Over the past 30+ years in ministry, I’ve encountered people who have believed they have committed the “unforgivable sin.” If you were to ask people what the unforgivable sin was, you’d get a variety of answers. Some, however, don’t have any idea what it is, but still worry that they may have committed it. Some say that it’s murder! Some say that it’s adultery. I once counseled a young person who thought masturbation was an unforgivable sin. Is it Blasphemy, as many suggest? Maybe it’s having an abortion. Is it getting a divorce? I’ve spent hours talking with people about the issue of unforgivable sins.

Jesus did, however, say that there was one sin that was unforgivable. We read in Mathew 12:31, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men…” That’s the first part and it might be good to think on that for a while. Jesus asserts that every sin mentioned above and every other sin you can think of can and will be forgiven by God. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you.” The only exception is, as Jesus continues, “…but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” But what exactly does that mean? In the context of this verse Jesus had just healed a man who was blind and mute. The Pharisees said that Jesus had expelled demons by the power of the prince of demons, Beelzebub. So their unforgivable sin is attributing Jesus’ miracle, which was performed in the power of the Holy Spirit, to Satan. The unforgivable sin is to call Jesus and his divine power satanic. But the key issue in this statement is that people who do this would never go to Jesus for forgiveness, as they are saying he is of the devil. So their sins will never be forgiven by God.

I would argue that the one and only unforgivable sin is the sin of unbelief. Every other sin in the world can be forgiven. But if we fail to put our faith in God and what He accomplished for us on the cross of Calvary through the death of His son Jesus Christ, we have no recourse to deal with our sin. Peter was once asked if he would desert Jesus, he replied that there was nowhere else to go because only Jesus had the message of eternal life. When someone I know was struggling with having committed the unforgivable sin, they were told by an older believer that their concern was evidence that they had not. One writer put it this way, “Anyone who is genuinely concerned that he may have committed the unforgivable sin, has not done so. For such a person will ask God for his forgiveness. It is only the person who does not think that he or she ever needs God’s forgiveness, who may have committed this sin.” John 6:37 says, “Whoever comes to me (no matter what sin they have committed) I will never turn them away.” There’s an anonymous quote that puts it into perspective. It says, “There is only one person God cannot forgive the person who refuses to come to him for forgiveness.”