The Unpardonable Sin


The Unpardonable Sin is clearly identified in the First Century’s Gospel of Mark ( See Mark 3:22-30.)

Flash to Twenty-first century America: The “unpardonable sin” has become a wispy mysterious phrase thrown hither and thither in conversation, a dash of ephemeral spice to add some mysterious aroma to the conversation, a slight echo of Biblical mysteries just to perk up the listener’s ears, much like the oft mentioned and very mysterious “antichrist.”

So what is the Unpardonable Sin? The short answer: Continuing on in unbelief. The context of the Mark 3:22-30 passage, quoted below, makes precisely clear that the Unpardonable Sin (aka “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”) was committed by specific humans in the First Century. What did they do? Answer: They continued to attribute the power behind the miracles of Christ to an evil source, a willful psychological ploy that enabled them to continue on in their unbelief. In the Mark passage they were specifically saying that Christ was using the power of Satan to perform His miracles, and this was the reason they gave for continuing on in their unbelief.


Here is the text of the Mark passage: "And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebub By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.’ So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin. He said this because they were saying, ‘He has an evil spirit.’ "

Here Are The Unfolding Elements From the Mark Passage:

(1) Jesus was driving out demons, that is, He was performing supernatural miracles which were demonstrating that He was sent from God

(2) The teachers of the law saw these miracles with their own eyes (Note that Jesus had said elsewhere in the gospels that He performed miracles so that men could believe in Him. See John 10:25, 37-38 )

(3) Therefore these teachers of the law should have believed in Him, they observed His miracles, they were eye witnesses

(4) Nonetheless they refused to believe in Him, but doing that created a dilemma for them, namely how to explain the fact that Jesus could perform miracles?

(5) In order to escape their dilemma they devised an evil lie: They claimed Jesus was performing miracles by the power of Satan.

The Lord Jesus then refuted them logically and asked, Why would Satan oppose himself? Answer: Satan would not oppose himself by casting out his own demons.

These Twenty-first century teachers of the law were attributing Jesus’ miracles (which could have helped them to believe) to the power of Satan. Or put another way: They were in the process of continually rejecting the clear supernatural miracle-performing-evidence that Jesus was who He said He was. What would it mean for them personally if they continued to do that? It would mean they could never be saved through belief. To continue to do that is unpardonable. Why is it unpardonable? Because they could not put their faith in the Lord Jesus as their Savior as long as they were attributing the power of Jesus’ miracles to an evil source, in this case to Satan himself. This is why Mark ended this passage with the words: "He said this because they were saying, ‘He has an evil spirit’ ", that is, because they were rejecting the evidence (the miracles) and attributing the source of the power that performed the miracles to the power of Satan. Their continuing to do this was the Unpardonable Sin according to Mark 3:22-30. Why unpardonable? Again, because as long as they continued to do this, they could never believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior and apart from Him there is no pardon available for human beings ~~ thus declares the entire New Testament and the whole of orthodox Christendom.

Concluding Remarks:

(1) It is utterly impossible for any true Christian to commit the unpardonable sin because the true Christian has already believed in the Lord Jesus as Savior, and the unpardonable sin is the perpetual refusal to believe in Christ as Savior.

(2) Only the people who lived in the 1st century and personally observed the Lord Jesus perform supernatural miracles could say that Jesus is performing miracles by using the power of Satan. Unless a man says that, its impossible for him to commit the unpardonable sin as presented in Mark chapter 3. The unpardonable sin is strictly limited to the events that took place in Mark chapter 3. Jesus is not performing supernatural miracles here in the 21st century, not in the same sense and in the same way He was in the 1st century, so its impossible for 21st century men to do what “the teachers of the law” did in Mark 3:22-30.

(3) Its interesting to note that those teachers of the law in Mark 3 could have stopped committing the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (or the unpardonable sin) if they had wanted to, they were not locked down in unbelief just because they had initially attributed the miracles performed by Jesus to the power of Satan, they could have changed their minds, repented, and believed in the Lord Jesus, had they wanted to do that.

(4) The “unpardonable sin” (Mark actually says, a sin that “will never be forgiven”) that is, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is nothing more and nothing less than to keep on continuously rejecting the evidence that Jesus is who He said He was by attributing that evidence to a source other than God. Question: Why is the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Mark passage? How was the Holy Spirit blasphemed? Answer: The Holy Spirit seeks to convert the unregenerated soul. He does this, in part, by the use of evidences that He presents to the human mind, evidences urging them to believe. Remember Jesus said that He performed miracles for that very purpose. Therefore the Holy Spirit was seeking to use Jesus’ mighty supernatural miracles (irrefutable undeniable evidences) as a means to regenerate these spiritually dead “teachers of the law”, but they had devised and evil lie to prevent this good work from taking place. They had thus committed a serious offense against the work and purpose of the Holy Spirit, aka the unpardonable sin. Again, why unpardonable? Because the person that keeps on going down this road, can never believe and be saved.

Study observation: Note that the Pharisees in Matthew’s gospel, said the same thing as the unbelievers said in Mark 3:22-30.
Matthew 9:34 says, “But the Pharisees said, ‘It is by the prince of demons that He drives out demons’”

Another study observation: John 10:25, 37-38 is an important verse to connect to what took place in Mark 3:22-30. Here is John 10:25,37-38 “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me … Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” The teachers of the law in Mark 3:22-30 refused to do that, they therefore committed the “unpardonable sin” of refusing to believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior.”

(5) While it is true that 21st century people cannot commit the unpardonable sin as presented in Mark 3:22-30 they can nevertheless commit a sin that “will never be forgiven.” What sin is that? The Lord Jesus was clear about this when He said in John 3:18 “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” To stand “condemned already” is another way of saying “will never be forgiven” and “will never be forgiven” is as unpardonable as it can get.

