"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come".
"Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:"
I. What is the unpardonable sin?
According to both Matthew 12:31- 32 and Mark 3:28-29, the “unpardonable sin” is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. By definition,"blasphemy" means knowingly giving the devil credit for those things that clearly only God and Jesus Christ can do. In addition to this, the “unpardonable sin” is also “any accusations” made against the Holy Ghost that accuses Him to be an agent of Satan, whether the accusation is a response to words spoken by the Holy Ghost or any deed or miracle performed by him where there is absolutely no doubt that the words, deed, or miracle had come from God through the Holy Ghost. Someone may ask: what if I didn't know that I blasphemed God, Jesus or the Holy Ghost? Will God pardon me due to my ignorance? Here's the answer: There is a big difference between a person speaking in ignorance due to the lack of clear evidence of the truth and someone speaking negatively openly and knowingly in response to a clear cut truth.
Here is a clear cut truth that is" clearly proven: in multiple scriptures: Even though Satan sometimes present himself as an angel of light, and can on some occasions manifest signs and wonders, and will do so in the latter days after the Rapture and during the 7-year Tribulation Period, (Exodus 7: 10, 22), (Revelation 13:13) “he is still limited” and there are great number of things he can’t do,
Sadly, a great number of people that have hatred for God and lean toward the "rudiments" of this world (orchestrated by Satan) scoff at many Biblcal truths, especially those things pertaining to Jesus Christ as being the Son of God and the Messiah. Many times, they will accredit the miricales of Christ, particularly those where demon were cast out of possessed people, as well as the works of the Holy Spirit to being works they believe were done be the devil. Notice, Jesus said in both passages, that absolutely no forgiveness is given to anybody found guilty of this kind of blasphemy in this life, neither in the life to come. In the Biblical text, the Pharisees accused Jesus of being “in league” with Satan when he performed this miracle in Matthew 12.
In that passage, it was demon possession that left the man dumb (unable to speak) and blind in the first place. (Mark 3:28- 29) Because of fierce jealosy and outright hatred, they convinced themselves that Jesus was merely another imposter and chose openly to identified him with being "in league" and "in collusion" with Satan. Thus, they made the accusation of him being possessed by an "unclean spirit" even though this miracle freed the troubled man from theses foul demons. The Pharisees spoke, scoffing at Jesus and the miracle made the accusation that "Beelzebub" was behind this miracle, and he used Jesus to perform it. They believed and knew that any act of a demonic represented work of darkness. So it’s ironic when Jesus did this miracle for this man, they didn’t view this loving act from Jesus as a miracle and refused to recognize it as such coming from God, but chose rather to attribute it to demons and accusing Jesus of being “in league” with the Beelzebub the “prince” of demons (Satan).
Beelzebub in the time of Christ was the current name for "the chief or prince" of demons, and that identified this name with both Satan and the Devil. The name "bellzebub" meant "lord of the files" and "the king of dung". The Jews of Jesus' time committed the unpardonable sin by ascribing Christ's work of casting out demons to Beelzebul, thus, ascribing this miracle to the "worst source" the supreme manifestation of goodness (Matt 10:25; 12:24,27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15,18-19). According to Matthew Henry's Commentary on this matter: "It is a well-known phenomenon in the history of religions that the gods of one nation become the devils of its neighbors and enemies". This is an “oxymoron” for several reasons but primarily because:
A. The Pharisees believed both in demons and miracles.
B. They believed in God and believed that “only God” could perform a miracle.
Matthew Henry’s Commentary in the following excerpt also revealed three ways committing this sin was possible:
As for those who blasphemed Christ when he was here upon earth, and called him a Winebibber, a Deceiver, a Blasphemer, and the like, they had some color of excuse, because of the meanness of his appearance, and the prejudices of the nation against him; and the proof of his divine mission was not perfected till after his ascension; and therefore, upon their repentance, they shall be pardoned: and it is hoped that they may be convinced by the pouring out of the Spirit, as many of them were, who had been his betrayers and murderers. But if, when the Holy Ghost is given, in his inward gifts of revelation, speaking with tongues, and the like, such as were the distributions of the Spirit among the apostles, if they continue to blaspheme the Holy Spirit likewise, as an evil spirit, there is no hope of them that they will ever believe in Christ; for
First, Those gifts of the Holy Ghost in the apostles were the last proof that God designed to make use of for the confirming of the gospel, and were still kept in reserve, when other methods preceded.
