Sermons

Answering Accusations, Pt. 4

May 15, 2022

Answering Accusations, Pt. 4

Passage: Matthew 12:22-30

Preacher: Jeff Crotts

Series: Matthew: We Need a King

Category: Sunday Morning

Detail

Intro: Fourth accusation, leveled against Christ.

·         Non-conformist, rebel, pagan, now Satanist.

o   Carries hard penalty with eternal consequence.

§  From labeling to indicting Jesus.

§  Severe accusation.

 

·         Level of hardness not seen up to this point.

o   Increasingly worse.

o   Calling Jesus, a Satanist.

Satanism is a real religion.

·         People declare loyalties to Satan.

o   Empowered by Satan.

o   Read his bible.  

o   Pledged to hatred.

 

·         Satan committed to “steal, kill, and destroy.”

o   Cults indirectly worship Satan.

o   Claim innocence Satan worship.

o   Still worship him.

You may recoil at this statement.

·         “Most everyone in our world is a Satan-worshipper.”

o   “Outlandish, right?”

§  Satan is “the god of this world.”

§  He is our world’s idol.

·         “Prince of the power of the air.”

·         “Prince of darkness.”

·         “The Great Babylon”

 

o   2 Corinthians 4:4 says Satan has “blinded the minds of the unbelievers…”

§  Diverting someone’s gaze away from Christ.

§  Redirecting someone’s focus onto Satan.

“Satan is called an angel of light for whom?”

·         “Everyone not worshipping Christ, worships someone else?”

o   “Is every unbeliever a Satanist?”

o   In terms of their allegiance, in a manner of speaking, “Yes.”  

 

·         Following the wide road takes the same path Satan moving toward the same end!

o   Followers.

o   Worshippers.

§  Worshipping creatures, not the Creator.

§  Attributing worth to Satan’s ideals.

Adam and Eve duped by Satan.

·         World cursed under Satan’s spell.

·         Broken only by Messiah, crushing the Serpent’s head.

4,000 years later, Jesus underwent same temptations (2nd wilderness):

·         “Succumb to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and boastful pride of life”

o   “I will give you all the kingdoms of the world!”

o   All Jesus needed to do to have everything, was to fall and worship Satan.

o   “That was it?”

“Was Satan’s offer, a true offer?”

·         “Could Satan legitimately offer the universe to Jesus?” Yes.

o   Test was bogus?

o   Proforma?

o   I don’t think so.

 

·         Satan, premier angel fell, led astray 1/3rd of the angels.

o   Myriads and myriads of angels (10,000 upon 10,000) angels (Rev. 5:11).

o   Uncountable number of angels.

 

·         This many permitted an insurrection against Jesus at close of millennial reign.

Satan, that powerful.

·         Usurping the Lord’s leadership, winning converts out from under him.

o   Underestimating Satan’s power is a mistake.

§  Believers, sealed from Satan by the Spirit, are nevertheless called to “be on the alert.”

§  “Be mindful of his schemes.”

§  Avoid demonic doctrines.

 

·         If Satan cannot have you, he will neutralize you.

o   Render you useless.

o   Living in denial of Satan and Christ.

 You can measure the genuine-ness of Satan’s offer to Christ by the Serpent’s offer to Eve.

ESV  Genesis 3:1-5 Now athe serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You1 shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,

3 but God said, a'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"4 aBut the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:1-5 ESV)

 

·         Satan questioned whether they would die, countering, “You will not surely die” (Gen. 3:4).

o   Proving partially true.

o   They did not immediately die.

 

·         Satan countered saying, “…God knows…when you eat…your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5).

o   Likewise proved partially true.

o   These partial truths were loaded with damning consequences.

 

·         Adam and Eve did not immediately die but ultimately died.

o   God’s warning and promise were true.

o   Virtually everything has died sense.

 

·         When Adam and Eve ate, they gained knowledge they did not have before.

o   Now knew sin.

o   Understood difference between good and evil.

§  Reaping the most severe consequences of earth.

§  Everything hard in life flows from Adam and Eve.

 

o   From Adam and Eve, the world’s first Satan worshippers.

