Matthew mangled a prophesy to associate Isaiah's metaphorical Suffering Servant with Jesus. Then we came upon the story where Jesus is accused of casting out demons through the power of Satan. Jesus could not think of a good reason why Satan would do such a thing, despite knowing that Satan is a top-notch deceiver. The topic of this study is directly hooked to this blaspheming of Jesus by Matthew and Mark, but Luke tucks it away in a different location.
The Unforgivable Sin
You see, there is one thing which really gets under God's skin, if He has skin to get under. Matthew 12:31-32 and Luke 12:10 both capture this pet peeve similarly to the more-blunt-and-concise Mark 3:28-29:
"I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." NIV
You can torture and slay a thousand people and still enter heaven. You can scream at God for being a wicked despot and still enter heaven. You can call Jesus an hypocritical zombie and still enter heaven. However, if you merely mention that the Holy Ghost is just a tramp in a white bed sheet, then you lose all hope of Salvation, because that sin cannot be forgiven.
The idea that the words you say, even if just said once, can condemn for eternity is difficult to accept from a loving and patient God who perfectly understands the emotional roller coaster that is human life. In fact, the believers of the more-loving version of God which I have encountered reject such a notion. Instead, they try to recast this as a statement saying that this pertains only to who reject God continually throughout their lives.
However, that liberal interpretation is not supported by Matthew and Mark, because this statement is tied to the Pharisees (Matthew 12:24) or teachers of the Law (Mark 3:22) accusing Jesus of casting out demons through the power of Satan. While it is only an implicit connection in Matthew, it is explicitly claimed in Mark 3:30:
[Jesus] said this because [the teachers of the Law] were saying, "He has an evil spirit." NIV
By Jesus' words, these teachers' words had just condemned them for all eternity. That is why you find Jesus saying just a few verses later in Matthew 12:37:
"For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." NIVInterestingly enough, this attitude is somewhat consistent with what we find in the Old Testament. As part of the popular version of the Ten Commandments, you find God say the following in Exodus 20:7:
"You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name." NIV
Not holding anyone guiltless is the same as saying that the guilty will never be forgiven. Jesus tweaks the message to be a little more tolerant here, making it forgivable to blaspheme God the Father or the Son, but not the Holy Spirit. Even so, with all of the wicked and perverse things that people are capable of doing, it seems illogical that the one sin which could condemn you for eternity is a mere slip of the tongue or a voice of protest.
In fact, the concept of being able to speak ill of our leaders is so important, and considered such a fundamental right, that it is included as the very first amendment in the United States Bill of Rights. It is interesting and revealing that one of our most celebrated and basic human rights is the one thing which can be exercised to yield eternal damnation, according to the God of the Bible.