Things We Never Get Over

Matthew 12:31, 32; Hebrews 12:17

In Matthew 12: 31, 32, Jesus tells us that there is a sin against the Holy Ghost
for which a person can never pardoned.
Once having committed it, a person is lost and bound for eternity and without hope, forever.
Sermons may be preached to that person, and songs may be sung to that person,
and prayers may be prayed in that person's behalf – but all to no avail
He is lost here, and he is lost for the world to come.

Of course, all sins are against the Holy Ghost; but the Scripture speaks of one special sin.
There are those who fear that they are guilty of the unpardonable sin.
If you still have anxiety about your lost condition, then it is a good sign
that you haven't committed it.
That anxiety is a result of the movement of the Holy Spirit in your heart.
I can tell everyone here that there is salvation for all -- there is still "Room At The Cross For You."
        
As we look at Hebrews 12:17, I want us to focus our attention on the fact
that there are sins which, though they may be pardoned, will still bring forth dire consequences.

We remember that Esau had been given a birthright.
In those days, this was not only a temporal but it was also a spiritual blessing.
One day Esau took his birthright and traded it off for something to eat.
This was so foolish!

But we shouldn't be too severe on Esau, for some of us may have committed the same folly.
After he had made the trade, he wanted to get it back.
This is just as though – tomorrow – you would take all of your money out of the bank,
all of your stocks and bonds and titles of ownership of all you own,
and go to a restaurant and throw it on the counter for a plate of food.

That was in all realty what Esau did.
He sold his birthright for a mess of pottage, and he was very sorry about it afterwards;
but "he found no place for repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears."
(Hebrews 12:17)

There is an impression in the mind of some that somewhere in the future
there will be an opportunity where they can correct all their mistakes.
I want to impress upon you that there are things done wrong that always stay wrong,
and you might like to change it but it cannot ever be changed – it cannot ever be corrected
– it cannot be put back together again.

There are things we never get over!

One is the folly of misspent youth.
We might look back to our school days and remember how we neglected our studies.
history, math, chemistry, physics, and others – and we are sorry for that all the rest of our lives.
We will never get the discipline or the advantage that we would have had if we have been faithful
to those responsibilities in our youth.

Forty years later, we wake up and find that our youth has been wasted,
and many will strive to recapture it.
We can't get them back!
We might think that if we could just have another chance, we would improve this time.
But we can never get them back – they are gone, gone, gone!
We will never get over some of the mishaps that have come to us as a result of our neglect
of our early responsibilities.
We cannot undo these things.

A person at the age of 50 says: "I wish I could get over these habits of smoking, drinking,
laziness, etc
."
When did you get them?
You got them at 20 or 25 years of age, and you cannot shake them off.
They still hang on, and will continue until the day of your death.

Some years ago I visited a man who was a member of our church who had a habit
of drinking alcoholic drinks for many years, and now he was in his fifties.
I was visiting him because he had cirrhosis of the liver.
The disease was killing him; his stomach was swollen, and he was dying.
He was now a dedicated, consecrated Christian, and he was mourning over his early sins,
but that did not stop the spread of disease nor its deadly consequence.

The simple fact is that of men and women often take 20 years of their life to build up influences
that require all the rest of their life to break down.
Some talk about a person beginning life when he is 18 or 21, but in many respects
that is the time that they close their life.

In nine cases out of 10, all the questions of eternity are decided before that.
The next 50 years are not as pivotal as the first 20.
Most major decisions about life are already made by the age of 20 to 25.
Some never get over the sins of youth.

Life is not something to be frittered away.
Life is not something to be smirked about, but it is something to be weighed heavily
in the scales of eternity.
In so many cases, the sin of last night – the sin of tonight – will extend
over the next 10,000 plus years.
If this is true of you, you may say after awhile, "I am very sorry.
Now I am 30 years of age, and I wish I had never committed those sins
."

Thank God, He will pardon those sins, but undoing those things is
something you will never be able to do.

Parental neglect is something we never get over.
In this same category of irrevocable mistakes, we can put all kinds of parental neglect.
Most parents began the education of their children too late.
By the time they get to be 10 or 15 years of age, the parents wake up to their mistakes,
and try to eradicate the bad habits of their child, but it is too late.

That parent who doesn't make an impression for Christ on their child in the first 10 years
will probably never make it.
The child will probably go along with all the disadvantages which might have been avoided
by parental faithfulness.

Another thing that parents can never get over is putting off their relationship to Jesus Christ
late in their life.
For instance, here is a man who is 50 years of age, and says, "I will become a Christian."
So he gives his heart to Jesus Christ, and now he worships each week in the house of God,
and he is a Christian and no one can doubt it.

He goes home and says to his family, "Here I am at 50 years old,
and I have given my heart to Jesus Christ.
Now I must establish a family altar.
"
But where are the children?
One is in their city, and another is in another state, and at the age of 50,
he is going to establish a family altar.
That's wonderful!
But what a crying shame that it wasn't done 25 years ago.

I have read about a picture that was displayed in a shop window in a city of Switzerland.
It was a picture of an accident that had occurred on the side of one of the Swiss mountains.
A group of travelers with experienced guides was climbing up
some very steep places on the mountain.
They were all fastened together with rope around their waste, so that if one slipped,
the rope would hold him for the rope was fastened to others.

Passing along the most dangerous point, one of the guides slipped,
and they all slipped down the precipice.
But after awhile, one large muscular man struck his heels into the ice and stopped;
but the rope broke, and all the rest of the group went down thousands of feet to their death.

