Matthew 12:31,32 …Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven… whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven…
Have you, like me, ever feared that you are, in the end, unforgivable? Whether it is a painfully public failure or deep dark secrets locked away in the recesses of our minds, we all have our own painful history of which only we know the full extent. Have you ever looked in the mirror with despair and wondered if your collection of sins disqualifies you from God’s grace?
Buried in this strange passage about the unforgivable sin, is this comforting promise: Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven… I find much peace and comfort in knowing that my destruction is cancelled and nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:13,14). When I come to Christ, all my sins, past, present and future are forgiven for all eternity. He removes my sins as far as the East is from the West (Psalms 103:12) and He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12).
This means that the dark deeds of anyone, no matter how evil, can be forgiven. The vilest behavior I can imagine, even hideous crimes against children, can be forgiven, if one will but repent and turn to God. I may find it repulsive that such evil can be forgiven, but I had better be thankful that God forgives all. I too, have a dark collection of misdeeds.
Still, this passage speaks of that one unforgivable sin. Have you ever read this passage and worried that you may have, in your ignorance, uttered such words, damning you forever? I have lost sleep over this one. You may laugh, but I take such passages seriously and I recall, as a child worrying that just saying holy crap (or its crasser version) was blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
I should not have worried. Jesus gave an explicit description of what this unforgivable crime is. In the story, the Pharisees witnessed Jesus heal a blind man and accused him of Satanic power. They attributed the work done by God’s Spirit to Hell. Jesus responded by informing them that they had just betrayed their own opposition to God, thereby committing the unforgivable sin.
Still, the question hangs. Have I ever done this accidentally? No, anyone worried about such a thing is not capable of this offense. The condition that Jesus described here is one of malignant and complete opposition to God. This person, if he or she believes in Jesus, hates him.
I have known only a few people with this kind of hatred towards God. They see Christianity and the bible as evil and they despise God. God cannot or will not forgive such a one. There is apparently a reservation in hell for the one who insists that God’s Spirit is evil. The one guilty of this sin does not care however, as he or she does not need or want God’s forgiveness.
You and I, if we are reading this and if we have any concern for our own souls, need not worry. We may take comfort in knowing that if we have faith in Christ, we are, in fact, completely forgiven.