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An Unforgivable Sin? Part one

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Is there such a thing as an unforgivable sin? If there is, what is it? Is it the sin you donít ask forgiveness for? Is it accepting Sunday laws and the mark of the beast? Is it the sin thatís repeated once more than ď70 times 7Ē?


Steve Answers:

As a young person, I remember hearing the sin youíre referring to as the ďunpardonable sin,Ē which is the King James Version wording for the ďunforgivable sin.Ē

Matthew 12:31, 32, reads, ďEvery sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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.Ē

Those verses can cause you to think that blasphemy against Jesus isnít a big deal. But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will get you into really deep trouble! But, hey, arenít Jesus and the Holy Spirit part of the same Trinity? Whatís going on here?

Let me quickly point out that blasphemy isnít limited to the words we use. Itís also claiming to be a Christian and then living in contradiction to itóthe actions-speak-louder-than-words thing.

Letís look at the context of this passage to help us understand it. In Matthew 12:22-30 Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, which impresses many people. But the religious leaders claim that Jesus is doing these miracles by the spirit of the devil. Jesus counters by pointing out that if the devil is casting out the devil, the devil loses.

Jesus offered forgiveness to those who crucified Him as the nails went into His hands and feet (Luke 23:34). But people arenít forced to accept the forgiveness He offers. Peter accepted it (Matthew 26:75), but Judas refused it (Matthew 27:5).

This means that Jesus gave forgiveness to both Peter and Judas, even before they realized their need for it. (Sounds like something Jesus would do.) But Peter accepted Christís forgiveness, and Judas didnít.

If you fear that youíve committed the unpardonable sin, the very fact that youíre feeling sensitive about it is evidence that Godís Spirit is working in you. So accept Godís forgiveness and release that worry. And believe Godís promise to forgive you (1 John 1:9).

If you figure that some bad person has committed the unpardonable sin and wonít ever return to God, donít ever give up praying for that person. The prodigal son came back (Luke 15:11-24), and the wicked King Manasseh led the people of Judah into complete rebellion against God. But God reached him when the king was taken captive (2 Chronicles 33:1-20).

Also, avoid making any guesses regarding who has committed the unpardonable sin. Godís angels will do the separating between the good and the bad at the end of the world (see Matthew 13:47-50).

Morris Venden, my college pastor, has often said, ďThereís never been a sin God didnít hate; thereís never been a sinner God didnít love; thereís never been a sin God didnít want to forgive; and thereís no better time than now.Ē

Since weíre out of space, two weeks from now Iíll tackle your last two questions.

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