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The Unforgivable Sin

Updated on August 4, 2009


"Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"--because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit." (Mark 3:28-30)

"And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him." (Luke 12:10)

This portion of God's word raises questions about the salvation that is in Christ. We know that Christ died for our sins, even for the sins of the whole world (1 Cor. 15:3; 1 John 2:2). He forgave the criminal on the cross (Luke 23:39-43). He forgave the many sins of a notorious woman (Luke 7:47), and even forgave Saul of Tarsus, who due to being a "blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor" toward the assembly of God, called himself the "foremost" of sinners  (1 Tim. 1:13-15). If the salvation of Christ is so vast, saving even the worst of sinners, how can there be such a thing as an unforgivable sin? Let us look into this matter together so that God may grant us insight into this crucial question.

But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24)
But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:24)

Who God Is--Who Man Is

Salvation is from God, not from man.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Eph. 2:8-10)

No human effort, no pleading, no act of will, no good works, can save your soul. Only God, through His salvation in Christ Jesus, can save you. Your only need is to receive His salvation. This implies a turning away from our sinful ways, and a turning to Him. This is what repentance is (Heb. 6:1). Faith is our act of joining ourselves and entering into who Christ is and what He has done. It is our trust and confidence in His very being as the faithful, trustworthy, and able one (Heb. 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:19-22). Paul called it our "work of faith" (1 Thess. 1:3), in contrast to the works of the law which cannot save us (Rom. 3:20, 28; Gal 2:16). John described this salvation experience, which is a second birth, in this way:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

In contrast to this wonderful realm of God's saving grace, sin is the realm of man's fallen being (Rom.7:7-25). Sin is the Greek word hamartia, which basically means a missing of the mark, a falling short of God's plan and desire for your life.

Salvation, then, is our leaving of the world of sin and entering into the world of God. How specifically does God bring us into this salvation? He does this by Himself, and He is triune. God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To understand what the unpardonable, unforgivable sin is, we must understand God in His trinity. To fully understand the trinity is far beyond the capability of mortal man. Yet God does show us, in an experiential way, His nature though His revealed word. While our view is limited, it is sufficient to supply us with the riches of His extravagant virtues so that we might live a life that pleases Him.

Let us now ponder the trinity.

The Father--The Invisible One

The Father God is the source of salvation (Eph. 1:3-6). In a sense, we may consider the whole Old Testament age as the age of the Father. The Father God was working in many ways to bring man into the realm of faith so that we might experience His salvation. Here are a few key ways God used to bring man to Himself:

1. Creation

The invisible God made Himself known through His creation. In Romans, Paul described how God showed us who He is, in a general way, through the created universe:

Because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.(Rom. 1:19-20)

The psalmist agrees, portraying the silent sky, with sun, moon, and stars, as actually being filled with speech:

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words;Their voice is not heard.(Psalm 19:1-3)

The invisible One, the Father, has made Himself known.

2. The Old Testament

Secondly, God made Himself known in a more specific way through what we call the Old Testament, the Jewish scriptures, which Jesus told us is basically composed of the Law, Prophets, and Psalms (Matt. 5:17; Luke 24:44). Why are there these three sections? The Law firstly shows us our need of a savior, since through the Law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20). Next, the Prophets show us that a savior is coming. Finally, the Psalms show us that this savior can be experienced by us. The Bible speaks to us about this invisible God and the salvation to come.

3. Your Conscience

Our conscience is a God created capacity to know right from wrong, and good from evil (Rom. 2:14-16). A good conscience should respond to the created universe and say, "Yes, there is a God." Likewise, a good conscience should respond to the Old Testament revelation and say, "Yes, I am a sinner. Yes, I know a savior is coming, and yes, I will rejoice in Him." Our conscience is thus not a separate way to know God, but through the general speaking from creation and the specific testimony of God's word, man's conscience should generate faith, testifying to us that God is real and that we need a savior.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)

But what if you reject God the Father and all His gracious, loving ways to reveal Himself to you? Can you still be saved? Yes, for even if you reject the Father, He still has the Son. Even Jesus noted this in a parable (Matt. 21:33-44). He said God sent His slaves, which includes the law and prophets, to His people, hoping for the fruit of repentance. Yet they rejected them. But there was still hope, for Jesus said that "afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'" (v. 37) So let us now consider the second of the trinity--the Son of God.

