A commonly asked question today is whether there is an unforgivable sin. Mostly this question is asked by those who do not yet have a full revelation of the Father’s true nature (which Jesus explained, having had first hand experience in Heaven – in Luke 15 when He told the parable of the prodigal son). Even though believers agree that we are saved through faith, there still remains with some people a slight “caution” of God, a fear of rejection or punishment for not performing at our best, or perhaps failing to confess some hidden or forgotten sin.
The following verse is commonly quoted:
Mark 3:29 “but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”. (NKJV)
Jesus had not yet gone to the cross when He said this, and we know at the cross He triumphed over ALL sin. Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit also indirectly implies that such a person has not yet been saved, and therefore can not be forgiven for their sin (because they don’t believe in Jesus). However once such a person repents, and puts their faith in Christ, ALL their sin will be forgiven.
Rom 5:20 “but where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” (NKJV)
When we sin, we fall into grace. The bigger our sin, the bigger the grace that covers the sin. If we ever think that there is a sin that can not be covered by God’s grace, we are actually believing that the punishment that was bestowed on Jesus was not harsh enough. We are trampling the grace of God under foot. There is one sin however, that can not be forgiven. And this is also a very misunderstood scripture:
Jesus had just told His disciples He will be going away, but that He would send the Helper, the promised Holy Spirit:
John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (NKJV)
Most people stop here, and think this verse means the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict us of sin, that He is always supposed to make them feel guilty about sin in their life. Well, did you see the “:” at the end of verse 8? This means Jesus was about to explain what He just said! Let’s read the next verses as well:
John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (NKJV)
Verse 9 says the Holy Spirit will convict the world of their sin of unbelief in Jesus, thus He is referring to unbelievers. Also, it says “sin”, not “sins”. Unbelief in Jesus Christ is the only sin that Jesus could not die for. This is the only sin that God can not forgive. A person HAS TO believe in Jesus if they want to be saved!
The two other things the Holy Spirit will convict the world of is righteousness – verse 10 – (because Jesus went to the Father, and imputed His righteousness to us as a free gift!) and judgement – verse 11 – (because Satan “the ruler of this world” is judged!). So the Holy Spirit really only reminds us of how righteous we are in Christ, how powerless Satan is, and He reminds unbelievers that they need to believe in Jesus. What an awesome God we serve!!
So if we still live with some secret fear of punishment, then we have not yet received the full revelation of the grace and love of our Father.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment (punishment). But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (NKJV)
Knowing how much our Father loves us will cast out all fear of punishment, because we have been made righteous for ever!!