There seems to be great confusion on what “Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” is today, because there are so many theories out there and people guess what the Bible teaches. Rather than weigh you down with many words, I’ll get straight to the heart of the issue.
In Matthew 12:30-32 Jesus says:
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 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.
In Mark 3:28-29 Jesus says:
“Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
These passages point to the idea that there is an unforgivable eternal sin, but what could possibly be that unforgivable and eternal sin?
Many people think that suicide is the only unforgivable sin or that cremation is unforgivable or that selling your soul to Satan is the only unforgivable sin. The problem is, the Bible says none of this. The Bible does, however, point to only one unforgivable sin, as we have seen above… Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. But what does this mean?
First let’s think about the knowledge of salvation, logically speaking. What is the one thing that keeps us outside the gates of heaven when we die? Doesn’t every Christian know that not placing our trust and belief in Christ (see John 14:6; Romans 10:9) is what not only keeps people out, but lands them in a state of separation from God for eternity? If one therefore dies, and at the time of his or her death, still deny Christ, then he or she misses the boat (The boat that they will regret missing, anyway). So the one thing that keeps people out of heaven is denying Christ.
Second, what is it that brings people to a salvific knowledge of Jesus Christ? Jesus says in John 16:7-11:
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
People cannot be saved from their sins unless they are first convicted of their sins. This is what the Holy Spirit does. “When He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin.” It is the work of the Holy Spirit by which a person becomes saved. It is this work which those who are not saved, suppress: Romans 1:18 explains, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness…” This is in total agreement with the understanding of John 16:8 as shown above. What is this truth that the wicked suppress? 1 John 5:6-12 explains it well:
This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when one denies the truth which the Holy Spirit reveals: that Christ saves us from our sins… that in Christ we have life, and that without Him, we do not have life. One therefore commits the eternal sin, in denying Christ as savior. Jesus says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” In other words, the only way to heaven (Where the Father dwells) is through Jesus! Denying Him will result in not going to heaven (the eternal/unforgivable sin).
A few things should also be mentioned even if only briefly. Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” This verse is talking directly to Christians. It is saying that grieving the Holy Spirit (which is not an unforgivable sin, but definitely causes the Holy Spirit grief, as any person can grieve), comes from when we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ poorly. If one were to read the entire paragraph that verse 30 finds itself in, it would be clear that this discusses the reaction of the Holy Spirit when brother and sisters in Christ talk about each other corruptly or do not build up but tear down others. This is very different than blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. This passage speaks about what happens in the life of a believer. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is directed toward those who are unbelievers.
Quenching the Spirit is also often misunderstood. In 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, we read, “Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.” This talks about treating prophecies with contempt. If someone were to claim that they heard a message from God, we should give them the benefit of the doubt, and hear what they have to say. At the same time, we are to test what they say.
In any event, a Christian cannot blaspheme against the Holy Spirit because they have accepted the truth that the Holy Spirit convicted and convinced them of, and are therefore, believers in Jesus.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” –John 6:44
Written by Nace Howell through the grace of the Lord Jesus