This passage has perplexed many people through the years. What do you think Jesus meant?
In Matthew 12 and Mark 3, Jesus says,
“Understand this: all kinds of sin and evil speaking may be forgiven, but speaking evil of the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven. You may speak against the Son of Man and be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Not now. Not ever.”
The Unpardonable Sin
Many times I’ve had a worried believer ask me if they’d committed the unpardonable sin and now were going to hell.
My “evangelical bias” is to interpret this passage by telling them that the only unforgivable sin is to reject the Holy Spirit when He tries to convict you of sin and draw you to the Savior. This is a sin of the unbeliever, not the believer.
But where do I get that interpretation from Jesus’ words here? Is my theological bias being inserted into the passage?
The Pharisees are saying that Jesus has an evil spirit and that’s how He can say the things He says and do the things He does. They are attributing the work of God to Satan. This is what prompts Jesus to speak of the “unpardonable sin.”
The Pharisees were rejecting Jesus. Attributing the miracles Jesus did to Satan makes their rejection abundantly clear!
The miracles Jesus performed were used by God to prove to the people that He was the Messiah and to prompt them to put their faith in Him for salvation.
The Pharisees rejected Jesus’ proof and the Spirit’s prompting. Their hearts were hardened. They couldn’t receive forgiveness.
You can’t forgive a sinner who refuses to acknowledge their sin and doesn’t think Jesus has the authority to absolve sin. A sick person who refuses to believe they’re sick and thus refuses to go to the hospital can’t be healed by a doctor. They remain sick because of their own ignorance, stubbornness and neglect.
That’s my “evangelical bias” on the unpardonable sin. What’s yours?
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