Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit: Matthew 12:30-32
“30) He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters. 31) “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32) Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭30‬-‭32‬ ‭
Jesus now introduces the subject of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is an issue that has intrigued people for years. “What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?” Jesus said this is an unpardonable sin. Let’s see if we can discover some insight from this context.
First, in the previous several verses, the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebub. They were accusing Jesus of being part of Satan’s kingdom. When religion rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is a very serious offense. Judaism was about to reject the Messiah and accuse Him of being a deceiver. They were rejecting Gods only plan of salvation. Those who die in a state of rejection of Jesus Christ and the gospel have no basis of salvation. This is unpardonable!
Second, notice verse 30 says; “He who does not gather with me scatters.” This might be a reference to false teachers and deceitful workers who distort the gospel to exploit people. Jude 1:8-16 would certainly put this group in the category of blasphemy. Many other New Testament texts issues the same stern warning to false workers.
Third, we now come to an often overlooked phrase in verse 32; “… either in this age, or in the age to come.” What was Jesus talking about? I would argue that Jesus was at the end of the Old Testament era. The age of the Law was about to end and the age of the gospel of grace was about to be ushered in.
Now put on your thinking cap. The age of the gospel of grace has a few other descriptive names. It is also called “the church age” and “the age of the indwelling Holy Spirit.” I believe it is more than coincidental that Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit and a new age to come.
What happened on the day of Pentecost brought manifold changes. It inaugurated the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit for every born-again believer. It also started the operation of spiritual gifts within the Body of Christ. Notice in Acts 2:13 that there were mockers in the crowd on the day of Pentecost.
Though we are called to test the spirit, we are also warned not to grieve or quench the Holy Spirit. I consider myself “Spirit filled”, but I wear biblical seat belts. I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but I don’t embrace the emotional hype and foolishness promoted in some circles.
There may be two ways to blaspheme the Holy Spirit in this regard. The first would be to reject the genuine and call it demonic. The second would be to fake the gifts for the sake of deceiving and exploiting people. I have sadly witnessed both extremes. I distance myself from both camps.
Having made the above observations, I want to say that the only ultimate unpardonable sin is dying in a state of rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s look at another profound text related to this subject.
In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 Paul shared his personal testimony. In verse 13 he says he was formerly a “blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor, and yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief.” He was saved and transformed by the grace of God even though he had been a blasphemer!
His story reminds us that there is hope for anyone in this life. Only death seals eternal destiny. Those who die apart from saving faith in Jesus Christ will never be forgiven. I am with Paul and persuade all people to be reconciled to God through personal faith in Jesus Christ! I do not write people off until they are dead and gone.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global