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The Unpardonable Sin

Mark 3.22-30
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “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 will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Jesus exposed both His opponents’ bad theology and their faulty logic. If it was by the power of Satan that He had cast out the demon, then Satan was actually fighting against himself! This meant that Satan’s house and kingdom were divided and therefore on the verge of collapse.

Jesus made it clear that God would forgive all sin and all blasphemy, including blasphemy against the very Son of God Himself (Matt. 12.32)! Does this mean that God the Son is less important than the Holy Spirit? Why would a sin against God the Son be forgivable and yet a sin against the Holy Spirit be unforgivable?

The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and demonstrated God’s power in many convicting ways. How did these same religious leaders respond? They arrested the apostles, ordered them to keep silent, and then killed Stephen! Stephen told them what their sin was: “You always resist the Holy Spirit” (Acts 7.51). They had sinned against the Father and the Son but had been graciously forgiven. When they sinned against the Holy Spirit, they had reached “the end of the line,” and there could be no more forgiveness.

People today cannot commit the “unpardonable sin” in the same way the Jewish religious leaders did when Jesus was ministering on earth. The only sin today that God cannot forgive is rejection of His Son (John 3.16–21, 31). When the Spirit of God convicts the sinner and reveals the Savior, the sinner may resist the Spirit and reject the witness of the Word of God, but that does not mean he has forfeited all his opportunities to be saved. If he will repent and believe, God can still forgive him.

When you ask God to be forgiven, you are asking for what God loves to do best. Rest in that life-changing promise: by the Cross of Jesus you are gladly and fully forgiven!

Pastor Jeff
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