10 Things You Should Know About the Unpardonable Sin

“One of the questions I’m regularly asked is, ‘Pastor, can I commit a sin that God cannot forgive?’

According to Jesus, there is one sin a person can do for which there is no forgiveness or pardon either in this age or in the age to come: blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. But what does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit?”

Dr. David Jeremiah explains how the only way to understand these words is by seeing them within the context of the whole passage.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the “unforgivable sin” or “unpardonable sin”.

1. Jesus mentions the unforgivable sin in the gospel of Mark.

Jesus addressed the topic in Mark 3:20-30, a passage that ends with these words:  “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3:28-29).

This is the verse that gets quoted whenever Christians address this issue. But the passage doesn’t stop there.

2. To correctly understand the unforgivable sin passage, you need to look at the very last phrase.

Take a look again at Jesus’ finishing statement in verses 28-30: “‘Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation,’ because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”

This paragraph has been the source of great misunderstandings in Christendom. To arrive at the correct interpretation, we have to begin with the last phrase, which explains why Jesus made this statement. He gave this teaching because His foes were accusing Him of having an unclean spirit (verse 22). Our Lord was telling them, in essence, “There is a sin that you are on the verge of committing. You should be very careful, because you’re about to do something for which there is no forgiveness.”

3. The unforgivable sin is not a thoughtless mistake.

Let me take a moment and say the unforgivable sin isn’t something that someone commits randomly. The scribes who came from Jerusalem didn’t just do this on a whim. If you follow the references to these scribes throughout the book of Mark you’ll see there is a progression to their unbelief. They were initially curious about Jesus and His ministry. Then they had questions. In time, they grew indifferent; but then their indifference metastasized into a malicious attitude that became so hateful and vengeful that it ultimately nailed Jesus Christ to the cross.

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SOURCE: Crosswalk, David Jeremiah

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