In Jesus’ Words: If you are not for Me, you are against Me (Matthew 12:22-32)

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Do you ever wonder sometimes if something or someone is from God?  What about those questionable grey areas?  We may think… he’s not a bad person; she never says anything against Jesus; or they celebrate Christmas so they must be Christians.  The answer is very simple.  Jesus said, “If you are not for Me, you are against Me.”  There is no grey area between heaven and hell.

~ Matthew 12:22-32  The Unpardonable Sin ~

Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to speak was brought to Jesus. He healed him, so that the man could both speak and see. And all the crowds were astounded and said, “Perhaps this is the Son of David!”  When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “The man drives out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

Knowing their thoughts, Jesus told them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.  If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, who is it your sons drive them out by? For this reason they will be your judges. If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. How can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.

Anyone who is not with Me is against Me, and anyone who does not gather with Me scatters. Because of this, I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the one to come.”

Jesus said ALL our sins will be forgiven, except for the one unpardonable sin against the Holy Spirit, which will not be forgiven.  This is the sin of unbelief.  It is the rejection of Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is knowing the truth but rejecting it; not seeking true repentance and a saving faith.  We are given many chances by a patient and loving God, but at some point in our life or at our death, we will not have any more chances.

It is a stern warning from Jesus to unbelievers and counterfeit Christians:

– those who have heard the gospel but do not heed it
– those who know Jesus but do not know him as Lord
– those who have the facts in their head but no faith in their hearts
– those who have full knowledge of the gospel of Christ and continue to sin blatantly and intentionally, rejecting the Lord
– those who reject the truth, like Judas
– those who have knowledge of faith but do not have a saving faith, which is a commitment and surrender to Christ as their Savior
– those who use the name of Christ but not the true faith of Jesus

Brett Davis, founder of International Christian Surfers, made this observation upon his first visit to America:
I quickly became uncertain about just what ‘Christian words’ meant in the USA.  So many claimed to be ‘Christian’ and ‘born again’.

A friend once told me he rejected Christianity because they didn’t like his lifestyle.
That’s ok, I said.  Just don’t reject Jesus.feet with waves cropped

The lunch conversation I will never forget

debate-lunch-breakI’ll never forget that day at lunch.  I’ve thought about it many times since.  Why didn’t I have an answer?  What would I say today?  I was resolved to find the answer.

My co-worker sat across from me in the lunch cafeteria.  She had invited me to lunch that day, which was unusual since we were not close friends and had never had lunch together in all the years we worked at the same company.  She was retiring soon and asked if I would join her for lunch.  I was happy to go.  She was a funny person, liked to tell jokes and always had a smile on her face.

We began talking about trivial things and small-talk, when all of a sudden her demeanor changed.  She looked at me with a fierceness in her face I had never seen before, and she brought up the subject of God.  “I don’t believe in God,” she said, “but if he does exist when I die, I’m going to look him right in the face and point my finger at him (she starts shaking her finger at me) and I’m going to tell him I don’t want anything to do with a god that demands people worship him or else he sends them to hell.  I’ll turn around and gladly go straight to hell!”

Whaat?, came my reply in a state of disbelief.  I kept waiting for the joke or punch line but it never came.  I was speechless and did not know where her sudden anger came from.  I had never discussed religion with her and was not even sure she knew I was a Christian.  I do not know her reason for choosing me that day, but her attack seemed very personal.  I think it was not me she was attacking but rather the one I represented, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that lives within me as a Christian.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12

Our lunch was mostly over after that rant, but the expression on her face never changed back to the happy person I knew before.  I never saw her again after that, but I have often wondered about her and what was the right answer to her statement.  Here is what I would say to her today.

You have the wrong idea about God.  God is Sovereign and Holy, and the Creator of the universe.  He created this world and you and I, with only a spoken word.  He is far beyond anything we can fully imagine or contain within our limitations.  God is to be revered, but He is also fair and good and loving.  He does not demand anything of us, nor can we earn it.  Everything on this earth requires that we work for it, including our jobs, but it is not that way with God.  God asks us if we would like to receive His gift of Grace.  It is freely given to anyone, but we have to want to accept it.  Heaven is a place for those who want to worship the true and living God and have found their salvation in Christ.  If you get to know who God is, then you will want to be with Him out of this love.

You also have the wrong idea about hell.  If hell is real, as described in the Bible and warned about many times by Jesus, then it is not a place you will gladly want to go.  You will want to avoid it at all costs.  Just look around us at the evil we see every day on this earth and you will know that hell can be a reality, and there is no reason to think it would be limited to only what we can see.

Satan’s main goal is to keep us away from God and to keep us from knowing the truth.

It is worth everything we have to seek out and find the truth; to examine our hearts and our motives.  There is no price too great for knowing the truth, and there is no substitute.  Yes, God is more than we can ever imagine, but He has also given us the truth and the way for redemption and eternal fellowship with Him.  The rest is up to us.

And all mankind will see the salvation of God. Luke 3:6