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.
(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.
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)