What Is the Unforgivable Sin?
“They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”
2 Thessalonians 1:9
The only unforgivable sin is rejecting the forgiveness of Jesus, by grace, through faith. There are many people who would disagree with me, and that’s fine. This is a very touchy subject that the enemy uses to create tremendous amounts of fear and anxiety. However, when we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth, all fear and anxiety in regard to committing the unforgivable sin, goes away (see Philippians 4:6,7, 1 John 4:18).
Of course, there are many who don’t understand what Jesus has truly done, those who claim we can sin our way out of being forgiven. That doesn’t hold water. With such a theology, we are alleging the Cross wasn’t all it was cracked up to be–as if our wonderful actions and attitudes complete it. This self-focused belief system can basically be summed up in this: we are forgiven of all our sins until we commit one.
What happens when we have this mindset? We lie about our sinning, downplay it, and compare our sinning. We become modern-day Pharisees, acting as if God grades on a curve. Nope. We must be perfect, Jesus said so Himself (Matthew 5:48). Perfection can only happen by way of receiving a new, perfect spirit–not by what we do or don’t do (see John 3:7, Colossians 1:22, Romans 6:6,7, Ephesians 2:8,9, Matthew 7:21-23).
Another group will say we are forgiven of our sins only if we confess them. They will use 1 John 1:9 as the hill they die on. However, this also doesn’t match up with the truth of the gospel either. Just think about it, how impossible is it to keep track of all our sins? And worse, what if we forget one? Will God forget a sin because we forget a sin? No. This is neurotic and creates severe stress or hypocrisy for believers. “I’m just going to go ahead and sin because I can confess it later.” At its core, this ideology is demonic. Let’s look at 1 John 1:9 to see the proper context:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 was written to the Gnostics. The Gnostics were, and still are, a group of people who thought the word sin was not a real thing. They believed they had never sinned a day in their lives. What is the basis of the gospel? Admitting you have sin to be forgiven of. John was telling them they need to confess, as in agree, that they actually have sin which needs to be forgiven. This is why he said they will be cleansed of all of their unrighteousness. He didn’t say, “If we keep confessing, we’ll keep getting cleansed.” This is bonkers to say the least.
Heck, to back up my point, in the very next chapter, John says that he is writing to them so that they won’t sin, but if they do, they have an advocate, Jesus (see 1 John 2:1). He doesn’t say, be sure to confess those sins too. Further, if you read before and after 1 John 1:9, you’ll understand the context: believe you are sinful so that you can be forgiven once and for all through faith in Jesus. Afterwards, you are not sinful, you are a holy saint.
So what is the unforgivable sin people are claiming to be such? Over the course of my 36 years of life, I’ve dealt with many religious people. According to the majority of the most self-centered and legalistic, there are two main unforgivable sins. One of them actually is the unforgivable sin, but the self-righteous people have misconstrued it to fit into their church-box of manipulation and control through fear and hierarchies. The other sin has simply been taken out of context. Let’s look at both:
- Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
First of all, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin. This is exactly what the Gnostics were doing in the book of 1 John. Blasphemy means, “to speak ill of.” If you speak ill of someone you are not believing what they have to say, therefore, you are rejecting them.
The whole premise of Christianity is based on belief alone–faith (see John 1:12, 3:16, Hebrews 11). If you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God who can and will forgive your sins, you will speak ill of that. You will reject that. The self-absorbed person who’s claiming to be the world’s best Christian will assert that blasphemy is saying a swear word, “It’s taking the Lord’s name in vain! Once you do that, you’re out for good!”
Who came up with this stupid crap?! As if a curse word will automatically keep you from being God’s child?! I’ll tell you who came up with it, Satan did! Then he put it in the mind of an uber-religious person and it spread like California wildfire!
How many people have given up on going deeper into their relationship with God because they said His name in vain believing they are now disqualified from being a Christian? Lots! They think they’ve blown it because someone lied to them about what blasphemy actually is!
“I’ve already committed the unforgivable sin, so why even try?” This is what they think! Then they never fulfill the good plans God has for them! IT’S OUR FAULT! We must be clear about the truth of God’s unconditional love through Jesus!
And no, having foul language is not a good thing; it’s not organic as a heaven-ready saint. Saying G.D. as a Christian is like being a cat who barks–it’s not natural. Cursing at all is like eating out of the trash when we have a steak dinner sitting on our table. But I’ll tell you this, we don’t get saved by stopping our foul language, and we don’t stay saved by staying stopped with our foul language. We get saved by grace through faith and this is a one-time event! We believed Jesus saved us and He did! (See Ephesians 2:8,9, Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 10:14, John 3:16-18).
So where are we getting this “swear word” blaspheme verse as the unforgivable sin? When it’s taken out of context, in Mark 3. Satan loves it when we cherry-pick from Scripture, especially when we twist it into something ungraceful. Jesus said this:
“Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:28,29)
When you don’t understand what blaspheme means, and when you pull this up and out from the page, I can see how a person might be afraid to say a curse word. However, if you start up in verse 20 and read down to these two verses, you’ll realize what Jesus is talking about. The religious people were saying He was demon-possessed! What’s that called?…SPEAKING ILL OF! Blasphemy! They were bad-mouthing Jesus! Jesus was telling them this mindset would keep them from being saved! Why?
