Post Author: Bill Pratt
In part 1 of this post, we learned what exactly the unpardonable sin is – attributing to Satan what is accomplished by the Spirit of God. But what caused Jesus to give this stern warning to this particular group of people? It is important to understand so that we can know how to apply Jesus’s warning today. For the answer, we just continue reading Matt. 12 to get an idea of the kind of people Jesus is admonishing:
Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Clay Jones summarizes Jesus’s words for us: “The Pharisees’ blasphemy wasn’t a hastily uttered slip of the tongue or simply a mistaken apprehension of reality. Rather, it was a knowing, deliberate, and final rejection for which they will give an account of themselves on the Day of Judgment.”
Craig Blomberg adds: “Even if all the details are unclear, we should observe that in this text only Jesus’ enemies are in any danger—those who have never professed any allegiance to him and, at least in the pages of Scripture, never do. Instead, they intensify their opposition to the point of crucifying him.”
To further illustrate how hard-hearted the Pharisees are, we should note that even after Jesus issues his warning, this same group of people asks Jesus for another miraculous sign in verse 39! Clay Jones comments, “It was as if they said, ‘Even though you have healed a blind and mute man in our presence, demonstrated your dominance over spiritual beings, and have refuted our arguments – we still need more proof that what you do is of God.” Jesus aptly responds, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign.”
You can now see that the unpardonable sin does not apply to a Christian living today who utters some hasty or angry words toward God that he later regrets. As Jones explains, “The very fact that a person would be concerned about his or her relationship with Jesus is evidence that he or she isn’t hardened against the Holy Spirit.”
But for those who persist in rejecting any and all evidence that Jesus is from God, his warning stands. At some point, a line is crossed. “By your words you will be condemned.”