanse you internally.

I am struck by one feature of this text which is the most ignored–why do doubting souls focus on the last portion, and completely miss the sweeping generosity of verse 28, “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter.”  Any sin can be forgiven—any sin but one.  Some of you are so guilty your only hope is to turn to Christ.

But what is the one unforgivable sin?  The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit—the unforgivable sin is the rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit as He bore testimony to the God-man, Jesus Christ.

When someone intentionally rejects and mocks the calling work of the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit points to turning to Christ alone for salvation, that person forfeits the possibility of forgiveness, and ultimately salvation and heaven as a result.  If anyone continues in resistance to the work and will of Christ, there is no hope for his soul.  If you reject the only help that exists to make you right with God, there will be no salvation for you.

Theologically, we know it is the Holy Spirit who carries the message of the Gospel.  Speaking of the Spirit, Jesus says, John 16:8 and 9, “And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because they do not believe in me.”  And in John 15:26, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf.”  The Holy Spirit is the one who opens your heart to hear the message of the Gospel–if you resist Him, you can’t be saved.

Stephen strongly rebuked the Jewish leaders with these words in Acts 7:51, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do.”  If you continue to reject the Holy Spirit, you reject His message.  If you reject His message about Christ, you cannot be forgiven.

So the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a harsh rejection of the ongoing Gospel ministry of the Holy Spirit to call you to Christ.  To continually call the work of the Spirit through the person of Christ “of the devil”, or “Satan-empowered” is to cut you off from forgiveness and salvation now and forever.  Do you have questions?  Let’s ask and answer three questions regarding the unpardonable sin.

Question #1  What is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?

Are you guilty?  Then read and rejoice over verse 28, “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter.”  One scholar said, “These are amongst the most awesome words He is ever recorded as having uttered.”

Truly I say to you–this is an earnest admonition, a solemn warning.  I solemnly declare to you all—“you” is plural . . . y’all.  “I am talking to all of you religious leaders standing here.  I am declaring to each of you listening–this is big, people!  Truly I say to you.”

All sins/sin is missing the mark–missing God’s righteous standard.  You may not be as bad as Hitler, but you are not as good as God.  You have missed the perfect life God designed for you.  And you now have a sinfully corrupted nature that can’t change itself.  No effort on your part, no dedicated pursuit of religion, no devout separate life, no rule-keeping is going to make you right with God.

And verse 28 adds, “Whatever blasphemies they utter.”  Blasphemy is outright denouncing–a blatant rejecting of God.  Blasphemy is of a more serious nature than sin in general.  Blasphemy is an outright defiant rejection and insult of God.  It is to openly speak evil against God and to mock the Lord.  Blasphemy is a fist-shaking, heart-hating defiance against God.

In the Old Testament, the penalty for this sin was death by stoning.  Leviticus 24:16 says, “The one who blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him. The alien as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.”  That’s heavy–yet in the midst of all this is an amazing promise.  Do not miss an incredible promise of God this morning–own this.  Jesus says all kinds of sins, and all sin itself can be forgiven.  Verse 28 says all sins shall be forgiven.

JC Ryle says the sins of youth and age–the sins of head, hand, tongue and imagination–the sins against all God’s commandments–the sins of persecutors like Saul–the sins of idolaters like Manasseh–the sins of the obvious enemies of Christ, like the Jews who crucified him—all sins may be forgiven.

Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord:  though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

Psalm 103:3, “who forgives all your iniquity, . . .”

Psalm 32:1, “Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

Psalm 51:2, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”

Luke 15:20 to 22, “So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.’”  That’s forgiven!  You have no sin God holds against you, Christian.

I love the meaning of forgiveness–the Greek word means “to be sent off–to release from obligation, debt or penalty.”  You defied God, rebelled from His loving guidance, chose to go your own way, yet God sent off your sins–He pardoned you.  You were headed to the eternal electric chair for your crimes, but God released you from that deserved punishment.  God erased the ledger that recorded your debt–He forgave you.  Let that wash over you today–it’s gone, it is finished, forgiven.

If you don’t know Christ, while sitting in this room, trust Christ and turn from your sins, and you will be forgiven.  God is gracious and kind.  No sin can block His forgiveness, no curse, no denial, no slander, no wicked thought, no anger can keep you from God’s forgiveness.  God graciously forgives.

Verse 28 declares sin is forgivable, and so is blasphemy.  Paul was formerly a blasphemer.  First Timothy 1:13, 15, “Even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence.  But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, . . . 15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost.”

Peter denied His Savior three times, as a believer, even cursing in the process.  Mark 14:71, “But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, ‘I do not know this man you are talking about.’”  A blasphemer rejects God–he questions His sovereignty, mocks His judgment, belittles His truth, love and His goodness.  Yet he or she can still be forgiven by God.  First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There is only one exception to this.  Verse 29, “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”  The blasphemy here is against the Holy Spirit.  The gospel of Matthew, in 12:32 adds, “.”Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, [so speak against Christ and you can be forgiven, verse 32 continues] but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come

So this blasphemy is against the Holy Spirit.  Context is crucial.  The issue is this–all that our Lord did in His ministry He did by the power of the Holy Spirit.  His birth was conceived by the Spirit, His baptism was overshadowed by the Spirit, He ministered in the Spirit and by the Spirit’s power.  The unpardonable sin is to ascribe to Satan and his demons the work the Holy Spirit did in and through Christ.

