Pastor James J. Barker

Text: LUKE 12:8-10


  1. Our Lord said in Luke 12:8, "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God."
  2. And our Lord said in Matthew 10:32, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven."
  3. In Revelation 3:5, our Lord said, "He that overcometh...I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels."
  4. Oliver Otis Howard (November 8, 1830 – October 26, 1909) was a United States Army officer, who served as a general for the Union Army in the Civil War.
  5. General Howard was known as the "Christian general" and "Bible-reading Howard" because of his outstanding Christian testimony.
  6. After the Civil War, General Howard was a leader in promoting higher education for former slaves, and he founded Howard University in Washington DC, and served as its president from 1867–73.
  7. One time, General Howard said to the evangelist R.A. Torrey, "Torrey, there was one proud day of my life, and that was when a vote of thanks was moved to me on the floor of Congress by the whole Congress for my stand at the Battle of Gettysburg."
  8. R.A. Torrey responded, "But what is it to be mentioned on the floor of any Parliament or Congress down here compared to being mentioned in the court of Heaven by the Lord Jesus Himself?"



  1. In our Lord's day, it cost something to confess faith in Christ. John 9:22 says people "feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue."
  2. And it is still the same way today in many Jewish families. And it is far worse in Muslim families. Even here in America, many Muslims who have converted to Christ have been killed by their own parents or their husbands or other relatives.
  3. They are called "honor killings.”
  4. John 12:42 and 43 says, "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
  5. That is the problem: "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:43).
  6. Way back in 1868 Spurgeon said, "Do you confess Christ in your business? You working men, do you confess my Lord and Master by fleeing those vicious and evil habits that are so common among your class? Are you no longer the lover of the lewd song? Do you no longer laugh over the indecent story, or the one that covers vile language? Have you foresworn the tavern, and all the company that frequents it? And you merchants, and you that call yourselves ladies and gentlemen, have you given up those frivolities, those empty vanities, those time murderers, those soul destroyers, of which the most of your class are so fond?"
  7. What a difference it could make if each and every person assembled here today with confess faith in Christ boldly and unreservedly!
  8. Charles Finney was a great evangelist and one of the prominent preachers during the Second Great Awakening (the great revival that swept through America in the early part of the 19th century -- about 1800-1840).
  9. Finney was preaching in Rochester, in upstate New York, and a great many lawyers came to hear him preach. One night, away up in the gallery, sat the Chief-Justice of the Court of Appeals for the State of New York.
  10. As he sat there listening to Mr. Finney's tremendous logic, the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals for New York State became convinced that what Mr. Finney preached was true and that he needed to come forward and get saved.
  11. But he started having doubts. The question came to him, "Will you come forward like the other ordinary men and women? You occupy the most exalted legal position in New York State; you are the Chief-Justice of the Court of Appeals; how would it look for you to walk down to the front of the auditorium seeking salvation and kneeling down on the floor?"
  12. He wrestled with this for a few minutes and then he said to himself, "Why not? I am convinced of the truth. I know my duty; why should I not do it like any other man?" He got up from his place in the gallery, and went down the stairway, and came up the stairs back of where Mr. Finney was preaching.
  13. Charles Finney announced to all those in the huge auditorium, "The Chief-Justice of the Court of Appeals for New York State has come forward for salvation. Will others come?"
  14. The news got around and almost every lawyer in Rochester was converted. It was reported later on that 100,000 people were converted in twelve months in the Rochester area.
  15. The apostle Paul said in Romans 10:9, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."
  16. Some people are critical of preachers giving invitations, but the Bible teaches the importance of confessing Christ before others (Luke 12:8).
  17. Moses gave invitations. In Exodus 32:26, Moses said, "Who is on the LORD'S side?"
  18. Elijah gave an invitation up on Mount Carmel. He said, "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him."
  19. "And the people answered him not a word" (I Kings 18:21).



  1. Matthew 10:33 says, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
  2. How sad this will be, when men stand before the throne of God, and the Lord Jesus denies them.
  3. Matthew 7:23 says the Lord will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
  4. Matthew 25:41 says He will say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
  5. It is very dangerous to deny the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 12:4, 5)!
  6. Matthew Henry said, "To deter us from denying Christ, and a cowardly deserting of his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, and treacherously depart from him, whatever they may save by it, though it were life itself, and whatever they may gain by it, though it were a kingdom, will be vast losers at last, for they shall be denied before the angels of God; Christ will not know them, will not own them, will not show them any favour, which will turn to their everlasting terror and contempt...a considerable part of the misery of damned sinners will be that the holy angels will abandon them, and will be the pleased witnesses, not only of their disgrace, as here, but of their misery, for they shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels (Rev. 14:10)."



