Can You Accidentally Commit the Unforgivable Sin? Absolutely Not!

Can You Accidentally Commit the Unforgivable Sin? Absolutely Not!

Last updated on December 1st, 2019

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Can you accidentally commit the unforgivable sin? Have you ever been afraid that you committed the unforgivable sin? I used to have those fears myself too. I even had a family member ask someone if they were just playing around as a kid doing it, would that count?

I’m going to show you that you don’t have to be afraid. Because as scripture seems to suggest to me, no person today can commit the unforgivable sin. It’s as simple as that. You can never worry about it again. Of course I’m sure you’d like an explanation first, so allow me to explain.

What is the unforgivable sin?

The unforgivable sin is known as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It’s only mentioned 3 times in scripture. For a sin that you could never be forgiven of, you’d think this sin would be mentioned more often to help make sure no one ever committed it. But as always, God knows what He’s doing, and does everything for a reason. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in Mathew 12:31, Mark 3:29, and Luke 12:10. Let’s read these verses together.

Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.”

Mark 3:29 “but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—

Luke 12:10 “And everyone who [a]speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him.”

What Is Blasphemy?

Each of these verses basically expresses the same thing. A person won’t be forgiven for blasphemy against the Spirit. What is blaspheme/blasphemy? Well the Greek words for blasphemy used in the gospels were blasphēmia and blasphēmeō. The Strong’s definition defines it in a view different ways. To vilify, impious and reproachful speech to the divine majesty, evil speaking, railing, defaming, reviling, and so on. While this is a good definition to have, perhaps we can get a little more specific in this meaning. Let’s take a look at Matthew 12 again, and read from verse 22 to verse 32.

Matthew 12:22-32

Matthew 12:22-32 states “22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to [a]Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by [b]Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, [c]Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and [d]any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he [e]is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I by [f]Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever [g]speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever [h]speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Matthew 12:22-32 Meaning

So Jesus healed a demon possessed man, and the Pharisees said he “casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of demons”. Jesus explains that the devil can’t cast out the devil otherwise his kingdom wouldn’t stand. Then he goes on to mention the unforgivable sin. It would seem to me that mentioning the sin after condemning the Pharisees accusation would suggest that was the sin they committed.

The Pharisees accusing Jesus of casting out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of demons seems to be unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

Historical teachings on the unforgivable sin

Given the seriousness of this issue, many have attempted to try to give others understanding on this sin.

Catholic teaching has various conclusions on what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is. From speaking insults to deliberately refusing repentance and salvation. Thomas Aquinas argued there are six sins that are blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. I won’t post them here because I don’t believe there’s any scriptural basis to the conclusions. None of the verses cited specifically mention the unforgivable sin. But Catholic teaching ultimately concludes any living person can have hope for forgiveness through baptism or confessional.

Eastern Christianity argues the unforgivable sin of “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” is conscious and hardened opposition to the truth. This is according to the words of Serafim Alexivich Slobodskoy in The Eighth Article of the Creed

Protestantism denominations have also had different conclusions on blasphemy. John Calvin is known for popularizing the doctrine of predestination and other ideas that are the foundation of Calvinism. He believed the sin was the act of being so constrained by the power of divine truth that one could not claim ignorance, but still resist the truth for the sake of resisting. Jacob Arminius’s views influenced some of today’s Christian denominations like Methodists and Seventh Day Adventists. He believed a rejection of Christ through hatred of Christ was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

John Wesley, who founded the Methodist church, argued blasphemy was when a person rejects Jesus after confession or declaring the works of Jesus as works of the evil one. Prominent televangelist Billy Graham believed it was refusing to turn to God and accept his forgiveness. Protestants in general conclude that one who has committed the sin is no longer able to repent. So they believe anyone fearful of having committed it has not done so.

Further context

Going back to what the Pharisees did in Matthew 12, you can find a similar sequence of events when Jesus mentions this sin in Mark 3:22-29, and in Luke 11:5 before Jesus mentions the sin in Luke 12.

Mark 3:22-29 states “22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by [a]Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” 23 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but [b]he is finished! 27 But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house.

