WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 14, 2022
TOPIC: THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN
BY T. O. BANSO
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31-32 New King James version).
In Matthew 12, Jesus healed a man who was demon-possessed, blind, and mute. Therefore, he could speak and see. The multitudes who witnessed the healing were amazed and asked if Jesus could be the Son of David (verses 22-23). By asking if Jesus could be the Son of David, they wanted to know if He could possibly be the promised Messiah, the descendant of David.
Given the severity of the man’s affliction, one would have expected that everyone present would rejoice with him after his healing but not so. Even if everybody saw what happened as something significant to celebrate, the Pharisees would not! In their characteristic manner, they were not impressed and attacked the integrity of Jesus by saying that He cast out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons (verse 24). In response, Jesus, who knew their thoughts, dismissed their allegation, as Satan could not cast out Satan.
Jesus said, “But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (verses 25-30 New King James Version).
Jesus had more words for the Pharisees: “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31-32 New King James Version). The latter part of this passage is usually of concern to some people. They are worried about whether they have committed an unforgivable sin.
Such people are aware that the Bible says that God forgives sins or will forgive our sins if we repent and confess. It is in the character of God to forgive sins. For example, God says in the last part of Jeremiah 31:34, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (New King James Version). On the Cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34a New King James Version). Also, the Apostle John says in 1 John 1:9 that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
God forgives sins. In the Bible, different sins are mentioned. If we repent and confess our sins, He will forgive us. Indeed, because of the forgiving nature of God, we are to emulate Him and forgive others. Jesus says in Matthew 6:15 that if we do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will our Father forgive our trespasses. However, despite God’s forgiving character, Jesus talked about the unforgivable sin. The Bible also records the unforgivable sin in Mark 3:28-29 and Luke 12:10.
What is the unforgivable sin? Is it fornication, adultery, malice, murder, lying, anger, etc.? The context of Jesus’ statement on the unforgivable sin makes it clear that it is not any of these. Jesus was accused of casting out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons, an allegation He sufficiently dismissed. In Mark’s account, Jesus said, “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” (Mark 3:28-29 New King James version). Explaining why Jesus said this, verse 30 says it was because they said that He had an unclean spirit.
In Luke 12:10, Jesus said, “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven” (New King James Version). This scripture makes it clear what constitutes unforgivable sin. It is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Any other sin anyone commits shall be forgiven upon confession but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
The question is what constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? This is clear from the reaction of the Pharisees to the healing of the man who was demon-possessed, blind, and mute, which prompted Jesus to talk about the unforgivable sin. They said Jesus cast out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. They ascribed to the devil the work done by the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38 says, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”(New King James Version).
Jesus did His miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit. The unforgivable sin is when someone deliberately attributes to Satan the miracles clearly done by the Holy Spirit. This amounts to an insult or affront to the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ crucifixion was a forgivable sin. Therefore, He asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him. However, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable. It is a sin one cannot be absolved of; it is unpardonable. Whoever commits this sin is guilty of an eternal or everlasting sin.
Indeed, Jesus said false christs and false prophets would rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22). But Jesus also said those who believed in Him would, in His name, cast out demons and speak with new tongues (Mark 16:17). Miracles are real. There are genuine signs and wonders; although the agents of Satan are also at work. As the Apostle John said, we should not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). Nevertheless, we must never credit Satan with the miracles done by the Holy Spirit.
Acts 5:12a says through the hands of the apostles, many signs and wonders were done among the people. Don’t ascribe to the power of Satan the miracles that are done through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you’re not guilty of this, you have no reason to worry about whether or not you’ve committed the unforgivable sin. Those who may be guilty of the unforgivable sin are not even likely to bother about whether or not they have committed this sin. They are stubborn. “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:32 Amplified Bible).
Those who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit are subject to eternal condemnation. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven. However, don’t let this fear hinder you from going to God to ask for the forgiveness of your sins, which God is willing to forgive you if you genuinely repent and confess. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for the work of the Holy Spirit on earth. I shall not ascribe to Satan the miracles the Holy Spirit is doing on earth through God’s servants and the other children of God. I pray that the church shall not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom we were sealed for the day of redemption. Father, expose all false prophets and teachers and make their disciples know the truth.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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