The Son--The Visible One

In the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we see the marvelous Son of God displayed, Jesus Christ.  In Christ, the infinite God entered into finite man, limiting Himself in space and time, so that He might save us. He was the visible representation of the invisible God.

He is the image of the invisible God....For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. (Col. 1:15, 2:9)

He was God seen, God touched, and God handled.

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us. (1 John 1:1-2)

After years of being with Jesus, and hearing Jesus speak of the Father God many times, Phillip in John 14:8 boldly asked Jesus one day to show them the Father:

Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves." (John 14:9-11)

While the Father and the Son are distinct, they are inseparable. They coexist and coinhere from eternity to eternity.

But what if you reject the Son? Can you be saved? What if you speak evil of the Son, blaspheming His dear name? Can you be saved? Yes! For God still has the third of the trinity to send to you. There is still hope!

The Spirit--The Penetrating One

After Jesus died and rose from the dead, an amazing transformation took place. All that He was as the Father and the Son, including all the humanity and human experiences He had accumulated through 33 years of living, and including all that He accomplished on the cross through His death and all that He was empowered with through His resurrection and ascension, became incorporated into the Holy Spirit.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL " The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Cor. 15:42-45)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17-18)

"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you." (John 16:12-15)

While the Spirit, just like the Father and the Son, existed from eternity to eternity, distinct from the Father and Son and yet inseparable, elements were added to the Spirit to enable us to experience the riches of His salvation. There is a picture of this in the Old Testament. The tabernacle was God's dwelling place. It was anointed with the holy oil, which symbolized the Holy Spirit of God. Yet the oil was enriched by the addition of four basic elements:

Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin. You shall make of these a holy anointing oil, a perfume mixture, the work of a perfumer; it shall be a holy anointing oil. With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony. (Exo. 30:23-26)

Today, the Holy Spirit is God the Father, embodied in the Son, enriched with all the spices of His human virtues and accomplishments, reaching man. Whatever God the Father is and whatever God the Son has done is in this Holy Spirit. This Spirit is the final stage of His triune expression. As the Spirit He comes to us and penetrates our heart, convicting us of sin and leading us into faith of Christ. Jesus spoke of the Spirit to come as a Helper, another Comforter, an advocate (Greek paracletos, someone called to one's side to render help):

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16:7-11)

This Spirit operates mainly through His assembly, which we call the church. From the book of Acts through Revelation, the working and speaking of the Spirit is recorded through the apostles and early church. God is speaking as the Spirit today. The Book of Revelation especially emphasizes the speaking of the Spirit. He speaks to the churches in chapters 2 and 3 in the way of encouraging us to overcome. For example:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God. (Rev. 2:7)

The Spirit also speaks in oneness with the church at the end of Revelation, which, through the overcoming life, has become His beloved bride:

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come. " And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (Rev. 22:17)

And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:40)
And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" (Acts 2:40)

Blaspheming the Holy Spirit

We are living in the age of the Spirit. No longer do we grope through the age of the invisible Father (e.g. Acts 17:23-27). Neither are we in the age of the Son, who graciously walked our earth 2,000 years ago. What we have today is even better, for all that the Father is, embodied in the Son, is now the Spirit for our daily salvation. A normal meeting of the assembly of God should be filled with this speaking forth of the Spirit:

Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." (Acts 13:1-2)

Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you. What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation Let all things be done for edification. (1 Cor. 14:23-26)

So even if you, in the past, have rejected the Father, and even if you have rejected and even blasphemed the Son, God now reaches you through the Holy Spirit, speaking through His believers on earth today.

