In Matthew 12:31-32, the Lord says, “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
The Pharisees committed the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in response to the Lord casting a demon out of a blind and mute man. They claimed that He performed it through Beelzebub, the ruler of demons. As in the past, they deliberately chose to deny the evidence in front of them, but on this occasion, they took it to another level. Their slanderous accusation showed that they had reached the point of no return. Their consciences were seared, their hearts were hardened, and now they could only oppose Christ.
Their darkened minds demonstrated irrational thinking—how could a house divided against itself stand? (Matt. 12:25-26). Since there were some Pharisee associates who had a ministry of casting out demons, their malevolent hearts revealed a biased inconsistency (v. 27). Why would these rulers affirm their own ministry but not Christ’s? They defamed the Lord, accusing Him of performing this miracle by the power of a devil. Doing so they called the Holy Spirit a devil.
These Pharisees belonged to the generation of Israel that had rejected their King and consequently the kingdom. In spite of Christ’s obvious credentials spoken of by the Old Testament prophets, their hardened hearts prevented them from hearing and believing the truth (Isa. 35:5-6; 61:1). Later, the martyr Stephen would tell them that they always resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). Contrast this with the apostle Paul who had opposed Christ in ignorance until his eyes were opened on the Damascus Road.
To speak against the Holy Spirit in this manner cannot be repeated today in the church age. The Lord gave the specific time period that this sin could be committed. He said “in this age or in the age to come.” When He was speaking to the Pharisees He spoke according to their understanding. Since the church was a mystery not yet revealed, the Pharisees and the Old Testament prophets understood that the age to come was the future kingdom.
The Lord told them that if one committed this sin during their current age (before the church age) or in the kingdom age to come (after the church age) it will not be forgiven. That is because in the future kingdom the Lord will again be bodily present on earth. Christ is not bodily present on the earth today, so no one can personally see the Lord perform a miracle and then attribute that power to the devil. It is a sin that was possible to commit when Christ came to offer His Kingdom at His first advent and it is a sin that could possibly be committed in the future when Christ has begun His 1000-year earthly rule.
Those born during the Millennial Kingdom will witness Christ’s mighty works and power. In that day the Lord Jesus will rule with a rod of iron (Psa. 2:9; Rev. 12:5; 19:15). Each sin will receive an immediate, appropriate, and measured punishment. If any should blaspheme the Spirit during His reign, it will not be forgiven.
Yet, there is an unpardonable sin today. It is the sin of unbelief. To the one who resists Christ’s offer of salvation means that there can be no forgiveness for that individual. Today is the day of salvation, after death it is too late. It is not our individual sins but the sin of unbelief that assigns one to a lost eternity. However, the believer may rest assured that they cannot commit an unpardonable sin. All our sins were paid for at Calvary and God chooses to remember them no more. To God be the glory!
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