This series is written with permission, and is based upon materials offered online by Middletown Bible Church (www.middletownbiblechurch.org).
There is only one sin that cannot be forgiven, and that is the rejection of Jesus Christ as one's Savior. If a person continues to reject the only Person who can save him, then how can he be saved? If a person, drowning in the ocean, refuses to grab the lifeline, then how can he be saved? If a person is in a doomed plane and is given a parachute, but refuses to use it, how can he be saved? If a sinner rejects God’s only remedy for sin, how can he hope to be saved? There is salvation in no other Person (Acts 4:12).
The unpardonable sin is described as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (rejecting His testimony concerning Christ - Matt. 12:31-32). Remember, the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself (Jn.16:13); His ministry is to point to Jesus Christ and to glorify Him (Jn. 16:13). In John 16:8-11 we learn that the Spirit’s ministry is to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. In other words, the Spirit of God’s ministry is to convince men that they are sinners in need of salvation. Sinners deserve God’s judgment and they need God’s righteousness. The Spirit’s ministry is to convince men that Jesus Christ is man's only source of that righteousness.
In Matthew 12, the Spirit of God was doing a great work. He was working through the Son of God, performing an amazing healing miracle, defeating the powers of darkness and demonstrating to the Jewish people that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the King of Israel. The general populace got the message (Matt. 12:23), but the heart-hardened religious leaders rejected the light they were given. Instead of receiving the Spirit’s testimony, they spoke against Him and said, “He (Jesus Christ) hath an unclean spirit” (Mk. 3:29). Christ was possessed by the Spirit of God, but they accused Him of being possessed by a demon. The One who was filled with the Spirit was accused of being a tool of the devil.
Why is this sin unpardonable? This sin is unpardonable because the person is unwilling to follow the path that leads to pardon. This sin cannot be forgiven because the person persistently refuses God’s way of forgiveness. If a person refuses the only remedy, then it is impossible for him to be cured.
The key to understanding this involves recognizing the role of the Holy Spirit in salvation. It is His job is to bring people to Christ. A person who blasphemes the Spirit is slandering and rejecting the only One who can lead him to a place of saving faith. It is impossible to be saved if a person persists in saying “NO” to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.