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What is the unpardonable sin?

Sinning against the holy spirit means that the sinner deliberately and willfully mocks God and his promises, after having been enlightened by the holy spirit and called to be a Son of God. (See Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:26, 29, and 31.) 

When sin is not deliberate, or against the holy spirit, it is not unpardonable. 

We believe that there are two parts to salvation—the first part is for those true Christians who have chosen to follow in Jesus’ footsteps now in order to receive a heavenly reward and the second part is for all others who have ever lived. The latter group will have an opportunity in the age to come to walk in the way of righteousness to obtain everlasting life on earth. However, members of the first group (true Christians) are on trial now to obtain spiritual life. Therefore, the unpardonable sin applies to this group since the time of Jesus’ death.

The unpardonable sin is described in Hebrews 6:4-6 and again in Hebrews 10:26, 29, 31.

“It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.”

Hebrews 6:4-6

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left. . . . How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the spirit of grace? . . . It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10: 26, 29, 31)

The above scriptures explain that it is possible for Christians who have made a covenant of sacrifice to fall from God’s grace by deliberately and willfully sinning, mocking God and his promises, after having once been enlightened by the Holy Spirit and called to be sons of God and heirs with Jesus in heaven. 

There are three other scriptures that are often used to refer to the unpardonable sin. They are Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-29, and Luke 12:10. Since all three scriptures are similar and recount the same incident, we need only quote Matthew 12:31-32 where Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees, says, 

And I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 

We believe that Jesus is giving the Pharisees a warning not only about what would happen to those who accept Christ and then sin against the holy spirit, but also what would happen to all those (them in particular) who deliberately sin against the holy spirit in the future age to come on earth. The scripture has a double application: for true Christians during this age and for the rest of the world in the age to come. In both instances, those who deliberately sin against the enlightenment they have received from the holy spirit will not be pardoned and, therefore, lose their opportunity for either eternal spiritual life in heaven now or everlasting life on earth in the future. 

What is the unforgivable sin and where is it found in the Bible? The unforgivable sin is willful, deliberate sin against the spirit of enlightenment. The scriptures that best describe that sin are found in Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26, 29, 31. 

To learn more about sin listen to, “What Sins Can Never Be Forgiven?” and “Are Some Sins Worse Than Others?”