Topical Sermons                                                                                                                                  Power Point Show


Scripture Reading:  Mark 3:22-30


Bible Question Box

(June 2006)


Question:  Can we review blasphemy?  If all sins including blasphemy are forgiven according to Mark 3:28, why does verse 29 say that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven?


(Define and identify blasphemy; what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and what about forgiveness?)



  A.  To Speak Against, Speak Evil of, Rail Against God.

    1.  Blasphemy (blasphemia): “slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name…impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty” (OBGL).

     a.  Blasphemous words, Acts 6:11 (speaking evil, slanderous, reproachful, railing, abusive).

     b.  Blasphemous (blasphemos):  Compound of blapto, “to hurt, harm, injure” and pheme “fame, report.” 

     c.  Hence, to speak hurtful or harmful reports of God (of divine things).

     d.  Jesus was accused of blasphemy: “I am the Son of God,” Jno. 10:33, 36; Matt. 26:65-66.

    2.  Those who rejected Him as Messiah blasphemed Jesus, Lk. 22:63-65.

  B.  Punishment for the Sin of Blasphemy:

    1.  Law of Moses:  death, Lev. 24:11-16 (Exo. 20:7).

    2.  Gospel of Christ: eternal death, Heb. 10:29 (26-31). 

    3.  Question:  Is there an additional punishment?  (Never having the possibility of forgiveness) (Once lost, always lost?)


II. WHAT IS BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT?  Mk. 3:29-30 (Matt. 12:31-32; Lk. 12:10)

  1.  Regarded by some “as a continued and obstinate rejection of the gospel, and hence is an unpardonable sin, simply because as long as a sinner remains in unbelief he voluntarily excludes himself from pardon.”  (Easton’s Revised Bible Dictionary)

  2.  “Others regard the expression as designating the sin of attributing to the power of Satan those miracles which Christ performed, or generally those works which are the result of the Spirit’s agency.”  (Easton’s Revised Bible Dictionary)


  -Context will show #2, which is evidence of  #1.


  A.  A Mark of Messiah:  The Presence of the Spirit of God, Isa. 42:1-4 (Matt. 12:15-21).

    1.  “Could this be the Son of David?”  (Matt. 12:23)

         a.      Miracles of Jesus proof He is the Son of God, Jno. 20:30-31; cf. Lk. 4:17-21.

         b.      People were getting the point!  Matt. 12:22-23 (Isa. 61:1-2Lk. 4:18)

  B.  The Pharisees Rejected the Evidence, and in Their Rejection They Blasphemed Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Matt. 12:24, 32 (Mk. 3:22).

  C.  Jesus Demolished Their False Charge, Matt. 12:25-30 (Mk. 3:22-27).

    1.  Chaos Principle (Matt. 12:25; Mk. 3:24-25):  A divided house (kingdom) cannot stand.

    2.  Principle Applied (Matt. 12:26; Mk. 3:26):  If Jesus was acting by the power of Satan, then Satan was defeating himself!

      a.  Hypocrisy exposed (Matt. 12:27).  (Their alleged exorcisms judged them as hypocritical and evil, cf. Acts 19:13-16.)

      b.  True conclusion (Matt. 12:28):  By divine power (Spirit of God), then the kingdom has come upon you.  (As prophesied, Messiah was with them.)

    3.  Plunder Principle (Matt. 12:29; Mk. 3:27):  Jesus’ battle with Satan (1 Jno. 3:8).

    4.  No neutrality (Matt. 12:30):  Time for a moral decision about Jesus and His gospel!

  D.  The Magnitude of Their Sin of Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit.

    1.  Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31; Mk. 3:29):  Attributed to the devil the Holy Spirit’s power and work.

    2.  Will not be forgiven (subject to eternal condemnation) (Matt. 12:32; Mk. 3:29-30):  Continued rejection – No forgiveness.

    3.  Sequential argument (12:31-32): 

      a.  Blasphemy Christ:  May yet be persuaded by gospel (Acts 2:36-37).

      b.  Blasphemy Holy Spirit:  Reject the power and evidence which forms the basis for faith and forgiveness!  No other means of faith or salvation … cf. Heb. 2:3-4 (cf. Heb. 10:26-27).

