Read Matthew 12
Focus on verse 31
We have all heard it if not said it ourselves…”that was unforgivable!” suggesting that whatever it was that was done or said could never be forgiven. Is there really such a thing as an unforgivable deed? I have heard of people who have forgiven some of the most heinous crimes that have been committed against them.
Perhaps one of the more notable would be the account of Corrie ten Boom who many years after surviving one of Hitler’s death camps, found herself in a courtroom facing the German guard who was responsible for the death of her sister. She would have been justified in spitting in his face, but chose rather to offer him her forgiveness for the horrid things he had done to her and her sister.
The thing about forgiveness is that it is not for the sake of the perpetrator of the offense that we forgive him or her, but for our own sake. If we choose to hold on to the anger and bitterness, it only hurts us more than we already have been hurt. Perhaps you’ve heard the statement “Bitterness is the poison we drink believing it will kill someone else”. Only when we let go of the anger and accept the pain of the offense and make the choice to forgive the offender can we truly be free to move on ourselves.
So is there a crime or deed or sin that God finds truly unforgivable? Today’s reading informs us that there is only one.
Therefore I (Jesus) tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. (v. 31)
The question we must then find the answer to is “What is this sin of blasphemy against the Spirit?” It could be interpreted as taking the name of the Holy Spirit in vain but that doesn’t really make sense and seems to contradict some other parts of scripture. The only interpretation that seems to fit consistently here is that to continuously reject the promptings of the Holy Spirit when He invites us to say yes to a relationship with Jesus Christ. This would fit with Jesus statement in the gospel of John where He claims that He alone is the way the truth and the life, and that there is no other way to have access to God. (John 14:6)
It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit of God that we are able to understand enough to accept the truth about who Jesus Christ is. When we consistently resist the invitations that the Holy Spirit offers us through the word of God and His people, we eventually die without ever coming to the point of choosing to believe the truth. When that happens God cannot accept us into His presence, so it is a serious offense. Rejection of the Holy Spirit and therefore the Son of God, is the one sin God will not forgive. By His grace He gives us ample opportunity to choose to accept Him, but as always, He leaves the final choice with us.