The Unpardonable Sin

Satan wants to cause FUD (a TLA [three letter acronym] known in the computer industry — standing for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) among God’s people. For example, when the Israelites left Egypt and traveled towards the promised land, just before they were to enter in they sent in twelve spies to search out the land. Ten returned with bad news — there were giants in the land, and we are no match for them. Two of them said God is with us, it’s no problem, let’s go in and take it. But Israel succumbed to satan’s old trick, FUD. Therefore, they wandered for 40 years, and their children were the ones to enter into the land.

This has important implications for today’s Christian. For what does the promised land represent? If you say heaven, you’re not quite right — there are giants to defeat, and many battles. No, the promised land represents the spirit filled life; some battles still remain.

Don’t we all want to have a spirit filled life? Then we must be able to resist the FUD of the enemy. Satan uses FUD to keep us wandering in the wilderness, unfocused and powerless to engage the enemy; satan is still up to his old FUD tricks today.

Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit 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 Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, neither in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32 KJV)

This causes concern for some Christians as they ask — have I done this? What if I’ve done it and not even known it? What if I did it before I became a Christian? Jesus says it is not pardonable. Does that mean I’m lost forever?

We must find out exactly what the unpardonable sin is as Jesus says all sin, except this one, is forgivable. In other words, only one way exists to end up in hell. How exactly does that happen? By the rejection of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It’s just that simple. If you want to go to hell, that’s the way to do it. So this must have something to do with the rejection of Jesus.

But Jesus says it’s blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, not against Him. But what is the Holy Spirit’s job? To point the way to Jesus. To convict us of sin (John 16:8-9). To show a need for a savior. Before you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit is the one who constantly whispers in your ear “you need to come to Jesus”. The Holy Spirit never speaks of Himself, His job is to speak about Jesus (John 16:14).

Of course, you can choose to reject His prompting if you wish. He still whispers in your ear, trying to draw you to Jesus. But if someone continues to reject Jesus, eventually their heart becomes so hard the Holy Spirit stops speaking to them. At that point, the person has committed the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and is eternally lost. It’s not that they won’t come to Jesus, they can’t. Without the Spirit’s work in a person, salvation is impossible; when the Spirit gives up, salvation is no longer possible as by ourselves we will never seek God (Romans 3:10-12).

But at this point it’s easy to think about our family and friends, wondering, have they done this? Are they eternally lost? And it’s crucial to remember there is no way for us to know if someone has gone too far and committed the unpardonable sin, so we must never cease praying and trying to nudge someone to Jesus. Just because someone looks like they have forever rejected Jesus, doesn’t mean they have as some of the most unlikely people have become Christians. Former drug dealers, hippies, murderers, and others have all turned from their corrupt ways. We must never give up on anyone; God may have mighty plans for them.

As a Christian, do you fear you have committed the unpardonable sin? Hopefully by now it is obvious you can’t do it as a Christian. The reason is simple — once you accept Jesus, that part of the Holy Spirit’s job is complete, thus you can’t blaspheme His work. Naturally, He continues to work with you, and you can be stubborn and resist Him as a Christian, but you can’t blaspheme Him. Live unproductively, carnal and unspiritual, possible. But commit the unpardonable sin? It’s just not possible for a true Christian. Remember what Paul said:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1 KJV)

And perhaps stated much more simply than all the previous analysis is the commentary given by Chuck Missler during his Matthew series. He boiled everything down to one simple line:

If you are worried about having committed the unpardonable sin, you haven’t done it![1]

The very fact you are worried about it proves you are seeking God, and that means the Holy Spirit is working in your life, which means He hasn’t given up on you, which means you have not committed the unpardonable sin, which means salvation is still possible.

But we must be careful not to commit a subtle logical error. If we have an if-then statement, subtle errors in logic can creep in. For example, consider the following statement: If the sun comes up tomorrow, I will go to work. We can make several additional logical statements based on the original:

  • Inverse (negate both sides): If the sun doesn’t come up tomorrow, I won’t go to work.
  • Converse (reverse order of statements): If I go to work tomorrow, the sun came up.
  • Contrapositive (negate and reverse order of statements): If I don’t go to work tomorrow, the sun didn’t come up.

The question is, if we accept our original statement as true, are these others true? Or can they be either true or false? Let’s look at each one. The inverse is not (necessarily) true. I could use headlights and drive in the dark, and it’s not a contradiction of our original statement (since if it’s dark, I don’t know if I go to work or not — the original statement only gives information if the sun comes up, if it doesn’t our original statement does not reveal any information). The converse is not true for the same reason; I could drive in the dark.

However, the contrapositive is true. It’s the only additional logical statement we can make and be sure it is true. Many times someone takes the inverse or converse and assumes it’s true — it might be, but we don’t know it is. These errors in logic are extremely common in advertising, and in any other area where the goal is deception, since most people don’t recognize these errors.

If we say “if you are worried, you haven’t done it”, we can’t say “if you aren’t worried, you have (or could have) done it”. In other words, if you have a friend who doesn’t seem to care, don’t attempt to draw any conclusion about their status with the unpardonable sin.

The unpardonable sin causes great FUD among Christians, but only if we allow satan to twist the words of Jesus into something He never intended. By becoming more familiar with the Word of God, we can use our sword to defend us when the enemy attempts to throw FUD our way.

[1] Missler, Chuck Matthew page 12

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