Point of No Return - Part 2

Scripture: Mark 3:28-30, Psalm 55:11, Ephesians 4:30
This broadcast continues a study on the unpardonable sin, the sin which we refuse to confess. Judas crossed this line and Satan himself made a choice to turn away from God to a point where he refused to confess and forsake his pride.
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In our last broadcast we introduced the subject of the unpardonable sin. We read right from the words of Jesus about a sin that could never be forgiven in this world or in the world to come. We found that Judas committed this sin by hardening himself and steeling himself against the Holy Spirit. He came at last to that unfeeling state where he had no desire to be saved, where he could not turn to Christ, because he could not and would not confess his sins. We found that the sin against the Holy Spirit is the sin that is not confessed and which is never repented of.

Lucifer also committed that sin. You remember, of course, that he was a bright shining angel in Heaven at one time. In fact, he was perfect in wisdom and beauty, standing right next to the very throne of God. He should have been supremely happy. But he was not happy at all. He had a besetting sin of pride. He had some coveteousness in him too, but it was pride that brought it all on. He kept thinking how beautiful he was and how wise he was. From what the Bible says in Ezekiel 28:13, we believe that he had a special voice prepared in him, no doubt a great singer and musician, and as the angels came before the throne of God, he was right there to talk to them about himself. And he began to think, "Well, this is good, but wouldn't it be better if I could be in Christ's position? Why should I have this lower place?" He kept thinking more and more about himself, until finally no doubt Christ talked to him, the Spirit of God pleaded with him and the Father tried to reason with him, but to no avail.

Finally he went around to the angels and said in effect, "Look, I think Heaven would be a lot better Heaven if I were in charge, or if I had a higher position at least." This disloyalty kept growing stronger until finally the Bible says, he was cast out of heaven and became the devil, the enemy, the deceiver, the great adversary. Now his sin was pride, it became unpardonable. Why, my friends, did it become unpardonable? Because it was so terrible that God couldn't forgive it? No indeed. That wasn't it at all. The true reason was that he just would not confess it and forsake it. He wouldn't turn loose of it.

Now friends, I hope you will take your Bible and read Mark, chapter 3, and verses 28-30. The Lord made it very clear that the Pharisees, to whom he was talking, had committed that unpardonable sin, they had sinned against the Holy Ghost by stating that His work was the work of the devil. So in this case, at least, attributing the work of Christ to the work of the devil was an unforgiveable sin. I want you to see what led up to this so that you'll understand clearly how this sin was committed. Those Pharisees were not hearing Him for the first time. There is no one act, it doesn't make any difference how dark or black it might be, that can degrade a man and constitute the sin against the Holy Ghost. God has more patience than that. It takes a long time to wear out the patience of God or to grieve away the Holy Spirit. Those people had followed Him before. They'd been in His gatherings before. I can picture them, perhaps on the Mount of Olives when He preached the Sermon on the Mount, and the Pharisees were there listening. I can just see as they came into the crowd with their pencils and notebooks, pressing close to the front. They were thinking, "Let's see what this deceiver will say today. We'll have it written down here officially, and we'll fix him."

But then Jesus began to speak, and you know the scripture says: "Never man spake like this man," John 7:46. And as He began to speak they forgot about their pencils and they forgot about their pads. They found themselves looking into His face, spellbound. Finally, when the sermon was finished they were standing in a daze thinking of all the wonderful things they had heard. Then all of a sudden they realized they hadn't made a scratch on their pads, and that was humiliating! So they quickly slipped to the back of the crowd and formed a little huddle and said, "Did you every hear anything like that in your life?" And all of them had to agree that they had never heard anything like it. And the Holy Spirit whispered, "No indeed, you haven't; and the reason is that He is the divine Son of God. Will you accept Him?" And they said, "No!"

Then I picture that same group once again on the mountainside. Once again ready to trap Him when He had that crowd of five thousand men besides women and children. Maybe there were fifteen or twenty thousand people that day in that crowd. It was getting late, and they thought, "Today may be the day. These people are faint from hunger, they've been here for hours. If He sends them away and someone collapses on the way home, that's all we'll need." But at the opportune moment, Christ found a little boy (or one of the disciples did) that had a small sack lunch. The men who were there to criticize, the Pharisees, no doubt looked at it, and thought, "Now what's He going to do, feed Himself and let the rest go hungry? That will be something to write down." Can't you just imagine this, friends, as they saw Jesus take that little lunch in His hands. Then after He blessed it He began to break it, and the disciples passed it out and there was more and more. That sack lunch never did end. And when they were finished everybody was full, and there were twelve baskets remaining that they picked up. Well, what can you do with a man like that? What can you say against Him? So once again they backed off and said, "Well, there's nothing wrong with that. Certainly we can't condemn Him today." And the Holy Spirit said, "No indeed you can't. He's the Son of God, spotless and sinless. Will you accept Him?" And they said, "No!" Now, friends, they could choose, and they did choose. But they chose in such a way that they lost everything. We can choose to lose if we want to. We have the power of will.