28 “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin

Luke 11:15 states “ But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

Now I understand the verse in Mark 3 states “whoever” but think about this. The Apostles never mention the unforgivable sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit to the Christians in any of their letters. If it was something we had to be so concerned about, why didn’t Apostle Paul or Apostle Peter write or speak about it to Christians in their teachings? Read all of Acts and the rest of the New Testament. To the best of my knowledge, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is never mentioned again after being briefly discussed in the Gospels.

Can you accidentally commit the unforgivable sin?

All of this increases my leaning towards the conclusion that this sin was a sin committed by a specific people in a specific situation. The specific people being the Pharisees, and the specific situation of them speaking their false accusation against Jesus when he was performing miracles by the Spirit of God.

Therefore, it follows in my conclusion that one cannot accidentally commit the unforgivable sin. They can’t because Jesus is no longer in the flesh performing these miracles in our presence for any of us to speak the evil the Pharisees spoke against the power with which He was performing his miracles. Perhaps there’d be no hope for anyone who witnessed such miraculous acts and still denied the divine authority that Jesus acted in, claiming it to be works of evil. That would in fact seem unforgivable.

At best, if the unforgivable sin is a sin one can still commit today, it’s a deliberate sin. Meaning the Pharisees didn’t just stumble over their words to Jesus and commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. The verses don’t indicate in any way they accidentally said what they said. I would imagine that would be a very important part of the story the authors would have noted. The Pharisees came face to face with Jesus (not privately). They said what they said with no indication of hesitation in the text. And Jesus responded to it moments after they said it.

Conclusion

So can you accidentally commit the unforgivable sin? I conclude that it’s not possible today, but if it was, then it couldn’t be committed accidentally.

If the Bible instructs us to not worry or be anxious, then it’s a sin itself to even worry about the unpardonable sin. You can learn more about how worry is a sin in my previous post I wrote, “Is Worry a Sin? How God Delivers You Peace“.

I hope this eased yours fears about if one can accidentally commit the unforgivable sin. It’s my prayer that as many people as possible who’ve ever feared this will see this post, so we can all live in the comfort of the hope and salvation that we know we can all have through Jesus.

Peace to all those who are in Christ.

Sources

BibleGateway.com: A searchable online Bible in over 150 versions and 50 languages.

Bible Search and Study Tools – Blue Letter Bible

The Six Sins Against The Holy Spirit – Traditional Catholicism – Catholic Answers Forums

Eternal sin – Wikipedia

Is there any sin that God can’t forgive? | Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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20 thoughts on “Can You Accidentally Commit the Unforgivable Sin? Absolutely Not!

  1. Verse 30 explains this not 22-29. The unforgivable sin is still in great effect today. If we are with Jesus, accept the free gift, we are forgiven. If we don’t heed the leading of the Holy Spirit, we are against Christ and therefore not forgiven. Thus, the only sin we can commit that will not be forgiven is not saying yes when the Holy Spirit beckons.

    As to worries about committing the unforgivable sin…we only have to read I John 5:13 to dispel those worries.

    1. Hi gainesarnoldblog. Thanks for your comment. I was wondering if you could help me understand your comment a little better. You state that forgiveness comes through being with Christ through accepting the free gift, but then you state it’s the heeding of the leading of the Holy Spirit to accept the free gift is the way one gets that forgiveness, and if they don’t follow, they don’t get it, and that’s the unforgivable sin they’re committing. So you’re concluding the unforgivable sin to be denial of receiving salvation?

      1. Sorry to butt in- but I think I understand gainesarnoldblog; whether or not the sin is unforgivable or not is moot. If you don’t accept Jesus- doesn’t that mean you’re in the same boat as ‘ those not forgiven ‘?

        1. Hi Vivian. Thanks for your comment. I was trying to clarify with gainesarnoldblog if he was suggesting the unforgivable sin is choosing not to receive the gift of being saved through obedience to the Gospel of Christ. If that was what he was concluding, it wouldn’t seem to follow because Christ hadn’t died and risen yet to be the sacrifice for our sins at the moment he seemingly criticized the Pharisees for committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So that’s what I was trying to understand better from his comment.

          But yes, one has no forgiveness of sins to begin with if they don’t obey the Gospel of Christ. Hopefully we can all help as many people as we can to become saved.

          Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  2. Thank you for sharing this, this definitely needed to be talked about. Now I have a better understanding of the unforgivable sin. I look forward to reading more of your posts, stay blessed.

    1. Hi Fallible. Thanks for your comment. You’re welcome. I’m glad this post could help shed some light for you on this topic. I hope it can for others as well.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

    1. Hi Joseph. Thank you for your comment. No, I wouldn’t say that’s a given for my argument. One can believe or not believe miracles still happen today, but still believe that the unforgivable sin was a specific sin committed in a specific situation that the exact combined parameters (Jesus being in the flesh performing miracles by the spirit of God) for which the sin occurred is not present reality anymore, and thus perhaps the sin is not something anyone should be concerned with potentially committing.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      1. I do not believe the unpardonable sin is easily committed. No one accidently intentionally blames the work of God on the Devil and I guess I believe that is what the unpardonable sin was. The Pharisees knew who they were dealing with (Messiah) and even in their realization chose to reject Him because Jesus did not pander to their power. I do believe one can still commit the unpardonable sin but it is not an accidental thing. It is a willful knowing and yet claiming the works of God are the works of the Devil. Anyway that is what I think.

        1. Hmm. I would concede that you have a valid argument. I can agree if that were/is the case, it would certainly have to be a very deliberate and firm act on one’s part as you expressed. I guess in which case, one even having remote concern about having committed it or potentially committing it would be far from deliberate, and perhaps a helpful way for some not to worry much over it.

  3. A blessing to read this brother. I met some people with this question and I praise God for giving the right answer. It is my stand that it is impossible to commit this sin in these present times. ^_^. God bless you brother.

    1. Hi Peter Paul! Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you could give those people the right answer, and hopefully more people that have this question will be able to get that answer from us as well.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  4. Hi Eric –

    What is your understanding of 1 John 5:16? Specifically, “There is sin leading to death.” (NKJ)

    I appreciate the time and effort you put into your blog posts.

    1. Hi Bambi,

      Thanks for your comment. I looked at the chapter where this verse is located. When I read the verses prior to that verse, it seemed to express having confidence in God hearing and answering requests. 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV) stated, “14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

      Then we get to the verse you referenced in verse 16 which states, “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.”

      So on the foundation of having the confidence in God hearing and answering prayers, it seems in the first part of the verse you referenced, Christians are being encouraged to be confident to ask on behalf of the brother sinning a sin that doesn’t lead to death, and God will give them life. We can possibly presume we’re to ask for life for them, given that’s the request God grants in this verse. Then John continues the verse stating that there is sin leading to death, and that he doesn’t say to pray about that. I would note that there’s no specific reference to the unforgivable sin in this verse, just an unspecified sin that leads to death.

      I read verse 17 through 19 which states, “17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. 18 We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.”

      So John points out all unrighteousness is sin, and again makes a distinction that there is sin not leading to death, which makes the point clear in the prior verse that there is sin leading to death, but whoever is born of God does not sin, keeps himself, and is not touched by the wicked one. What I find interesting in trying to understand the connection between the verses is that in the beginning it talks about asking for a brother. Or in other words, a fellow Christian.

      Thinking of a possible explanation of why John would instruct not to ask for those who commit sin leading to death, I think about 1 Thessalonians 4:16, which states, “16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” Perhaps to ask for life for Christians who commit sin leading to death, and thus are dead, is unnecessary. Because Christ is already going to rise them from the dead when He returns, therefore there’d be no need to pray life for them. But of course my conclusion hinges on the fact if the verse in 1 John 5 is referring to sin resulting in physical death, or sin resulting in spiritual death.

      But John talks about how the wicked one is not going to touch a person born of God, and near the closing in this chapter, verse 19-20 states “19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”

      So not touched by the wicked one, being of God, in His Son Jesus Christ, who is God and eternal life, all seems like a lot of reiteration to the Christians he’s writing to that they are connected with God. Which makes me more skeptical that verse 16 has to do with the unforgivable sin, since that would involve no longer being connected with God. I question whether it would seem most accurate that in one breadth John is reassuring and reiterating to the Christians they are connected God, but in another breadth, warning of those to no longer pray for because they aren’t.

      I hope these thoughts were helpful, and thanks for the compliment. It’s a joy to write these posts.

      Peace to you in Christ.

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