Here are three facts that you should know about the “unforgivable sin.”
The Pharisees saw Jesus’ miracles and also His sinlessness, so they knew better than to accuse Jesus of working miracles by the power of Satan (Matthew 12:24). But that’s just what they accused Him of. Jesus asked them how Satan can cast out Satan because that’d be a divided house (Matthew 12:25-27). Jesus said, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31) because “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” (Matthew 12:32).
To Whom He Was Speaking
We don’t need to be a Bible scholar to know to whom Jesus was speaking about the danger of committing the unforgivable sin. Jesus answered the Pharisees, as it says, “He said to them” (Matthew 12:25b). More precisely identifying to whom Jesus was speaking, it says, “Knowing their thoughts” (Matthew 12:25a). Whose thoughts? The Pharisees, since that is who spoke to Jesus about casting out demons. And then Jesus “said to them,” showing He was specifically speaking to them. We can’t apply what Jesus said to them as applying it to us because He was responding to their accusation that He was using Satan to cast out Satan. I doubt very seriously if any of us have ever done that.
The Only Unforgivable Sin
In speaking to Nicodemus–and in the context He is speaking to all–Jesus tells us what won’t be forgiven in John 3:18 where He says, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18) and later says, “Whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36b). The Apostle John adds, “Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him; whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son” (1 John 5:10).
Jesus promised that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life and will never perish (John 3:16), so why do so many believe they can receive eternal life from Jesus and then lose it? If it was eternal life, it wasn’t only until someone loses it. If they receive eternal life but then lose it, was it really eternal life? God does not take back the grace that He freely gives us (Eph 2:8).
If we are promised that nothing can separate us from God, including death (John 11:25-26), then we cannot be separated from God after having trusted in Christ. If we read Romans 8, we see that neither life, death, powers, angels (most likely fallen ones), things to come or things in the present and past, and to be sure Paul covers anything, He adds, “nor any created thing” (Rom 8:38-39) can separate us from God. That covers everything there is! Nothing means what it says…nothing! Nothing can separate the child of God from God. That settles it.
In God’s Hands
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27), so if we hear Jesus’ voice and do what He commands, He’s not going to lose us. A good shepherd never loses his sheep, and Jesus is the greatest Shepherd, and then He adds, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” and to be even more certain He tells them (and us), “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). Isn’t that the ultimate in security…being in Jesus’ grip and in the Father’s hands?
There are hundreds of Scriptures that say not believing in Christ brings condemnation, and in only one place in all the Bible is the threat of committing the unforgivable sin mentioned. The context is in reference to attributing Jesus’ work as Satan’s work, and He was speaking only to the Pharisees and not the crowd. There is one sin that God will not forgive, and that is rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. From that there is no escaping the wrath of God.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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