We know entire families bound together by ties of love and affection,
and in many cases are walking on slippery places of worldliness and sin.
The father knows it, and the mother knows it, and they are all bound together.
The problem is that they have no strong life-line rope.

After a while, they begin to slide down farther and farther.
And the father stops, and plants his feet on the "Rock of Ages."
He stops, but the rope breaks, and those who had been tied to him
by moral and spiritual influences go over the precipice.

Some years ago, our chairman of deacons and I were visiting in our community.
We passed by a house, and he told me that his son and family lived there.
He also expressed how sad he was that his son and his family were not Christians,
and would not even attend church.

Then, this chairman of deacons told me that when his children were growing up,
he was an alcoholic.
Later, he trusted Jesus as his Saviour, and had lived a dedicated life for God for many years.
He said, "My son is living like I lived back in those days, and no matter what I say to him,
he is not interested.
It breaks my heart that he's following my example that I gave him many years ago.
He is not interested in my example that I am giving him today
."

Many parents wake up and the latter part of their life to see and understand their mistakes
made years ago.
The parent says, "I have been too lenient," or "I have been too severe all my children."
"If I had the little ones around me again, how different I would be and do."
But they will never be around like they were when they were small.
The work is done – their behavior and character are set.

How do you suppose that father felt as he leaned over the bed of his dying son to hear him say?
"Father, you have been good to me.
You have taught me so much.
You taught me how to ride a bicycle – you taught me how to – …
You have given me a fine education.
You have enabled me to enjoy so many social advantages.
You have done everything for me in a worldly sense.
But, father, you have never told me how to die.
Now I am dying, and I am lost
."

Think of all the unkindness that we have done even to those we love.
A little boy sits on the lap of his mother after being naughty, and the mother said:
"Son, you'll be sorry for that when I am gone."

One mother told her five year old son that she wished that he had never been born.
That boy grew up with hatred and rage in his heart for himself and for everyone else.
He was always in trouble with the law.

Parents can say impulsive, hurtful things that cause deep wounds to those they love
when they really need and deserve kindness.
How many parents have thought or said: "If only we could get back those unkind words
and those unkind deeds.
If only we could recall them
."

But we cannot get them back!
There are those who stand over the grave of a loved one, and cry, and cry, and cry.
We cannot get them back!

Lost opportunities for doing good are things we never get over.

I never come to the end of a day, and think back through the day without remembering
how many opportunities I missed for doing good.
I never come to the end of a week or the end of the year without thinking of missed opportunities.
I've gone home after many Sunday Services thinking that I could have said that
– or I could have welcomed that person – or I could have done something differently
and more effectively.

How is it with you?
What have you done with the opportunities that God has given you?
What have you done the many great blessings – your talents, your abilities, your good job,
your good salary, your good living …
How has it been with you?

Today, we have the opportunity to make things right.
If we reject that opportunity, it could be that we shall "find no place for repentance,
though we seek it carefully with tears
." (Hebrews 12:17)

Another thing we never get over is lost opportunities for usefulness.

There comes a time when we can do a good thing for Jesus Christ.
Why do we preach, why do we teach, why do we serve in responsibilities in the church,
why do we sing in the choir?
The answer should be that we do these things for Jesus Christ.

There is a time when we can give words of salvation to the one we love.
Those times don't come too often, but when they do, we must witness to them of Jesus.
There is a time when you plant, and there is a time when you reap.
There is a time when you must plant good words, etc. -- in the heart of your loved one.
When you try to get that opportunity back, you find that you cannot

I stand before those who have a glorious birthright.
Esau's was not as rich as yours.
The world would take it from you, and Satan would rob you of it.
What are you doing with your birthright?

Something that you will never get over is that if you miss the opportunity to be saved.

For years I have stood in church services and urged unsaved men and women
and boys and girls to give their hearts to Jesus.
I am so happy to say that many have yielded their hearts to Jesus
Many have come to Christ, and are prepared for eternity and will live in heaven forever.

But there are some here who are not prepared to meet God.
There are some who have heard the gospel invitation many times throughout the years
who are not yet prepared for eternity.

I read of a young man traveling on a ship called the Arctic many years ago.
His name was Stewart Holland.

In a very heavy fog the ship crashed into an iceberg, and the ship began to sink.
Some of the passengers got off safely in the lifeboats,
but 300 drowned in the bottom of the ocean.
During all those hours of calamity, Stewart Holland found a signal gun,
and shot it up into the sky across the sea.

The engineer fainted, the captain left his place, and some prayed while some cursed.
But Steward Holland continued to shoot the signal gun into the sky.

There are many around us who are in danger.
Sadness and sorrow are coming to them.
Death is just around the corner and is certain to come.
Judgment is coming, and that is for certain.

Some have gotten into the lifeboat, and they are safe in Christ
But others are not making any attempt to escape, and the boat of life is sinking
and sinking more each day.
Christians, you and I have the signal gun of the Gospel, and we must sound the alarm:
"Now it is the accepted time;
Now is the day of salvation
."

Lost person, it is time to "flee from the wrath to come."
Jesus is waiting!
He stretches out His arms and says,
"Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

That is what you need!
That is what you need when you are sinful, tempted, bruised, and dying without Jesus.
Receive Jesus Christ now so that you may live in heaven instead of hell.
Receive Jesus Christ now so that all your sins will be forgiven.

For if you do not receive Jesus Christ, you will never be forgiven.
This may be your last opportunity to come to Jesus.
This may be your last day of life.
Tomorrow may never come!
Decide now to come to Jesus!

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.


Sermon adapted from several sources by Dr. Harold L. White