Are you overwhelmed by just how defiantly criminal this sin was?  These religious leaders who are currently standing in front of Christ heard the Living Word preach the written Word of God, saw Christ personally heal every kind of disease, witnessed Christ cast out every kind of demon, watched Christ forgive every kind of sin.  They were there, they saw it all, they could not deny it.  Yet they charged Christ with deceit, falsehood, and demonism.  In the face of every possible evidence of Christ’s deity as God, they said no, and declared Christ a worker of evil—satanic.

John MacArthur puts it this way:  “Those who spoke against the Holy Spirit were those who saw His divine power working in Jesus but willfully refused to accept the implications of that revelation and, in some cases, attributed that power to Satan.  They had seen him heal every kind of disease, cast out every kind of demon, and forgive every kind of sin, yet they charged Him with deceit, falsehood, and demonism.  The unbelieving Pharisees and all the others who blasphemed the Spirit cut themselves off from God’s mercy, not because it was not offered, but because it was abundantly offered yet rebelliously and permanently rejected and ridiculed as satanic.”

Commentator William Hendrickson says:  “By means of their own criminal and completely inexcusable callousness, they are dooming themselves.  Their sin is unpardonable because they are unwilling to tread the path that leads to pardon.  For a thief, and adulterer, and a murderer there is hope.  The message of the Gospel may cause him to cry out, ‘O God be merciful to me, the sinner.’  But when a man has become hardened, so that he has made up his mind not to pay any attention to the . . . Spirit, . . . he has placed himself on the road that leads to perdition.”

Listen–God forgives sin, doesn’t He (yes or no)?  God forgave David of adultery and murder (yes or no)?  God forgave the Prodigal Son (yes or no)?  God forgave Peter’s triple denial of Christ (yes or no)?  God forgave Paul of murder and blasphemy (yes or no)?

Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  But here, to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is the ongoing, continual, rejection of the work of the Spirit of God.

The theologian Louis Berkhof says, “This sin consists in the conscious, malicious, and willful  rejection and slander, against evidence and conviction, of the testimony of the Holy Spirit respecting the grace of God in Christ, attributing it out of hatred and enmity to the Prince of Darkness. . . .  In committing that sin, man willfully, maliciously, and intentionally attributed what is clearly recognized as the work of God, to the influence and operation, meaning it results in eternal punishment–it cannot be forgiven.  He is continually guilty of a sin that separates him from God.  He continually rejects the Spirit and is continually guilty of that sin.

Did you notice Mark’s editorial comment in verse 30, which is unique to Mark?  Mark adds this clarifying comment, “Because they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”  Such a willful rejection of the Spirit’s work makes repentance and salvation impossible. The leaders were continually saying–an ongoing pattern of saying, not one time, but all the time in the past, a permanent pattern of rejecting the Spirit’s ministry of pointing to Christ as God, and an ongoing sinful declaration that Christ is of Satan.

Like a child trying to cover a lie by continuing to lie, the leaders unceasingly declare Jesus does it all by an unclean spirit.  They say He is always functioning by the power of the devil.  No matter how many true miracles of healing and deliverances Christ did, nor how profound His teaching was to everyone, these men refused to recognize, affirm, or declare that Christ was God in the flesh.  So from their hearts, they kept slandering Christ by saying Satan was working through Him.  But that ongoing, willful rejection of the Spirit’s work through Christ makes faith, repentance and salvation impossible.

Question #2  Can a believer commit the unpardonable sin today?

Many have wondered whether they’ve committed the unpardonable sin, even this morning.  Listen carefully–this exact unpardonable sin cannot be committed today.  Question #2 is no!  It was a sin for a specific time period when the God-man was here on earth, veiled in his human body.

This sin was specific to our Lord’s earthly ministry, when in the flesh.  This sin is reserved for those who were there witnessing His miracles, hearing His teaching, experiencing His grace, receiving His love when in the flesh, yet continuing to accuse Him of being demon-possessed.  Mark says it clearly in verse 30–what is the unforgivable sin?  Because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”  If you think you’ve committed the unpardonable sin, you haven’t.  The very fear that you’ve done so is proof positive, you have not.

One commentator said, this sin is a warning to those who adopt a position of deliberate rejection and antagonism, not an attempt to frighten those of tender conscience. (France)  One commentator shared this story–one night a woman came to me greatly troubled.  She said, “I am afraid I have committed the unforgivable sin.”  I asked, “What did you do?”  She said, “When I was a young girl, in a fit of anger and temper I cursed the name of God.  I am afraid I can never be forgiven.”

Listen, let me repeat, if you have the slightest fear that you’ve committed that sin, you haven’t committed it.  If you had committed the unforgivable sin, you would have no interest in Jesus.  You would have no interest in the Church, no interest whatsoever in spiritual things.  You wouldn’t care, it wouldn’t phase you at all, if you had committed the unforgivable sin. (Vines)

Question #3  Is there a similar sin to beware of today?