But what if you reject the Holy Spirit's speaking? What if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Can you be saved? Blasphemy is an evil speaking. It is a speaking that is against the Holy Spirit, and even degrades, discounts, mocks, or ridicules the Spirit's speaking. God the Holy Spirit is speaking, yet the blasphemer speaks back. Can such a person be saved?


You are finished. You are finished because God is finished. He has given you all that He is and you have rejected Him at every stage and at every level. You rejected the Father. You rejected the Son. You rejected the Spirit. That is all God has.

If you are already a believer, you cannot commit the unpardonable sin, for salvation is eternal. But if you have not received Christ yet, you must soberly consider what you are doing. Friend, it is not too late. The Spirit even now as you read this is knocking at the door of your heart, pleading with you to receive Him. I urge you to open your heart and take His salvation immediately, calling on His name.  If you feel any regret in your heart for disobeying the Holy Spirit, that is a sign that you can be saved. Do not let the Devil convince you that you have gone too far. You are still alive. It is not too late. Do not bring such a blaspheming spirit into the grave with you. That regret is the work of the Spirit. I am praying for you.

But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." (Rom. 10:8-11)

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I am praying for you brother David. The Lord loves you and has saved you for His eternal purpose.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      help me by praying for me. I got saved when I was seventeen years old by an abberhant Pentecostal Church that initally I thought was a good church. I moved into one of their felloship houses and witnessed for Jesus every night. I Was sleep deprived. Then they told me their leader was the reincarnation of Elijah. That only he held the true interpretation of the bible. we were told not to witness to anyone over thirty. Celibacy was enforced and Marriage and relationships forbidden. We had to confess our sins before our brothers and sometimes our sisters as well. It was hard. It did not reflect the love of Christ But many People God saved and manifestations of the spirit happened. I spoke in tongues. I gave a prophecy. I was told unlike my brother who got saved through Campus Crusade for Christ that not only did we have to follow Jesus give up all our sins which for a Christian should be a joy it became like a doctrine of works;; I came and went and came and went . It was called the Church of Bible Understanding please look it up on the net. I never had any teaching on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit or revelation teachings. When I was younger I was heavily involved with the occult and satanism anzmagic. I thought it as a joke. From an earlier age I was brought up Roman Catholic. I watched a program called Dark Shadows ever afternoon when I was just eight it was a horrible show that made it past the censors that glorified the Devil and the Occult. After I left the COBU I ran into some people that told me to go to a peace gathering it was a Devil worshiping Eastern Religious Hyper Christian Cult influence as well as Cults from all over the US that camped out in a National Forest for two or more months and ate LSD. Further and further I slipped into the hands of the devil. When I was twenty five and horribly backslidden and not walking the narrow path. I began to pray to Satan. I sank so low as to ask Satan to make like unto the beast. The Church I belonged to told me that all I had to remember was to never take the mark of the beast. I was so stupid and lost that dabbling with the devil could have cost me my soul I am still tormented by demons today. My family has a hsitory of Bi polar disorder. I hear vocies in my head of the Demons and Devils. I was told by the abberant Church that turned into a church that if I left I could never be faithful to what I knew and that without them I could never join another protestant or pentecostal church. My branch would be broken unless I returned to them. THey became a Cult. Thousands of people were hurt by their teachings. I continued in the Occult until I was married and gave it up. With my son on the way. I tried to get my wife who was baptist to try to go back to church somewhere. She was caught up in the world ten years younger than I and did not go back even for our son; I should have taken him myself. I was all into making a living and pleasing my wife. I became ill in my thirties just about the time we got married. Fibromyalgia and sleep apnea that most knew little about or how to treat it. They thought I had a brain tumor and took me down to Bowman Gray in North Carolina their I met the strangest man ever he was about six foot four slim and of middle eastern descent. He seemed to be their