WHAT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?

We are told in 1 John 5:16 (NIV) “If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him 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 he should pray about that.”

So there is one sin that will not be forgiven. I like everyone before me wondered just what that particular sin was. It is kind of frightening to think there is a sin that will not be forgiven. I don’t know about you but it scared me to think that I might have committed it, or that I might in the future. Not knowing what that sin was I could not be sure of my salvation. I also didn’t understand why I shouldn’t pray about the one unforgivable sin. It seemed to me that if the sin was unforgivable I certainly should pray about it, but I am told not to.

I didn’t understand this, just like many things in the Bible when I first read them, but I was, and am, sure that everything in the Bible will be revealed if anyone asks and believes God will answer. I did and He did, so let me try to explain it.

First things first, all sins lead to death. The unsaved or those who refuse to accept the free gift of salvation that Jesus died to offer anyone and everyone who will accept it, will die because of their sin. The only way sin can be paid for is with death. If not by the death of Jesus then by the sinners own death. I am not speaking about physical death as we all must face that death. I am talking about the second death which is separation from God and all of His blessings. I am saying this to make it clear that the verse is not speaking about everyone, but only about a brother in Christ.

It would be great if once we turned to God that we would no longer sin, however that is not the case. We are given the Holy Spirit to teach us the ways of God, not to control us completely. If the Spirit would control us we would not sin, but we do.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior “all” of our sins are forgiven, so at that time there is no unforgivable sin. God does not control us or make us do anything, so He did not make anyone turn to Him. It is true that He has done everything to offer this salvation to us, but He doesn’t make anyone accept it. Nor will He make anyone continue to be a Christian.

This is the unforgivable sin, “To turn away from God after turning to Him.”

We are told in Matthew, Mark, and Luke that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin. One who has not accepted Jesus does not have the Holy Spirit, so he can not speak against that which he does not know, but when anyone turns and accepts Jesus they are given the Spirit and He becomes one with the believer. That person is still free to reject Jesus, just as he was free to accept Him, so that “brother” can commit the unforgivable sin.

This explains why we should not pray about the unforgivable sin. We would be praying that God would take away the persons free will and make him or her be a Christian. If God were going to make us be Christians then there would be no reason for Jesus to die on a cross. God would just say the words and we would be forgiven, but His plan is that we should accept Him of our own free will and not be programmed, or commanded, or made to accept His salvation. We would be praying that God change His whole plan of salvation.

For the unbeliever the unforgivable sin is not accepting Jesus as their Savior and for the believer the unforgivable sin is rejecting Jesus. The sin is the same for both. The only difference is that all of the sins of the unbeliever are unforgivable and only one sin is unforgivable for the believer.

10 Responses to WHAT IS THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?

  1. the sin of lying t the loved ones is the biggest sin /

  2. arm5 says:

    I believe The unforgiveable sin is tha blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

  3. astudent says:

    Covert Metaphor,
    I don’t believe that idea comes from the Bible.

    arm5,
    blas•phe•mies. 1.a. A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity. b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God. 2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct.

    I use to think that also. However I believe we have “all” blasphemed at sometime in our lives. Things as simple as cursing are contemptuous and profane. If you are correct then anyone who has ever uttered a curse word, or thought one, can not live with God. Either all sins are forgiven when someone turns to Jesus or they are not.
    If you understand as I do then you have no problem with Matthew 12:31 (NIV) “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.”
    Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men when they turn to Jesus, but when they have the Holy Spirit and then blaspheme, or turn against God they are guilty of the unforgivable sin.
    If you are correct then how can you reconcile the first part of 12:31, when it says every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men?

  4. saeed says:

    In Islam, the one unforgivable sin is equating partners with God.

  5. astudent says:

    saeed,
    So few words for such a great difference. I know little about Islam so please forgive me if I say something that offends you.
    First it seems as though you are saying that I have claimed to be equal with God. I am not doing so. I do believe that if one admits to God that they are a sinner, asks for forgiveness, and are baptized, they receive the Holy Spirit from God and their sins are forgiven. God comes to live in that person. There is proof to that individual because the Spirit comes to teach and the Bible slowly becomes clear. Without the Holy Spirit the Bible is unclear and never become clear.
    That is one of the main differences between Islam and Christianity; Islam has no Savior.
    I like you believe there is only one God. Perhaps it would help if you would read my understanding of the Trinity. But if you will not then let me try to lay out the basics.
    I believe that Jesus is the son of David. Jesus only said what God told Him to say.
    (John 12:49-50 NIV) For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
    I believe that we are all sons of God: after all didn’t He make us all and wouldn’t that make Him our Father?
    I believe that the Holy Spirit is the mind of God.
    So I don’t equate partners with God. There is only one God and there is only one Savior.

  6. saeed says:

    Hello…

    First of all thanks for the reply and let me say that I only posted my comment after debating whether it was appropriate or not to post, as yours is a blog on Christianity. I was not implying anything in my post or using it to pass judgment on you or anyone.

    Islam and Christianity have a number of similarities, You cite one verse from the Bible (John 12:49-50 NIV) . Compare that to this verse from the Quran:

    “Nothing is (incumbent) on the Messenger but to deliver (the message), and Allah knows what you do openly and what you hide.” Quran 5:99

    There are other verses that say similar things.

    i.e. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) only conveyed what he was told to convey from God and didn’t invent anything on his own. His job was to be a warner to the people and nothing else.

    But if they are averse, We have not sent thee as a warder over them. Thine is only to convey (the message). (Quran 42:48)

    As for forgiveness of our sins by God, there is a difference. We don’t have a savior in the same context of Christianity. We have a direct relationship with God and only need to repent and ask for forgiveness. This hadith (tradition) says it best IMHO.

    Allah the Almighty said:

    ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.’”

    Note the one exception — “ascribing no partner to Me”. So if we sincerely believe in God, and sincerely ask for forgiveness from God, it will be forgiven.

    Saeed

  7. astudent says:

    Saeed,
    I would agree that Islam and Christianity have many similarities. It seems that we separate when it comes to Jesus and the reason that we separate is that Christians believe we need a Savior and that Jesus is that Savior.
    When I, as a Christian, read Genesis 4:7 (NIV), “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” it tells me that I need a Savior.
    You see I have tried to do what is right and I have not been able to master sin. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23 NIV)
    It may seem odd until you think about it, but I don’t look at my sins as forgiven. They are paid for at great cost to both God and Jesus. Jesus paid the price of death for my sins.
    The Bible says, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NIV) If I could just ask for salvation then salvation could be found in my own name.
    Saeed, I think you sincerely believe in God, but at judgment even the vilest man will sincerely believe in God and sincerely ask for forgiveness.
    I pray to God that I have not offended you. I am usually like a bull in a china closet, so this is difficult for me. Please over look any of my transgressions.

  8. IKEAGWUANI,IKECHUKWU says:

    GOD IS LOVE

  9. ChessDon says:

    i believe the unpardonable sin is simply attributing the work of God to that of His enemy. Period!

  10. carolyn says:

    The one unpardonable sin is to refuse the Holy Spirit to speak through you when you are basically “put on trial or delivered up” to the anti Christ when he takes power during the tribulation You are to not premeditate (think on) what you will say, but you are to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you (like on the day of pentecost)…so “even the gain sayers will know it is true.”

    The unforgivable sin or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit can only be done by God’s elect when they are delivered up for a testimony to those who are worshiping antiChrist.. during the tribulation.

    Matt.12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

    Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

    Luke 12:10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
    Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
    Luke 12:12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.

    Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

    Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
    Luke 21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
    Luke 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
    Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

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