"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 13
The Only Thing That Will Send You To Hell
Read: Mark 3:20-30
Text: Mark 3:28-30 (KJV) Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.
Theme: The only sin that will send you to hell is rejecting Jesus Christ.
INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSION - Begin with discussion of several prominent criminals, or renowned sinners. After briefly outlining their sinful lifestyle(s), ask the following two questions:
QUESTION - Where is this person today? (or If they died today, where would they go?)
QUESTION - Why?
QUESTION - Notice our text (Mark 3:28-30). What major doctrinal truth(s) (fundamental) did Jesus teach in these verses?
ANSWER - All sins… forgiven! (The extent of grace)
ANSWER - Eternal damnation! (The extent of justice)
From these verses we learn the frightening truth that there is a place called hell.
QUESTION - What do we know about hell? What are some of the things the Bible teaches about this place?
Mat 5:22 (KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Mark 9:43 (KJV) And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
2 Pet 2:4 (KJV) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
Luke 16:23-24 (KJV) 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.
Luke 16:25 (KJV) 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.
Luke 16:28 (KJV) For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Jer 23:39 (KJV) Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you…
(Jer 23:39 cont.) …and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:
From other places in the Bible, we also learn that all of us are headed for hell.
Rom 3:23 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 6:23 (KJV) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rev 20:14-25 (KJV) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
If we were to stop here, we would walk away feeling hopeless. However, the Bible provides the wonderful truth that we do not have to go to hell.
John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:36 (KJV) He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
1 John 5:11-12 (KJV) And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
And so we see that there is a place called hell. It is a place where, in our normal state, we are all headed. And yet we also see that God provided a way out (and that way out is through Jesus Christ, and faith in Him.) These thoughts lead us into our discussion of the text, today. For we want to ask the question today, "What sin(s) will send you to hell?" Let's notice what Jesus taught here.
I. There are many sins which will NOT send you to hell.
"… All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men…"
(NOTE - For each of the following categories of sin, ask the QUESTION - If you commit this sin will you go to hell?)
A. Lying will not send you to hell.
(Peter lied when he said he did not know Christ.)
B. Murder will not send you to hell.
(David, the man after God's own heart, was a murderer.)
(Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, consented to, and thereby participated in, the murder of Stephen.)
C. Adultery will not send you to hell.
(David committed adultery.)
(Samson committed adultery.)
And yet notice their names in the roll call of the heroes of faith - Heb 11:32 (KJV) And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
(The woman caught in adultery obviously committed this sin.)
Yet notice Jesus' words, "neither do I condemn thee…"
D. Stealing will not send you to hell.
(The thief on the cross obviously was guilty of this sin.)
Yet notice Jesus' words, "this day shalt thou be with me in paradise…"
E. Riotous living will not send you to hell.
(Else how could the prodigal son be given as such an example of forgiveness?)
F. Gossip will not send you to hell.
(Else many of us would be going there.)
ILLUS. "Pastor, my talent is speaking my mind." "Sister, I'm sure that's one talent the Lord wouldn't mind if you buried!"
ILLUS. "Pastor, I'd like to lay my tongue on the altar." "But Sister, the altar is only 50 fee long!"
G. Hatred will not send you to hell.
ILLUS. "Before I got saved, I used to hate my brother in law. I hated him so much that I wouldn't even have gone to his funeral. Now that I'm saved, though, I'm ready to go any day!"
H. Selfishness will not send you to hell.
(Else 99.999% of America would be going there.)
I. Pride will not send you to hell.
(Else ALL of us would be going there.)
II. There is ONLY ONE thing that will send you to hell.
"… but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness…"
A. The word.
QUESTION - What does this word mean?
"Blaspheme" means to speak evil of, revile, and rail upon.
QUOTE - It is "confined to speech defamatory of the Divine Majesty." (Vine)
QUESTION - What does this mean in a practical sense? How does one commit this sin? What thing or things might I do that would constitute this sin of blaspheming against the Holy Ghost?
B. The meaning.
1. Unbelief toward God.
Acts 18:6 (KJV) And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
ILLUS. Felix - Acts 24:25 (KJV) And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
ILLUS. Agrippa - Acts 26:28 (KJV) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
ILLUS. (Personal) - Man in Kent, "I SAID I'm not INTERESTED!"
ILLUS. Bumper sticker, "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it." WRONG - God said it, and that is what makes it truth!
ILLUS. "In 1938, a man with a home on the south shore of Long Island ordered himself a long-desired barometer from Abercrombie and Fitch, the famous new York City sporting goods store. The barometer arrived on the morning of September 21st and the owner proudly hung it up on the back porch. Half an hour later he took a peek at his high priced toy and was irritated to find the needle stuck at 'hurricane.' Quickly he sat down and wrote an angry letter to Abercrombie and Fitch, demanding a new barometer. When he returned home from the local post office after mailing the letter, he discovered that the barometer was missing. So was the house! September 21, 1938, it developed, was the day of the worst hurricane to ever hit Long Island." (From Bits and Pieces)
2. Mockery of His ability to save.
ILLUS. The scribes, again, are an example of this in verse 22.
ILLUS. Sennacherib is another illustration as he mocked God's ability to deliver Hezekiah and the Jews from his attack: 2 Chr 32:14-15 (KJV) Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand? Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?
QUESTION - Do we see such mockery today? Where? When you see someone do this, what does it make you think (feel)?
3. Refusal of His offer of salvation.
QUESTION - How is it possible that someone would refuse such an offer?
ILLUS. Many in the tribulation will say no to God's offer:
Rev 16:11, 21 (KJV) And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
ILLUS. Many today just say no to Christ:
QUOTE - When discussing the fact that Jesus died for him, Ted Turner said, "He shouldn't have bothered. I didn’t want him to die for me."
III. The Only Thing That Will Send You To Hell Is Rejecting Jesus Christ.
A. Unbelief if simply rejecting Christ.
1. If you believe, you won't reject Christ.
2. If you reject Christ, you won't believe.
B. Mocking His ability to save is simply rejecting Christ.
1. If you believe, you won't mock His ability to save.
2. If you mock, you don't believe.
C. Refusing His offer of salvation is simply rejecting Christ.
1. If you believe, you won't refuse His offer.
2. If you refuse His offer, you don't believe.
QUOTE - "The unforgivable sin is the sin of rejecting forgiveness." (Henry Jacobsen)
From Jesus' words today, we learn the awful extent of God's justice.
(But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation)
We learn that there is a place of eternal punishment for sin, and that place is hell. However, we also learn the wonderful truth that there is a way out. We learn the extent of God's grace!
(Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme )
We learn that the only sin that will send you to hell is rejecting Jesus Christ, and that is what was happening here with the scribes.
May God help us to examine our lives. May God help us to pray for our loved ones.
Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.