This phrase alone conjures up images of horror and unmerciful judgment, and horrifies many Christians causing them to believe that they have committed this sin unknowingly, and are now somehow convinced that they are condemned. When misunderstood this topic creates an atmosphere where a person’s weaknesses can begin to increase and eventually lead to them just giving up on life altogether. I believe that this unfortunate ignorance can really distort a person’s view on the character of God. In today’s blog I will address the age old question that many have asked themselves… “Have I committed the Unpardonable Sin?” The answer to that question requires a little fleshing out, and as much as I would like to give a simple yes or no answer, that would be irresponsible of me, and to be honest, it is impossible for me to know your current standing with God. I do not know your heart because that knowledge belongs only to God, but what I will do is give you the information you need to come to the proper conclusion on whether or not you have committed this sin.
The reason why this sin is so frightful to many people is because of the inability to be forgiven by God for committing it. There is no repentance, no mercy, and no hope. Once it’s committed there is no turning back. You are eternally condemned by God. Now, that may be frightful, but I did not want to dilute the truth of God’s word for the sake of sparing feelings, much like a physician who diagnoses a person with cancer. The Physician cannot hold that kind of life altering information back simply because the person receiving it might be offended. Sometimes fear really is the best motivator. For example, many individuals have taken their health seriously only after having received a life threatening diagnoses. But that fear causes them to change their lifestyle and really focus on what matters, and this is what I am hoping that you will take away from this message – a sense of hope and a deeper meaning of who God really is.
The first scripture we are going to visit is Matthew 12:31-32 where these sobering words are spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, “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.”
It is important that we notice that verse 31 states that every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven. This statement alone begins to unfold something very odd. Every sin, literally means, every sin. Abortion, murder, genocide, child sacrifice, etc. and these are just a few of the horrific acts committed by mankind. Yet, the Lord says he will forgive them to those seeking forgiveness. Why then does Jesus follow that statement by saying that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable? And how does a person blaspheme the Holy Spirit? One thing we know for sure is that the nature of this sin is different from the others in that others can receive forgiveness, while this one seems to be the final nail in the coffin so to speak. It’s a crescendo in a tragedy that cannot be undone. Yet, the sin isn’t specified. It is only given the title of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The secret to analyzing this sin lies in the context in which it is given. Prior to the verse we just read Jesus had just healed a man who was demon possessed in front of all the Pharisees standing before Him. Now, the Pharisees had witnessed Jesus Christ on multiple occasions healing people from diseases and demonic-possession. Yet, no matter how much evidence they were given, they refused to believe. Now, why is that significant? To answer that question it is imperative that we look into one of the responsibilities of the Holy Spirit, or job description as it were, so as to reveal a little more of the puzzle we are trying to put together. First, the Holy Spirit needs to be recognized as a person of the triune Godhead and not an impersonal force. The Holy Spirit isn’t some separate energy that does not interact with humanity. The Holy Spirit plays a role in our coming to know God more intimately, but this isn’t just reserved for believers, but also unbelievers. In John 16:7-8 it states, “Nevertheless 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 depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment…” During the last days of Jesus Christ on earth He tells His followers that He must leave, but not before instructing them that a helper will come to them to guide and aid them in their mission, and that helper is none other the Holy Spirit, but He also states that the Spirit will also convict the world of sin.
Many people in life (like the Pharisees) ignore God far more often than they should. The Pharisees witnessed example after example of Jesus Christ proving who He was, and yet, they refused to humble themselves. They would not submit even though Jesus Christ was right in front of them. The Holy Spirit is now the next witness of God’s love for humanity. The Holy Spirit works in and through the life of many believers to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact the book of Hebrews 10:26-29 makes this proclamation, “26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”
Believe it or not this scripture tells us exactly what the unpardonable sin is. The context of the book of Hebrews seeks to elevate Jesus Christ above prophets, kings, angels, and high priests and develops this picture as the one who came as the final atonement for humanity and the only way to salvation. The writer of Hebrews then begins to draw this comparison between those who were judged under the Old covenant with those who are judged under the New Covenant. That is to say that if a person was judged and put to death for breaking God’s law under the old covenant, how much worse will the punishment be for those who reject their only way to salvation through Jesus Christ? But there is a small tidbit at the end. Did you notice it? Verse 29 ends by saying that this punishment will come to those who have insulted the Spirit of grace. The Spirit of grace is none other than the Holy Spirit. This means that a person who repeatedly rejects the Holy Spirit’s conviction of Jesus Christ being the true messiah and only way to salvation then that person will not be forgiven because they choose to reject Jesus. This is why Hebrews 10:26 states, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” In other words, if you reject Jesus Christ there is no more sacrifice that can take away your sins, and you will be left to pay for your own sins.
In summary, the unpardonable sin is when you repeatedly reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit and suppress and refuse the truth so much that the Holy Spirit leaves you alone; thereby, leaving your sins unpardonable because you have not humbled yourself and allowed Jesus Christ to take them away. I hope and pray that this short blog lesson has helped you.
Jourdan Ortiz, Founder of Servant of Christ Ministries