Opposing a Spiritual Response – Matthew 12:22-24

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Two professing Christian couples have stood in the way of allowing spiritual ministry to their children, and do not allow their children to have a positive spiritual response. One refuses to give, or allow anyone else to give, any biblical input to their children, saying, “We want them to make up their own mind.” An appeal was made to the other couple that, even if they wouldn’t attend any church, they could at least have Bible study at home. Their response was, “They already know everything they need to know about the Bible.”

When our Lord healed one who was blind, deaf, and possessed with a demon, the Pharisees publicly described the Savior saying, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of devils” (Matthew 12:24). Second Kings 1:3 reveals Beelzebub to be the false god of the Canaanites, and worshipping him was considered to be most vile of all demonic worship. The Jews in Jesus’ day associated this name directly with Satan (Mark 3:26). This was not the first time the religious leaders of Israel had opposed God’s messenger. They previously accused John the Baptist of having a demon (Matthew 11:18). Likewise, they had previously said the same of our Lord when He healed “a dumb man possessed with a devil” (Matthew 9:32-34). These Pharisees were becoming progressively more spiritually hardened and bold in their opposition of the Lord Jesus Christ. Stephen hit the nail on the head when describing them: “…Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).

It is a very dangerous thing to seek to turn others away from faith in, or faithfulness to, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord explained about those who do so, “…it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6). The same warning is issued again in Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2. These are stern warnings about eternal consequences for those guilty of negatively influencing, or preventing, spiritual ministry to others. For the lost, doing so will add to their sins and intensify their eternal punishment. For those who are saved but likewise hinder a spiritual response, surely there will be great accountability at the Bema Seat of Christ. We do well to warn those who oppose the cause of Christ that our Lord views this very seriously. Do you know someone with whom you should share this article?

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."