Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin. (Mark 3:28, 29)
This verse has caused a great deal of fear among Christians. It talks about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit as an unforgivable sin. So it has made people worry and fret: have I committed the unforgivable sin? Can I be sure that Jesus has forgiven my sins? Am I right with God or not?
That’s sad because this verse is meant to give us joy not worry; freedom not fear. It is meant to give assurance of forgiveness, not uncertainty.
So we need to ask: what is this unforgivable sin? And the answer is given to us in the following verse: ‘He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” (v30)’ Some people were calling him mad and others were calling him bad. They were all denying the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat the devil and forgive sins.
To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is to claim that the power of the Holy Spirit comes from the devil and not from God. It is unforgivable precisely because it denies the source and power of forgiveness itself. The unforgivable sin is to cut yourself off from way to find forgiveness. There is one thing and one thing only that cannot be forgiven. And that is to turn away from the one who can forgive any sin – Jesus.
So hear this carefully: There is no sin so bad that cannot be forgiven if you ask Jesus to forgive it. No word that you have spoken, no action that you have done, no thought that has passed through your head that is too awful for Jesus to forgive. None. If you believe he has the power to forgive, he has the power to forgive you.
If you are feeling the weight of guilt and shame, please hear this truth. There is an absolute offer of forgiveness from Jesus. He has set you free from the devil’s grip. There is total forgiveness for those who turn to him.