  1. What a solemn warning!
  2. Many years ago Bible conferences were held at a beachside pavilion in southeast Texas. The pavilion had previously been used by young people for dance parties.
  3. One night Pastor A.C. Dixon was preaching on the ministry of the Holy Spirit when a group of worldly young people arriving, thinking there was a dance party.
  4. They were very disappointed when they found out there was no party. Some drove back to town, and some of them went down to the beach to swim. But one young man stayed to listen.
  5. As Dr. Dixon continued preaching on the Holy Spirit, the young man got up out of his seat, and said loudly enough for others to hear it, "The Holy Spirit be damned!"
  6. He then went down to the beach and climbed on top of the bath-house. Not realizing the tide was out and the water was shallow, he dove into the water, broke his neck, and died instantly (Luke 12:10 and 12:5).
  7. But committing this terrible sin is more than just cursing the Holy Spirit. According to John 15:26, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to bear witness to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. The Holy Spirit does this by convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).
  9. During our Lord's earthly ministry, the Holy Spirit bore witness especially through the miracles that Christ performed.
  10. The Jewish leaders, however, attributed those miracles to the power of Satan, not to the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Matthew 12:31, 32).
  11. This was what is referred to as "the unpardonable sin." These Jewish leaders had sufficient evidence from the Holy Spirit that Jesus was the Messiah, yet they denied Him and hardened their hearts against Him.
  12. To turn away from the light God gives results in a searing of the conscience and hardening of the heart that has no remedy.
  13. No remedy! Second Chronicles 36:16 says, "But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy."
  14. Proverbs 6:15 says, "Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy."
  15. Such a person has no capacity to repent.
  16. The judgment comes suddenly, but the hardening process goes on for over a period of time.
  17. Proverbs 29:1 says, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
  18. A person who has committed the unpardonable sin no longer has the capacity to repent.
  19. Some preachers say this sin cannot be committed today. They argue that since it specifically involved attributing Jesus’ miracles to Satan, it could only be committed during His life on earth.
  20. But even though the exact circumstances cannot be repeated today, the warnings still apply today.
  21. In other words, a person today can harden his heart until he reaches a point where he is hardened beyond remedy.
  22. This warning about committing the unpardonable sin is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but there are similar warnings found all throughout the Bible.
  23. Psalm 95:8 says, "Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness."
  24. This Scripture is quoted three times in the book of Hebrews (3:8, 15; 4:7).
  25. This means that many Israelites hardened their hearts when they wandered through the wilderness; and later when the Psalmist wrote Psalm 95, people were in danger of hardening their hearts; and according to the epistle to the Hebrews, people face the same danger today.
  26. Hardening the heart and resisting the convicting work of the Holy Spirit is the process that leads to committing the unpardonable sin.
  27. In Acts 7:51, Stephen said, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye."
  28. God only knows when a person crosses that invisible (invisible to man, but not to God) line, but when the Holy Spirit has been convicting a person of sin, and he rejects that witness, then he is in danger of committing the unpardonable sin.
  29. Some of the saddest words in Scripture are II Thessalonians 2:11 and 12 -- "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
  30. There are many people in Scripture who crossed that line and God gave them up. Pharaoh is a good example.
  31. If you study Exodus chapters 7--14, you read that Pharaoh kept hardening his heart and would not yield to God. But it also says God hardened Pharaoh's heart.
  32. In Exodus 10:28, Pharaoh said to Moses, "Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die."
  33. I believe at the point, Pharaoh reached the point of no return. "And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more" (Ex. 10:29).
  34. Three times in Romans 1, it says God "gave them up."
  35. We preachers often say the wicked sin of homosexuality will bring down the judgment of God upon America. However, if you study Romans 1, you see that homosexuality is the judgment of God. God has already judged America for its sin.
  36. Romans 1:28 says, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."
  37. When a person commits the unpardonable sin, God gives them over to a reprobate mind that is capable of engaging in the most disgusting types of immorality (Rom. 1:24, 26, 28).
  38. When sinners persist in unbelief, God withdraws the light he has given and the sinners become hardened in their unbelief. That is the unpardonable sin.



  1. I remember preaching on this subject one evening and an unsaved man left here very angry. I have not seen him since.
  2. I do not know if he crossed the line, but I do know this -- if he did he cross it, he will never get saved.


There is a time, I know not when, 
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men

To heaven or despair.


There is a line by us not seen, 
Which crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between

God’s patience and His wrath.


To cross that limit is to die, 
To die, as if by stealth,
It may not pale the beaming eye,

Nor quench the glowing health.


The conscience may be still at ease, 
The spirit light and gay.
That which is pleasing still may please,

And care be thrust away.


But on that forehead God hath set 
Indelibly a mark,
By man unseen, for man as yet

Is blind and in the dark.


And still the doomed man’s path below 
May bloom like Eden bloomed.
He did not, does not, will not know,

Nor feel that he is doomed.


He feels, he sees that all is well, 
His every fear is calmed.
He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell,

Not only doomed, but damned.


Oh, where is that mysterious bourn, 
By which each path is crossed,
Beyond which God Himself hath sworn

That he who goes is lost?


How long may man go on in sin, 
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin

The confines of despair?


One answer from those skies is sent, 
"Ye who from God depart,
While it is called today, repent,

And harden not your heart." – author unknown.

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