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What did Jesus mean by unforgivable sin?

The Unforgivable Sin

About the unforgivable sin, the Bible says: “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26). Some get discouraged when they read this verse and don’t understand the demarcation point between sinning and receiving forgiveness on one hand and committing the unforgivable sin on the other hand.

To sin willfully means to continue to sin willfully. As the context makes evident (Hebrews 10:29), reference here is not to single acts of sin committed in the full knowledge of their evil character, but to the attitude of mind that prevails when a person deliberately renounces Christ, refuses salvation, and rejects the Holy Spirit. This is intentional, continual, defiant sin. It is a reversal of the previous decision to accept salvation in Christ and to submit one’s heart and life to Him. It is intentional apostasy, which leads to the unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31, 32).

All the wicked are in a state of rebellion against their Maker (Romans 8:7) but before sinners have received the knowledge of the truth, God winks at their darkness (Acts 17:30). Before the light of truth shines into people’s minds, the Lord does not hold them accountable for the evil that is there (John 15:22; Luke 23:34; 1 Timothy 1:13). God wants to save all people and He loves them and has sent His Son to save them (John 1:4, 5, 9–12; 3:16; Matthew 9:13).

But when the light comes and men still choose evil instead, they are judged before God (John 3:19), and “there remaineth no more sacrifice for [their] sins” (Hebrews 10:26; James 4:17). That’s when the unforgivable sin starts to take form. But those that feel convicted of sin and wish to repent have not committed the unpardonable sin.

God Forgives and Empowers

The believer needs to always remember God’s power that will keep him from falling (Jude 24), and when he does fall as a result of failing to appropriate that power, he should go, repentant, to the throne of God in order to receive grace and pardon (Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 2:1).

The Christian can claim the following promise and be confident that the Lord will not just forgive him but also heal him and give him total victory. The Lord promised, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Faithfulness is one of the Lord’s main characteristics (1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:23).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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