The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not to be equated with the sin of unbelief.  But there is the possibility of so-called Christians, make-believers, lost church attenders hardening their hearts.  There is a similar sin to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in that those around the true Church continue to resist the Spirit too.

You know there are people who think they’re Christians, but are not.  Matthew 7:22 and 23, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’”

There are also people who faithfully attend church who think they know Christ, but are deceiving themselves.  First Corinthians 6:9 to 10, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Ephesians 5:5 to 6, “Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient.”

There are self-deceived and doctrinally-deceived phony Christians, and some who have seen the Spirit work in the Church, have been ministered to by God’s Word, and seen God’s power but choose to walk away or not repent of sin, or remain unconvicted by issues of disobedience in their lives may harden their hearts to the point they can no longer repent.

Hebrews 6:4 to 6 describes this scary behavior clearly.  “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”

The author of Hebrews is not talking about losing your salvation, since the author contrasts the scary behavior of the pseudo-Christian in verses 4 to 8 with those who are genuine Christians in verse 9.  “Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation.”  By this contrast, the author makes it clear he’s not talking about genuine Christians in verses 4 to 8, but pseudo-believers who are in the Church, benefiting from all the blessings of the Spirit in the Church but unmoved by all the efforts of the Spirit to submit to Christ.

They are not resisting the Spirit by calling the miracles and deliverances of the veiled God-man satanic.  But they are resisting the Spirit as He manifests Himself through the Body of Christ- the Church, hardening their heart to the point where they cannot repent unto salvation.  The author of Hebrews repeats this same warning in 10:26, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.”  There is only one condition of forgiveness, and that’s repentance.  But if someone continues to remain in unrepentant and stubborn sin, God will sometimes withdraw the light He has already given.

During World War II, an American naval force was engaged in heavy battle with enemy ships and submarines on an exceptionally dark night.  Six planes took off from the carrier to search for those targets, but while they were in the air a total blackout was ordered for the carrier in order to protect it from enemy air attack.  Without lights on the carrier’s deck, the six planes could not possibly land, and they made a radio request for the lights to be turned on just long enough for them to come in.  But because the entire carrier, with its several thousand men as well as all the other planes and equipment would have been put in great jeopardy, no lights were permitted.  When the six planes ran out of fuel, they had to ditch in the freezing water and all crew members perished.

There comes a time when God turns out the lights of revelation to the point that further opportunity for salvation is lost forever.  That’s why Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:2b, “See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!”  Anyone who rejects full light can have no more light–and no forgiveness.

Mark has made it clear–a person never exposed to Christ’s divine power and presence might reject Him in ignorance, yet still be forgiven someday, assuming the unbelief gives way to genuine repentance.  Even a Pharisee such as Saul of Tarsus could be forgiven for blaspheming “against the Son of Man” or persecuting His followers—because his unbelief stemmed from ignorance.

But those who know that Christ’s claims are true and reject Him anyway sin “against the Holy Spirit”–because it is the Holy Spirit who testifies of Christ and makes the way of salvation and His truth known to us.  No forgiveness was possible for these Pharisees who witnessed His miracles firsthand, knew the truth of His claims, and still blasphemed the Holy Spirit, because they had already rejected the fullest possible revelation.  It can’t get any more clear with God directly in front of you, teaching what only God can, and doing what only God can.  In light of this truth, I believe God would have you . . .

One  Do not resist the Holy Spirit, non-Christian

The scribes wanted desperately to not believe in the Lord Jesus, so they made up ludicrous stories to explain away His miraculous works.  Young people, look up here.  Some of you simply do not want to believe in the Lord Jesus.  I’d ask you to be honest with yourself and with your parents.  Open rejection is better than fake loyalty.  Some of you are still struggling.  Why are you still struggling to submit to Christ?  Is your sin that appealing?  Is Christ that unappealing?  Have you tasted of the Holy Spirit?

Be honest about your heart.  Do you love sin or do you love Christ?  If you’re a genuine Christian, you’re not dating Christ on Sunday, or going steady with Christ because it’s fun, you’re married to Christ.  Both on good days and bad days, you want to please Him, and are willing to follow His Word.  There will be struggle, but that is different than resistant–are you resisting the Holy Spirit?

Two  Do not ignore habits of disobedience, Christian

Christians choose to forgive and work at reconciling with others.  As a matter of practice, believers don’t continually lie, cheat, steal, yell, slander, guess motives, make issues, argue, gossip, or brag.  Born again saints do not continue to watch porn, use curse words, or push their freedoms on others–not without a lot of guilt.  Genuine believers love their wives sacrificially, submit to their husbands, disciple their children, honor their parents if married and obey their parents if not married.  True Christians attend church, give, serve, love, and care for one another, not perfectly, but faithfully.

Do not allow ongoing sin habits to continue unchecked, unconfessed and unrepentant–do not allow your heart to grow hard.  Those who are genuine follow Christ in all things.  Don’t ever excuse an area of sin in your life–deal with it today!

About Chris Mueller

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church - Murrieta.