What is the Unpardonable Sin?

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What Is The Unpardonable Sin?

[Posted June 15, 2023]

Hi M​____​,

It always makes my day to hear that someone has been edified by reading the answers to questions in the FAQ’s. I remember when I myself was puzzled by what Christ meant when He told us that ‘blaspheming against the holy ghost shall not be forgiven ‘in this world nor in the world to come but all other sins and blasphemy would be forgiven’:

Mat 12:31  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
Mat 12:32  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Coming to know that the word translated as ‘world’ is the Greek word ‘aion’, and that the meaning of that word ‘aion’ is actually ‘an age’ of no particular length of time, is absolutely revolutionary knowledge. It changed everything I had been taught in the various churches I had attended in my youth. It is good to see the Lord is giving you that same experience.

Your question is:

Since the holy ghost was not even proffered or given to mankind until the day of Pentecost, Matthew 12:31 is therefore not just a statement of fact, it is also a prophecy that when the holy ghost will be given 50 days after the crucifixion, there will be those who will at some future time “blaspheme against the holy ghost”, and that sin will cannot be forgiven either in this present age, nor in the thousand-year age when “the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ”.

That is what is meant by “the age to come”. You and I know that the lake of fire will purify and redeem “all in Adam”, even those who have blasphemed against the holy ghost:

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

All will indeed be made alive when the revealed plan of God has run its course, but the “God will be all in all” goal of God’s plan will take place only with “every man in his own order”, and this is that order:

1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: 1) Christ the firstfruits; 2) afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
1Co 15:24  3) Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

“Then cometh the end” refers to the third harvest of souls. The first of the firstfruits is Christ Himself, the second “kind of firstfruits”, the “firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb” are those who are raised from the dead in what is called “the first resurrection” at the beginning of the one thousand-year reign of Christ and His Christ:

Jas 1:18  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

​Having a​ “first resurrection” infers that there is a second resurrection. This first resurrection is what Christ called “the resurrection to life” in light of the fact that those who are in the first resurrection are being judged now in this present age:

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

If indeed we are being judged in this present time, then we need not be judged at a later time, after the thousand-year reign of Christ. Therefore those in the house of God who are being judged in this present age will be raised up in “the resurrection of life” at the beginning of the thousand-year reign of Christ and His Christ:

Joh 5:28  Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice,
Joh 5:29  and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and [over a thousand years later] they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment. (ASV)

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Those who are not being judged in this age, to answer Peter’s rhetorical question, “What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” will be raised up after the “short season” of rebellion, which occurs when Satan is released from his prison and shall go forth and deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, and then they will also be judged “every man according to his works.”

Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8  and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9  And they went up over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down out of heaven, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (ASV)

This “lake of fire” is the resurrection of judgment” (Joh 5:27-29), the judgment before the great white throne.

Rev 20:11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14  And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15  And if any was not found written in the book of life [a thousand years earlier], he was cast into the lake of fire. (ASV)

Here now is what the world does not know about God’s judgments, which especially include the judgment of the great white throne:

Isa 26:8  Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
Isa 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

This great white throne judgment, aka “lake of fire”, is the judging and trying of our works which which Paul speaks of in:

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by [the lake of] fire; and the [lake of] fire shall try [judge] every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

If our works in this age are not righteous works, then the fire of the great white throne judgment/lake of fire, will burn our works up at that time just as our own evil works are being burned out of us in this present age, and that is exactly what Paul tells us will happen in the great white throne judgment/lake of fire:

1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be savedyet so as by fire [The lake of fire]

Peter tells us that those who are being judged in this present age are having the works of their old man burned out of them here in this age as our works are being ‘tried… by fire’ in “this present time”:

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try [judge] you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Paul speaks of this same time of judgment which, as Peter reveals, is at this very moment “beginning at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). Paul is also speaking of the same “exceeding joy” we will experience at “the resurrection of life (Joh 5:27-29) also called the “blessed and holy first resurrection” (Rev 20:5-6). Here is how Paul speaks of the “exceeding joy” which is experienced by those who are in this present age enduring the “fiery trials” of 1Pe 4:12:

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings [“Fiery trials” (1Pe 4:12)] of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Rom 8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God [at the “blessed and holy… first resurrection”].

