Matthew 12:31, 32
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Growing up as a Christian I have heard the phrase the “unpardonable sin” and have seen how it crippled some things in fear and uncertainty. I heard of a man who committed fornication after received Jesus into his live. He shared with a brother in the faith and straight away he was told that he had committed “the unpardonable sin”. This man committed suicide and stated in a note left behind that he felt since he had committed that sin that there no point being alive since he could not please God anymore.
The interesting thing is that this phrase never appears in the Bible. You wont find it anywhere. The phrase “unpardonable sin” is a church phrase, not a Bible phrase. If this be the case, why do we use it, and also, what does it mean?
First of all we need to understand the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 16:13 that He comes to guide believers into truth and show us things to come (John 16:13) and to glorify Jesus (verse 14). That last one is crucial because it establishes the first two; if Jesus is not glorified then it cannot be the Holy Ghost. All our doctrine and our teachings can be tested with this. Does Jesus get the glory or we?
The other very important role of the Spirit is to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment according to John 16:8.
“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
The conviction of sin is aimed at non-believers for their rejection of Christ (verse 9);
“Of sin, because they believe not on me;”
The conviction of righteousness is aimed at believers because they can no longer see Jesus and they are quick to forget who they are in Christ (verse 10);
“10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;”
and the conviction of judgment is aimed at the devil, for He has been judged (verse 11).
“11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
Salvation becomes possible because of the role of the Holy Spirit in a man’s life. It is His function as it relates to the unsaved. If a man rejects that conviction, he will feel a release from it for a time, only to find that it comes back again at another time and place and sometimes stronger than ever. This is the Holy Spirit knocking on the door of your heart, offering you love and grace if you will only believe. This is what Paul when Jesus told him that it was hard for him to kick against the pricks. If he continues to reject the knocking, He will eventually leave him alone, and at that point salvation cannot be found.
Believers don’t need to fear blaspheming the Holy Spirit, for no born-again believer is going to consistently reject the voice of the Spirit in their life. The mark that they are born-again is their ability to be led by the Spirit (Romans 8:14); so they can’t possibly live a life of constantly rejecting His callings.
The reason that people call it the “unpardonable sin” is because Jesus said that that person “hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation” (Mark 3:29). When you reject the call of the Holy Spirit for salvation, there is no forgiveness because reject the free gift of forgiveness and you are in danger of eternal damnation. This warning cannot be for believers who are sealed with the Spirit “unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
As a believer what you have to focus on what it says in Matthew 12:31 that all manner of sin will be forgiven. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is to reject the crucified and resurrected Jesus of which the Holy Ghost always speaks. It is to reject the payment for your sins and the work of regeneration which is by the Spirit. As a believer, you have nothing to fear in this regard. You are completely pardoned and completely free.