Part 2. “…in the age to come.”
In the second half of this teaching we will address what Jesus said about not being forgiven in the age to come, which is the key portion of scripture that has Christians all twisted up in their belief. Let’s start by reviewing our main text;
Matthew 12:25-37 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
The Unpardonable Sin
31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who 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 age to come.
A Tree Known by Its Fruit
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
In this part of the lesson we will start with the phrase that we see in Matthew 12:32. “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” This is the part that throws people for a loop because they immediately think of losing salvation, or missing out on heaven. First, we will look at the New Testament and see what has been accomplished through Jesus sacrifice, and then we will look at the Old Testament for scriptural precedent, and example of the unpardonable sin. Any principle that you find about Christ or His Kingdom in the New Testament, you will also be able to find in the Old, in type or example. The Old Testament was written to tutor us to faith in Christ Galatians 3:24 , so the type and shadow of what Jesus is talking about can always be found in the Old Testament in some form.
The King James version says “neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” The second word; “world” (KJV) or the second word; “age” (NKJV) is not in the original Greek text. The Young’s Literal Translation is fairly accurate. It says; “it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is coming.” The Original Greek uses the word “mello” for the last phrase, which implies an expectation of something intended or promised, so it should read something like this:
Matthew 12:32 (my paraphrase) And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man it can be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, not in this age, in that which is expected to come.
Where we have missed it, is in our understanding of what is meant by; ”neither in this world, neither in the world, or age to come.” The age to come” is talking about heaven, but not eternal judgment of hell. It’s talking about the judgment seat of Christ. the promise of reward that is attained by faith from operating within the Kingdom of God on earth. Only works that are done in “the faith” will receive rewards in heaven.
Here is what this looks like: You faithfully attend church, give of your time, talent, and resources, you are faithful to the work of the ministry and even help to bear fruit in the Kingdom of God leading people to Christ. This would appear to be worthy of heavenly reward. In fact, you are waiting to hear the Lord say, “well done good and faithful servant,” but if you have denied the work of the Holy Spirit and continue to live your life by law and works, believing that your reward is based on your performance, you will have no reward at the judgment seat of Christ because your works were done in the flesh and not in faith.
Not submitting to the righteousness of God is denying the Holy Spirit’s work in you and is blasphemy against Him. This will not be forgiven when you stand before Christ at His judgment seat. You will go to Heaven, but you will not go with rewards. You can be a zealous, on fire for God Christian and still miss it when it comes to submitting to righteousness and cooperating with the Holy Spirit. This has been a common problem for the Church from the very beginning. Look at what Paul said about the Jews in Romans 10.
Romans 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Obviously Paul’s heart was going out to these Jews because he saw that they were sincere in there zeal and love for God, but they were ignorant of the righteousness of God that was given to us through Christ. Not knowing that the righteousness of God was available to them, they continued to try and establish their own righteousness through the works of the Law. This will only produce a sin consciousness.
There are too many well meaning, sincere Christians that are in the same boat as these Jews. They are ignorant of the fact that they have been made righteous, and that sin no longer has power over them. They still believe that how close they are to God depends on how good they are performing. Through trying to be good, and do good, struggling to NOT sin, they try to establish their own righteousness instead of submitting to the righteousness of God. This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. There is no other sacrifice that can make them any more righteous. They are holy and blameless in God’s sight.
The problem is that they don’t believe they are holy and blameless. They believe that if they fall into sin they are worthy of judgment and have fallen from righteousness. They allow their selves to be condemned and they become a landing strip for demonic activity that keeps them deceived and oppressed with the lie that they are not good enough. The truth is, they are good enough, not because of what they did, but because of what Jesus did. To refuse to believe that Jesus sacrifice was enough is blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It is being a house divided, it is calling the tree that Jesus made good, a bad tree. it is the cycle of sin consciousness.
“Unbelief in what God has said about you is blasphemy. When you refuse to believe your creator, you are in essence, calling Him a liar. When God says, “I have removed the sin problem” and you still live as though sin determines your ability to approach God, you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit.”
