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What is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Have I committed this sin? Can I be forgiven?

Answer

Thank you for your interesting and honest enquiry about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This sin was spoken of by Jesus himself, recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke in these ways:

"Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come". (Matthew 12:31)

"Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"— for they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit." (Mark 3:28)

"And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven". (Luke 12:8)

Two things are clear in these verses. The first is that 'every sin and blasphemy' can be forgiven by God if we repent of doing it. This is the plain teaching of the Bible. For example, the apostle John said

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:8)

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2)

There is no such thing as a sin from which we cannot repent even if we want to; any sin of which we repent to God will definitely be forgiven.

So, what is this 'blasphemy' against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven? The word 'blasphemy' means in the Bible 'to speak against' or 'to defy'. To defy the Holy Spirit is to reject fundamentally His work in our lives to bring us to repentance and faith, that is, salvation. Jesus described this work of the Holy Spirit by saying that "when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgement" (John 16:8). In other words, the Holy Spirit reveals to us that we are sinners, tells us the righteous way we should take to find and know God, and convinces us that God will one day judge us if we refuse to listen.

The sin against the Holy Spirit which cannot be forgiven is, therefore, to reject the gospel by refusing to repent from sin and place our trust in Jesus for salvation.

Imagine that you are a bully and your parents or brothers and sisters told you again and again about it as you grew up. Then you get married and your husband or wife experiences your behaviour and they tell you again and again about it. Imagine that you know deep down they are all right, but as the years go by you justify yourself and tell yourself over and over again that the problem is not in you but in everyone else being stubborn when you try to force them to do what you want. By the time you are old, nobody tries to tell you any more because everyone around you knows you have hardened your heart against the truth and you refuse to face it. Then imagine the day you die and even the people who loved you say to each other, 'He would never listen.' That's like the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. You know deep down that you are a sinner in need of God's forgiveness and that the way to find it is to accept the salvation offered to you by Christ through his death on the cross for your sins. But you harden your heart against God's voice over and over again and so it goes on till the day you die. Then it is too late to repent because you have finally defied the voice of the Holy Spirit, deciding that it wasn't the voice of God at all.

It is possible that God might stop speaking to a person well before their death, having decided that they have shown their true heart by repeatedly refusing to turn to Jesus for salvation. No-one knows if or when that might happen, but it is certainly unsafe to assume that it never will; that there will always be a 'tomorrow' with God in this way. God's day is always 'today' and God's time is always 'now'.

In summary, all of our sins will be forgiven is we are truly repentant of them; that we turn our back on our old ways. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is when a person rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ and refuses to accept Him as their Lord and Saviour. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then I encourage you to do so today.

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Hebrews 4:1-6

If you long to have peace and forgiveness from God, then turn to Christ Jesus as your Lord and Saviour today, while the opportunity is 'now'. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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