It is this great event called the “blessed and holy… first resurrection” which ushers in “the age… that is coming” in which the blaspheming of the holy spirit will not be forgiven, just as it is not being forgiven in this present age:

Mat 12:32  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in the present age, nor in the one that is coming. (ACV)

“The… age… that is coming” is the thousand-year reign of Christ and His Christ (Rev 20:1-6). It is NOT the great white throne judgment where even those who blaspheme against the holy spirit in this age will indeed have that spirit burned out of them and “they themselves will be saved, yet so as by fire” (1Co 3:15).

The key to understanding what ‘blaspheming against the holy ghost’ means is to know what that particular form of blaspheming entails. Whatever ‘blaspheming against the holy ghost” means, it obviously did not apply to the people who blasphemed against and crucified the Son of Man because Christ asked His Father to forgive them:

Luk 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

It obviously does not apply to ignorantly killing “Jesus of Nazareth” in the form of His disciples, because that is exactly what the “blasphemer” Saul of Tarsus, AKA Paul the apostle, did, and yet he was forgiven because he, too, “did it in ignorance”:

1Ti 1:12  And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
1Ti 1:13  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Christ said “all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the holy spirit shall not be forgiven unto men … neither in this age, neither in the age to come” (Mat 12:31-32).

The only way we can possibly know which blasphemy is considered to be “blasphemy against the holy ghost” is to search the scriptures to see just exactly which sins we are specifically told cannot be forgiven in this present age. Here are those scriptures which tell us which particular sins are impossible to be forgiven in this age or the age to come:

Heb 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3  And this will we do, if God permit.
Heb 6:4  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Heb 6:5  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
Heb 6:6  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. [Blaspheme against the holy ghost]
Heb 6:7  For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
Heb 6:8  But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned [burned up in the lake of fire, “Yet he himself shall be saved, yet though as by (the lake of fire” – 1Co 3:15)].

Heb 10:24  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

1Jn 5:16  If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: [Apostatizing “after that we have recieved the knowledge of The Truth”] I do not say that he shall pray for it.
1Jn 5:17  All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

There is sin which can be prayed for and forgiven. Christ said ‘all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men except for the blasphemy against the holy spirit which will not be forgiven in this age nor in the age to come’ (Mat 12:31-32). Paul tells us “it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy ghost, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall way, to renew them again to repentance. John tells us “there is a sin unto death… do not… pray for it” (1Jo 5:15).

So there is the definition of what it means to blaspheme against the holy spirit. All sins and blasphemy can be forgiven except for the blasphemy against the holy spirit, and the only specific sin we are told is impossible to be renewed to repentance is the sin of apostasy by “those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the holy ghost, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.”  That is the one sin which cannot be forgiven in this age or in the age to come. Every such person was made wicked by God for the day of evil in their life:

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. 

We are all either loved by God or ‘hated’ and ‘loved less’ by God while we are in our mother’s womb having done neither good nor evil:

Rom 9:11  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom 9:14  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

Everything in the Old Testament and in the New Testament is written “for our admonition”:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. [Old and New Testaments]

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

There are therefore two examples of those who, in type, fulfilled the qualifications of Hebrews 6:4-5 – the one sin from which it is impossible to be renewed to repentance ‘neither in this age, neither in the age to come’ (Mat 12:31-32). Esau being Jacob’s twin brother could hardly claim that he did not know who Jacob was. This is what we are told of Esau after selling his birthright for a bowl of pottage, a type of apostatizing for the simple pleasures of this life:

Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance [‘impossible to renew to repentance’ (Heb 6:4)], though he sought it carefully with tears.

The second type of apostatizing for mere filthy lucre is Judas being one of the twelve and working with Christ for three and one half years. Judas typifies an apostate apostle who “was once enlightened [and then] fell away.” This is what happened when Judas came to see himself for the apostate he was:

Mat 27:5  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Paul confesses that he was a blasphemer and yet he had not at that time ‘been enlightened’, he had not yet ‘tasted the heavenly gift’, nor had he been made a partaker of the holy ghost’. He had not “sinned willfully”. Paul was forgiven because he “did it in ignorance​.​”

I hope all these verses have served to demonstrate that the only sin which cannot be forgiven in this age nor in the age to come is the same as the only sin from which ‘it is impossible to be renewed to repentance.’ That sin is the sin of apostasy after having been once enlightened, having tasted the heavenly gift, and being made a partaker of the holy ghost and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come.”

Your brother who is praying that the Lord will keep us both from “sinning willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth” (Heb 10:26), Mike

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