  E.  A State of Continual Sin and Continually Rejecting the Holy Spirit’s Power and Word Produces “Eternal Condemnation” (no forgiveness!).  Mk. 3:28-30 (Lk. 12:10-12)

    1.  As long as a person continues to oppose, reject and blasphemy the Spirit-given evidence that Jesus is the Christ, he will not be forgiven. 

    2.  J. W. McGarvey correctly observed:

“But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is in its nature an eternal sin, for if one rejects the evidence given by the Holy Spirit and ascribes it to Satan, he rejects the only evidence upon which faith can be based; and without faith there is no forgiveness. The difference in the two sins is therefore in no way due to any difference in the Son and Spirit as to their degrees of sanctity or holiness. The punishment is naturally eternal because the sin is perpetual.”  (The Fourfold Gospel, p. 303)



  A.  Principles to Remember:

    1.  Forgiveness is available to all sinners and for all sin, 1 Tim. 1:15.

    2.  Forgiveness is applied only when sinners believe (obey) the Spirit-revealed gospel, Heb. 4:2.

    3.  God’s power to save is never diminished nor is His mercy decreased by any sin of man (Isa. 59:1-2; cf. Lk. 15:24).

    4.  Every doctrine is false that says forgiveness is never available to certain sinners regardless of their subsequent repentance and obedience! 

  B.  Forgiveness Forbidden?

    1.  If there is even one sin which will never be forgiven, no matter if the sinner repents, then…

      a.  Gospel not powerful to save all believers, Rom. 1:16.

      b.  Whoever cannot call on the name of the Lord and be saved, Rom. 10:11-13.

      c.  Jesus is not Savior of all men, nor even of some who (might later repent and) believe, 1 Ti. 4:10.

  C.  Example of a Holy Spirit Blasphemer being Forgiven:  Saul of Tarsus, 1 Tim. 1:13.

    1.  Paul blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by resisting the Spirit-provided evidence that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, cf. Acts 26:9 (Stephen’s miracles, 6:8-11; 7:51, 58; 8:1).

    2.  But, Saul was forgiven when he believed the gospel, repented of his sins and obeyed the gospel, Acts 22:16.

*  3.  The idea that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit means forgiveness is never available is false.

    4.  Forgiveness is available to him, but the blasphemer does not avail himself of it.  Thus, he remains “subject to eternal condemnation” – his sin is not forgiven (Rom. 6:23).

  D.  Practicing Sin, Rom. 6:1-2.

     -Any sinner who does not repent of his sin “will not be forgiven,” 1 Jno. 5:16-17.

    1.  The blasphemer who persists in (will not repent of but continues to practice) his blasphemy will not be forgiven of his blasphemy (“never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation,” Mk. 3:29; “it will not be forgiven him,” Matt. 12:32).

         -But remember, Saul was forgiveness when he repented of his blasphemy.

    2.  The drunkard who persists in (will not repent of but continues to practice) his drunkenness will not be forgiven of his drunkenness (“never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal   condemnation,” Mk. 3:29; “it will not be forgiven him,” Matt. 12:32).  Gal. 5:21

    3.  The polygamist who persists in (will not repent of but continues to practice) his polygamy will not be forgiven of his polygamy (“never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation,” Mk. 3:29; “it will not be forgiven him,” Matt. 12:32).  Rom. 7:2-3; Matt. 19:4-6

    4.  The adulterer who persists in (will not repent of but continues to practice) his adultery will not be forgiven of his adultery (“never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation,” Mk. 3:29; “it will not be forgiven him,” Matt. 12:32).  1 Cor. 6:9-11; Heb. 13:4

  E.  Repentance and the Nature of Sin.

    1.  Repentance does not change the nature of sin; it changes the heart and the life in respect to practicing sin!  (Acts 26:18-20)

    2.  Forgiveness is only applied when the sinner ceases his sin, Rom. 6:1-4, 11-12.



1.  Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is to speak / rail against the Holy Spirit.

  a.  It is expressed in Mark 3:28-30 by attributing the miracles of Jesus to Satan (thereby despising the Spirit of grace whose presence announced the coming kingdom of God, Matt. 12:28).

  b.  All such sinners are subject to eternal condemnation.

  c.  Only a change of heart will change their eternal prospect.

2.  Can people blasphemy the Spirit today?  Yes, by speaking against (thus, rejecting) the Christ and His Spirit-revealed, inspired and confirmed word, the New Testament.

3.  God forgives every sinner when he repents of his sin and obeys the gospel, not before (Acts 17:30; 2:37-38).