What is the Unforgivable Sin? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman on April 8, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

An old friend of mine called me up and wanted to talk with me.  He was troubled in his spirit.  He had doubts about his salvation and whether he had fallen away from the faith.  In his mind, he had committed the unforgivable or unpardonable sin.  Can someone sin a sin so great that God would not forgive?  Is there a sin that God’s grace and mercy can not cover?  Jesus spoke of the unpardonable sin to the religious leaders of His day.  What is this unforgivable sin?

The very fact that he had concerns about committing such a sin was a clear indication that he had not committed it.  Let me explain.   If we come to God and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive us.  I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  People have read the scripture of Mark chapter three and Matthew chapter nine.  Mark 3:22-30 states, “And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?   If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.   And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.   In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.  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.” He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” The Pharisees said the very same thing in Matthew 9:34.

Biblical Analysis of the Unforgivable Sin

Why did Jesus tell these religious leaders that they could not be forgiven for their blaspheming the Holy Spirit?  First of all, they knew the scriptures.  They had seen Jesus fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.  They saw and heard of the many miracles that clearly had to be from God alone.  They refused to acknowledge Him as God and thus they were inferring Jesus’ miracles were attributable to Satan.  That was blaspheme because they were eye witnesses and so they had no excuse for saying these miracles were from the Devil.  They were guilty of blaspheme, even according to the Old Testament laws, and these men were the only ones who have committed the unpardonable sin.

What is the Only Unforgivable Sin Today?

Today the only sin that is unforgivable  is that of not receiving Jesus Christ as Savoir.  When you reject Jesus, you reject your only possible means of forgiveness and the only way to gain entrance into heaven.  Your fate is sealed.  There is no forgiveness if Jesus is not your Savior.  Humans do not have the power to save themselves or to have their own sins forgiven.  Jesus alone is the only acceptable means to salvation (Acts 4:12).  Not accepting Jesus and rejecting belief in Him is truly the only unpardonable and unforgivable sin that people can commit today. The very fact that my friend was worried about committing the unpardonable sin told me that he had not committed it.  The fact is that he would commit this sin if he refused to believe on Jesus Christ before he died (Acts 16:30-31).  But since he was worried about it, I said that this shows me that you haven’t committed it.  Jesus died for all sins so he, you, and me can have eternal life and escape the Judgment on the Great Day (Rev. 20:12).

Jesus Ministry Misunderstood

Today the only sin that is unforgivable is that of not receiving Jesus Christ as Savoir.

Mark 3 and Matthew 12 involve Jesus Christ’s repeated and widespread public defeat of Satan and his demons. Many readers and theologians have been confused about the true nature of this sin and many have needlessly worried about their salvation due to a great sin that they have committed.  Bear in mind that part of the purpose of Jesus Christ’s ministry was to directly confront the powers of darkness with the light of truth and to do so in a public battle of pure good versus pure evil. The only being in the universe that is more powerful than the Evil One, is God. He is the only One with enough power to bind Satan and forcibly dispossess him.  At Calvary, Satan’s fate was completely and irrevocably sealed.

Jesus’ impressive miracles were freely given in pure kindness and love to release people from obvious suffering and the oppression of horrible evil and frequently of demon possession.  However, the Pharisees had so firmly set their hearts against accepting Jesus as the Messiah that they rejected the obvious truth set before them and perversely twisted it to influence the crowds. They publicly credited the most ultimately evil being in the universe with the very power of God. What they had done, in effect, was to call the precious and Holy Spirit of God, the unclean spirit of Satan. Thus they had charged Jesus Christ with sorcery and of being in league with Satan. These charges are not only appalling and absurd, but extremely serious.

Pharisees, Scribes & Religious Leaders Rejected Jesus

Clearly, the Pharisees, Scribes and religious leaders knew better since the Messiah is clearly revealed in the Old Testament writings, but their own hate for Him blinded them so much that they refused to believe what they must have known, inwardly, was true.  Certainly, they didn’t want to share their religious power with anyone, even the Son of God.  So when they rejected Jesus, they were without excuse since they knew better. They rejected Him Whom they had seen in person and this was deemed unpardonable or unforgivable.

You Can Believe and Accept Jesus Right Now

If someone is worried about having committed the unpardonable sin, that is the very evidence that they have not committed it.  The only unforgivable sin that we must worry about today is rejecting Jesus Christ as our own personal Savior.  The consequences of this are eternal separation from God, which is hell in itself; this is irreversible…unpardonable.  This is the only unpardonable, unforgivable sin that there is.   But this is one that you can wipe away with repentance, and belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ (John 3:16).  If you have believed in Him, then there is absolutely no need for you to worry about committing the unpardonable sin.  You are already His possession and He will not ever caste you away (John 6:37).  Once you are His, no one can snatch you out of the Father’s hand or out of Jesus’ hand (John 10:28-29).  If you want this eternal security right now, just read the following scriptures and place your eternal future in His secure hands:

Admit that you are a sinner and in need of a Savior (Rom 6:23),

Abandon self effort and realize you can not be saved by your works or efforts (Acts 16:31),

Accept freely Christ’s payment for my sins, required of the Father. (John 3:16),

And acknowledge Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior (Acts 4:12).

If you have just received Jesus, you have now received God’s inheritance rights as a son or daughter of His and can never be lost again. This inheritance is called eternal life, which means when you die and leave this planet you will go to be with the Father in heaven (John 10:28-29).  Plus you’ll never have to worry about committing an unpardonable or unforgivable sin again!  This is exactly why it’s called the Good News.  Now you can find and join a Bible-believing church, or you may call 1-888-NeedHim (888-633-3446) for follow up questions about salvation that is only available through Jesus Christ. We also invite you to contact us here at What Christians Want to Know and we can tell you more.  Now, if you have accepted Him as Savior, congratulations!  Now if there is anything that’s irreversible, this is it!

Interested in more Bible answers and questions?

Take a look at these articles:


The Holy Bible, New International Version

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