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There is one sin for which there is no forgiveness. Learn what the unpardonable sin is and how to keep from committing it.

There is a lot of confusion over the doctrine of the unpardonable sin. Some define it erroneously identifying people who cannot get saved. Others fear that they have committed it and are eternally damned.  

We know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay for our sin. But is there a sin that God will not forgive under any circumstances?  

Let’s investigate the Scriptures to find out what the Bible really teaches about the unpardonable sin.

The unpardonable sin is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Matthew 12:31–32 

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Mark 3:28–30 

28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

Luke 12:10 

10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

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Clearly, there is an unpardonable sin described in Scripture. It behooves us to find out all we can about it quickly!

What is the unpardonable sin?

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines the following word, using the unpardonable sin as an illustration.

An American Dictionary of the English Language UNPARDONABLE

UNP`ARDONABLE, a. Not to be forgiven; that cannot be pardoned or remitted; as an unpardonable sin.

The unpardonable sin is a sin that will never be forgiven. It cannot be pardoned. It is a stain forever upon the souls of those who commit it. There is no possibility of forgiveness under any circumstances.

In our effort to define the unpardonable sin biblically, let’s consider what it is not.

1. The unpardonable sin is not the “sin unto death” mentioned in 1 John 5:16-17.

1 John 5:16–17

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

This sin is committed by a “brother” in Christ. It is a decision to keep sinning in which God calls His child home after attempts of chastisement have failed. It is the final sin to which God says, “Enough! If you won’t live for me on Earth, I will take you to Heaven now rather than allow you to bring continual reproach upon My name.”

2. The unpardonable sin is not simply saying something bad about the Holy Spirit.

A quick reading of the text could make you believe that if one says even one word against the Holy Spirit, that person could never be saved. Thankfully, a careful study of the text shows that is not the case.

Years ago, there was a pagan trend of people videoing themselves saying something terrible about the Holy Spirit and declaring that they could never be saved because they had blasphemed the Holy Ghost. While this is sad and stupid, it is not the unpardonable sin.  

3. People cannot accidentally commit the unpardonable sin and be lost forever.

This heinous crime against God is deliberate and continual.

The truth of the unpardonable sin is found in the context of the verses in which it is found.

1. The Accusation of the Boastful Pharisees.

The Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and Lawyers had aligned themselves against Christ. As the spiritual leaders of Israel, they were trusted to know God and recognize His workings among the people. However, they were so consumed with preserving their own power and systems of religion that they rejected the Son of God without much thought.

In order to convince the people to reject Jesus as the Christ, the spiritual leaders explained away His impressive miracles by attributing them Satan!

Matthew 12:14 

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 

The Pharisees spent much time and effort to discredit the Lord Jesus Christ. His growing fame made them fear that He would soon take power. Furthermore, Christ’s open contempt for the religious leaders and His unarguable correction of their teachings infuriated them. They were accustomed to being respected, not chastised.

The religious leaders criticized Christ for every reason imaginable.

  • His lack of formal training.
  • His humble life.
  • His confident manner.
  • His undeniable way with the people.
  • His upbringing in Nazareth.  

Yet, despite all of these things, no one could deny the mighty miracles Christ performed. Those supernatural feats surely demanded attention! Imagine the gasps of unbelief and excitement as Christ made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk. He even raised the dead!

Matthew 12:22–23 

Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? 

The crowds were beginning to believe that Christ was the Messiah!  

How could the Pharisees answer the miracles the people saw with their own eyes? How could they stop the growing belief that this was indeed the Saviour promised so long ago?

Matthew 12:24 

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 

In a devilish twist, they attributed the power that could not be denied to the Devil rather than God. There was a healthy superstition among the Jews. There is in all people who believe in the spirit world but don’t know the doctrines of God. Some Israelites believed this lie.

Yet, those who met Christ could not deny the Spirit and power He displayed!

2. The Refutation of our Impeccable Saviour.

As always, our Lord Jesus Christ offered the perfect answer to His critics. Consider the elements of His answer.

A. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.  

Matthew 12:25–26 

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 

Why would Satan destroy his own kingdom? Why cast out his own devils?

B. If I am using Satan to do God’s work, who do your children use to do the same?

During the time of Christ, supernatural activity was at a height in human history. Others were emboldened by the example of Christ to cast out devils and heal the sick as well. Did these good Jews cast out devils by Satan also?

Luke 9:49–50 

And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

C. If you admit that I am doing these miracles by the Spirit of God, you must admit that the Kingdom of God (the Messiah) has come.

Matthew 12:28

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 

D. Only One stronger than Satan can defeat Satan.

Matthew 12:29

Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 

In these verses, Christ declares that He is the Son of God doing these miracles in the power of the Spirit because He is more powerful than Satan. Yes!

3. The Admonition of the Unpardonable Sin

You can blaspheme Jesus Christ and get saved at a later time. Many have done it through the centuries. However, if you continually blaspheme the Holy Ghost, you will never get saved.  

The Holy Spirit brings you to faith in Christ and performs the miracle of the new birth.  

Remember the work of the Holy Spirit before salvation from a previous sermon/chapter.

  1. The Holy Spirit Invites Us To Salvation.
  2. The Holy Spirit Draws Us To The Saviour.
  3. The Holy Spirit Convicts us of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment.

Without these actions, no one can be saved.

If people deny the obvious working of the Holy Spirit, they will reject Christ because they reject the Spirit that is drawing them to Him.

Matthew 12:31–32 

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 

Why?

If the fruit is good, so is the root. It is not reasonable to declare that good fruit comes from a rotten root.  

Matthew 12:33 

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 

Christ was declaring that His works were good because He was sent from God.  

Also, He revealed that they were speaking evil things because they were evil. They would answer for every idle word if they would not receive the Saviour.

Matthew 12:34–37

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

4. The Continuation of Pharisaical Sin

Did the Pharisees repent and trust Christ? No.

After the resounding logical and theological beating the religious leaders had just suffered publically, they still would not humble themselves. Now they wanted a sign that Christ was from God.

Matthew 12:38 

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

Of course, our Lord would not give them another sign because they were rejected the signs right in front of them.

As a result, the Master gives them an even more stern warning and declares Himself the Messiah once again.

Matthew 12:39–42 

But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

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CONCLUSION – What is the unpardonable Sin?

Ultimately, there is one sin that will not be forgiven – rejecting Jesus Christ as your Saviour.

John 3:18 

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

However, the unpardonable sin is part of the rejection of Christ. It is a reason for refusing the Lord and denying His offer of salvation. 

The Holy Spirit invites us to salvation, draws us to Christ, and convicts us of sin and our need to be saved. If one disregards the obvious working of the Holy Spirit, they can not be saved. Therefore, blaspheming the Holy Ghost is the unpardonable sin.

Perhaps you have seen others in danger of committing the unpardonable sin. Do they see your changed life after salvation and say you are brainwashed or part of a cult? Do they hear the tug of the Spirit during preaching and claim that the preacher is simply a skilled con man or using manipulation tactics?  

Let’s warn sinners of the danger of blaming the Spirit’s attempts to save them on the Devil.