“What if Christ bowed to Satan as a Satan worshipper?”

o   Would have reaped temporary power, while selling out.

§  Less than Messiah, less than Savior, and less than God.

§  Satan’s viceroy, doomed to Satan’s fate.

 

o   Most will reap this end.

 

Accusing Jesus, a Satanist is severe!

·         Accusation commits Jesus as Satan-worshipper.

o   Disqualifies Jesus as Messiah.

§  As if he fell to Satan.

§  Not Messiah, Savior, and God.

§  Condemning Jesus to Hell.

 

o   People do not believe they can make this kind of accusation.

 

·         Most believe themselves Exempt from this level of hardness of heart.

 “Does Jesus argue, most eventually commit this sin?”

·         Not a minimalist but maximalist position.

o   Not committing to Christ.

§  Leads you to sin’s end.

§  Reaching a point of no return.

   

·         The Doctrine of Reprobation.

 

 Let’s now explore this fourth and Dangerous Accusation.

1.      Satanist (vv. 22-32)

 

Three steps toward committing the unpardonable sin.
Step 1
a.      Lead others astray: Dividing others from Christ (vv. 22-24)

 

                                                              i.     A Revival (v. 22)

[KEY] A chain reaction of hardheartedness begins from Jesus showing compassion.

·         A man, blind/mute, was brought to Jesus.

o   Only way to Jesus was being brought.

§  Helpless to help himself.

§  “What did Jesus do?”

 

·         Whomever, Jew/Gentile, “…he healed him” (v. 22).

Supernatural healing, immediate and comprehensive.

·         “mute” could be “deaf/mute,” severe condition.

o   Unable to speak, rendered tone deaf.

§  Incapacitated state cannot be underestimated.

§  A supernatural restart for this man.

 

·         Not speak nor see, now “…spoke and saw” (v. 22).

 

“Did ‘demon-oppression’ cause man’s to be “blind and mute?” (v. 22).

·         Short answer, “We do not know.”

o   Experiencing full physical and spiritual effects of our fallen world.

§  All wrong with him, tracible to effects of sin.

·         Body broken because of fallen condition.

·         Intermixing demonic oppression with conditions, unwarranted.

 

·         Scripture illustrates demons hurting people physically.

o   Boy coerced by a demon to thrown into water and fire.

o   Demoniac[s] thrashing themselves into the cave rocks.

 

·         Matthew 9:32-34, notes cause and effect of demon cast out and “…the mute man spoke” (v. 33).

 

·         Satan permitted to attack Job’s health. Emphasis on the Sovereignty of God.

ESV  Job 2:6-7 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life." 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome asores from bthe sole of his foot to the crown of his head. (Job 2:6-7 ESV)

“Safe to assume congenital disease is caused by demonic intervention?”

·         Making this the rule based on few accounts is overblown.

o   Theologies and ministries built on, exorcism: “demon-diseases” or “demon-disorders.”

§  Substituting exorcism for repentance.

§  Obscuring the Gospel.

 

·         Health issues and demonic oppression are two separate conditions of our fallen world.

o   Jesus heals this man’s physical diseases.

o   Jesus heals (or casts out) demons.

“Why the group diseases and demons?” “Is this our model to cast out diseases?”  

·         Disease and Demons, both effects of fallen world.

o   Christians delivered from both at heaven.

§  Jesus demonstrates heaven by bringing heaven down to earth.

·         Healed all diseases, cast out all demons.

·         Heaven is defined as no more dying, death, crying, or demons.

ESV  Revelation 21:4 aHe will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and bdeath shall be no more, cneither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Rev 21:4 ESV)

 

                                                             ii.      A Reaction (v. 23)

 Christ’s miracles are always irrefutable and incontestable!

·         For crowds, no question over validity of “man’s healing.”

o   No partial healing.

o   “Amazed” and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” (v. 23).

o   Emphasis on crowd’s response, not MIRACLE event!

 

·         Not overthink, heart condition of crowds.

o   Not clearly saving faith.

o   They are asking a question.

§  Questioning, “How carpenter’s son qualifies as the Son of David?”

§  Or pushing to see him as “the Son of David” – Messiah.

