Have I Committed the Unforgivable or Unpardonable Sin?
Did I commit the unforgivable or unpardonable sin in my past before I was saved?
Many new and even older Christians have worried they have committed the unforgivable sin. I myself went through a rough week where I thought I may have done this in my past. The horror and fear I felt was unlike I had ever experienced before. I experienced absolute dread and was engulfed in fear and anxiety that I may be destined for eternal damnation. I cried out to God asking him for forgiveness and mercy for something I was unsure if I had done.
What is the unforgivable / unpardonable sin exactly?
Jesus speaks of the unforgivable sin in Matthew 12:22-32 and Mark 3:22-30 of the New Testament. If we turn to Mark chapter 3, we see a confrontation happening between the Pharisees and Jesus:
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.”
23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?
24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.
27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter,
29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—
30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” – Mark 3:22-30
After witnessing the miracles that Jesus was performing first hand, the Pharisees were accusing him of being possessed by Beelzebul or Satan. They claimed that Jesus’s supernatural powers were coming from Satan, rather than from God. Rather than acknowledge these powers of the Holy Spirit were from God, the Pharisees attributed them to dark forces. Jesus comes back with a brilliant statement exposing the illogical heresy of their accusations. “How can Satan cast out Satan?”, Jesus asks them. Why would Satan seek to cast one of his own demons out of someone?
In this example, the Pharisees blatantly blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Knowing full well that Jesus’s miracles were from God, not the devil, they still made the accusations in order to maintain the power structure they had in those days. Affirming Jesus’s deity would undermine the authority they had as religious leaders. So to protect their authority, they blasphemed the Holy Spirit’s power that was working through Jesus.
So have I blasphemed the Holy Spirit?
In general, if you are wondering if you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit it is probably a good sign. John MacArthur addresses the topic of the unforgivable sin in a sermon he did. Many people have confronted him with this question during his years of ministry. So much so that he dedicated an entire sermon on the subject. I would encourage everyone struggling with this question to watch the sermon below, as it helped me greatly during my time of uncertainty.
“It is in one sense a passage that ought to frighten the comfortable and comfort the frightened. Because on the one hand there are people that have no idea that they have committed the unforgivable sin. They’re comfortable, and they ought to be frightened. There are other people, who think they’ve committed the unforgivable sin and haven’t, and need to be comforted.” – John MacArthur