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Mark 3.22-29 – The unforgivable sin
Posted: 5 March 2014 in Mark

And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

It is sometimes speculated what the unforgivable sin, spoken of more than once in the Bible, might be. From the context within which Jesus makes his remarks, the answer to that question seems to me reasonably clear. The unforgivable sin is to describe the works of God as being those of the Devil, and, by extension, to identify God with the Devil. To do such a thing must be the grossest blasphemy there is, and we are here assured that it is unforgivable. For the thought to so much as enter somebody’s mind, at least for more than a fleeting second, would mean that they were destined for eternal punishment.

In contrast, failing to recognise the divinity of Jesus, and his status as our only means of salvation, will bring condemnation in the normal course of events, but, like most sins, it can be forgiven if repented of. However, there is a sin, which is so grievous an insult to God’s infinite holiness, that it will assuredly be punished eternally. That ought to be a sobering thought, even if most of us do not go around thinking that God’s works are of the Devil.

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