 

·         Always fair warning that “amazement” is not synonymous with conversion.

o   Amazement led to inquiry.

§  Answer to inquiry, determines the state of someone’s soul.

§  Pharisees understanding this, intercept the crowd’s question!

·         Leading them to reach wrong conclusion!

·         Divide them away from Jesus.

 Alleged largest argument to sway people from bowing in loyalty to Jesus.

·         Cannot deny miracle being from Jesus’ hand!

o   Must attack Jesus’ source of power.

o   “If not deny Jesus on physical level, resort to spiritually level.”

 

·         Cannot question what they saw, so question what they could not see (Satan and demons).

 

                                                           iii.      A Redirection (v. 24)

Strategy, impugn Christ’s source of power.

·         Deep indictment proves Pharisee’s desperation.

o   Non-conformist.

o   Rebel.

o   Pagan

 

·         “…by Beelzebul”

o   Name for Satan.

o   Ancient idol of Baal worship.

§  Ekron was one of the 5 major pagan cities of Philistines.

§  Like Gath, home of Goliath.

§  Proximity, central Israel.

ESV  2 Kings 1:1-2 aAfter the death of Ahab, Moab brebelled against Israel.

2 Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, "Go, inquire of aBaal-zebub, the god of Ekron, bwhether I shall recover from this sickness." (2Ki 1:1-2 ESV)

 

·         Jesus casts out demons by Beelzebul.

o   Beelzebul means “lord of the flies.”

§  Lord over death “Lord of dung.”

§  What flies gather over to clean up what is dead.

 

o   No denial of Christ’s power.

o   Impugning his source of power.

 Had Christ yielded in temptation to Satan’s offer Christ to possess “all the kingdoms of the earth” he would have possessed them.

o   Making a trade with Satan.

§  Relinquish the power the Holy Spirit for the power of the Satan.

§  A despicable trade.

 

o   Pharisees’ accusation said he operated under the power of the Devil.

§  Man freed from demon is living proof.

§  Nowhere else to go.

·         Dividing people from Christ.

·         Setting a false scenario.

o   Following Jesus meant following Satan.

o   When the exact opposite was true.

 

o   Ironically, dividing from Jesus is uniting with Satan.

 

Discerning Satan’s strategy to divide puts you in the position to resist him.

·         Satan introduces false doctrines in the church, to divide.

o   Personalities rise, groups form (cf. 1 Cor. 1 “I am of…I am of”).

§  Satan lives in the grey areas, tempting people to elevate by what willing or unwilling to “handle, taste, or touch.”

§  Satan promotes lies to separate unity in the body.

 

ESV  Acts 20:29-30 I aknow that after my departure cfierce wolves will come in among you, bnot sparing the flock; 30 and afrom among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Act 20:29-30 ESV)

 

·         The Spirit unifies with Truth and Satan divides with lies.    

 

b.      Live in denial: Denying Christ’s witness (vv. 25-30)

Christ’s 6 Rebuttals

 Jesus is indignant.

·         He berates the Pharisees.

o   Rebuts attempts to divide from Christ.

o   Dismantling their reasoning.

 

·         Six rebuttals to dismantle a lie.

 Two important factors:

·         Never underestimate the power of Satan.

o   “Irrelevant to your life.”

o   You are impervious following him.

 

·         They underestimate Jesus.

o   Ignoring Jesus’ dominance.

o   Messiahship, Lordship, Deity.  

 Six rebuttals, in staccato succession, when rejected take someone down the slippery slope.
1.      It is illogical (v. 25)

Operating by the power of Satan makes no logical sense.

·         Insurrection automatically makes for ruin in the ranks.

o   Infighting takes kingdoms down.

§  “United we stand, divided we fall.”

§  Like a house of cards.

 

Top NFL teams, unbeatable records, and super talents, suddenly fall into unexpected tailspins, on a 5-game losing streak. Traced back to Locker Room. Coach loses the locker room. Trust lost.

 

·         Satan empowering Jesus to cast out demons would sink Satan’s ship.

 

2.      It is implausible (v. 26)

 “Satan casting out Satan [meaning]…he is divided against himself” (v. 26).

