Sermon #1098 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: ARE YOU RESISTING THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Text: Acts 7:51
Subject: The Sin of Resisting The Spirit of God
Date: Sunday Morning – August 1, 1993
I want you to listen very carefully to the introduction to this message. It is important. The title of my message today is this – ARE YOU RESISTING THE HOLY SPIRIT? That is the question I want to address.
There is a poem preachers commonly quote, by which they try to pressure sinners into a profession of faith. It goes something like this –
“There is a time, I know not when,
There is a place I know not where,
When every man crosses a line
To salvation or to despair!”
Another popular, “invitational hymn” goes like this –
“There is a line that is drawn by rejecting our Lord,
When the call of the Spirit is lost!
As you hurry along with the pleasure mad throng,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?”
Let me say this at the outset – I deplore high pressure evangelism! We are not selling a product to men which they may never have another opportunity to buy! I am not interested in getting men and women to profess faith in a Savior they do not know, need, or want!
1. Sinners come to Christ because they trust him and want him as Savior and Lord, not because they may never have another opportunity to get saved.
2. Sinners come to Christ because they have seen his glory in redemption and love him, finding in him their souls! Comfort and delight, not because they are afraid not to. The fear of hell, and wrath, and condemnation is not the basis of faith!
3. No one is ever forced against his will to come to Christ. All who trust the Son of God and come to him in faith do so willingly! “Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life freely?” “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power!”
However, there is a warning sounded in the Word of God that needs to be sounded in this day. There is a danger about which you must be warned. It is the danger of resisting the Holy Spirit, the danger of trifling with divine truth. It is written in the Scriptures – “He, that being after reproved hardeneth his neck, shall be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy!” (Pro. 29:1).
Proposition: This is my warning to you – If you trifle with God Almighty and the gospel of his grace, if you hear and yet despise the gospel of God’s dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, you are flirting with judgment and courting the wrath of God! “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”
Divisions: I want to show you three things in this message.
1. There is such a thing as resisting the Holy Spirit.
2. All men and women by nature resist the influence of God the Holy Spirit, and do so constantly.
3. No one can resist the saving operations of the Spirit of God.
I. There is such a thing as Resisting the Holy Spirit – (Acts 7:51)
In his sermon to the Jewish Sanhedrin Stephen said, “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
Here Stephen declares that the people to whom he was preaching and their fathers resisted the Holy Spirit. You can do one of two things with this text. You can fold your arms, stop your ears, and ignore it, saying, “I’m a Calvinist, I’m a sovereign gracer, I believe in irresistible grace!” Or, you can ask God the Holy Spirit to teach you the meaning of the text.
I want to know what the text means. I want to know what God is saying to me in this text of Scripture. I’ve asked the Spirit of God to give me an understanding of it, and he has. Are you interested in hearing it? There is such a thing as resisting the Holy Spirit; and it is a very dangerous thing to do so.
A. It is possible for men and women to so sin against the light of Holy Scripture that the light they have is taken away and becomes darkness to them – (John 12:35-36).
Light despised becomes darkness in the soul. “While ye have the light, believe in the light!”
Illustration: D. Pruitt.
B. It is possible for men and women to so persistently reject the truth of the Gospel that God gives them a refuge of lies and leaves them to perish in the false comfort of a false hope (II Thess. 2:10-11).
Do you see what Paul is saying?
· “Because they received not the love of the truth”…
· “That they might be saved…” If they had received it they would have been saved by it!
· “God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
Illustration: D. Helman – D. Bradly – P. McCormack
C. It is possible for men and women to be so given over to idolatry, religious superstition, wickedness, and corruption, that God will give them up completely to the evil of their hearts and minds – (Rom. 1:24-28).
Because of idolatry God gave them up…
1st To Uncleanness (v. 24).
2nd To Vile Affections (v. 26).
3rd To a Reprobate Mind (v. 28).
D. So, while God is able to save whom he will by his Almighty sovereign grace, even in the eleventh hour these Scriptures make it evident that there is such a thing as resisting the Holy Spirit.
It is possible for sinners to so resist the Spirit of God that they become reprobate and damned, even while they live. Esau did (Heb. 12:16-17). Ephraim did (Hos. 4:17). The Jews did (John 12:39-40).
1. To be cut off by God is to be damned!
2. To be judicially blinded is to be damned!
3. To be reprobate is to be damned!
4. To be gospel hardened is to be damned!
You would be wise to consider the possibility that if you continue to thumb your nose at God, he may just cut you off! And if God cuts you off, you will perish forever.
