The Unpardonable Sin

The unpardonable sin is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Jesus states in Matthew 12, ” And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

This warning sounds sounds very frightening at first glance. I know that the first time I was told about this I immediately began to think about all the bad thing I had done over the years and trying to determine if I had committed the unpardonable sin… am I going to Hell?

First of all, as with most statements from the Bible, it is very important to look at the context… what exactly is going on? Why would Jesus give us this warning?

If you go back a few verses you will find that Jesus has just finished healing demon possessed man who was deaf and dumb (could not speak). The crowd was amazed began to wonder out loud if maybe this guy really could be the Messiah they were waiting for. But when the Pharisees got wind of the healing, they accused Jesus using the power of the devil to cast out demons. There are a lot of names for the devil or Satan out there but the one that the Pharisees used was particularly unflattering. Beelzebub is a term used for Satan that actually means “Lord of the dungheap”.

Now Jesus was fully human when he lived here on this world and could not perform miracles without the power of the Holy Spirit.  So essentially the Pharisees were calling the Holy Spirit “Beelzebub” or the “Lord of the dungheap.” That’s why Jesus was warning them that they were dangerously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit and that it was an unpardonable sin to do so.

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