The Unpardonable {AKA: Unforgivable} Sin  (Mark 3:20-30)

Years ago, on the internet, “The Rational Response Squad” offered a free DVD to all who would deny The Holy Spirit. It was called “The Blasphemy Challenge.” All a person had to do was deny The Holy Spirit existed by uploading their video to YouTube. Cost? “Your soul.” Last I checked there were 57,200+ who took the challenge.[i]

The passage that is next is Mk 3:20-30. There two interesting things are recorded. One is Jesus’ family thought he was crazy (3:20-21). The other is what we call “The Unforgivable Sin.” First…

Why did Jesus’ family think he was crazy? Well, he left the family business (Carpenter) w/out having a way to support himself. He chose to be homeless. He had his cousin baptize him in the Jordan (This broke Jewish tradition). He walked around teaching new things. They heard stories of him healing & casting out demons. His 12 “best friends” were an odd group of fishermen, nobility, tax collectors, brothers, an anarchist, & uneducated men.

If one of our children did this, we’d think the same thing! So we will give his family a pass at this time. Early in Jesus’ ministry his own family didn’t believe. Jn 7:3-6…

His brothers said to him, “Leave here & go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in Him.

But his family’s belief about Him isn’t our focus today

The religious leaders are making their view of Jesus known. Just like politicians today, they sought to disparage his character. Even though they KNEW THE TRUTH ABOUT HIM! WHAT?!

Consider two passages to help us u’stand the Unpardonable Sin. They are Jn 3:1-2 & 8:41. First consider Jn 3:1-2

There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night & said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

We can trust the honesty of Nick’s statement. He was seeking truth! In his opening statement he revealed the private conversation among the Pharisees… “WE KNOW…”

The Pharisees couldn’t refute the truth… beginning w/ His miracles. Not only the miracles, but their SOURCE! The Jewish leaders KNEW the truth about Jesus… but still hated Him. Why? Jn 11:47-48

The chief priests & the Pharisees gathered the Council & said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, & the Romans will come & take away both OUR place & OUR nation.”

Most weren’t concerned w/ truth; they didn’t want to lose their power & influence! They KNEW the truth, & rejected it outright.

Then the religious leaders KNEW of Jesus miraculous birth! Jn 8:41, “They said to him, ‘We were not born of sexual immorality…’”

They KNEW Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born! They chose to accuse her of fornication than speak the truth.

The Jewish leaders had all the evidence they needed to believe. They knew THE truth. The Holy Spirit made it evident. But they rejected the truth & purposefully said Jesus’ power was demonic (Mk 3:22). Jesus refuted their accusation (3:23-27).

BTW, Lincoln was quoting Jesus when he said, “A house divided against its self cannot stand” (3:25). Jesus said it first!

Now v 28, the Unforgivable Sin: “Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin…”

The Unpardonable Sin is willful unbelief. It is possible for The Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about Jesus, & it be rejected. Even then, to be condemned for eternity is only applied upon a person’s death.

Example. There are many atheists & agnostics who have accepted the truth they rejected prior to their death & were forgiven. All who took up “The Blasphemy Challenge” can repent until they die.

The Pharisees treaded close to committing The Unpardonable Sin. But we know many did eventually believe (Ac 15:5)!

To further examine The Unpardonable Sin, it is possible for truth to be rejected to the point that God removes a person’s ability to believe. GOD can retract a person’s offer to be saved. What?! Romans 1:18

 The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, b/c God has shown it to them. 20 For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power & divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are w/out excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, & their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 & exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man & birds & animals & reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity… 26 For this reason God gave them up28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up

The wrath of God IS when HE gives a person over to their sin. The wrath of God is when HE quits sending His Spirit to offer salvation b/c they KNEW the truth about Jesus & continued to reject it.

A good example is when Pharaoh “hardened his heart” while seeing the miracles God performed thru Moses. It is written several times in Ex that “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart(Ex 7:13; 8:19; 9:12; 10:20, 27; 11:10; 14:8)

This is also recorded about Esau in Heb 12:15-17

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God that no “root of bitterness” springs up & causes trouble, & by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

At what point does God do this? We don’t & can’t know. That decision rests w/ God alone. Thus 2 Cor 6:1-2

We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, & in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Here is THE Truth. Jesus is God. Jesus was born of a virgin. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life. He was crucified… died… & buried. Three days later he rose from the dead. Forty days later He ascended to heaven. And one day He will return to gather His family to be w/ Him forever. Those are eternal truths!

The only way of salvation is through Jesus. Only thru Him can anyone enter heaven, are forgiven of sin, & be holy as to be saved. Jesus is THE way, THE truth, & THE life. No one goes to God but through Him.

Have you believed? If not, will you? Don’t put this off to tomorrow or another day b/c no one is promised another second of life. THAT is why TODAY is the day of salvation! ((PAUSE))

A Christian CANNOT commit The Unpardonable Sin. The reason is this sin is unbelief & Christians BELIEVE! A Christian can stray so far from God they commit The Sin Unto Death, but they cannot commit The Unpardonable Sin. The Sin Unto Death is found in 1 Jn 5:16-17. (Pause)

I had an encounter with a man who was dying of cancer. As I was shared The Gospel with him, he stopped me & said he knew how to be saved. Being skeptical I asked him to tell me… which he nailed!

I asked if he was saved to which he said no. I asked if he believed what he’d told me. He said he believed it was true, but didn’t believe it so as to be saved. (I was flabbergasted at his statement!).

I asked if he knew what would happen if he died without Christ? He answered… w/ tears running down his face: “Yes. I will spend eternity in hell. But you have to genuinely believe to be saved & I don’t.”

I’ve had two others tell me the same thing. One just before surgery & he had a 20% chance of living. The other a young man who said to me, “I will bust the gates of hell wide open…” (Died 2 months later)

IF they died w/out repenting, they committed The Unpardonable Sin… which is the sin of WILLFUL UNBELIEF. (Transition)

This message has been intended to communicate truth. I’ve tried not to be emotional or overly dramatic. I refuse to manipulate anyone to “make a decision.” So I end with this…

“God commands all people everywhere to repent” (Ac 17:30). I plead with you not to enter eternity unbelieving. Come to Christ today for the forgiveness of your sin…

[i] On June 11, 2018 YouTube reported “About 57,200” results to my inquiry.

(Picture Credit)