Secondly, this was the most powerful evidence, and more apt to convince than the working of the miracles themselves, that is Jesus had to be the Messiah because of the 33 documented miracles Jesus performed. There were many other miracles Jesus did without mention the people by name or number. The "documented" miracles are those where the name of the person was given or the event was isolated by the gospel writers to bring forth a specific Biblical truth.
Thirdly, anybody who blasphemed this dispensation of the Spirit cannot possibly be
brought to finally believe in Christ, neither those who shall impute them to a collusion with Satan, as the Pharisees did to Jesus with the miracles, what can convince them? This is such a stronghold of infidelity as a man can never be beaten out of, and is therefore unpardonable, because hereby repentance is hid from the sinner's eyes.
II. Can the Unpardonable Sin be committed today?
Yes! The “unpardonable” sin can be committed even in today’s society. It is obvious that "this sin" was counter in belief concerning this matter of the forgivable sin. Adam Clarke’s commentary of Matthew 12:32: puts it this way: “Though I follow the common translation, yet I am fully satisfied the meaning of the words is, neither in this dispensation (namely the Jewish), nor in that which is to come, namely the Christian. The "sin" here spoken of by our Lord ranks high in the catalogue of "presumptuous sins", for which there was no forgiveness under the Mosaic dispensation”. See Num 15:30-31; 35:31; Lev 20:10; 1 Sam 2:25.
When our Lord says that such a sin hath no forgiveness, we must understand that the crime shall be punished under the Christian dispensation just like it was under the Jewish, namely by the destruction of the body. (physical death) And is not this the same mentioned 1 John 1:7, called there the sin unto death; i.e. a sin that was to be punished by the death of the body, while mercy might be extended to the soul? The punishment for presumptuous sins, under the Jewish law, to which our Lord evidently alludes, certainly did not extend to the damnation of the soul, though the body was destroyed: therefore, though there was no such forgiveness to be extended to this crime as to absolve the man from the punishment of temporal death, yet, on repentance, mercy might be extended to the soul; and every sin may be repented of under the Gospel dispensation. A loving plea comes forth to those who walk in error:
"Be ye converted, O back sliding children and I will heal your backslidings. He that transgresses a negative precept, and repents, his repentance suspends judgment, and the day of expiation expiates him; as it is said, This day shall all your uncleanness be expiated to you. He that transgresses to cutting off (by the stroke of God) or to death by the Sanhedrin, and repents, repentance and the day of expiation do suspend judgment, and the strokes that are laid upon him wipe off sin, as it is said, And I will visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with scourges. But he by whom the name of God is profaned or blasphemed, repentance is of no avail to him to suspend God’s judgment, nor the day of God’s expiation to expiate it, nor scourges (or corrections inflicted) to wipe it off, but all suspend judgment, and death wipes it off".
Some of the scholars in Clarke’s Commentary took to position that the death of the body satisfied the penalty for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and when Jesus said there will be no forgiveness in this age or the age to come, they took the position that Jesus was referring to the time of Judaism (Mosaic) and the time of Christianity. (Church age) when he spoke of no forgiveness against this kind of blasphemy. I believe the scholars are saying that Jesus shared this position; that God would punish this sin in the Christian or church dispensation the same way all “presumptuous” sins were dealt with in the dispensation of the “Mosiac” Law. They believed that the soul would receive mercy if the person was repentant., but as we saw all throughout the gospel writings, the Pharisees who were staunch in their position and beliefs about the Messiah refused to see Jesus for who he really was. Even in the book of Acts after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the revelation from the Apostle Peter in Acts 2 and the Apostle Paul throughout the Pauline Epistles, the Pharisees and Judaisers held firm in their disbeliefs concerning Jesus.
If you give to the devil any homage and credit to anything clearly done by the hands of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, then it means that you have made a personal choice to serve and give total allegiance to Satan". I believe that paying homage is a soul matter the soul is the central focus in this matter. People quickly forget that this area of our lives that we describe as "religious matters" is in fact that "spiritual warfare" that we have been embroiled in throughout the centuries have been a battle over our very souls.
Finally remember this: The reason Jesus performed all the miracles was to show the world pure evidence that God really lives, he is real and he is truly concerned about the affairs of our lives and will change our life’s conditions if we accept him as our God through Jesus Christ and he will in response be our God and claim us as his people.