For many people, the unpardonable sin can become a sort of “catch-all” category for all the fears we have about ultimately being rejected by God. But Jesus said, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37). If you’re concerned that you’ve committed the unpardonable sin, in all likelihood, you haven’t.
What Is the Unpardonable Sin?
In Matthew 12:31, Jesus says,
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
This is what people are referring to when they speak of the unpardonable sin, often also described as the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? It means to accuse Jesus of performing signs and wonders by Satan’s power. This is what the Pharisees and religious leaders were doing, and who Jesus was speaking to. Rather than seeing his miracles as evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work and pointing to Christ’s identity as God incarnate, they hardened their hearts, rejecting Christ and his work.
The unpardonable sin cannot be accidentally committed. Doubting God and struggling with unbelief are not the same as willfully rejecting God’s revelation of his Son by his Spirit. The Psalms give language for this kind of struggle, and Jesus honored the man whose only prayer was, “I believe! Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)
Some people fear that other sins can be categorized as “unpardonable.” Suicide, for example, is often treated this way. The same is true for a persistent struggle with sexual sin, or addiction. But even here, the reality is, if you are in Christ, your eternal future is secure. There is no condemnation left for you (Rom. 8:1).
How Can I Know Jesus Won't Cast Me Out?
Do you believe in Christ as your only hope for salvation? Do you recognize him as the Son of God, accomplishing the work of your salvation by the Spirit’s power? If so, you haven’t committed the unpardonable sin. A true believer can’t! If you belong to Christ, he has promised to save you:
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:39–40)
What Does the Bible Say?
- Assurance of faith: Ps. 103:11–13; Ps. 136; John 6:35–40; Rom. 8:29–30; Eph. 1:11–12; Phil. 2:12–13; 1 Tim. 1:12–17; Heb. 1:9, 3:14, 10:22, 11:1
- Unpardonable sin: Matt. 12:31; Mark 3:28–29, 9:4; Luke 12:10; 1 John 1:10
- Can I Lose My Salvation? by R. C. Sproul
- Knowing and Growing in Assurance of Faith by Joel R. Beeke
- The Assurance of Our Salvation by Martin Lloyd-Jones