The Unpardonable Sin
"Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven." Matthew 12:31
There is one sin which God never pardons, and but one. This sin is called the sin against the Holy Spirit. Many sins against the Spirit are forgiven; but this sin is never forgiven. It was committed by some when our Lord was upon the earth; they were convinced in their consciences, that He was the Son of God, the promised Messiah; that His works were wrought by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit; and yet they were so filled with malice and enmity against Him, that they said, He has a demon, and wrought His works by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons. They blasphemed or spoke maliciously and spitefully against the Holy Spirit, contrary to the verdict and stirring of their own consciences.
Paul speaks of this sin in his epistle to the Hebrews (10:26-31,) and represents it as a wicked trampling of the Son of God underfoot, and a willful, despiteful opposition to the Holy Spirit. The sin can only be committed by those who have clear light in the head, and deep-rooted malice in the heart; they know that Jesus is the Christ, that He is the only sacrifice for sin; and yet they feel such enmity against Him, that they speak reproachfully of Him, and would if they could, trample Him underfoot as the mire of the streets!
It is the effect of the meeting of clear light and powerful malice; when malice prevails, and the man manifests his hatred and perseveres in his sin. It is that presumptuous sin, for which no sacrifice is appointed; and for which no pardon is offered in the gospel. It is a sin of which no one ever did repent in this world, and no one ever will; for it is impossible to renew such unto repentance.
Many fear they have committed this sin, who would tremble at the thought of it; who never approached near unto it. No one ever did commit it--who feared he should, and prayed against it; or, who feared he had, and mourned on account of it. When this sin is committed, the soul is quite given up, and then no one is so hated and dreaded as the Lord Jesus; nothing is so loathed and abused as the glorious gospel; no people are so despised and contemned as the saints of God; and the deep enmity and malice of the soul seem especially directed against the person, office, and work of the Holy Spirit. Some such sinners may be given up to lightness, levity, and folly; others to gloom, sullenness, and reserve; others to covetousness, and love of money; others to work all uncleanness with greediness--all of them to hardness and impenitency of heart.
No one who believes the divine authority of the gospel, who has any reverence for the Lord Jesus, or desires to be saved by Him, who is alarmed at the thought of having committed this crime--can have done so. For all such, there is mercy; to all such, pardon is presented in the gospel. They may have acted wrong, yes basely, toward the Lord Jesus; the most blasphemous thoughts against the Holy Spirit may have passed through their minds, so that they have trembled and shuddered at what was passing within them; they may have been tempted to the most fearful, unnameable crimes. These may imagine they have committed the most uncommon sin, and they may conclude, that there never were such singular, daring, and desperate wretches as themselves! Still for such there is mercy, for the unpardonable sin has not been committed yet.
Indeed, if you had sinned that sin, Satan would not harass you as he does; but being sure of your damnation, he would leave you to yourself, or only hurry you on to gross and abominable crimes.
"All manner of sin and blasphemy is forgiven unto men;" and if you confess your sin, reader--however vile, base, or uncommon it may be, God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness!