Mark 3: The Unforgivable Sin

Mark 3: The Unforgivable Sin

I cannot begin to recall all the times over the last 25 years when I was asked about what is called “the unforgivable sin.” Tragically, some contacted me in near-paralyzing fear that they had committed the sin that would hopelessly and forever damn their souls.

I’ve heard respected men preach that the unpardonable sin is to die outside of Christ or make similar cases. I have read several commentaries and other helps and disturbingly few let the Bible answer for itself.

The matter of blaspheming the Holy Spirit is found in all three of the synoptic gospels (Matt 12, Mark 3, Luke 12), but only Mark’s account is explicit in detailing exactly what constituted the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Specifically, Mark says, “because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit’” (v 31).

In the context, there were some who were so opposed to Jesus that they were willing to ignore His undeniable power over Satan and his demonic minions. Instead, they foolishly and illogically ascribed to the Lord an allegiance with Satan by which He cast out demons (v 22).

Jesus quickly jumped on this error, saying, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end” (vv 23-26).

Thus, according to the very words of Jesus and Mark’s explanation, to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to witness the miraculous power of Jesus in casting out demons and ascribing said power to an alliance with the Devil.

Only the hardest and most impenetrable of hearts could be so unbelieving and foolish so as to commit such a sin.

Logically speaking, it is not possible to commit this sin today because we cannot witness the personal miraculous power of Jesus. His work on earth is completed (John 19:30), and He is ascended into heaven, seated at the right hand of God (Heb 10:12; Acts 1).

There are many sins about which we should be concerned, but this is not one of them.

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