In chapter 12, verse 28 offers one of the most crucial texts in all of the Gospels, demonstrating how the kingdom=m had come with Jesus. Having defended Himself, Jesus then unleashed an attack on His accusers. They had better “come clean” and “show their true colors,” which would disclose the evil intentions of their hearts.
“But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”
In this context appears the troublesome warning against the one unforgivable sin of which Scripture speaks – blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Probably we are to understand this sin as the prolonged, hostile, and unrepentant rejection of Jesus as one empowered by the Holy Spirit, which eventually dulls a person’s scriptural sensibilities beyond a point of no return. Here is helpful to read Romans, chapter 1, verses 18 through 32.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them.For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
But we dare never play God and pretend to know who such people are; we would invariably err. And all persons fearful of having committed such sin by that very concern demonstrate that they have not.
If the exorcisms prove inconclusive to the=Pharisees, what more indisputable sign could Jesus have offered them? “None,” Jesus responded, save for His resurrection, which, if the other signs had not proved convincing, would not likely seem any more decisive. This is emphasized in Luke, chapter 16, verses 19 through 31.
“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
At the end of chapter 11 of the Gospel o Matthew, Jesus concludes with the positive alternative. It is not adequate simply to be exorcised. One must replace the emptiness created by the demon’s absence with loyalty to Christ. Those who follow Him and do God’s will thus form His true family, even while some literally related to Him must take a back seat.
References: Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor and Holy Bible, King James Version.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Wednesday, September 14
In our prayers: Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M. in Cayce, Kody Oswald, Tina Bailey, Oliver Crawford, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Roamans, Elizabeth Adams, Rootie Pope in Leesville, Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth F., Steven and Janelle, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Nancy, Doris C.
In memoriam: Rev. Joseph Henry Bates, Roger Barnes Miller,Warren V. Kellahan, Brian Keith Lowery, Julius Trapp, Dorothy Hoyle
Our prayers are with: All victims of natural disasters, Mandy and all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane In Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at in Columbia.
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