Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Only Unforgivable Sin

And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31).

In our study of sin, we come today to the one unforgivable sin mentioned in the Bible. It is not murder, suicide, or divorce. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Jesus sets this forth in Matthew 12:22–32.

The Pharisees had accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power of Satan. Jesus countered by saying that He was casting them out by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then He warned them not to go too far, not to blaspheme against the Spirit. To understand this, we need to bear in mind that Jesus concealed His identity to a large extent while He was on earth. In a limited sense, the Pharisees could be excused for not recognizing Him. After Pentecost, however, there would be no more excuses.

When Jesus performed miracles, such as casting out demons, He was showing His power more openly. Thus, such occasions anticipated the full revelation at Pentecost. The more clear Jesus’ identity became, the more serious it became to reject Him. Hebrews 10:26–27 says, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”

Only people who understand who Jesus is can commit this sin. It is done in the face of the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Some have said blasphemy against the Spirit is the same as final apostasy by a temporary believer. I am disinclined to accept this view because blasphemy is a particular verbal sin, while final apostasy is a general sin.

I believe the sin of blasphemy is committed with malice aforethought, and with deliberate hostility, it equates Jesus with the powers of darkness when one knows He is the Son of God. To say that Jesus is diabolical in the face of the Holy Spirit’s testimony is a sin God will not tolerate.

Some believers fear they have committed the unpardonable sin. However, the consensus of church history is that a righteous fear of having committed this sin is strong evidence the person has not done so. Those guilty of such transgression display no fear or remorse. Take time to review Scripture verses which assure your salvation.