The Unforgivable Sin

Straight Talk

The Question

What kind of sin is unforgivable?

EMS from Japan

The Answer
Part 1: The Ultimate Rebellion

The Ultimate Rebellion (Part 1)

I would prefer to say that there is no unforgivable sin because 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That covers any way we might fall and seems to be all-inclusive.

Still, there is another scripture that is often troubling and has caused confusion and worry through the centuries. It speaks of a sin that IS unpardonable. In Matthew 12:31-32 Jesus says, “’Therefore I say to you, 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.’”

How is this sin committed? How can you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit? The context of the passage reveals it. Just previous to Jesus’ statement he had freed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. While “all the crowds were amazed” (Matthew 12:23), the Pharisees attributed the miracle to “Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” (Verse 24)

The miracle was genuine and obvious as the nose on their face. How could it be denied? They saw it but refused to accept it because they didn’t want it to be true. If it was true then they had to take a look at the possibility that Jesus actually was the Messiah. Rather than that, they attributed the miracle to Satan. They called the work of the Holy Spirit the devil’s work.

Can you imagine anything more hardened and rebellious? They were not simply struggling with doubt or grappling with faith; they rejected God’s work utterly and they did it knowing the truth in their heart. That action would be very hard to reproduce today. People have often feared that they have somehow committed an unpardonable sin but the simple concern they have should assure them otherwise.

When our conscious operates it is by the work of the Holy Spirit and when the Holy Spirit prompts us it is for the purpose of seeking forgiveness for our sin. As long as we are capable of a softened heart we never have to worry about committing the unforgivable sin.