Being a new convert in Christianity is exciting and you’re always learning new things about God. But inevitably, new believers will come across a particular verse that scares the hell out of them. And I’m not talking about hell. Jesus says, “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” Yep, this verse freaks out most new believers, and they run to their pastor asking what it means. Many of them are convinced that they have committed this sin, either by accident, or by something they said before they became a Christian. Let me give a bit more background on this text. It appears in all three of the Synoptic Gospels. In Matthew and Mark, the Pharisees are accusing Jesus of casting out demons using the power of Satan himself. Jesus asks them, “How can Satan cast out Satan?”, and he proceeds to tell them that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable. So what is blaspheming the Holy Spirit? The book “Foundations of Pentecostal Theology” sums it up this way: “The Pharisees had accused Jesus of working miracles by the power of the Devil. Jesus had cast out that demon by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the Devil.” This was the most common definition that I encountered in Pentecostal and evangelical circles. When we look at the Gospel of Luke, however, Jesus brings up the subject almost at random while preaching to a crowd. Here there’s no back story of Jesus casting out demons. If we look at the Gospel of Luke alone, there’s no context to help us understand what Jesus actually means by “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” The term “blasphemy” itself can be quite broad. One definition is “irreverence toward something considered sacred”. So that could mean any number of things. It gets even more confusing. The bible instructs believers to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” And to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” Now the believer is in a dilemma. He knows he has to judge ungodly works in the church, but if he gets it wrong and calls a move of the Holy Spirit demonic when it is not, then he’s in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit, never to be forgiven. Most evangelical Christians however, get around this dilemma by saying the unforgiveable sin is committed when a person *knows for sure* something is from the Holy Spirit, but blasphemes it anyway. Pretty convenient reasoning, huh? And it gives this sin an almost unattainable status. Remember how Jesus warned the Pharisees not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? Even they admitted they didn’t know if Jesus was sent by God. Christians accuse non-believers of blasphemy against God all the time. But if the same unbeliever blasphemes the Holy Spirit, they’re not guilty because they don’t really know what they’re doing. Why are there two different standards? And aren’t God and the Holy Spirit the same being anyway? Along with Jesus? If you blaspheme one, aren’t you blaspheming all three? There are various other apologetics and re-interpretations from other Christians. Here’s a couple I’ve seen on the net. “the only unforgivable sin is the rejection of Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation, His free gift of eternal life, and thus, His forgiveness from sin. If you don’t accept His gift, you cannot be forgiven.” What a daft interpretation. Jesus makes it clear that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is a very specific sin, not just a rejection of Christ in general. “There is no possible way any human that has lived yet could possibly have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. This is because to do it you must refuse the Holy Spirit to speak through you when you are delivered up to the anti-Christ. Since the anti-Christ is not in power yet, it could not have happened yet.” What? What Bible has she been smoking? A believer cannot commit the unforgivable sin. How can someone who has been born again, made a new creation, and received eternal life actually commit the unforgivable sin? He cannot. Yeah, that’s right.. believers can’t sin.. “This unpardonable sin cannot be committed today. This sin could have only been committed back at the time when Jesus was walking on our earth. In other words, you would have to attack Jesus directly just like the Scribes and Pharisees did to be found guilty of this sin.” Really? If we use this logic, does that mean when Jesus said “You must be born again”, he was only talking to people that were alive at the time? If that’s true, heaven is going to be one empty place. Are you starting to see a pattern here? It doesn’t matter what you do, you simply cannot commit the unforgiveable sin! Christians will find a loophole for you every single time! I remember listening to new converts and other Christians who were concerned they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. Without fail, they were told by their pastor or their Christian peers that it’s ok, they hadn’t actually committed the unforgiveable sin. It’s impossible, it cannot be done! All of this stems back to Christ himself. Here we have the one single sin that Jesus says you will never be forgiven for, and he glosses over it in vague detail! Christians have been arguing for 2000 years over this sin, many of them worried for their eternal soul, and it could’ve all been avoided if Christ clarified his statement. What a mess. Thanks for watching.