Beyond Forgiveness: Blasphemy Against the Spirit

Mark 3:20–35

The crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, “He is beside himself.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “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 sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

And his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting about him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

About eight years ago a young woman came into my office at Bethel, extremely distressed over this issue of the unforgivable sin. She told me how one day when she was a young teenager, she got so angry at her mother who was a Christian that she locked herself in her room and used every swear word and oath and all the foul language against the Holy Spirit that she could think of. That day was seared into her conscience and came back to haunt her again and again. She wanted to know if she had committed the unforgivable sin. It is not a merely academic question. What could be more terrifying than to believe you are beyond forgiveness and bound for eternal misery with no escape?

Three Questions

Let’s ask three questions to our text:

  1. Is there really an unforgivable sin?
  2. If so, what is it?
  3. How should we live in view of it?

1. Is There Really an Unforgivable Sin?

Is there really an unforgivable sin? Note verse 29, “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” Three observations:

This is a great article written by John Piper from Desiring God. In this article John deals with the unforgivable sin, is there really such a sin? What are the consequences of this sin if in fact it does exist?

To finish reading this article, please head over to While you are there why not check out the rest of Desiring God this is a wonderful site with a lot of great content. Registered & Protected

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7 replies

  1. Here’s what I’ve always been taught and heard about that. You have to truly mean it. If you really have comitted the unpardonable sin, you will never, ever want forgiveness. You would never be sorry for it. I think if you do this out of ignorance, God will forgive you But if you do it from your heart, and you mean it, you would never want forgiveness. I don’t know how accurate of a belief that is, it’s just what I’ve heard. This particular subject, to be honest, has always bewildered me.

    • Here is my answer,

      You cannot commit this sin if you are a Believer! No true Believer would commit this sin no matter what is happening or how angry you were.

      I do not think if you truly commit this sin you will ever be forgiven. You cannot set aside Jesus words that this sin will not be forgiven…ever. The point to keep in mind here is that you can blaspheme against Jesus and the Father and all of that will be forgiven according to Jesus. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit on the other hand will not be tolerated.
      Re-read this article a couple times, John lays it out pretty well here. The only thing one is left wondering is what exactly qualifies as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? If a person truly is concerned that they may have committed this sin, then there is little to fear; if one does not even care…then one may have a serious problem.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Lyn.

      • Hey I agree with you. I think, though, that many believers are always puzzled when it comes to this. But your explanation does make the most sense, and I may’ve worded it wrong, but I think we’re kind of sort of saying the same thing. I said ‘out of ignorance’. A true believer would know not to do that..but a non believer would do such a thing out of ignorance because they don’t know the Lord. Great post and is a subject few dare to address due to so many being, like I said, puzzled.

  2. John Piper (as always) gives a really thorough explanation of this subject.

    I agree that a blood-bought, adopted child of the living God will never commit blasphemy against Holy Spirit. It would be an impossibility.

    I also believe that an unbeliever who commits that sin will never receive forgiveness – because he will never seek it. He has put himself beyond the influence of Holy Spirit; beyond repentance.

    There is still some confusion over just what constitutes blasphemy against Holy Spirit. It is likely that it is attributing the work of Holy Spirit to demons, but it isn’t definite.

    While we know that we will not commit that particular sin, we certainly need to take sin seriously and to keep short accounts with God.

    We should never trifle with sin because sin is no trifle.
    Where sin rules, it will always ruin.

Luke 21:36 "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

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