What Is The Unpardonable Sin?

Jul 7, 2014 by

What Is The Unpardonable Sin?

Christians really read to much into the following verses!

Mark 3:28-29 “Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

Luke 12:10 “And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

Many Christians worry about these verses and Jesus admonishments regarding an “unpardonable sin,” and they have a real fear that there is some intangible thing they could possibly do, that would separate them from God and His people for all of eternity.

Often, Christians say that the unpardonable sin that Jesus spoke of must be some kind of capital type sin, like murder or adultery. I have heard some say it could be abortion. But we know it can’t be any of those sins. We have the example of David in the Old Testament who committed both murder and adultery and was forgiven and was even referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.” We know that the unpardonable sin isn’t any particular sin, as the cross of Christ is powerful enough to forgive ALL sin. Jesus even said so in the above two verses when He said, “people can be forgiven ALL their sins.”

In order to see this comment of Jesus regarding the unpardonable sin in clear light we have to focus on the word “blasphemy.” Blasphemy means to “speak against” someone. Jesus was specifically talking about someone “speaking against” the Holy Spirit. We know His comments don’t apply to Himself as He said so directly and demonstrated it. He said in the Luke verse above that, “everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven.” He demonstrated that while on the cross after a brutal beating, while He was being mocked, He looked down and said, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” Jesus was clearly making forgiveness available to those who spoke against Him.

The real answer to this dilemma lies in focusing on the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of our sin and leads us into repentance. The Holy Spirit then indwells us as believers as we have now claimed the righteousness of Christ. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” The work of the Holy Spirit is essential to God’s elect putting their faith in Jesus. Any means of impeding that process would leave people isolated from Christ. Jesus was clearly having none of that by His words in the Mark and Luke verses above. Jesus’ warning on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is clearly a protection of the vital work of the Holy Spirit.

To bring this discussion to conclusion, it is important to understand what happened just before Jesus uttered His warning regarding blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. If you note, in the verses just prior to Mark 3:28-29 and Luke 12:10, Jesus had been driving out demons from people. The Pharisees then claimed that Jesus miracles were coming from the power of the Devil himself. Note the language in Mark 3:22, “And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” And note, Luke 11:15, “But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” Of course, Jesus power to do miracles was from the Holy Spirit. Jesus fully understood that and more, as He knew how crucial the power of the Holy Spirit would be after He was gone from the Earth, and the Holy Spirit would remain to convict people to His Gospel.

By saying that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit was an unpardonable sin, Jesus was essentially telling these Pharisees that they were very close to being lost. That there was going to be a point where no redemption would be available to them. That once they crossed that line, and impeded the work of the Holy Spirit, by disparaging the Holy Spirit, that they had essentially cut themselves off from any hope of salvation.

As such,

    BLASPHEMY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE INTENTIONAL ACT, BY EITHER WORD OR PEN, OF ASCRIBING THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO THE DEVIL, AND THEREBY IMPEEDING THE ABILITY OF OTHERS TO BE SAVED.

Finally, the unpardonable sin is not something we can do accidentally. It is something that would take considerable forethought and a very hardened heart. If you’ve ever worried about committing the unpardonable sin that is pretty good evidence that you’ve never done such. Once someone has been convicted to Christ their heart would be changed in such a fashion that they would be unable to commit the unpardonable sin. The Holy Spirit seals us and we are then sanctified, that is, “set aside” for God’s holy use. We are His!

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  1. sam

    i take the Mark 22 verses as a strong caution to not speak evil of a servant of the Lord Jesus who the Holy Spirit is working through also.
    you wrote “Once someone has been convicted to Christ their heart would be changed in such a fashion that they would be unable to commit the unpardonable sin.” Amazing grace that i have experienced in my life is that even before i had ever heard of the Holy Spirit and wasn’t born again, i always felt a check in my heart to not disparage people that were walking in the annointing of the Holy Spirit, even though they didnt seem like anyone i would ever want to be like or be around. Appreciate your posts

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