Matthew 12:31 - The Unpardonable Sin; The Sin God Cannot Forgive.

Matthew 12:31 - The Unpardonable Sin; The Sin God Cannot Forgive.

Matthew 12:31 (NLT) Every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven - 
except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. 

Matthew 12:31 (MSG) There's nothing done or said that can't be 
forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God's 
Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives.  

  There is in man a Spirit-given faculty which enables him to 
recognize goodness and truth when he sees them... A man can lose any 
faculty if he refuses to use it. This is true in any sphere of life. It 
is true physically; if a man ceases to use certain muscles, they 
will atrophy. It is true mentally; many a man at school or in his 
youth has acquired some slight knowledge of, for example, French or 
Latin or music; but that knowledge is long since gone because he did 
not exercise it. It is true of all kinds of perception. A man may 
lose all appreciation of good music, if he listens to nothing but 
cheap music; he may lose the ability to read a great book, if he reads 
nothing but ephemeral productions; he may lose the faculty of enjoying 
clean and healthy pleasure, if he for long enough finds his pleasure 
in things which are degraded and soiled. Therefore a man can lose 
the ability to recognize goodness and truth when he sees them. If he 
for long enough shuts his eyes and ears to God's way, if he for long 
enough turns his back upon the messages which God is sending him, if he 
for long enough prefers his own ideas to the ideas which God is 
seeking to put into his mind, in the end he comes to a stage when he 
cannot recognize God's truth and God's beauty and God's goodness when 
he sees them. He comes to a stage when his own evil seems to him 
good, and when God's good seems to him evil. 
  That is the stage to which these Scribes and Pharisees had 
come. They had so long been blind and deaf to the guidance of God's 
hand and the promptings of God's Spirit, they had insisted on their 
own way so long, that they had come to a stage when they could not 
recognize God's truth and goodness when they saw them. They were able to 
look on incarnate goodness and call it incarnate evil; they were able 
to look on the Son of God and call him the ally of the devil. The 
sin against the Holy Spirit is the sin of so often and so 
consistently refusing God's will that in the end it cannot be recognized when 
it comes even full-displayed. 
  Why should that sin be unforgivable? What differentiates it so 
terribly from all other sins? The answer is simple. When a man reaches 
that stage, repentance is impossible. If a man cannot recognize the 
good when he sees it, he cannot desire it.  If a man does not 
recognize evil as evil, he cannot be sorry for it, and wish to depart from 
it. And if he cannot, in spite of failures, love the good and hate 
the evil, then he cannot repent; and if he cannot repent, he cannot 
be forgiven, for repentance is the only condition of forgiveness. 
It would save much heartbreak if people would realize that the one 
man who cannot have committed the sin against the Holy Spirit is the 
man who fears he has, for the sin against the Holy Spirit can be 
truly described as the loss of all sense of sin.... 
  It is a law of life that we will hear only what we are 
listening for and only what we have fitted ourselves to hear. There is a 
story of a country man who was in the office of a city friend, with 
the roar of the traffic coming through the windows. Suddenly he 
said, "Listen!" "What is it?" asked the city man. "A grasshopper," 
said the country man. Years of listening to the country sounds had 
attuned his ears to the country sounds, sounds that a city man's ear 
could not hear at all. On the other hand, let a silver coin drop, and 
the chink of the silver would have immediately reached the ears of 
the money-maker, while the country man might never have heard it at 
all. Only the expert, the man who has made himself able to hear it, 
will pick out the note of each individual bird in the chorus of the 
  It is the law of life that we hear what we have trained 
ourselves to hear; day by day we must listen to God, so that day by day 
God's voice may become, not fainter and fainter until we cannot hear 
it at all, but clearer and clearer until it becomes the one sound 
to which above all our ears are attuned. [Barclay Commentary] 

Our Lord warns that the human heart can be so pounded and beaten 
down with the traffic of sin that it becomes completely insensitive 
to the gospel.  This is the heart that knows no repentance, no 
sorrow over sin, no guilt, and no concern for the things of God.  It 
allows itself to be trampled by an endless procession of evil thoughts, 
cherished sins, and ungodly activities.  It is careless, callous, 
indifferent, never broken up or softened by conviction or sorrow for 
wrongdoing  This is the heart of the fool described in Proverbs.  The fool 
hates knowledge, and resists instruction.  The fool despises wisdom 
and says in his heart there is no God.  He will not hear.  His mind 
is closed.  And he does not want to be bothered with a gospel 
invitation. [John F. MacArthur, Jr.; Time With God SB re Mat.13:1-17]