Can Christians Commit the Unpardonable Sin? – Mark 3:20-30

“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:28-29, ESV).

Jesus states this theological conundrum in response to the scribes who were accusing Him of being possessed by an evil spirit. He replied that a kingdom can’t be divided against itself: “How can Satan cast out Satan?” (vs. 23). Then, Jesus seems to warn the scribes they may be the ones committing blasphemy!

Luke’s account complicates the conundrum. In Luke 12:10 Jesus says, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

Today, we use these verses as the basis for the so-called doctrine of the unpardonable sin.

We generally consider blasphemy as contemptuous behavior towards God often exhibited by cursing or reviling God. But, there is an underlying theological supposition to blasphemy–that is, to attribute to oneself the rights or qualities of God.

The scribes’ indictment of blasphemy against Jesus in Mark 3 was based on that theological component. So, when Jesus answered them back, he used the scribes own faulty reasoning against them–their accusation of Jesus’ supposed blasphemy was in itself blasphemous!

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Stop Complaining – Exodus 16:8

“Yes, your complaints are against the Lord,not against us.”  (Exodus 16:8, NLT)

When the Israelites escaped from Egypt, God did not lead them straight to the promised land because they weren’t prepared for war with the Canaanites: “God said, If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt” (vs. 13:17).

Instead of going north towards Canaan, Moses led them south into the wilderness or desert region of the Sinai peninsula. After three days they came to an oasis but the water there was not potable.

The people complained against Moses and he threw a piece of wood into the water, which made it drinkable (vs. 15:24-25).

Then after a month of traveling south down the Sinai peninsula the people began to complain about the lack of food: “There, too, the whole community of Israel complained about Moses and Aaron” (vs. 2). They even went so far as to say they wished they were back in Egypt.

God heard their complaints and instructed Moses to tell them that He would rain down food from heaven each day and they should gather just enough food for the day. God wanted the Israelites to learn to depend on Him to supply their needs on a daily basis.

Moses announced to the Israelites what God was going to do, including a stern warning about complaining: “In the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaints, which are against him, not against us” (vs. 7).

One of the great dangers of complaining is that it distorts our perception of reality.

The Israelites complained for the “good old days” in Egypt when they had plenty to eat, yet somehow forgot the severity of human bondage they suffered there.

Like the Israelites, God wants us to develop a lifestyle of dependence on Him to supply our daily needs–a lifestyle of hope vested in God’s provision.

When you complain, you are not depending on God to supply your needs so your complaint is really against God.

Hope is the fruit of faith while complaining is the fruit of unbelief.

Complaining focuses on what is wrong with the present and glorifies a distorted view of the past while hope focuses on making the best of the present reality in anticipation of a glorious future.

Complaining demonstrates a lack of faith or confidence that God is in control of the circumstances of your daily life and of His ability to carry you through or supernaturally intervene.

Complaining can become a bad habit. And, the best way to rid yourself of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one.

Giving praise and thanksgiving to God acknowledges His sovereignty over the circumstances of your daily life and over all His creation.

So, stop complaining and start praising God!