What is the Unforgivable Sin?

What is the Unforgivable Sin? by Dr. Nicholas J. Schaser

In Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus declares, “Every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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 world or in the world to come.”

Often, Christians worry about whether they have committed this unforgivable sin unknowingly, particularly because this verse does not do much to clarify the nature of the transgression. This quandary provides a prime example of why it’s so important to read Scripture in context: the immediately preceding discussion between Yeshua and the Pharisees shows that the unforgivable sin is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of Satan.

When the Pharisees hear that Jesus has cast out a demon from a formerly blind and mute man, they assert, It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons” (Matt 12:24). Yeshua replies, If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself… and if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (12:26-28).