In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus addresses what we call the “Unpardonable sin.” In Mark 3:28 Jesus defines it as blaspheming the Holy Spirit. To understand the context we need to go to Mark 3:11 which says that “Wherever the unclean spirits saw Him, those possessed fell down before Him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God!’”
These demonic spirits had spiritual insight the religious leaders lacked. They accused Jesus of casting out demons with the power of Satan. Jesus refuted them with logic, telling them that Satan would not be casting his own out and that only One stronger than Satan could cast out demons. To the logical mind this would make sense. But in spite of what they could see with their eyes and reason with their minds, they refused to believe that He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
They were witnessing irrefutable evidence that Jesus was Who He claimed to be, evidence that God graciously demonstrated to them through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And yet they willfully and knowingly rejected this Holy Spirit empowered evidence, instead ascribing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan.
And that, says Jesus, is the sin that will not be forgiven, willfully and knowingly rejecting the truth about Jesus that God graciously reveals through the Holy Spirit. This is not merely a one time rejection. Many reject Jesus initially only to later accept Him as Savior. The unpardonable sin is rejecting God’s light of truth so often and so defiantly that someone goes beyond the point of no return, the point where they not only reject God’s revelation but become hardened against it, determined never to accept it.
Many Christians wonder if they have or could commit the unpardonable sin. The answer is: No. A Christian is a person who has responded to the Holy Spirit’s revelation of Who Jesus is. They have been convicted of their sin, repented and accepted God’s free gift of eternal life. The Holy Spirit or Spirit of Truth dwells in them. By virtue of the fact that they are indwelt by Him and have accepted His witness about Jesus, they cannot commit the unpardonable sin.
Jesus tells us in John 6:37, “Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.”
Article submitted by Calvin Wittman, General Editor for the Spring 2019 Explore the Bible resources.