Let’s settle this terrible lie once and for all with the scriptures.
Romans 11:27 For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.
1 John 3:5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.
Here is the picture the scapegoat that was led out into the wilderness, never to return. Jesus is our scapegoat for sins, yet he was resurrected from the dead.
Jeremiah 31:34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Hebrews 10:17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
God has perfect forgetfulness! If He forgets them, why should we continue to allow the devil to condemn us or why should we continue to condemn ourselves?
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake;
And I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions,
And like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.
The stain of breaking God’s law is completely removed. It was transferred from us to Jesus on the cross.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
The word “propitiation” speaks of Jesus being a substitute. Jesus offered himself as one sacrifice for ever for our sins.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
Ephesians 2:14 -16 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Sin has been condemned, abolished, taken away. We must learn to live our lives unto God as though sin does not exist. This is the first step in living unto righteousness. This is making the tree good. This is submitting to God and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us to the point that even the desire to act out in sin gets removed from our life. This is living righteous conscious and not sin conscious. This is why Christ died.
If we don’t settle in our hearts the revelation that the sin the problem has been taken care of, we will not be able to function in our Kingdom authority. We will continue to trust in our own ability to live righteous, and by default, we will blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
Sin consciousness establishes our identity as unforgiven, guilty, and worthy of judgment. It believes we still have the need for redemption. It sends a message that Jesus sacrifice was not enough to buy us back from the fall of man. It inevitably leads us to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. If we continue to live like this, we may still do works for the Kingdom of God, but it will be in our own strength, through our own righteousness, and when we get to the judgment seat of Christ, this will not be forgiven. We will lose our rewards.
The Judgment Seat of Christ
Romans 14:10-12 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The judgment seat of Christ, involves believers giving an account of their lives to Christ. The judgment seat of Christ does not determine salvation; that was determined by Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf (1 John 2:2) and our faith in Him (John 3:16). All of our sins are forgiven, and we will never be judged or condemned for them (Romans 8:1). The judgment seat of Christ is not God judging our sins, but rather Jesus judging our faith in what He accomplished. (1 Corinthians 9:4-27; 2 Timothy 2:5)
So many Christians “serve” in the church without ever understanding love. Love will never be understood without intimacy with the Father. The greatest thing about salvation is the ability to get close to God and become one with Him, just like a marriage. Until we achieve, or at least pursue that kind of relationship, we don’t truly understand faith and we will gravitate towards doing thing for God and call that love. It is a deception that is rampant throughout the church. The truth is, you can be a Pastor, a faithful giver, prophesy in Jesus name, cast out devils, heal the sick, and still miss the whole point of why you are saved. The purpose of your salvation is to know Him and be transformed to His likeness.
The first example we look at is Israel, wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and not entering into the Promised Land. This is just one of the many “types” in the Old Testament of blasphemy and not being forgiven in this world or the world to come. They were delivered from the bondage of slavery with a promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. They started the journey, they began the process of entering the Promised Land, but because of their unbelief, (blasphemy) brought judgment upon themselves and never entered in to the fullness of what God had promised them. They never received their reward, even though it was promised. Why? The Bible says that their words were stout against God. (blasphemy)
Malachi 3:13-14 “Your words have been harsh against Me, ”Says the Lord, “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts?
This brings us back to our main text. In the last portion, Matthew 12:37. It says: “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Israel condemned themselves by speaking blasphemy against God. It caused them to wander aimlessly for 40 years in a dry desert on a trip that should have taken less than two weeks.
Every Jew from that generation died without obtaining the promise from God. Entering the Promised Land was their right. God gave them His infallible, unchangeable Word, yet through their unbelief, they disqualified themselves from entering that promise. God repeatedly confirmed that they were His chosen, favored people, the children that He loved with all of His heart. Children that He prepared a wonderful inheritance for. The Promise Land is where God’s abundant provision, protection, and favor are accessible. The place where God’s children enter into, and receive their full inheritance, but because of their words and actions of unbelief, judgment came instead. They never walked in what they were destined for.