for me because he took an imediate interest in me. I told him what I did and asked him what he did. And he told me point blank not that he was a doctor but that HE made eyes so that the blind might see. He did not say fix eyes or surgical procedures; He said he MADE EYES so the blind could see. I went about my way. For about five years I layed off drugs and alchol and stupid idotic demons and devils which I come obelieve as myths. I still held my belief in Christ that he was a real human being and the son of God; I was told I was a bad tree when I called the fellowships one day because some guy I led to Christ had after I had left Norfolk Virginia when I ran away from home;Had broken into the fellowship house and tried to rape one of the sisters. Their for since I bore bad fruit I was a bad tree. I was utterly devestated for years I turned to self help tapes and PMA philosphy and then a bad egg from my thug past showed up and got me drinking again and I went on a three years binge. I calmed down and got a good job as a Food writer and Salesman since I had been a chef in the past due to my training in New York. I had stopped believing I was the devil but I was a fool and did things my way. After a while I had tried going back to church but saw nothing but the prosperity gospel and not the gospel of Jesus Christ preached their. Their was the spirit of God but there were so many other undoctrinal beliefs that I just gave up. I started after two years dealing marijuana. Since Nine eleven. I began practicing magic again. Of course I thought it was whit magic and did not hurt anyone except those who really deserved it. What an unloving fool I was. I had never found love. Even though I had been saved years ago I was decieved by Satan and a bad Church and the evil of our day that I was lost forever. My heart was hardened even further when my wife walked out after seventeen years of marriage. I was proud. I was cruel to her on the phone when she called from her mothers for committing Adultery. I was none better. I was going to kill someone. A manger of a Restaurant I ran around telling my employees that they would read about me in the Newspaper. I quit my job after having a complete nervous breakdown four months after my wife left and then I quit my job and started a Chef Job with a friend of mine. My belief in Jesus had dwindled to the lite of a candlestick. I read a horrible book called The Christ Conspiracy that said that Christianity was all a lie. I had become to believe that Jesus was little more than a myth with all the speaking in tongues that never left me. I did not understand manifestations of the Spirit like I do today. I was brought up Roman Cahtolic and the Church of Bible Understanding taught little on it. Much of what was taught was space because the leader Stewart Trail was a false prophet. That does not mean that the brothers and sisters between the ages of fifteen and twenty four did not know the sinners prayer or how to lead someone to Christ. They did but they had no deep bible study on not departing and the damage that it could do and if you wanted to join another loving church it was ok. I once said to a friend of mine in the world I am sure it must have been manifestation of the spirit. He convinced me otherwise. I really was not sure at that point. I was so low that my life was a dead sponge. Then severe arthritis set in and I lost my ability to work. I heard a Pastor on TV talk about

      enduring faith. All of a sudden something hit me and I through all my blasphemous books out the door of my house all my crystals started breaking idols. I got down on my knees after twenty eight years away from Jesus and said send the rain of the Holy Ghost down upon me Lord.I promise reagardless of my sins I will come to you with them and let you change me because I can not change myself. He promsied to cleanse us from all iniquity. He has freed me of sorcery,all forms of the lust of the flesh, lies, cheating, manipulation, he lowers my pride daily, he has freed me from drugs and alcohol, he has freed me from hatred, he is freeing me from anger, he is teaching me love, real love, he is showing me the way and has become a lamp to my feet. The last vice I have is Cigarettes. When Paul Blasphemed he was forgiven because what he did he did in ignorance. God does not take the ignorant and throw them into prison. I admit I wonder would Jesus forgive me. What I should have never done or said I did. But I had no teaching on who the beast much less on who or belief in who the devil was. To me he was a horrible holywood creature. I gave lip service to devil more than a few times. I asked only once to be made into the murderer of the whole world. If I had known to who or what I was saying being the ignorant stupid man that I was I never would have even in my backsliden state every done such things. Unfortunately, being badly


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