What is the Unpardonable Sin?

Some time ago, when we had guests for a dinner in our home, I was asked to give thanks for our meal before the Lord.  As always, when there are people present who are not known to be Believers, I try to include thanks for John 3:16, making it as clear as I can to everyone. 

After my prayer, someone really shocked me by asking, "but what, then, is the 'unpardonable sin?'"  I replied, "I'm working on it!"

Matthew 12:32 --- The Lord Jesus said, "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."

And the preceding verse: "every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."



To anyone who respects the Lord, and His Word, the Bible, these words ought to be frightful.  And to make it more so, it is clear that very few, including pastors and commentators have much of an understanding of what they mean.  There seems, within verse 31 itself, inherent confusion, a "contradiction."  For the first clause says "all blasphemy will be forgiven "(which _seems_ wrong in itself), but the second clause _seems_ to turn right around and contradict the first by saying "No: not all blasphemy will be forgiven." 

So, it is evident, that as the guards sent to arrest the Lord in the Temple, came back with the complaint, "never a man spake as THIS Man speaks," so also never did human authors write as THIS Author writes, in His Word, the Bible.  That is the fundamental fallacy of the "science of textual criticism."  They treat treat the Bible, almost universally, as "a collection of writings of men;" some of them deny this, but it is evident in their works from one end to the other.

There is no human science that will afford even the slightest understanding of the Bible, because:

   "the natural man . . . cannot know them (the Scriptures) because they are Spiritually discerned."
     --- 1 Corinthians 2:14.

And the Spirit indwells those, and only those, who are Christ's --- Romans 8:9.  And even those, it is obvious, do not have everything understood.  Else why would we be told to STUDY?

My "spiritual father," the late Charles Bury, pastor of Menominee Falls Bible Church, once gave a message I have never forgotten, on how to approach Biblical Problems such as this one:

   1.   Consider the Context                                (what is the gist of the whole passage containing the verse?)
   2.   Consider the Parallel Passages                   (what do other parts of the Bible have to say on this subject?)
   3.   Consider the Languages                            (both original language, and translated into language, figures of speech, etc)
   4.   Consider the Historical Background           (ancient cultures, practices, beliefs, important situations . . .)
   5.   Consider the Dispensational Background    (God's different administrations in different ages)

Dr. Henry Morris writes, on Matthew 12:32:

not be forgiven him. The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (John 3:18; 3:36; etc.). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. “My Spirit shall not always strive with man,” God said long ago (Genesis 6:3). Jesus added: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). In the context of this particular passage (Matthew 12:22-32), Jesus had performed a great miracle of creation, involving both healing and casting out a demon, but the Pharisees rejected this clear witness of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was exercising powers only God possessed. Instead they attributed His powers to Satan, thus demonstrating an attitude permanently resistant to the Spirit and to the deity and saving gospel of Christ.


I fully agree!  But there is more to be said on every sentence.  To summarize, so far:

 The Unpardonable Sin is the equivalent of Unbelief in Christ.

* because each is stated to be the one and only thing that is unforgiveable.
* because unbelief in Christ is a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Who is that Author of Scripture, and Who testifies of Christ, and is thus, by definition, the unpardonable sin.

To be continued . . .