What is the unpardonable sin?
Jesus teaches that all of our sins are forgiven when we come to Christ and when we ask for forgiveness. But there are a couple of passages that pique our interest when we talk about the possibility of not being forgiven.
In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus is casting out a demon that was making a man blind and mute (Matthew 12:22-32, see also Mark 3:22-30). When Jesus cast out the demon, the religious leaders complained that he was casting out demons by Beelzebub, another name for the devil.
Jesus pointed out a couple of principles. First, Satan works against himself if he sends a demon and then uses his authority through Jesus to cast it out. What was the point of sending the demon to that person in the first place?
Then, in Matthew 12:28-32, Jesus presents an even more serious point that if he casts out demons by the power of God’s Spirit, these religious leaders are in danger of committing the unpardonable sin, the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
He gets very specific when he says that if anyone commits the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, God will not forgive him (Matthew 12:31). This is a very serious offense from which there is no redemption, salvation, or forgiveness from God.
You might think that sounds way too harsh for God to be so forgiving on everything else and then not forgive this. But we must define with the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to understand his position.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is taking the works of the Holy Spirit and attributing them to the devil. This is what the religious leaders do when they claim that Jesus’ casting out of the demon is a work of Beelzebub, or the devil.
Anytime we take the work of the Holy Spirit and say that it is demonic that it comes from the devil, we commit the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Now many Christians suddenly worry about committing this unpardonable sin.
But we must understand that people committing the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit do not care that they commit it. If you are worried about accidentally doing this you are concerned that you have, my past oral answer is that you most likely have not.
The person who commits this sin against God’s Spirit has chosen long before they committed it that they no longer wish to be a Christian or trust in Jesus for salvation. They have already walked away in their heart from God.
The blasphemy in the Holy Spirit is the last sin that they commit after having decided to leave him. It is not easy to commit and you must have a very hard heart toward God to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. You have already changed allegiances to the devil and are serving him at that point.
So we must understand what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is and why God would not pardon those who would commit this sin. He will not pardon people who have blasphemed the Holy Spirit because they have already chosen to serve the devil and do not wish to come to faith in Christ. It is partly of their own choosing that would make it hard for God to forgive this sin..