The Unpardonable Sin
In Matthew 12: 31-32 we read of a sin that Christ said was not forgiven. In context, we see that Christ was speaking to the Pharisees and warning them that there was a sin that would never be forgiven man leading to spiritual death. This warning came because of their continued rejection of Christ and the allegation they made earlier of him that he cast out demons by Beelzebub (ruler of the demons). The allegation made by the Pharisees, the on-going rejection of the Son of God and the fact that Christ knew their thoughts (vs. 25) prompted Christ to warn of the eternal consequences.
The allegation that Christ was casting out demons as an agent of Satan was direct blasphemy against the Holy Spirit seeing that Christ acted as an agent of God. Blasphemy is an utterance or action that insults one. This is a broad term that can take on a lot of meanings. It can also mean divisive, damaging, contemptuous language and includes outward rejection of something. All of these depict the actions of the Pharisees toward Christ and later toward his Apostles who go out into the world to spread the Gospel. The Pharisees were speaking against and rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit, or that divine power through which Jesus expelled the demon. This was blasphemy.
Christ points out the seriousness of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit when He says such an act will not be forgiven (vs. 32). This is sometimes described by many as the unpardonable sin. Why willit not be forgiven? If men reject the Spirit inspired word of God there is nothing else to save them. The Hebrew writer makes this point in Hebrews 6:4-6.There we have an example of people who reject God’s sacrifice of His Son. The writer says it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. Why? Because they have rejected the only sacrifice that can cleanse them of their sins. Therefore, they will die in their sin without receiving forgiveness. The apostle John describes something similar in 1 John 5:16.
Every sin of which one repents can be forgiven. When one does not repent of their sin, as the Spirit inspired word teaches, that sin will lead to death (cf. Luke 13:3; Rom. 6:23). A sin leading to or resulting in death is a sin that one refuses to repent of. This is essentially a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, because it is a rejection of what the word of God requires us to do in order to obtain forgiveness. First John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.” According to the teaching of the inspired word of God, here and in other places, repentance and confession are necessary for a child of God to receive forgiveness. To refuse to follow this instruction is a rejection (blasphemy) of the word of God.
- Marc Hopkins