What is the Unforgivable Sin? A Biblical Analysis

by Jack Wellman · 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 Savior.  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, all you have to do is to repent or turn away from your sins, confess them to God, and then put your trust in Christ and you will be saved.  If you have already done this then 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.  We also invite you to contact us here at What Christians Want to Know so we can share this great news with our staff.   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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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie May 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm

I wish I could “like” your last response a million times, pastor!!!
Thank you, Jesus ❤️


Jessica Y. May 30, 2015 at 12:08 am

Oh…thank you so much.
If we repent and then sin again and then repent, God will still forgive right?


Jack Wellman May 30, 2015 at 9:31 am

Thank you Jessica. When Jesus said that we must repent and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15) this is a one time event. You don’t have to keep repenting and you don’t have to believe in Christ again and again. You do have to keep asking for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) so God will forgive us but you only repent one time and then trust in Christ one time. Here is an article on what repentance is so you’ll know. Read this link: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-repentance-a-christian-study/


Jessica Y. May 30, 2015 at 9:43 am

Thank you again.
You believe in Christ, and you still keep believing.
I read the article, but I am still a little confused about repenting…
When we repent, and then sin again after that and then ask for forgiveness God forgives us right?
And the article said there is an unforgivable sin even if you repent, which is giving the credit to Satan when God has done something for you right?
So if a person commits this sin and truly asks for forgiveness will God forgive them? (


Jack Wellman May 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

I think your still confused my friend and that’s understandable. Do you have a pastor in your church to call? I would call him today and get this straightened out. IF a person commits sin read 1 John 1:9 and see that you’re done. It doesn’t mention repentance over and over again but forgiveness, yes. That’s ongoing. The unforgiveable sin is covered in this article…I would re-read it. Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, not to the disciples or to us.


Jessica Y. May 30, 2015 at 10:08 am

I have realized the “unforgiveable sin”, giving the credit to Satan when God has done miracles, Jesus was not referring to us…I know that now! Sorry if don’t understand things quite well.
I re-read this article and the only unforgiveable sin TODAY is not believing in Christ before death, realized that now.
I don’t have a church yet, because I’m trying to find a good Bible-believing church around my area…
But when I find one, I will ask a pastor there and clarify about repentance and the unforgiveable sin.
Thank you for your reply again and the other one in the other article!

Jessica Y. May 30, 2015 at 10:36 am

Oh, may I ask where in the Bible it talks about Pharisees?
I would like to read more about it!

Aaron Dose August 29, 2015 at 9:24 pm

I cant tell you how glad I am to read this. It is something that has bothered me for about 4 months now, and especially since God called me into the ministry. I kept pushing it away because I didn’t want to have to confront it. Satan is very good at using those things to make us worry. So I just wanted to say thank you It is a great message.


Jack Wellman August 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Thank you Mr. Dose. I do hope it gave you some peace of mind.


Link Damorio November 26, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Hey y’all. Praise God, for His goodness – & I’m thankful for this website! I’d never heard the obvious answer that, Jesus was talking to just the Pharisees here. (*duh* lol). I just wanted to share my good ol’ A.V. text here: (Mark 3:29)”But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation”. Here, two things are obvious: 1.) (my own wording/opinion, for sure) He has no forgiveness as long as he IS blaspheming. Which fits w/ classical theology, AND the next part of the verse! 2.) he is in DANGER of eternal damnation! We ALL are! We need Jesus lol! I know, some belittle the A.V. (=KJV). Still others try to say that other Bibles are “evil”. Both sides are too extreme. I read the NASB – & God USED it in my life for 25 years! But, then, the man who wrote the forward to the NASB, (Fanklin Logsdon??) has cut ties with it. But, be sure, God can and does use ALL – just be humble, seek, KEEP seeking Him in His word – & BELIEVE! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!


Simon Persica August 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm

If I never went to church at all would that be the real blasphemy of The Holy Spirit?


Danny Hall September 18, 2016 at 6:35 am



Scott Hinman November 11, 2016 at 12:38 am

Simon Persica..
No, the real blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is Not Excepting (Jesus Christ as you saviour.) Matt 12:31,32. Mark 3:28,29. Read this one John 16:8-11.
The Gospel is 1 Corinthian 15:1-4.. It’s not going to church. The Word of God (Bible) does say if we are saved (believers in Christ) then we should not forsake the assembling of ourself together. Hebrewso 10:25. That’s so we can edify each other, encourage each other.
Please find a GOOD BIBLE BELIEVING, PREACHING CHURCH. Saved by FAITH IN CHRIST , not of your works. Ephesians 2:8,9. The Sheeding of Christ’s BLOOD that covered our sins. Hebrews 9:12-14, 22.Colossians 1:13:14. KJV.
If you don’t go to church, how can you be refreshed from the junk the world puts in our way. We do need help from other people that know what is going on. The world doesn’t care about you. Your church family will and will be there for you. Amen.


