is an unforgivable sin? Is it the same as a sin against the Holy
n unforgivable sin is simply
a sin which you do not
repent. There’s really nothing mysterious
or mystical about it. God has told us over and over that if we sincerely
repent our sins and ask for mercy, we will be forgiven.
No sin, not even murder or abortion, will
condemn a soul if only it is repented.
for example, could have been forgiven by God if he had genuinely repented
at the moment of his last breath and appealed to Christ for mercy. But did
he? Well, no one but God knows.
Now, we might wonder why, given
God’s magnanimous grace, so many persons persist in their sins and make
no effort to repent them. Why do so many souls condemn themselves to
hell because of unrepentant, and therefore
unforgivable, sins? Well, there are two basic reasons: either they didn’t
believe that their behavior was sinful, or they
simply didn’t believe in the concept of sin itself. The very
fact that anyone has such erroneous beliefs can be explained by the concept
of sin against the Holy Spirit.
the Holy Spirit
Jesus spoke openly about sin
against the Holy Spirit when, accused of casting out evil spirits by the
power of demons (see Mark 3: 20-30), He stated that “whoever blasphemes
against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness but is guilty of an
everlasting sin” (Mark 3:29; cf. Matthew 12:31-32 and Luke
Essentially, Jesus was saying
that to attribute the work of the Holy Spirit to any other agency—such
as demons or human activity—insults holiness itself. What is sin
if not the disrespect of God? What is sin if not the refusal to believe
God when He gives us fair warning about our behavior? What, then, is
unforgivable sin if not the refusal to listen to the very One who
created heaven and earth and Who knows very well of what He is
Consequently, by insulting holiness
we fall right into false beliefs about our very reality—and these false
beliefs result in unforgivable sins because, well, in clinging to a false
reality we demean and reject the very power that could lead us to truth,
forgiveness, and salvation.
Modern Sins Against
the Holy Spirit
In today’s world, hardly
anyone attributes anything to the work of demons, so Jesus’ description
of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit tends to bewilder many of us—if
we even listen to it at all.
Nevertheless, whether we speak
about demons or not, examples of modern sins against
the Holy Spirit are not difficult to find.
Activists, for example, claim
that Church teaching about sexuality is the work
of homophobic or misogynist men. Feminists claim that
the burdensome yoke of the supernatural must be cast off. Intellectuals claim that
hell is just a myth created by medieval fantasy. Well,
in all of these cases, the work of the Holy Spirit is arrogantly dismissed
and attributed to homophobia, misogyny, or fantasy—that is, to human
Such arrogance is not just an
error of reason and a simple sin of pride. Such arrogance is blasphemy against
the Holy Spirit and an unforgivable sin.
And it will be an everlasting
sin after death unless the insult against God that precipitated it is repented
before death, while there is still hope.