Over the years Christians have debated what is the unforgivable sin? Many lose sleep over the prospect of having trespassed against God in such an intense fashion. Theologians have written over this for years. Can we commit such a sin inadvertently?
We can find the verse in the Gospel according to Mark in chapter 3. Jesus dedicates himself to an aggressive schedule of healing and casting out demons per the account of Mark in chapters 1 through 3. At one point the scribes, the teachers of the Temple under the authority of the Pharisees, who have witnessed these amazing events conclude that the only way these things could be happening are if Jesus himself were working on behalf of Satan. So they accuse him of being Beelzebub, a vernacular play on words according to bible scholar Thomas Kelly Cheyne. Cheyne claims they pervert "Ba'al Zalub" which means "Lord of the High Place" but instead call he Beelzebub which implies "Lord of Dung" or "Lord of the flies." So it's the scribes way of attributing Jesus' power to evil while at the same time defaming the name of Satan.
It is here in this context where Jesus replies and first states the logically prudent point, "A house divided against itself will not stand." Thus if Satan were to act against his own purposes, even to confuse us, he would be in danger of self destruction. No one who works against their own efforts will be successful. So Jesus goes on to demonstrate that eventually this household, Satan's household, will be destroyed when he is bound and casted out. These words of instruction not only speak parabolically to the event of the time but coincide perfectly with the words of Revelations 20:1-3 which ultimately reveal Satan's fate in end times. A fate declared by John some 60 years after Jesus.
So Jesus, declares Satan is at work in this realm but He is not in his service provides a parable that describes how Jesus is working towards tying up the culprit and casting him our of his own house. In sharing this Jesus makes a profound proclamation ...
I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.
But, whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of eternal sin. - Mark 3:28-29
So in one breath Jesus proclaims that we as humans are not capable of committing any sin that is not forgivable by God. Lets stop here for a second. I take this to mean that Jesus is teaching that the forgiveness of sin is here for all to receive by God. Lets be clear, this doesn't imply what many modern pundits are proclaiming, that God is forgiving everyone and everyone is going to heaven. It is basically stating that there is nothing we can do that is not forgivable. We can know that forgiveness is not recklessly handed out, as pearls to the pigs (Matthew 7:6) but in fact it is offered and meant to be received. To receive we must do so in faith and with a contrite heart.
However, there are many people who seem to pass by this verse (28) and jump onto verse 29 and get stuck. Jesus does proclaim that whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This verse I believe is linked to the meaning of the third commandment found in Exodus 20:7 which states, "Thou will not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."
Taking the Lord's name in vain goes much further than exclaiming "OMG." Now let me say, using God's name trivially like this or even in curses and profanity is an offense to God. It is a blasphemy against his name and we should be conscious of this and pray for forgiveness. Jesus did say, all sin or blasphemy will be forgiven. I believe this too.
So if this is the case then what is this sin against the Holy Spirit, thus God Himself, that is seen as blasphemy and yet unforgivable? Augustine declared that perhaps it was a sin that was persistent in us. However, If this were true then most of us would be unforgivable. Calvin however disagreed with Augustine and thought it to be "when a man audaciously and of set purpose rushes forth to insult the divine name."
What I see here coincides with a rabbinic teaching I once heard of how we come to understand what it means to take God's name in vain. It was said that the truest meaning of blasphemy against God is to use God's name to justify evil. To declare God's will as thy own for evil purposes.
Thus we can conclude from these verses that the unforgivable sin is then a sin of audaciously, intently, and purposefully rebellion against the Spirit of God. A soul that declares God as evil, denouncing it or openly rejecting upon knowing it. So this implies coming to a place where we know God and recognize the character and righteousness of God and yet reject God.
To be honest, I don't know of how any human can come to such a place.
Many may reject God in their sin, out of grief, anger or even mental health circumstances but I have rarely ever encountered a person who truly knows God and yet has the capacity to reject God. We may grow despondent with God's will, we may reject the behaviors of the church and its people, but I have yet to understand how anyone can truly know God and yet rebel against him or reject him and remain audaciously in sin.
Yet we know that there are such creatures, they are not human but they have done this very thing, and they are the fallen angels who follow Satan and Satan himself. Thus for them there is assuredly a judgment coming that will end with no forgiveness available to them. Nothing but judgment and punishment.
So is there such a sin? The short answer is yes. Are we capable of committing that sin? The short answer is yes, if we trade our soul to Satan and reject Christ while joining Satan. Are most Christians in danger of inadvertently committing such a sin? Here I declare no. This is not a sin of nature or of such demeanor that it is subtly committed. It is a sin that demands a purely evil intent and rebellion and it is a conscious and evil decision. The consequence of such a decision will be that the individual will not be forgiven and casted into eternal damnation as Satan will be according to Revelation 20.
So I conclude that when humanity comes to understand the Gospel and responds to it we will be exposed to the righteous and gracious nature of God. In turn we grow aware of our sin and respond with contriteness and hope of salvation. I imagine that a person could be full of such evil that they could rebel against God with such vigor that they would be unforgivable, but such countenance would not be found in any ordinary human but one who is entranced and in the grips of evil.
So if you are in relationship with Christ and seek redemption be assured of the words in verse 28, there is nothing that will not be forgiven. In the face of such grace, we owe it to ourselves to seek to be grateful, to be obedient and to share this word of hope with all who surround us. In essence, God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, whosoever believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Thats pretty amazing.