BECAUSE THIS WOULD KEEP HIS SPIRIT FROM JOINING THEIRS! If you don’t believe Jesus is who He said He is, you will keep your sinful spirit, and His Holy Spirit will not come and live with your new spirit! BLASPHEMY IS REJECTING THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO YOUR SPIRIT! Blasphemy prevents you from being supernaturally reborn! It’s not a swear word, it’s your belief! They didn’t believe He was the Messiah, they believed He was working for the devil!
When a person believes such, these following verses will not happen for them! If you reject belief in Christ, these do not apply to you, which will keep you on your way to hell:
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (Romans 6:6,7)
In this verse, your old self is your sinful spirit you’re born with. When you believe Jesus has saved you, that spirit immediately gets crucified in the spiritual realm, it’s buried, and then you get resurrected as a new, perfect spirit! Only then can the Holy Spirit of Christ join your spirit, which is after you’re cleansed from all sin! Here’s another:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
The old that has gone is your old spirit! This is not referring to your incorrect actions and attitudes–but your spirit! It’s been done away with! You can’t get rid of your old spirit if you speak ill of Jesus by saying He can’t save you! The new is your new, perfect spirit, joined with Christ! Let’s look at another!
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
The first I in this verse is the old, sinful you. The second I is the new, perfect you. YOU ARE A SPIRIT! So now, your perfect spirit has been reborn of God’s own Spirit! I’m not talking about your perfect thoughts and choices, I’m talking about your identity! Your identity is God’s own child! NOTHING CAN CHANGE THIS ONCE IT’S HAPPENED!
You receive a spirit born of God when you do not reject the Holy Spirit of Christ into your spirit (see 1 John 3:9, Romans 6:3,4). Once you receive His Spirit, you’re ready for heaven and then joined by God, all at once! This only happens by way of faith in the power of Christ’s forgiveness! (See 1 John 5:4, 1 Corinthians 1:18).
Do you not see it?! Blasphemy has nothing to do with a swear word and has everything to do with belief in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ! We have to stop telling others the wrong stuff about blasphemy! People are going to hell and lives are being ruined!
…And I digress. Now, let’s talk about suicide being unforgivable. Just think about how inconsiderate and wrong it is to tell someone this is an unforgivable sin. Here a person is, completely distraught, even to the point of not wanting to live any longer, and we want to say that killing themselves will cause God to send them to hell? We have the audacity to claim that our loving Heavenly Father will pile on top of that pain, eternal punishment? HOW DARE US!
Imagine if your child committed suicide. Does such a terrible choice cause them to never have been your child in the first place? NO! SO JUST THINK ABOUT HOW GOD FEELS?! This makes me shake my head in disgust! I don’t get mad about much, but this religious manipulation is one of those things! We are not saved by our bravery! We are not saved by our ability to snap out of a severe depression! WE ARE SAVED BY OUR FAITH IN JESUS! JESUS SAVED US AND HE KEEPS US SAVED!!!!! You cannot be un-born of God! You either were born again, or you never were! PERIOD! The sin-centered people out there cannot fathom this! Why? BECAUSE THEY LOOK AT THEIR “LACK” OF SIN AS THEIR SAVING AND IT’S SICK! They look at all of their wonderful religious deeds as if God needs them! HE DOESN’T! HE NEEDS US RE-BORN! These will be the goats He separates from the sheep! These will be the people saying, “Look at what all I did in your name!” and Jesus will reply, “Depart from me, I never knew you!”
I can already hear a grace-confused person yell at me, “Yeah right, Matt! The Bible is clear that there is a sin that leads to death! If you actually read your Bible, you’d know that! I’ll be praying for you harder because you need it!”
Friend, please, I understand the Bible says there is a sin that leads to death, but that sin is unbelief in Jesus’ forgiveness. If we read the verse in context, you’ll realize the truth:
“If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.” (1 John 5:16)
John is clearly saying we should pray for the sins of others that do not lead to death. What might that be? Anything except for praying them out of unbelief. Why should we not pray for this? Because it’s impossible to pray someone out of unbelief. The death John is talking about here, as a spirit, is our final death…hell. You and I can always pray for the struggles of others, and we should. We can pray that doors would be open for them to believe, but no matter how hard we pray for someone, we can never pray them out of unbelief. And once they get to hell, we can’t pray them out of that place either. Even God won’t do this. He lets everyone decide to believe on their own.
So today, my friends, know this: Believe Jesus has forgiven you, please. This is the only unforgivable sin. Once you do, you old spirit dies, you get a new spirit that is perfect, and then His Spirit comes to live with you forever. Please, believe.
A prayer for you: Father, I want to thank you for teaching me the truth of the gospel; that your Holy Spirit would be combined with mine for free at my believing and receiving. You and I both know that I lived in fear for so long over this, and it was because of the lies of people and the devil. But you’ve taught me that your grace is enough and I’m secure. I’m not afraid any longer. I know who I am. Thank you. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them have believed the lie that they’ve been disqualified from being your child because of some swear words. Reveal to them how silly that is. And there are others who are reading this who have loved ones who’ve committed suicide and they’re not sure if they made it to heaven. God, ease their minds today. Let them know if there was any point in time that person believed Jesus had forgiven them, they are with you right now. Sure, you had more life for them to live on earth, and they made a horrible, permanent choice; but Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross banished ALL of our sins forever, even the permanent sin of suicide. The enemy won that battle, but it still didn’t stop you from sealing them up with your Spirit for good–from the moment they first believed. You knew what they were going through, and you were with them. Thank you for such unconditional love! Thank you for your Spirit! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 3. Get your copy here!