My Greek professor used to say that we all believe some Bible verses and not others. He told the class that because we were going to be pastors, we should at least know why we believed some verses and not others.
For example, no one has ever greeted me with a “holy kiss.” Many times In his letters, the Apostle Paul commanded we do that. Evidently no one believes those verses.
Matthew 12:32 is one of those verses we don’t want to believe: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
We can say anything against Jesus and be forgiven; we can accept that.
What we can’t accept is that there might be something that’s unforgiveable.
When Jesus said this, he was responding to the religious leaders of his day. They saw Jesus casting out demons, and said he was able to do that because he was beholden to the prince of demons.
In other words, they admitted that Jesus was casting out demons, but it wasn’t because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. They said he was demon possessed too.
It turns out that Jesus wasn’t talking about a particular sin that was unforgiveable.
He was talking about the condition of their hearts.
They were so sure of themselves that they couldn’t see God working right before their eyes.
The problem with being self-righteous is that you don’t know it.
CS Lewis put it this way in Mere Christianity:
“Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others, but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or to even enjoy it, but just the grumble itself going on and on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God ‘sending us’ to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will *be* Hell unless it is nipped in the bud.”
P.S. My Greek professor was speaking tongue in cheek. You have to accept all the Bible, the parts you like and the parts you don’t.