The Unforgivable Sin
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3:28-30 ESV)
I have had many people come to me with sincere concern over friends and family members whom they feared had committed the “unpardonable sin” of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
One summer my brother spent some time with some of our cousins. Late one night the three teenage boys were talking, and this subject of the unforgivable sin came up. When one of them attempted to give an example of what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit meant, the other two gasped and said, “I can’t believe you just said that! It’s too late now- you just committed the unforgivable sin!” They let him sweat it out for a while before they relieved him of his fear of eternal torment. (Sick humor, I know, but we all got a laugh out of it.)
Humor aside, the subject is one to be understood and taken seriously. What exactly does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and is it really unforgivable?
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus’ words, is attributing the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit to satan and his demons.
When Jesus performed miracles and cast out demons the Pharisees accused Him of being motivated by demons. Jesus responded by saying: “How can Satan cast out Satan?” Then He gave this warning about blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
The Pharisees were not speaking out of ignorance, but out of arrogance. They knew better, but intentionally refused the truth.
Those who intentionally resist the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit will never experience that truth’s freedom.
Think about this:
No one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ, His Son. And no one can come to Jesus except that the Holy Spirit draw (or convince) him to do so.
Therefore, if one rejects and resists the ministry and voice of the Holy Spirit, he is rejecting the opportunity to know the Salvation that comes from the Father through Jesus.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, therefore, is not casual, but calculated. People don’t accidentally commit this sin, they willfully, rebelliously, and repeatedly reject the truth and the Person of the Holy Spirit. And as a result, they condemn themselves.
God never gives up on anyone. There is no one too far from His grace and mercy that He cannot rescue them. His Spirit speaks. His Spirit works. His Spirit convinces and gives hope. But we must receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit if we are to know forgiveness and freedom.
Yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit and He will draw you close to Jesus, who in turn will welcome you to a renewed relationship with Your Father.
Sin is not what sends people to hell. Jesus already paid the price for sin on the cross, and declared “Father, forgive them!” It is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior that condemns a person. And the only way to the Savior is through the Spirit.
I pray today for those who have become blinded to, and deafened from your Spirit. Open their eyes. Open their ears. Transform their hearts, and draw them to Jesus.
Father, make me more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit in my daily life. Help me to hear His whispers, to follow His direction, and to walk in the freedom of his truth.
Fill me with Your Spirit.
Lead me by Your Spirit.
Empower me by Your Spirit.
In Jesus’ name, amen.