Israel started out strong, confident, with great expectation, but when hardship arose or it seemed to take too long, they cast away their confidence and spoke against the promise.
This is a clear picture of the present day church. Christians are faced with the same dilemma today. The Kingdom of God is the Promise Land. It’s where the King’s resources, healing, protection, provision, and power are available. Not believing that He loves us, that He has changed us, and that He is for us, shows up in the way we talk and act, and it keeps us from entering the Promised Land.
The Promised Land is not a physical place, but a spiritual Kingdom that resides within you. It is the realm of the King that is in your heart. It is the place within your heart and mind that God has absolute rule, complete authority.
Israel saw God’s manifested presence and provision constantly. and yet they continued to question God and declare that they wanted to return to the place they were delivered from. Egypt was the place where they were in slavery. Countless times they disobeyed and despised God’s leading and provision. They spoke against God and His leaders, never believing that God was going to do what He said. They were faithless, even in the sight of some of the most spectacular signs and miracles ever recorded. They constantly “spoke against” (blasphemy) God and his leaders. Even though they had a promise of a new and wonderful land, they died before ever walking in it because of their blasphemy.
Israel is a type of the modern Church, and the Promised Land is a type of the Kingdom of God. Christians that get saved and try to “be good” in their own strength will continue to indulge in their old lifestyle, gravitate to old habits and old thought patterns, and eventually desire their old life more than God. By not counting themselves dead to sin and alive to God, engaging Him in relationship, they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
” Instead of the relationship of sons and daughters, we embrace the religion and legalism of hired servants. This is not God’s plan.”
Galatians 4:6-10 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of[ God through Christ. 8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Just like Israel, some Christians will want to turn back to the slavery of sin. Why is that? Because they haven’t submitted to the righteousness of God. Instead, they try to establish their own righteousness by struggling to do good and be good. Not realizing that they have embarked on an impossible task, they soon become discouraged and downcast because of the complete futility of their endeavor. They look at the bad fruit on their tree and get confused, calling their tree bad, and blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
You are a good tree. Jesus made you that way at the new birth. As long as you keep calling the tree good you are not capable of producing bad fruit. Remember. where there is no law, there is no transgression. (Romans 4:15) However, if you choose to live by the law anyway, you will be judged by the law and you call the tree bad after Jesus has made it good. You blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
Now consider Moses, the leader of God’s people, God’s chosen man. A man of tremendous faith and power. The Bible says that he didn’t sanctify God in the sight of God’s people. Moses was punished for blasphemy. Striking the rock instead of speaking to it is symbolic of what Christians do today. The Rock is Jesus, the water is a type of Holy Spirit. Striking the rock is a type of Jesus being stricken, smitten of God, wounded for our transgressions. (Isaiah 53:4-5) and Jesus only had to make that sacrifice ONCE!
Hebrews 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
When Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it, it was a type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The rock was struck years before. This time Moses was commanded to speak to the rock, but struck it again instead. This is a type of wounding Jesus a second time for our sins. It is a type of the Church not believing that Jesus blood was enough to make us holy and acceptable.
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, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 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.
Numbers 20:10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?”
Notice the words “shall we.” Moses is acting as if He and Aaron are the responsible party for the miracles rather than acknowledging God as the cause. They are taking the credit when the credit belongs to God. Shall we bring you water from this rock yet again? This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This blasphemy is not forgiven, Moses pays for this sin by not being allowed into the promised land. Moses lost his reward. When we try to take credit for our righteousness, we do the same thing. When we choose to live by the law instead of by the Spirit, we do the same thing.
It is also why Jesus never takes credit for His miracles, but acknowledges that nothing He does is of Himself. He says the power is not His. Instead He points to the Father as the reason for all that He says and all that He has done. He claims that the Spirit is within him. He says the Father is with Him and He does the works.
These are just a few Old Testament types of the unpardonable sin. I hope this teaching sheds light on this topic, as well as the righteousness of God and what is available to us as Christians. I welcome any questions, comments or insights. God bless you.