The Unforgivable Sin

The New Testament speaks of a sin that’s unforgivable—blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). This is simply the lifelong rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This sin is described as eternal because when someone commits it, he or she is actively choosing to reject Jesus. Jesus cannot forgive and save someone who doesn’t want to be saved or forgiven.

The good news for the believer is that we cannot commit blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, because we’ve called upon the name of Jesus and we want Him to save us. Even “if we are faithless, he remains faithful” (2 Timothy 2:13).

If God forgave the whole world of all sins, then there would be no need for faith or repentance. Since the entire world is not saved, forgiveness and salvation is found only in Christ, through faith. This is why there’s still one sin that separates one from God: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Every unbeliever is committing this sin, and God is actively pursuing them in the hope that they will believe in Him. God wants none to perish but for all to turn to Him (2 Peter 3:9).

It’s worth noting also that the unforgivable sin is not suicide, nor is suicide “the sin that leads to death” mentioned in 1 John 5. The sin leading to death is the unrepentant rejection of the gospel and of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (1 John 5:16); in fact, the entire letter of 1 John is dedicated to contrasting those who are saved with those who are not.

To say that God sends to hell a believer who makes a bad choice to kill himself totally misses the heart of God. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that suicide is the unforgivable sin or that it’s different from any other sin. Our forgiveness is not rooted in how little or small our sins are. Our forgiveness is based on the shed blood of Jesus. The apostle Paul once gave approval to murder; David was an adulterer; and Moses killed a man in rage. Yet God forgave them. There’s no such thing as big sins and small sins—there are only sins. And Jesus took them all away.

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