Again and again and again they were in His presence and saw those miracles, and repeatedly the Holy Spirit said to them, "Won't you accept Him?" And they said, "No!" Finally, it came to a head over the casting out of devils. According to Mark 1:23-28, Jesus was in the temple in Capernaum in the Synagogue. And there was a man present who was devil possessed. You read that story for yourself. It's a wonderful story of how Christ cast the devil out of that man. Everybody was completely astonished and His fame was noised abroad. "Here's a man that can cast out devils!" In those days a man who was devil possessed was a hopeless case. But here was a man who could cast them out. So everyone was talking about it. It was on every tongue. And of course, everybody knew how the Pharisees felt. Finally one day they were in Christ's presence and someone said to them, "Say, you're so sure he's not the Messiah. He casts out devils! What have you got to say about that?" And they said, "Well, he casts out devils by the prince of devils. He's devil-possessed. The devil casts out devils, that's what it is." And then it was that Christ looked them straight in the eye and said, "That's all! That's it! You have gone too far! You have sinned against the Holy Ghost." The reason was not that the sin was so black that it could not be forgiven, but it was simply that they would not confess it. They had waited too long. They had gone too far.

You know, David understood this very well. A lot of people think of David as a great sinner. And there's no question about it. He committed some very black, abominable sins. He had committed a terrible double sin of murder and adultery but he also repented deeply. Don't ever forget it. He was broken up about it. If you question that, you read the fifty-first Psalm. He was crying out to God for mercy in this Psalm of repentance. Did you ever notice, however, as you read that Psalm, that one of the first things he cried out for was this: "Take not Thy Holy Spirit from me." (Verse 11). Now why not? David knew that if the Holy Spirit walked off, was taken from him, from that moment he was lost forever, because there is only one agency that draws people to God, and that agency is the Holy Spirit.

The apostle Paul gave us some information in regard to this also. In Ephesians 4:30 he said: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." So the Holy Spirit can be grieved away. The apostle Paul makes that very clear. He says your attitude toward the Holy Spirit of God decides your fate. You grieve Him away, and you are lost. You receive Him, and You can be saved. There's no other lifeline between earth and heaven, except the lifeline of God's Spirit.

I think we ought to ask a question right here that is often asked. A lot of people have said, "You know, I don't understand why God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Why did He do that?" You remember back in the book of Exodus the Bible says God hardened Pharaoh's heart. A lot of folk have been concerned about this. How could God harden anybody's heart? They say, "I don't understand it, why did God do it?" Well, let's illustrate it this way. Supposing we were out in the sun on a sunny day and we put right side by side a lump of wax and a lump of clay. The same heat from the same sun is shining on both. What happens to the wax? It melts of course, doesn't it? But what happens to the clay? It would harden. But it's the same sun exactly. Now it's that way with the Holy Spirit. John 1:9 says: "That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The Light, the warmth from Christ through the Holy Spirit of God, falls upon everybody. And our attitude toward that Spirit decides whether the heart will be softened or whether the heart will be hardened. Resist it, and your heart will become hard as a rock . Give in, and your heart will melt.

I think we have a classic illustration of that in Christ's disciples, Peter and Judas. Both committed terrible, black sins. One denied the Lord and the other betrayed the Lord. Now which is worse? Who can tell? Both are awful sins. That same wonderful warmth from Heaven began to impress each heart. Judas steeled himself. Peter, when he felt that warmth, gave in, responded, and it broke his heart. It melted his heart and he ran out to the garden and got down on his knees and prayed and wept bitterly. The same thing is true today. That wonderful warmth from Heaven shines into every heart. Our attitude toward it will decide our eternal destiny. We do have a choice. We can choose whether we'll grieve the Holy Spirit of God, or whether we'll listen to the Holy Spirit of God.

Suppose I had two glasses sitting here with liquid, clear liquid. One was water, the other has a deadly poison. They look just alike. I have a choice. I could drink from one or I could drink from the other. But, as soon as I've made that choice, the rest is already firmly decided. I don't have anything to say about that. If I drink the poison , that's too bad, I'll die. Now it's the same thing with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shines upon my heart and I have a choice alright , yes indeed. I can choose to grieve Him away, or I can choose to receive Him. What happens after that, I have no control over. It is settled already, depending upon whether I grieve or receive Him.

I wonder what you are doing, my friends, with the Spirit of God. Are you allowing Him to come in and convict you of sin. Because this is the primary office of that power, that Spirit of God. He is to convince us of sin. Have you allowed Him to convince you of sin? If you have not, then you are in danger of grieving the Holy Spirit. What about the new light that has come to you from the Bible? Are you walking in all the truth that has been revealed to you in the Bible? The truth is progressive, you know. May God help you to accept all the truth and walk in all the light, so that you'll not grieve the Holy Spirit. If you do, you fall in danger of committing the unpardonable sin.

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