E. There is An Unpardonable Sin – The Blaspheming of The Holy Ghost (Matt. 12:31-32).
This unpardonable sin, this blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is to reject a clear revelation by God the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 16:13-14).
To refuse the witness of the Spirit to refuse the revelation of Christ in the gospel is unforgivable!
F. There is a Sin Unto Death (I John 5:16).
1. All our sins are deserving of death.
2. Thank God, in Christ there is mercy, grace, and forgiveness!
3. But there is a sin unto death that leaves men in death and results in eternal death – That sin is willful unbelief! That sin is to reject Christ! That sin is to refuse Christ as Savior and Lord!
Illustration: God took the fig-leaf from Adam and gave him another garment (The Righteousness of Christ!). The sin unto death is for man to discard the righteousness of Christ and put on the fig-leaf garments of self-righteousness!
There is such a thing as resisting the Holy Ghost. Are you resisting the Spirit of God? I know this too –
II. All men and women by nature Resist The Influences of God The Holy Spirit that Ought to Bring them To Repentance, and Do Son Constantly.
Stephen said to his audience, and I am saying to you who yet persist in your rebellion and unbelief, “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye!”
This is not something that sinners do occasionally, but something that all sinners do constantly.
· Noah’s Generation did It – (Gen. 6:1-3).
· Nehemiah’s Generation did It – (Neh. 9:16, 26, 29, 30).
· Some of you are doing it!
A. What is it? How does a Sinner Resist the Holy Spirit?
To resist the Holy Ghost is…
1. To Ignore the Word of God!
2. To Ignore the Judgments of God! (Providential Warnings).
3. To Ignore the Voice of God, the Influences of God The Holy Spirit in Your Heart and Soul!
B. Why Do Sinners Resist The Holy Ghost?
Stephen tells us plainly – (Acts 7:51) – “Stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears!”) Men and women constantly resist the Holy Ghost, you who believe not the gospel resist the Holy Spirit, because…
1. Your heart is hard, dead, and filthy – Uncircumcised!
2. Your ears are deaf – You cannot hear and understand the things of God.
3. You have inherited the foolish, rebellious nature of your fathers.
4. You resist him because you have a nature to do so, and have no nature to receive him (John 3:3-7). You have not been born again!
In order for a sinner to be saved something more must be done for him. He must have more than the influences of the Holy Spirit. He must be operated upon by the Holy Spirit. It is not enough to have grace preached to you. Grace must be wrought in you, or you will never be saved! If a person is blind, it will not help him one bit to replace the 15 watt bulb with a 500 watt bulb. His problem is he cannot see! He must be given eyes, or he will never see! Even so, the sinner must be given a heart to believe, ears to hear, and eyes to see, or he will never believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet, your rejection of the gospel, your unbelief is your own fault. You are lost because you choose not to trust Christ, you choose not to surrender to the rule of Christ. God the Holy Spirit calls you to Christ by the gospel I am preaching to you.
· You know who Christ is!
· You know what He has done for sinners!
· You know where Salvation is found!
· You know how to Obtain it!
· Yet, you resist the Holy Ghost!
C. What will be the Result of Resisting The Holy Ghost?
God help you to hear me now. Unless God intervenes, the result of your resisting the influences of his Spirit and his free affairs of grace to you in the gospel, if you persist in doing so, will be your everlasting destruction (Pro. 1:23-33).
God himself will turn against you as an enemy. If you fight against God, he will fight against you (Isa. 63:10).
It is my prayer that you will be made to know and experience more than the influences of the Holy Spirit. May you this day be made to experience the saving operations of God the Holy Spirit in his irresistible grace! Be sure you hear this last point in my message.
III. No One Can Resist The Saving Operations Of God The Holy Spirit.
Bless God, there are some sinners in this world from whom God will not take “no” for an answer! (Ps. 65:4; 110:3).
· Saul of Tarsus resisted the Holy Ghost, but he was apprehended by grace!
· Mephibosheth resisted David, but he was fetched to the king!
· Gomer resisted Hosea until she could not resist him!
· The Prodigal resisted his Father until he had to return to him!
· Onesimus resisted the gospel until God arrested him!
· You and I resisted the Holy Ghost until he raised us from the dead by his mighty operations of grace (Eph. 2:1-4).
Illustration: Dead Lazarus resisted all the tears of family and friend, but not the voice of the Son of God.
The Operations of God the Holy Spirit are Works of Irresistible Grace!
A. Regeneration (John 3:8).
B. Faith (Col. 2:12).
C. Repentance (Zech. 12:10).
D. Conversion (Ps. 65:4).
E. Preservation (Eph. 1:13-14).
Application: Ezek. 37 – Dry bones “Live!”