A while ago, I had prayed for a woman. She had so much fear because as a little girl she had been told by an adult leader in a church that she had committed the unpardonable sin and would not be able to go to heaven. What is even sadder though is both of my boys, unsuccessfully, had been taught about the unpardonable sin. Thankfully this was after sharing my revelation of God’s great grace with both of them. My youngest got in such a heated discussion with his “Christian studies teacher” that he had to be pulled out of the classroom. For him he saw a God that would forgive everything and the way this teacher was explaining this scripture, in Mark 3:29-30, did not fit into how he saw and knew God. So, today I want to bring clarity, hope, freedom and truth to this scripture that has, because of the way it has been taught for many years, hurt so many people.
Let me copy two different translations of this verse below one from the New King James Version (NKJV) and one from the Message. My favorite is from the Message; yet many times this is taught from the NKJV.
“Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3:28-30 NKJV)
“Listen to this carefully. I’m warning you. There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you persist in your slanders against God’s Holy Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives, sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.” He gave this warning because they were accusing him of being in league with Evil.” (Mark 3:28-30 MSG)
What is even more interesting is the title in the NKJV which states this section is about THE UNPARDONABLE SIN. Wow, and it looks just like that…..so this must be what it is about…..and it is….but not what we have been taught for years. (Yes, I said all that with a huge grin…because of the goodness of God).
I have written before about the importance of reading scripture in context, looking at the time period, who wrote it and whom it was written to. It is just as important here. At this time Jesus was healing and teaching around Galilee. There were many people from other areas there with Him. He had chosen His twelve disciples when all of a sudden scribes are proclaiming Jesus to have the prince of demons, Beelzebub, within Him. Jesus teaches them in parable regarding how can a house divided against itself stand? He then goes on to say in Mark 3:28 how ALL of the sins and blasphemes will be forgiven the sons of men. It isn’t just a few sins but ALL; which means in Greek the totality of. No sins left unforgiven. It will all be accomplished, finished. But then all of a sudden it sounds like Jesus is now retracting what He just said in the next sentences. But He isn’t.
I looked up each word in the Greek in all three verses. Specifically verses 28 and 29. Here is the summation of what I looked up (to do your own research you can view the bible hub pages here: http://biblehub.com/text/mark/3-29.htm and http://biblehub.com/text/mark/3-30.htm):
Whoever refuses to acknowledge the good that has come from the union (remember Jesus is talking about Himself and the healing He has been performing by casting out unclean spirits) of the Holy Spirit, negates possession of forgiveness in this age, is legally bound or obligated eternally (both now and outside time) to sin’s results because they have concluded I possess a spirit which is adulterated(“a wrong mix’/tainted by sin). (Mark 3:29-30)
He is making it clear there is one condition that the son of man (yep, that is you and me) must make to have ALL your sins forgiven. The scribes had just concluded that the sinless lamb was full of sin. So for them, unless they change their minds (yep that is repentance) and realize that Jesus is the Sinless One whom will take on all of the son of men’s sins, they are negating the ONLY way to possess forgiveness from God.
Jesus was already telling how and Who forgiveness would happen through. How the one condition of faith in Who He is makes all the difference for the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. It is simply the same simple message of faith, forgiveness and a Spotless Lamb that must be seen as spotless not just as a “good man”, a “prophet” or a fake. He was, is and will be the only real Spotless Lamb, born without sin, remained without sin for our good.