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the unforgivable sin

What Is the Unforgivable Sin?

Some people are terrified they have committed the unforgivable sin. They fear that there is absolutely nothing they can do to escape eternal condemnation. We want to debunk this idea that your salvation can be lost so easily! If you are worried that you have committed the “unpardonable” sin: you haven’t! How can we be so sure? Read on!

Context Is Key

Right before Jesus addressed the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the Pharisees had made a grave accusation:

Matthew 12:22-24 22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

The Pharisees misidentified the power of the Holy Spirit as the power of satan! Therefore, Jesus responded:

Mark 3:28-30 – 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Matthew 12:31-32 – 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Luke 12:10 – “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.”

The Pharisees accused Jesus of using the power of satan to work the miracles He performed. They called the good works He was doing by the power of the Holy Spirit evil and that it was the spirit of “Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

What Is Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

The English definition of blasphemy is “imperious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things; an act of cursing or reviling God” (dictionary.com). Therefore, many have assumed simply cursing at or about God, or telling God, “I hate you!” is enough to earn “eternal condemnation.”

Let’s consider Peter. After Jesus was arrested, Peter followed them to the high priest’s house. Three times people identified him as one of Jesus’ followers, and he denied it three times. The third time, Matthew 26:74 says, “Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed.”

Yet, Jesus forgave Peter for denying Him, cursing and swearing. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is not simply using profanity against the Lord, or an outburst in the midst of pain, anger, or fear. In order to discover the true meaning of blasphemy, we need to look at the original Greek word, which makes the definition much more clear.

Blasphēmia/blasphēméō is a compound word (from blax, “sluggish/slow,” and phēmē, “reputation, fame”) which means to be slow to recognize a true reputation or status: to be slow to call something good and slow to identify what is truly bad.

Blasphemy actually reverses right for wrong, and wrong for right. It says that the things God disapproves of are “right” and what God approves of is “evil”. Blasphemy is refusing to acknowledge good, completely swapping around moral values.

Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

The Unforgivable Sin Is Intentional

The Pharisees Jesus addressed in these verses knew the Scriptures by heart. They knew the hundreds of prophecies regarding the Messiah, and they knew that Jesus fulfilled them all! These scholars and religious leaders willfully chose to reject the Word of God. They accused Jesus of being evil while knowing that He wasn’t!

Therefore, you cannot commit the unforgivable sin in ignorance.

If someone has said, “God is evil because He allows all of these horrible things to happen in the world,” they are usually saying this out of ignorance. They are unaware of the truth. Therefore, this is not blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. They simply do not know any better!

The Pharisees knew the truth and knowingly and intentionally called good evil, and evil good, in an attempt to subvert the influence that Jesus was having on the people around Him.

Romans 1:18-32 describes these kinds of people in great detail. Romans 1:25 says “Who exchanged the truth of God for the lie…” Then it confirms the idea that this “unpardonable sin” cannot be committed unintentionally in verses 28 and 32: 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting…32 Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to knowingly accuse Him of doing evil, switching right for wrong, refusing to acknowledge good, to reverse moral values!

The Unforgivable Sin Has No Remorse

If you have ever been concerned that you have committed the unforgivable sin: you haven’t! First of all, there is no sin that the Lord hasn’t already provided forgiveness for on the cross. Remember, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men…” (Mark 3:28). Secondly, those who have committed the unforgivable sin simply do not feel guilty about it at all!

Let’s look at Romans 1:32 again: “Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” I don’t know about you, but even when I sin, I certainly don’t approve of it! Usually, there is some remorse, some conviction from the Holy Spirit that the sin that has been committed is not a part of our true identity in Jesus. If that conviction exists in your heart, you are guilty of nothing more than being a fallible human being who will make mistakes in this life!

So, rest in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for you! He loves you and His grace is more than enough to change your life, from the inside out.

“And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.”

1 John 2:2, AMPC

Related Resources

Your Life with God

Is there more to life than this?

At some point, we have all sensed that something was missing from our lives. We have even questioned why we are here and the meaning of life. In fact, all of creation prompts us to ask these questions so we can discover the simple answer: God wants to have intimate relationship with us.

  • Why do we need a savior?
  • What does it mean to be born again?
  • How can I know God?
  • What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  • How do I become born again and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Answers to all of these questions, and more, can be found within the pages of this little book. We pray that you will receive revelation from God of His deep and precious love for you.

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What Is the Unforgivable Sin?

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