Unforgivable Sin?

 

Itís not unusual to hear of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit as the unforgivable sin. But is that right? Is there a sin that is unforgivable? Can just anyone commit such a sin or are there prerequisites for being guilty of such a sin? Can such a sin be accidental? Letís start by seeing what the term ďBlasphemyĒ actually means.

*†† Strongís 987. blasphemeo, blas-fay-meh'-o; from G989; to vilify; spec. to speak impiously:--(speak) blaspheme (-er, -mously, -my), defame, rail on, revile, speak evil.

*†† From the American Heritage Dictionary

1.      A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity.

2.      The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God.

 

So we are not talking about some mysterious unknown sin. We are talking about speaking or doing evil with regards to the Holy Spirit. Here are the scriptures that speak about such blasphemy.

*†† (Luke 12:9-10 NIV)But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. {10} And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

*†† (Mark 3:28-30 NIV)I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. {29} But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." {30} He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit."

*†† (Mat 12:30-32 NIV)"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. {31} And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. {32} Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

 

So just how serious was this sin of blasphemy considered to be?

*†† (Mat 26:63-66 NIV)But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." {64} "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." {65} Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. {66} What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered.

 

But why is this blasphemy sin different from others?

*†† (Heb 10:19-31 NIV)Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, {20} by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, {21} and since we have a great priest over the house of God, {22} let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. {23} Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. {24} And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. {25} Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. {26} If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, {27} but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. {28} Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. {29} How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? {30} For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." {31} It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

And again in this passage

*†† (2 Pet 2:12-21 NIV)But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. {13} They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. {14} With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed--an accursed brood! {15} They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. {16} But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness. {17} These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. {18} For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. {19} They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. {20} If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. {21} It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

 

But canít these people simply turn back again? If it was that easy donít you think Satan would turn back? But listen and understand.

*†† (Rom 1:28-32 NIV)Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. {29} They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, {30} slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; {31} they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. {32} Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

 

Did you catch that last verse? They know better and yet continue to do evil. Apparently they would rather die than follow God! It occurred to me that becoming a Christian was in a way like becoming a member of the Mafia. I am being silly but there is a message if you will receive it. Here it is. If you join the mafia you cannot get out of the mafia alive. In a similar way if you join the Church you will surely die if you try to leave it.

 

One more interesting thing about the unforgivable sin, you must be a Christian to commit it. You see the rest of the world cannot renounce what they know nothing about.

*†† (Luke 12:48 NIV)But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.