·         This is self-elimination.

o   Satan too proud for this.

 

o   Jesus to contradicting Satan from inside might be plausible.

§  This is another level.

§  Satan hitting the kill switch on own agendas?

·         “Beating himself up?”

·         “Hitting the self-destruction button?”

 

·         This reasoning denies the difference between “good and evil.”

o   Crowds understood this is ludicrous.

o   Jesus’ appealing to their sense of general morality.  

 

3.      It is incompatible (v. 27)

Jesus moves from arguments of insurrection and self-elimination to inherent contradiction.

·         Jesus compares himself with their own people, “sons” (v. 27).

o   “Your sons” are casting demons out just like he had just done.

o   If Jesus (whom you do not trust) is doing the exact same thing as your “sons,” what is the problem?

“Who are the sons?”

·         Josephus gave vague historical examples?

·         What about “Sons of Sceva?”

ESV  Acts 19:11-16 And aGod was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and bthe evil spirits came out of them.13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish aexorcists bundertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, c"I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims."14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.15 But the evil spirit answered them, a"Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?"16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all1 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Act 19:11-16 ESV)

 (Act 19:11 ESV)

 “This was a failed attempt.”

·         Instead of criticizing Jesus.

o   Compare yourself with your own.

o   Look in the mirror.

 

4.      It is incongruent (v. 28)

Jesus changes from negative argumentation, to a positive one.

·         Instead of viewing what I did as Satanic, what if you view it by the Holy Spirit?

 

o   If “…by the Spirit of God…then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (v. 28).

§  Exposing deepest fear.

§  Jesus is truly Messiah.

§  God is here.

§  Accountability has come.

 

o   Their version of Jesus as Satanist is completely incongruent with reality.

§  Not living in reality!

§  Culture lives in denial of the Living Lord Jesus.

·         Not real, not active, unaccountable to him.

·         All untrue!

 

o   The “kingdom…has come upon you” (v. 28).

§  God is here.

§  This reality is being brought to bear.  

 

5.      It is ineffective (v. 29)

Oddly, Jesus likens casting out this demon to someone breaking and entering.

·         Taking Dad out, tying him up, and stealing all his stuff.

I still remember when we moved into a home in Little Rock, AR and had not downstairs blinds. It was midnight when someone at our front door repeatedly rang our doorbell. I fly downstairs and saw someone peering inside, mistakenly thinking this was a female counselee from our church. So, I sent Judy down as I was heading back up. She quickly discerned this figure was not whom I thought, for which I realized it was up to me to protect my wife and small children upstairs. Shouting I sent this person away and ended up calling and directly the police by dispatch to incarcerate the individual who was trying to now break in across the street.

·         Jesus obviously does not endorse thievery or reckless endangerment.

o   But He makes the point that taking over a demon is a powerful act!

§  The “strong man” is the demon.

§  The person’s body is the house!

 

o   Satan is not doing this to himself.

 

o   Not committing insurrection, self-elimination, and not incarcerating on his own demons.

§  The kingdom has come in the strong power of Jesus!

§  Do not underestimate Satan and do not underestimate Jesus.

 

6.      It is incurable (v. 30)  

Jesus now speaks in terms of ultimate realities.

·         His six arguments all hang together.

o   They are Sound!

o   Sixth being most frightening.

 

·         Jesus’ clarifying, if you are on one side, then you are not on the other side.

 

o   No middle ground in the kingdom of God.

 

o   Either siding with the Pharisee’s position or with Christ’s position.

§  Either believe Christ a Satanist.

§  O realize Jesus is Messiah and his kingdom has come.

 

·         If you have crossed over to “Team-Pharisee” you might be in danger: incurable.

o   To be for Jesus means you are not against Jesus.

o   To be on his team means you are not on “Team-Pharisee.”

 

·         Either gathering others into the kingdom or you are scattering others away from the kingdom.

o   Uniting people to Christ.

o   Dividing people from Christ.

 

This brings us back to our original question.

“What does it look like to step toward committing the unpardonable sin?”

-          First, Lead others astray: Dividing others from Christ;

 

-          Second, Live in denial; Deny the witness of Christ; third… 

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