A Higher Accountability
June 26, 2022
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin (John 15:22).
What does it matter if a non-Christian is exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, engages in church and ministry, attends Bible studies and Christian conferences, then chooses not to become a Christian, or if a Christian engages in these same things, but chooses not to be a more committed Christian to the Kingdom of God? It matters a lot! Note the words of Jesus in our text. Speaking about the Elders of Israel, Jesus in essence condemned them for having an abundance of knowledge and information about Him, but rejected Him and will stand before the judgment seat of God with no excuse for their decision.
Note the words of the Apostle (Hebrews 6:4-6) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. Here the Apostle is speaking of those Jews who were undecided about making a commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, even after having knowledge of who He is, after having experienced some of the blessings of God’s grace, after having experienced the power of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, and after having seen the power of the Gospel at work in the lives of believers. They risk losing the opportunity to be saved by delaying their decision. Jesus warned His disciples in Luke 12:48, For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
“The Lord was not speaking here of sin in general, but rather of the specific sin of willfully rejecting Him in the face of full revelation. That is the most serious sin of all, because it is the only one that is not forgivable. Having witness first-hand Jesus’s miracles and heard His teaching - both of which testified unmistakably to His deity (cf. Matthew 7:28-29; John 7:46; 10:25,37-38; 14:10-11) - the Pharisees’ conclusion was, ‘This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons’ (Matthew 12:24). Because they attributed His miraculous works to Satan instead of the Holy Spirit, Jesus pronounced their sin to be unforgivable” (John MacArthur).
By the way, this is the unpardonable sin - to have saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, but to refuse to believe in Him or receive Him as Lord and Savior. This is the ONLY unpardonable sin. All sins can be forgiven, and will be forgiven when a person turns to Jesus Christ in faith believing. The only sin that cannot be forgiven is not turning to Jesus Christ in faith believing. Christians need not be concerned about committing the unpardonable sin - that prospect has been forever removed from them when they were saved. However, the Christian is accountable to the Lord for their faithfulness in living for Him who died for them. Herein the judgment awaiting the Christian is the gaining or losing of rewards at the bema seat of Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:14-15) If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Amen.