You have heard that there are three unforgivable sins that Jesus cannot and will not forgive and you are wondering what exactly they are. Maybe you are also worried if you have even committed one of them.
In this article, I’d love to share my findings on this topic, what I found in the Bible, and how these sins actually matter to you and me today.
What Are The 3 Unforgivable Sins
The three unforgivable sins are the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28-30), the unwillingness of people who know God to repent (Hebrews 6:1-6), and taking the mark of the antichrist (Revelation 13:16-17). All three sins are birthed out of a deceived, hardened, and self-righteous heart.
You might already know about the first unforgivable sin: blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
I only found out about the other two in the course of my research for this article.
Overall, I believe I discovered some interesting points which show how this whole ordeal is relevant to us today.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
The first unforgivable sin is the one most commonly known among Christians. We might remember Jesus’ words out of Mark 3:28-30, where He says:
“Assuredly, I say to you,
all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;
but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”
because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Mark 3:28-30 NKJV
The context of this passage is located at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He preaches and works mighty signs and wonders all over the place of His home area Galilee. People get healed, demons manifest and are cast out, and great multitudes flock follow Jesus.
It is so crazy that even His own family grabs Him and tells Him straight, He is crazy.
It all together creates a situation that attracts great attention. So much so the scribes come all the way from Jerusalem to see what’s going on.
They say in Mark 3:22, “He has Beelzebub,” and “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
When I studied this topic I discovered something about the word “said.”
It is usually not a big word, but in my research, I found out that this word (Greek: ἔλεγον – pronounced: helegon) is written in a form of continuity: Imperfect Active Indicative, 3rd Person Plural. (Source: blueletterbible.org)
It is important because it could also be translated as “they kept on saying.” They didn’t just say it once.
It was not just a quick thought or a thoughtless statement they made. It seems like the Pharisees kept on saying this to Jesus and the people around them – probably all the way from Jerusalem. This is what made it blasphemy.
We can the same pattern in Matthew 9:34.
“But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”
Here is the same wording used. Again, it could also be translated into “they continuously said.” (Source: blueletterbible.org)
When we look at the parallel passages of the same situation in Matthew 12:22-32 and Luke 12:8-12, Jesus makes clear: It’s not a big deal to say something against Him, or even blaspheme in another way.
The problem is, they continuously call the work of the Holy Spirit to be of an evil spirit. The very Spirit of God who openly does these things to bless, help, convict, reveal God, and literally manifests the kingdom of God to the people.
They completely reject the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8) and call it demonic.
If they reject Jesus and reject the Holy Spirit, who else is left to soften their heart and bring them back to God?
This makes it a sin that will never be forgiven. Jesus says it is even an eternal sin. (Matthew 12:28- 32)
These Scribes are not able to repent. They read the very word of God, even the prophecies of these very events – every – single – day.
They even traveled the long way down from Jerusalem to see what’s going on with this preacher who’s drawing their audiences out of their synagogues.
Their hearts are clearly too hardened to see the truth.
Now, if you’re worried about committing the same sin I’d like to remind you of this:
If you say something thoughtlessly once, I don’t think that’s a big issue. See, grieving the Holy Spirit is not blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30)
Grieving the Holy Spirit is “just” a sin. It is bad, but the blood of Jesus covers that.
You need to stop and repent of your sins.
Contrary to other commentaries on the internet, I do believe one can still blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Some people say we cannot because Jesus is not physically present and therefore not performing any miracles.
I say while He might not be present physically, His very Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is. And He is still working mighty signs, wonders, and miracles today.
Therefore, some of the modern Pharisees in the Church today still claim God’s miracles are performed by manipulation, witchcraft, and the like.
We need to let God be the judge of that.
The antidote to this is to keep a humble heart. (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5)
Test everything in the light of the Word of God and keep that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, 1 John 4:1-3)
If you want to find out more about God’s miracles, you are in a good spot. My whole website is about healing, deliverance, and discipleship. Here’s a good article you could dive deeper into: What is the gift of miracles & the 42 miracles Jesus performed in chronological order.
Making a willful decision against God
Several passages in the letter to the Hebrews talk about falling away from the faith. People backslide in a way that makes it hard for them to renew their repentance. How is that? Is every backslider doomed?
Let’s look at Hebrews 6:1-6 in particular verses 4 through 6.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance,
since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.“
Hebrews 6:4-6 NKJV
Backsliding and falling away from faith seems to be a recurring theme in the letter to the Hebrews.
We read in Hebrews 10:26-31, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.”
If we sin willfully, it is like trampling on Jesus, taking His blood for granted, and insulting the Holy Spirit.