Nina December 27, 2016 at 4:10 am

Hi. When I know of the blaspheme against the Holy Spirit I said in my mind a few times; I blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. And a while later I felt gleeful after that incident. But I repented. Am I still saved? I don’t know why I did it. My friend told me I was just worried. But I am not sure if I am worried. Please respond to me soon. Thank you.


Jack Wellman December 27, 2016 at 8:18 am

If you read the context, Jesus is speaking to the religious Jewish leaders and they had no excuse. They had seen Jesus’ miracles. They need He fulfilled the prophesied Messiah. They knew better. In the first place, your friend is right…I would also talk to your pastor. Did you speak with him? If so, what did he say and if not, why not? There is never too much sin we ever sin to out-sin the cross.


Nina December 27, 2016 at 1:02 pm

Hi. Thank you. I asked my pastor wife and she said its up to God to decide. So the answer is yes that the unforgivable sin is forgiven to those who truly repent? Is that right? I just need confirmation of yes and no because its clearer that way.


Jack Wellman December 27, 2016 at 1:25 pm

I believe that John wrote that we if we confess our sins, God cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), so I agree. I think anyone that’s worried about committing the “unforgiveable” sin has not committed it. Yes, it is up to God to decide, but He has already decided for those who have believe in Him (John 11:25-26) and death can’t separate us either (Rom 8:31-39). The only sin God will not forgive is rejecting Jesus Christ because He is their only way to be saved (Acts 4:12). May God bless you Nina. Thank you…made me think.


Florence Akinremi February 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

Thanks for this article. I asked for forgiveness everyday thinking that my health crisis is related to my sin. Also I stopped going to church because I just can’t relate to anyone and many believers only cater to those in groups. I believe in worship only. So I felt like God is judging me. Now I truly believe that He is not because I pray a lot and my family believe I have a strong prayer life. I will go back to church as soon as I found the true Church that is welcoming. I truly believe Christ as my Lord and savior and where two or three is gather together he is in their mist. I pray with my daughter who is a minister and visit her church on occasions to watch her preach. Also I am currently studying with world bible school from home. One of my prayer is for God to put me where he want me. Please pray for me.


Judy January 24, 2018 at 12:08 pm

I have always thought the unforgiveable sin was suicide. The Bible states it plainly. I love learning the Word of God. I just always figured that you could not ask forgiveness if you had ended your life.


Jack Wellman January 24, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Hello Judy. I cannot find a Bible verse that says suicide brings eternal death and cannot be forgiven. 1 John 1:9 says that God cleanses us from “all” unrighteousness and all means all in the Greek. It includes every sin. Rom 8:37-39 show that even death can’t keep us from God. It is sin and yes, it is wrong, but what sins are not covered by Jesus on the cross? The only sin God will not forgive is not trusting in the Son of God.


J P February 28, 2018 at 7:02 am

A very long time ago, when I was a teenager, I was trying to get into a special club in my church that was going to go on a mission trip to China. To get into this club, one had to demonstrate a very good understanding of the Bible, and for obvious reasons. Missionaries should know the Word very well before bringing it to others.

I felt I did understand the Bible very well but I was not allowed to be a part of this club because the leader (the youth group minister) asked me what the unforgivable sin was and I answered “to not accept Christ”. I was told this was wrong and when I asked what the answer was, I was not told an answer. I found that very strange at the time.

Years later, when the internet was a thing, I looked it up and saw people say it was “blaspheming the Holy Spirit”. I thought that was a bit odd and didn’t really fit with the whole message of forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice. However, I just accepted that was the hidden answer kept from me all those years ago and moved on.

Reading this has brought me full circle, and I can see how that minister was mistaken and trying to play a bit of “gotcha” with Bible knowledge. Christ utters those words in a specific context, and did so under the Law of the Old Covenant. Upon his sacrifice at the Cross, a New Covenant was born and the only unforgivable sin was not accepting that, our only pathway to salvation, freely offered to all through Christ’s sacrifice.


Jack Wellman February 28, 2018 at 9:28 am

So true my friend. People don’t understand that the only unforgiveable sin is rejecting Christ today. We can blaspheme God’s name by living like the world, but no sin is greater than God’s grace.


Jack Wellman May 30, 2015 at 10:53 am

Read Matt. 12:12-32.


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