Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
This sin is mentioned just three (3) times in the New Testament.
“And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31, ESV)
“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Mark 3:28-29, ESV)
“And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Luke 12:10, ESV)
Now, the context of this tremendous statement makes it very clear that this “sin” is not just any serious violation of Gods’ moral law or standard. It does not reference persistence in sin or even a rejection of Jesus Christ. This sin that is so deadly serious is the cognitive and volitional attribution of the working of God through the Holy Spirit to the working of Satan, or the devil.
The context relates that the Pharisees had been a witness of a miracle, a divine working of God and those they heard the teachings of Jesus and they chose to remain in spiritual darkness and categorized the good that they saw as evil. The attributed the working of God to the Devil. They refused to acknowledge that the miracle that they had seen and the teachings of Jesus were actually from God. Had they acknowledged these things they would have to respond to them. That response would have shown them to be fraudulent and disobedient to the word, the laws, and the things of God. This they decided they could not do.
This sin is so vile and so consciously committed that it is unforgivable. Why? This sin is committed with the “light” of the Holy Spirit, the “witness of God”, and the truth of the Messiah, all of which are not only willfully denied, but attributed to Satan.
Jews taught that all their sins would be forgiven at death. The Jews taught that no Jewish person would ever go to “hell.” As a matter of fact they believed that Abraham himself sat at the gate of hell to specifically turn any wayward Jew back from hell and point him toward heaven. Jesus makes it clear that contrary to their teaching this sin was unforgiven in this age, while they lived, and in the age to come, when they died. (For the record, this does not imply that any sins of any degree are forgivable after death.)
The reason that there is no forgiveness is the person who chooses to attribute the working of God through the Holy Spirit rejects God and calls God the Devil neither from any ignorance nor accident, but does so both knowingly and willingly. Therefore there is no more remedy, there is no more hope, there is no more help for this person. Neither further teachings nor any other miracles will help this person.
So what does this say to us?
Any person who is concerned or worried about this sin has not committed it. A guilty, troubled, or agitated conscience gives evidence that one is still concerned about sin, God, and forgiveness in some form – maybe not from a biblical perspective – but at least concerned. This is a dire warning for those who know the truth of God not to turn away from that truth or to abandon the truth.
Sin against either God or the Son can be forgiven in this life. Why? The Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father to convict people of sin causing them to repent and to turn away from their sin or blasphemies against God or the Son. The thief who was saved while on the cross is an example of this. He joined in with the other thief in insulting and defaming Jesus. At some point, a crucial point the Holy Spirit who was given to convict men of sin convicted this particular thief. This conviction resulted in his repentance and turning from his sin and his turning to God and request for salvation. Scripture says that Jesus assured him he would join Jesus in paradise that day.
Is God the Father stirring in your heart through the work of the God the Holy Spirit? Do not willfully and knowingly attribute that working to the devil. Do not reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon your soul – or you too will be doomed with no hope of forgiveness in this life nor the one to come. Why? It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make you aware of your sin and God's salvation. If you reject the working of the Holy Spirit and/or attribute that working to the devil there is no one else to convict you of sin. You have no further advocate. Acknowledge your sin and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Do it today!