Did you know that the Bible talks about a sin that God can never forgive? Throughout the centuries since the New Testament was written, millions of people have lived in fear that they may have committed it. Is it really true? Is there something that God is unable to forgive?
The Bible says in Matthew 12:31 – “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven unto men.” So, it turns out there really is a sin that can't be forgiven, and it's blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
That raises a crucial question, just what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Well, that's a pretty important question; because this is the one sin the Bible says you can never have forgiven. If you do this one thing, if you blaspheme the Holy Spirit, you will never make it into the kingdom of heaven, and that's pretty serious.
But what happens when you decide not to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit? What happens when you feel the pang of guilt and you know the right thing to do, but you deliberately choose against it? Many theologians teach that this is when people actually step into the territory of the unforgivable sin. They refer to it as grieving the Holy Spirit.
People are pretty good at tuning things out. It’s amazing how fast we learn to sleep near a busy railroad or how quickly we stop hearing the planes when we live near an airport. I will agree that it is a serious issue when we tune out the Holy Spirit, but is it unforgivable? I have to say no!
1. Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men
2. The blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men
Notice that EVERY SIN will be forgiven. Now read 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now, you might have noticed that there were no exclusions in that verse. It says that if we confess our sins, Jesus will both forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Is there a sin that God cannot forgive? The answer is yes, and the sin that God can't forgive is the sin you don't repent of. If this is true, then why did Jesus say in Matthew 12:31, "the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven unto men.” We need to look at the whole chapter to see why he made such a statement.
Incident #1 – Disciples pick and eat grain on Sabbath – Pharisees disapprove
Incident #2 – Jesus heals man on Sabbath – Pharisees disapprove
Incident #3 – Jesus heals blind deaf man – Pharisees say it was through Satan’s power
Do you see a pattern? There is a dialogue between Jesus and the Pharisees. All of these incidents bring Jesus to talk to the Pharisees about something that was unforgivable.
Earlier we decided that there is a sin that God cannot forgive, and it is the sin you don't repent of. Why would the Pharisees not repent of a sin? They were extremely picky about keeping the law. The reason that they would not repent is because they couldn’t see that they were doing anything wrong.
The unforgivable sin is the one that isn’t confessed, but there are two very different reasons for not confessing.
1. Because you have so tuned out the Holy Spirit that you can’t see sin.
2. Because you are so sure you are doing right that you don’t see your sin.
In Revelation 3:15-17 Jesus says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
Here Jesus is describing an unforgiven state, not an unforgivable state. Whether it is the Pharisee of Jesus time or the Christian of today, when we feel that we are in need of nothing we are on dangerous ground. But Jesus gives us great hope in verse 19, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent." Remember 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Jesus never stops knocking. He is standing at the door and knocking. Will you open the door?