In Hebrews 12:16-17, the reader is warned not to be a fornicator and profane person like Esau. He willfully gave away his blessing just to fill his belly. Then shortly after Esau felt sorry, but he didn’t repent. Therein lies the difference.
“For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected,
for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
Hebrews 12:17 NKJV
We need to be careful that we don’t sin so much that our heart grows dim and cold. Then all we can do is be sorry for ourselves, remain in our excuses, and keep on sinning.
Again, this too is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. It is rather a description of a hardened heart that knows the truth, that has tasted God’s Spirit, His touch, and His forgiveness. This state of heart still makes a willful decision against Jesus by coming up with excuses why not to surrender without compromise.
It is unforgivable not because God wouldn’t forgive the person in case he or she would repent. Rather the person pushed him or herself so far away from God, that the heart is already too hard. It doesn’t even consider true repentance and a committed change of life without compromise anymore.
It is not that there is no forgiveness. It is an unforgivable sin because there is no true repentance.
This obviously can relate to some people today but will relate to even more people in the future.
I believe we stand right before a very special season in God’s timeline.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:4-13 how the times before the end times will look like.
We will hear of wars close to us and of wars far away. Maybe because of the wars there will be famines, he’s mentioning.
At the same time, there will be earthquakes or natural disasters. Some Bible translations even include pestilences going around. As we have experienced recently, a sickness that has spread all over the planet, this scenario is very much imaginable. All this will happen at the same time.
The world will experience total chaos. No wonder that lawlessness will abound. People, and especially Christians, will betray each other. There will be great persecution of Christ’s real servants and it all will push people’s hearts to grow cold. So cold, that even the faith-filled people will willingly deny Christ and succumb to the social pressure around them.
It will be similar to the situation in John 6:66. Many of Jesus’ followers were offended by the things He did and said. It was too different, too radical from what the social system around them was dictating.
So, “many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”
This is where we are headed.
Christians will know the truth, will have heard, and will have had everything God could’ve given them, and still, they will turn away from God.
It is unforgivable, not because God wouldn’t take them back if they’d repent. It is unforgivable because their hearts are too hardened to follow Christ without compromise.
People will live out their own made-up religion and might not even realize it.
To learn about typical sins one could and should repent of check out this helpful guide on 36 Things You Should Repent Of
Taking the mark of the beast (Antichrist)
The third unforgivable sin connects to the one before and will be another manifestation of hardened hearts. People will willfully turn away from God in an unforgivable way. They will take the mark of the beast – which is the coming antichrist.
The people of the world will do what they always did. They will just follow their hearts, their desires, and their master: Satan.
But what will the church do?
Many will fall away. (Matthew 24:10-13, 1 Timothy 4:1)
They will succumb to the lack of love and offenses.
Their hearts will be hardened, cold, and unforgiving. They won’t be sensitive enough to see the truth and the real move of God for this time.
Many will go with the flow because it will seem easier.
It’s is going to be the rational, the right thing to do. (Revelation 13:16-17)
They probably will say things like, “How else should we survive? We need to buy food. We need a job to pay our bills. We want to get our life back. There is no other way.”
Yes, there is another way. There always is. Jesus.
But it will cost people a price.
In their hardened heart, many Christians will readily and willingly take the mark of the antichrist. Only a few, who are willing to pay the price will receive the mark of God. (Revelation 7:2-4)
Many Christians will be scooped up into the worldly stream of caution, rational, and societal pressure.
The mark of the beast is not going to be about faith or religion. Not at first at least. It is going to be about the ones that are willing “to do the right thing.”
We have seen similar social dynamics unfold with the recent global pestilence and its supposed quick fix.
There will be global group pressure like never before. The hero of the world, who was able to bring all striving nations together, will issue a decree that will sound so great and so logical and will obviously “improve” everyone’s quality of life. (Revelation 13:1-18)
But in reality, it is all going to be about identity. It’s going to be about whom we follow without compromise: The world’s savior or The true Savior of the world.
But remember: After taking the mark of the beast there will be no return any more.
Ask yourself these questions.
Whom will you go with? Will you go with Jesus? Or will you give in to the pressure?
Whatever the natural circumstance will be. Pause for a second and remember this:
Is God not able to heal? Is God not able to deliver? Is God not able to provide?
We better take the Mark of God than the mark of the beast. (Revelation 7:2-4, 13:16-17)
Maybe we will lose our life but in the end, we will gain it.
Now is the time to prepare. Repent now and come back to God 100% without compromise. Take some time of serious fasting and prayer. It is going to prepare you and make you sensitive to God’s voice.
God is going in a very distinct direction with His people. Don’t miss it. Surrender to Him now or you’ll be surrendered later.
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