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Posted: Sep 27 2010, 12:46 PM
Lady of the Lake
Member No.: 7
Joined: 15-March 06
Don’t Harden Your Heart
Journey #85 Mark chapter 3/Matthew 12
The Pharisees realized that something must be done at once if they were to turn back the rising tide of enthusiasm among the people toward Jesus Christ.
Desperate for some scheme they came up with the blasphemous suggestion that He was casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub!
In other words, they charged that He was in league with the devil.
When miracles are not accepted, the effect is that of hardening the person’s heart, as was the case of Pharaoh.
The charge spoken against Jesus was ingenious in its diabolical cleverness.
The people of Galilee were unlearned in these things and they didn’t feel capable of standing up against these clever Pharisees from Jerusalem.
They, therefore, looked to Jesus to see what answer He would give.
Jesus was more than capable of dealing with these hard hearted religious leaders and staying focused on what He is saying about Himself and about His kingdom in the world.
He gives us an example of this in the very heat of their accusation.
Large crowds were gathered to hear His teaching and revealing the kingdom of heaven.
Then all of a sudden this little crowd of Pharisees from Jerusalem comes in to spoil it all with this accusation.
Probably for some of us we’d say, “Oh, no! What are we going to do about that?”
“We have to do some damage control”
“We had better get busy and come up with some other campaign to make Jesus look good because the people may believe that accusation.”
Panic! That’s what we would do.
That happens to us a lot when Satan starts accusing us of this or that.
We get rattled! But not Jesus---He stayed focused.
I don’t know what you did the last time you were falsely accused of something and thinking the worst is happening,…remember we have the example of Jesus and how He remained focused!
Do you know what He did?
He did what He always did. To correct that false accusation, He called them to Himself and began to teach them. Isn’t that amazing?
He didn’t hit back. “Oh, yes, I can say something about you because I know your thoughts and I’m going to tell everybody.”
Jesus could have done that. He could have done what they were doing to correct them, but instead He taught about His kingdom and about Himself.
Whether the crowd was friendly or whether the crowd was hostile; nothing distracted Jesus from doing the will of the Father.
These people who were accusing Him of having an unclean spirit, He called them unto Himself, loving them, wanting them to be with Him in order to teach them. (Mark 3:23).
The accusation of the Pharisees was shattered in a few sentences.
Jesus taught them with two parables.
First He taught them about the nature of His kingdom and also the nature of the kingdom of darkness (Mark 3:23-27).
We have a lot to learn from this first parable.
“A house divided against itself, that kingdom, cannot stand.”
Would that God’s people would learn that lesson.
God’s people get divided over the silliest things; the color of the carpet, where to hang the report chart, and other such trivial unity breakers.
That doesn’t mean that a kingdom has to agree all the time.
There doesn’t have to be a division because of a disagreement.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Jesus introduces the thought that Satan would not attack himself, because he knows a kingdom divided cannot stand.
A lot of us haven’t learned that, but Satan knows it.
Satan casting out Satan is a most ridiculous conclusion.
His kingdom would fall and that’s not his goal.
In teaching this, Jesus is saying something about His kingdom.
He is saying that He and His followers would never attack one another, because in doing that, then His kingdom would not stand.
Jesus introduces that to say something about Himself.
The reason He is casting out demons is because He is stronger than Satan!
He is saying His kingdom is overruling the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God has now entered into the world to throw out and to overcome the kingdom of darkness and Satan!
And Jesus is leading that charge!(See the details in Mark 3 and Matthew 12.)
“What is the unpardonable sin?” (Matt 12:31-32).
Unforgivable sin or Unpardonable sin is not words used in the Bible.
The way it is worded is “there is a sin that there is never any forgiveness for,” an eternal sin.
What would that be? Blaspheming the Holy Spirit--we would say that is the unforgivable sin.
These scribes and Pharisees are in danger of it.
They are in danger of rejecting the only means of forgiveness of sin.
They are basically saying, “I think I will take care of it on my own.”
“I don’t need Jesus to forgive me of my sin.”
“In fact, I don’t want to have anything to do with Jesus at all, because I have my own way of dealing with my sin.”
That’s the unpardonable sin.
If you resist the Holy Spirit, there is no remedy.
If you turn your back on the forgiveness of sin offered to you in Jesus Christ by God, there is no remedy, no cure, no other sacrifice to be offered for forgiveness of sin.That is the only way sin can be unpardonable today.
Some people are afraid they have committed the unforgivable sin because they have said this or they have said that.
The mere fact that they are concerned about their sin, their soul, indicates they are still seeking salvation.
If you turn your back on Jesus Christ and walk away from His offer of free salvation, then you are in danger of an eternal sin because you will be stuck with your sin forever.
Don’t do that!
Look to Jesus Christ, not as having an unclean spirit, but having the only clean spirit, the Holy Spirit, the One who has life, eternal life that He offers to you.
There is no sin committed yesterday that the Lord would not forgive today, because He died for ALL sin.
The Holy Spirit came into the world to make real the salvation of Christ to the hearts of men.
If you resist the work of the Son of God when He speaks to you, there is no forgiveness, of course.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit of God to convict you of sin and to regenerate you.
The scribes and Pharisees were rejecting the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is willing to forgive the vilest of sinner if they are willing to repent and believe on Him as Savior and Lord.
He forgave the thief on the cross and He will forgive and save you if you will call upon Him for salvation.
There is no act of sin that you could commit for which there is no forgiveness.
Of course, if you resist the Holy Spirit’s call to you for repentance, there is no forgiveness because He is bringing forgiveness.
Don’t harden your heart against the wooing and drawing of the Holy Spirit, for in doing so, you are separating yourself from the only power that can bring you to repentance, to the forgiving grace of God.
Forgiveness is always in relationship, it is not a package that one can get and run off with it.
Consequently, forgiveness cannot be known if you are closing your life to God and the calling to you of the Holy Spirit to repent.
Listen closely to what He is saying to you.
Don’t harden your heart toward Him.
Look closely to what He is doing in your life.
Don’t be lured away with anything or any distraction.
“The kingdom of God has come to you in the presence of the Messiah.”
“Christ is saying, “I am here!” (Matt 12:28)