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Unpardonable Sin?

Updated on March 4, 2012
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I am a Christian pastor who wishes to bring glory to God in all that I do, and to help people through my writing to know Him better.


The Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

I had one person, who was a Christian, come up to me recently and said that he was afraid that he'd committed the unpardonable sin. He was afraid that God would now send him to hell because he thought that the Bible teaches there is no hope for people like him who have committed this transgression. Well, I told him and I am telling you now, that if you have accepted the free gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, then you can never commit a sin that is unforgivable. The very fact that you were open to the Spirit's convicting you of sin and the need for a Savior proves that you didn't sin in such a way.

So just what is the unpardonable sin? Where do we even get such a concept? Let us look into this and see if we can answer these questions?

I. Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

We get the idea of the unpardonable sin from the lips of Jesus himself. In Matthew 12:31 He says: "Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven." This leads us to another question. Just what is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Basically it can be boiled down to one sentence. It is knowing the message that the Spirit shows us about Jesus Christ and rejecting it.

In order to understand all this, we need some context. This can be found in Matthew 12:22-32. Just before our Lord made the statement about this sin we see that a demon- possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus. Christ healed him and he could speak and see again. The crowds of people around were amazed. But the Pharisees were not impressed. They said: "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons" (24). Jesus rightly replied to them that any kingdom that is divided against itself cannot stand. Why would Satan be working against himself and casting out demons?

The religious leaders rejected our Lord. They attributed the works of Jesus to demonic powers, when they actually were the evidence of the Holy Spirit working in the life of Christ. This demonstrated a hard heart of unrepentance on the part of these men that had grown so calloused to the Spirit's promptings in their lives that they refused to accept the clear evidence before them that showed that the Lord was the Anointed One, the Messiah of the Old Testament. It was more than the mere words that they said. They could have repented of their words, turned to the Lord Jesus and been forgiven. Even a Pharisee like Saul could be forgiven for speaking against Jesus and persecuting His followers. But it only happened when he was confronted by Christ, which lead him to repentance and acknowledgement of Jesus as Lord and Savior. (I Timothy 1:12,13). The difference between the Pharisees and Saul, (whose name was changed to Paul), was their lack of repentance when confronted with the truth.

II. The Holy Spirit's Work

Jesus said that the work of the Holy Spirit in the world included the work of conviction of sin. In John 16:8-11 he said this concerning the Spirit: "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteous judgement; concerning sin because they do not believe in me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you will no longer see me; and concerning judgement because the ruler of this world has been judged."

Christ goes further in John 16 to say that the Spirit will guide us into all truth. And what truth will He be telling? The truth about Christ. Jesus tells his disciples: "...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 disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said that He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you" (John 16:13-15).

So the Sprit's work includes convicting the world of sin and a need for a Savior. He then points them in the direction of the the Lord Jesus Christ. And when one hears the truth about Christ and rejects Him, he, like the Pharisees, is rejecting the convicting and enlightening work of the Spirit in his life. This is blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and is ultimately the only sin that can never be forgiven. By refusing to accept Christ, and His sacrifice on your behalf, it means that you reject God's only way to be forgiven of sin and have a relationship with Him for eternity. Those who continue to ignore the Spirit their entire life and don't receive Christ will one day be cast out of the presence of God forever into hell.


It is obvious from the context of Matthew 12 that a true Christian could never commit the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. They have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and so have responded in faith to the leading of the Spirit in their lives. But if you have heard the good news and you continue to reject it, then you must stop right now and ask Christ to save you from your sins. Don't continue to be hardened and calloused to the Spirit by rejecting His message to you. There is no greater decision one can make than to put your trust in Jesus Christ. Please respond in faith today. 


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    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      7 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      If there is new life in Christ, there will be some sort of evidence that the life is there. Works don't save, but are the result of salvation. Those who love the Lord and are grateful for what he has done, will naturally want to please Him. A Christian isn't perfect and, because of the old nature that is still present until we receive our new bodies, we will sin. But as we grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, we should do so less and less. There is a maturing process that goes on in the life of every believer, as God is conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ. Peter, who rejected the Lord three times, had a genuine faith, and so was restored after repentance. Judas, on the other hand, according to Scripture itself, was not a real believer.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • Jobanski profile image


      7 years ago

      I have always wondered about this topic. What is really denying the Christ? How can a man like Peter deny knowing Christ three times then become the prophet of Jesus' church? I have come to the conclusion that I can accept Jesus, but still reject him by how I live. That is to say, by the choices I live by with the knowledge I have of the Savior. Accepting Jesus not only means accepting his sacrifice, but also means accepting a life of obedience to his commandments.

    • GodTalk profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeff Shirley 

      7 years ago from Kentwood, Michigan

      Thanks Lifegate. Your comments are always welcome. And Charity Squid, you are right, many have had trouble with this passage. That is why it is always good to understand the context behind every verse that we read...God bless

    • Charity Squid profile image

      Charity Squid 

      7 years ago

      Well said. There have been many souls who have feared they had committed this sin. It is a scary passage to read.

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      7 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Good message, and good warning!


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