The Unpardonable Sin?

Mark 3:28-30 “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.”

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This verse has struck fear in the hearts and minds of young Bible readers everywhere. The Unforgivable Sin, just the sound of such an act is simply horrifying. It could be the title to some horror movie.

Could there indeed be a sin so terrible that God could not, or would not forgive? I’ve heard elementary teachers at Christian schools use such guilt tactics in order to develop better behavior out of us students. However, Jesus is on the record for this idea of the “unforgivable sin.” The problem: what was Jesus referencing when speaking of Blasphemy.

What happens to a grace of God, and the blood of Christ that “can’t” cover all sin? One commentator wrote,

“…The unpardonable nature of the sin must be related to the hopeless warping and perversion of the moral nature, which would make one capable of such blindness to the truth as to attribute works of mercy having their origin in the power of God’s Spirit to a diabolic source, a malignity so deep-seated as to make one insusceptible of redeeming grace.”[1]

I believe Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees’ disbelief in Him and His work as the Messiah. Because of that disbelief, their actions lead them to blasphemy.  In this case the Pharisees were so blinded by their hatred for Jesus that it seemed there was no way their sins could ever be forgiven. Although, Jesus never says that the Pharisees sins were “unforgivable” it is strongly implied. Another author agreed with this concept,

“In such a frame of mind repentance is not possible to the hardened heart because the recognition of sin is no longer possible, and God’s offer of mercy is in effect peremptorily refused.[2]

The same concept is seen when Paul is speaking of the fate of the apostate brothers.

Paul says that their “consciences have been seared with a hot iron” implying that their thinking is numbed to truth. He “delivers them over to Satan” in order that they would learn from their mistakes. Paul uses the term “shipwrecked,” implying that they are hopeless. However, these attributes are not because God’s grace can’t reach them, but it is because they themselves do not want, or feel they do not need to be reached.

The mind has been warped and deceived to think that their path is true and all others are false. They are hopeless without a total paradigm shift. Like the “shipwrecked,” it would take a miracle for them to turn to God in repentance. To say that God can’t forgive their sin is a misunderstanding of what Jesus is saying. Jesus is talking about certain individuals that have reached the point of no return in regards to their faith. Furthermore, The church, nor anyone in the church, is qualified to make predictions on who is in such sin. The apostate heart can only be known by God, thus every person is worth our time and effort.

One thing we can be sure, is that if a person is struggling with whether or not they have committed such a sin, than there worry is proof of innocence. The nature of the sin is a person who vehemently rejects the teachings, work, and person of Christ, and even goes as far as to believe it is false and demonically influenced. One author said,

“It is a desperate condition that is beyond the situation of forgiveness because one is not able to recognize and repent of sin. Thus one wanting to repent of blasphemy against the Spirit cannot have committed the sin.[3]

What do you think??? do you think there is a sin that the Blood of Christ can’t cover??? 

Share your thoughts!


[1] Merrill C. Tenney G. Ed. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, 201 (Grand Rapids, MI,: Zondervan, 2009).

[2] D. R. W. Wood and I. Howard Marshall, New Bible Dictionary, 3rd ed., 142 (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1996).

[3] Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 223 (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003).

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