Good News!

However we want to close this blog piece on a positive note of good news from the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned …”

“Have faith in God.”__The Lord Jesus (in Mark 11:22)



[B] [COLOR="#B22222"]Note on “demons” In The New Testament:[/COLOR] [/B]

The demons in the New Testament do not have to be as pictured by the Hollywood movie makers. Instead they could well be the highly intelligent spirits of the fallen angels mentioned in Revelation 12:7-9

[QUOTE] [SIZE=3]“7 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 [B]But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. [/B]9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.[B] He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” [/B]Rev. 12:7-9[/SIZE][/QUOTE]

There is no reason to think this was not a literal physical war in Heaven resulting in the death of the physical bodies of the fallen angels who were “hurled to the earth” along with Satan, so that only their spirits [souls] survived that war.

There was an occasion where “demons” asked the Lord if He would send them into pigs. Why would they desire to be sent into pigs? Perhaps because spirits without bodies find life very unpleasant and would prefer to inhabit the bodies of even pigs, as a last resort.

If this is the case, then the New Testament’s “demons” are not the far-fetched ugly hideous demons of Hollywood’s imagination, rather they are the spirits of fallen angels who would be highly intelligent and whose physical bodies were previously quite beautiful.

If the above explanation is correct, then “demon possession” in the New Testament makes sense and would no longer have such an appeal to atheists and other critics of Christianity. Why not? Because the doctrine of created angles that fell into sin and were expelled from Heaven is consistent with the entire metaphysical context of transcendent Christianity, and atheists would then have to object to the entire Christian metaphysical system, as they do anyway, but they could no longer characterize the New Testament’s “demon possession” as some type of fantasy in line with Hollywood’s active imagination when they use plastic and glue to create ugly hideous creatures with huge warts and green skin and boils weeping pus.

If the above is true then “demons possession” in the New Testament is merely the spirits of highly intelligent fallen angels seeking the use of human bodies, and are even willing to use the bodies of pigs as a last resort.

Do we have this going on today? I don’t know. The N.T. strongly indicates that the Lord did not want this to continue (He consistently cast them out), so perhaps the Sovereign God put a stop to it altogether.

I offer the above explanation as a reasonable possibility. I do not say that it is correct.



[B] [COLOR="#B22222"]On Demons, cont …[/COLOR] [/B]
See the section titled The Language Of The Day for an incorrect alternative view on the N.T.'s demons (mental illness, sickness etc)
Bible Basics Study 6.3 - Demons

Start quote.

With this in mind, it is surprising how many examples can be found in the New Testament of the language of the day being used without that language being corrected. Here are some examples:-

  • The Pharisees accused Jesus of doing miracles by the power of a false god called Beelzebub. Jesus said, “If I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out?” (Matthew 12:27). 2 Kings 1:2. clearly tells us that Beelzebub was a false god of the Philistines. Jesus did not say, ‘Now look, 2 Kings 1:2 says Beelzebub was a false god, so your accusation cannot be true’. No, he spoke as if Beelzebub existed, because he was interested in getting his message through to the people to whom he preached. So in the same way Jesus talked about casting out demons - he did not keep saying, ‘actually, they do not exist’, he just preached the Gospel in the language of the day.

  • Acts 16:16-18 are the words of Luke, under inspiration: “a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of Python met us”. As explained in the footnote in the Diaglott version, Python was the name of a false god believed in during the first century, possibly the same as the god Apollo. So Python definitely did not exist, but Luke does not say the girl was ‘possessed with a spirit of Python, who, by the way, is a false god who does not really exist…’. In the same way the Gospels do not say that Jesus ‘cast out demons which, by the way, do not really exist, it is just the language of the day for illnesses’.

Bible Basics Study 6.3 - Demons

End quote.

[B] [SIZE=3] [COLOR="#B22222"]Jack Note: I disagree with the above position.[/COLOR] [/SIZE] [/B]

In Luke 10:16-20 Jesus made it clear that Satan was a real personality. “He [Jesus] replied, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” and then note Jesus’ “do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you.”

Now compare the Luke 10:16-20 passage with the passage in Revelation 12:7-9, “Satan, who leads the whole world astray. [B] [COLOR=”#B22222"]He was hurled to the earth,[/COLOR] [/B] [B]and his angels with him.[/B]"

Those two passages settles it for me. (Though there are additional passages to support my view.)

Note that Jesus recogonizes the existence of spirits (demons) and there is zero reason to interpret Jesus here as catering to His disciple’s alledged ignorance, as some interpreters have assumed He was doing, simply because they are ashamed of the New Testament’s mention of “demons” and “demon possession” because these two subjects have been used by atheists to mock the crediability of the New Testament. I hold that its much better to mock the atheists, while holding firm to what the New Testament says about this subject.

Here are the two passages mentioned above:

[QUOTE]16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the [B]demons[/B] submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied,[B]“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.[/B] 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, [B]do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you[/B], but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:16-20[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]7 [B]Then war broke out in heaven.[/B] Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and [B]they lost their place in heaven.[/B] 9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or [B]Satan[/B], who leads the whole world astray. He was [B]hurled to the earth[/B], and [B]his angels with him.[/B]
Rev. 12:7-9[/QUOTE]



Interesting and informative exegesis.


[QUOTE=J.Anderson;bt273]Interesting and informative exegesis.[/QUOTE]

Thank you.


Interesting. I find it hard to think about demon possession, but won’t deny its possibility in modern times.




I find it hard to think about demon possession, but won’t deny its possibility in modern times.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, JG.

Btw, I don’t spend alot of time thinking about demon possession. Its one of those items on my list titled: Ask Saint Peter When You Get On The Other Side /grin …