The Unforgiveable Sin and the Mark of the Beast

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Spiritual Warfare

At one point or another, some believers wonder if they’ve committed the “unforgiveable” or “unpardonable” sin.

For the most part, such worries are the trick of the evil one designed to engender fear, unbelief and a distancing from God. He’s trying to drown their confidence and neutralize their productivity in the kingdom of God by filling their minds with hopelessness, self-hatred and doubts about God’s goodness.

Let My People Go

Some believe that they’ve committed the sin of Pharaoh, who repeatedly and defiantly hardened his heart to the witness of the Holy Spirit. In that case, God finally declared:

“I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen” (Exod. 7:3-4a, ESV).

Pharaoh had hardened his heart at least ten times before God took action—refusing to believe that the “signs and wonders” performed through Moses were from God. Having read the intents of his heart, God knew that Pharaoh’s decision would never change—that he had rendered himself incapable of repentance.

The Sin That Dare Not Call Its Name

We see a variation on the sin of Pharaoh in Matthew 12:22-31 when the Pharisees charged Jesus with healing a demon-possessed, blind and mute man by the power of Satan. They declared:

“This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

Jesus replied:

“Any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 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 …” (NASB).

“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart …” (NASB1995).

By attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to demonic powers, the Pharisees were also denying the validity of Jesus’ ministry—in essence, charging Him with working for Satan himself. As Jesus put it, they were speaking: out of that which fills the heart.

The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to bear witness to the divinity of Jesus as the Son of God, Savior and Lord and to demonstrate that fact through divine miracles, signs and wonders. In John 16:7-8, Jesus expands on this by saying that the work of the Holy Spirit is to convict the world concerning sin, righteousness and judgment.

To Be Against Jesus is to Be on Satan’s Side

To believe that we are irretrievably destined to hell by dint of one sin or another (or even a multiplicity of sins, egregious as they may be), is to say that the atonement of Jesus is not sufficient to cleanse us from all sin. Thus the “unforgiveable sin” lies outside of kinds, types, degrees or numbers of sin. It lies in the hardening of one’s heart to the only way that man can be saved—the forgiveness that the Son of God alone offers (Acts 4:12).

It is unforgiveable because the only thing that can save a person is such faith. If we make a final and full denial of Jesus and His work, we have cut ourselves off from salvation itself.

An important caveat: Only God knows when a person has reached this point, so it is important for us to share Jesus with everyone, no matter what their present behavior.

In his commentary on Matthew, Robert Mounce adds:

“Jesus is saying to His antagonists that to attribute to Satan that which has been accomplished by the power and Spirit of God is to demonstrate a moral vision so distorted that there is no longer any hope of recovery…. Denial of this was not the result of ignorance but of a willful refusal to believe. Therefore it is unforgiveable. The only sin that God is unable to forgive is the unwillingness to accept forgiveness. Thus the unforgiveable sin is a state of moral insensitivity caused by continuous refusal to respond to the overtures of the Spirit of God.”

The ‘Sin Unto Death’

In 1 John 5:16 (NIV), the apostle John makes a curious statement about “a sin that leads to death”:

“If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.”

Clearly, this sin is so egregious that God takes the life of the person who commits it. Whether John is referring to physical death or spiritual death is not clear, though the warning is directed toward “brothers and sisters.”

Alternately it may refer to an “unpardonable sin” repeatedly and unrepentantly committed by an unbeliever.

The Mark of the Beast

Another possible understanding of the “sin unto death” is that it prophetically refers to the sin of taking the mark of the beast during the Tribulation period. In Revelation 14:9-11 (NASB1995), the Holy Spirit informs us:

“If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God. … And the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. Those who worship the beast and his image and receives the mark of his name have no rest day and night.”

(See also Revelation 13:15-17; 16:2; 17:8; 19:20-21.)

Comfort for the Fearful

If you have a desire to repent and be forgiven by Jesus for your sins, you have NOT committed the unpardonable sin, for if you had, that witness and desire would not be there.

If you are afraid that God has permanently hardened your heart because you’ve repeatedly steeled yourself against the witness of the Holy Spirit (that Jesus is Savior and Lord), there is still time to make that right!

Remember, Pharaoh’s sin was to repeatedly harden his heart as an act of defiant opposition to God and as an attack against His chosen people. The Pharisees’ “unforgiveable sin” was to declare that Jesus was doing miracles by the power of Satan rather than by the Holy Spirit, thus blinding the people to God’s singular plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. And though the text isn’t clear, the “sin unto death” is likely a variation on the sins described above or a taking of the mark of the beast in the last day.

It’s important to understand that we currently live in an “age of grace” where the redemptive power of Jesus Christ works to woo us to surrender our lives to His love and grace—before it’s too late! Though others choose darkness instead of holiness, if you still have a desire to positively respond to God’s invitation, His grace is still available to you. Respond to it now and receive the gift of eternal life. In John 17:3 (MEV), Jesus proclaimed for all who would listen:

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” {eoa}

Dr. David Kyle Foster is the host of the Pure Passion podcast and author of Transformed Into His Image and Love Hunger. He is also the founder and director of Mastering Life Ministries. Read more of his take on sexual sin and brokenness in his newest book, The Sexual Healing Reference Edition.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Joseph Mattera: 7 Traits of the Sown Life

Joseph Mattera: 7 Traits of the Sown Life

Paul said he was a "drink offering." This meant that he offered his very life, spirit, soul, and body, to the Lord and to His church as a "living sacrifice" (Num. 15:4-10; 2 Tim. 4:6; Rom. 12:1-2). He also said he not only "spent" but "was spent" for the gospel (2...

Michael Youssef: How You Can Prepare for Christ’s Return

Michael Youssef: How You Can Prepare for Christ’s Return

If you do an internet search asking questions such as "What does the Bible teach about hell?" some of the first few results will be from false teachers. Here are the titles of webpages that popped up at the top of my search: "Hell Is Not a Biblical Concept." "Jesus...

How You Can Activate Your Inner Warrior

How You Can Activate Your Inner Warrior

Did you know if you are a “born again believer in Christ Jesus” there is a warrior inside you? That’s right, you have an inner warrior. Sometimes you need to push pause. Sometimes you need to sit down and count the cost. There is a time to reevaluate. There is a time...

Prophecy: The Lord Says, ‘I Have Reset Time in Your Favor’

Prophecy: The Lord Says, ‘I Have Reset Time in Your Favor’

In the early morning of September 1, 2022, an angel of the Lord came to me. He was the most beautiful angel I had ever seen. He was probably 20 feet tall, had long, flowing dark hair and great, enormous wings. The night was around him, and stars were dancing all about...

Now or Never: It’s ‘Go Time’ For the Body of Christ

Now or Never: It’s ‘Go Time’ For the Body of Christ

Have you been feeling hopeless, sick, depressed, anxious or fearful over the course of these past two years? The enemy of our souls has been turning up the heat every way possible. But his plan is failing and we must remember, especially during the intensity of these...

RECENT ARTICLES

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of...
The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

Pin It on Pinterest