Summary: Ever wonder what that really is - and worried you might have done it? Let’s spread some truth into this very misunderstood idea from Matthew 12:22-32
The Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit is among the most feared and least understood concepts in the Bible. For many people they think if they accidently say something bad about the Holy Spirit God will damn them to hell for eternity with no possibility of repentance. Well, it’s not that easy. Today we’re going to look at just 11 verses that talk about this subject and hopefully shed some light and truth and take away some fear!
Let’s answer some questions about this: 1) What is it? 2) Can I accidently do this? 3) If I think I’ve done it, what now?
22 – 32
There are several really important things happening here. First, both the Pharisees and Jesus acknowledged the existence of demons. We should not ignore the fact that Satan’s minions are alive and well and active in our world. They may not be as active on the surface as they were at that time, but they are around.
The Pharisees could not deny the miracle, but they had to attribute it to some power other than God or they would have to admit Jesus was from God. The only thing left to them was to attribute it to Satan. This is a case of denying the truth in the face of the facts!
The fact that the Pharisees would attribute the power of God in Jesus Christ casting out this demon represents a heart attitude that finds no forgiveness. They are mistaken in their logic. If Jesus was in league with Satan why would he stop a demon from having power over an individual—it just doesn’t make sense.
Pharisees also did exorcisms. Some were frauds, some were effective. But they would have to also claim that their colleagues were also in league with Satan.
Then He says “if it isn’t Satan then its God and you’ve got to deal with that.” There are only two kingdoms you can belong to. By default we belong to Satan’s kingdom and will go where he goes. But we can belong to God’s kingdom. The only way to do that is to cling to Jesus. There is no neutrality here—that’s why Jesus says “if you aren’t with me you are against me.”
In verse 29 the “house” is the world where Satan has created evil, death, and destruction using the demons, which are Satan’s agents. The goods are us, which Satan holds to himself. Jesus came and “bound” Satan (the strong man). His purpose is to rescue people from bondage. It is ludicrous to think that he would actually be in league with him.
So then Jesus goes on to talk about how things really are. That all sin and blaspheme can be forgiven in Jesus. There is only one thing that cannot be forgiven, and that is the steadfast refusal to believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came as the only way to enter God’s kingdom.
The Blaspheme of the Holy Spirit is not saying bad things about the Holy Spirit, or about Jesus (the messenger), it is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit in Christ. It is steadfastly rejecting the power of God for salvation in Jesus. You could use the words “slander” or “revile”. It is saying things that are not true—in this case, from such a hard heart that you ascribe the power of God to Satan.
Let me quote from the Life Application Bible Commentary:
“Jesus’ words were addressed directly to the Pharisees. They had blasphemed the Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan instead of to the Holy Spirit. This is the unforgivable sin -- the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. It indicates an irreversible hardness of heart. Deliberate, ongoing rejection of the work of the Holy Spirit is blasphemy because it rejects God himself. The Pharisees’ stubborn refusal to believe demonstrated an impenetrable hardness of heart; thus, forgiveness would not be possible because it never would be sought.”
(from The Life Application Commentary Series copyright (C) 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 by the Livingstone Corporation. Produced with permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.)
There is a passage in Hebrews that could very well be talking about the same thing, though it is not mentioned directly:
Hebrews 6:1-12 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they then fall away, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.