Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

Here is a conversation I have on a regular basis:

Reader: “Paul, I’m worried that I have committed the unforgivable sin.”

Me: “You haven’t.”

Reader: “But I had these terrible thoughts about the Lord…”

Me: “You didn’t commit an unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “I shook my fist at heaven and said these wicked things…”

Me: “Still no.”

Reader: “But I took the Lord’s name in vain.”

Me: “The good news is he forgives you. Jesus said, ‘Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven’ (Matthew 12:32).”

Reader: “But the rest of that verse says those who speak against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. I’m doomed!”

Me: “Uh-huh. So you think Jesus is gracious and forgiving but the Spirit of Christ holds a grudge? What’s wrong with that picture? Relax. The Holy Spirit keeps no record of your sin (Heb 10:17).”

Reader: “I still worry that I committed the unpardonable sin.”

Me: “Do you love Jesus?”

Reader: “Of course.”

Me: “What does Jesus mean to you?”

Reader: “He’s my Lord.”

Me: “You could not know that except the Holy Spirit showed you. The only thing that cannot be forgiven is rejecting what the Spirit says about Jesus. Therefore you have not committed the unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “I’m pretty sure I did.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure you didn’t. You have more chance of lighting a fire with a bucket of water, than committing the unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “But Jesus said…”

Me: “Jesus said, ‘Whoever comes to me I will never drive away’ (John 6:37).”

Reader: “Yes, but…”

Me: “Jesus also said, ‘I give eternal life to them, and no one will snatch them out of my hand’ (John 10:28).”

Reader: “Yes, but…”

Me: “There is no but. Jesus has the last word. You may have said some dumb things, but Jesus speaks a better word. You believe Jesus don’t you?”

Reader: “Yes.”

Me: “Then settle it in your heart that he who began a good work in you will carry it on until the day of completion.”

Reader: “It can’t be that simple. I’m losing sleep over this. It’s like there’s this tape playing in my head that reminds me of what I did.”

Me: “Only those who cannot commit the unforgivable sin worry they have committed the unforgivable sin.”

Reader: “Huh?”

Me: “If you were an unbeliever, would not be worried about whether your sins are forgiven?”

Reader: “I don’t understand.”

Me: “Let me put it this way. Do you want to please Jesus?”

Reader: “Of course.”

Me: “Don’t you see? That’s a sign. When you came to Christ he gave you a new heart with new wants and desires. Once upon a time you cared nothing for the Lord. Now you want to please him. Once upon a time you gave no thought to sin. Now you don’t want to do it.”

Reader: “So my anxiety over this sin is a good thing?”

Me: “No, God wants you to be free from fear. But you wouldn’t be tempted to worry if you weren’t trying to please the Lord.”

Reader: “So what must I do? How can I stop worrying?”

Me: “Stop focusing on yourself, and fix your eyes on Jesus. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Reader: “I wish it were that simple.”

Me: “Granted, it’s a battle. But it’s a battle you can win.”

Reader: “How?”

Me: “Fortify your mind with the promises of God’s Word. Stop listening to lies and feed on the truth. He will never let you go. When that old tape starts playing in your head, declare his promises over your life. Write them down if it helps.”

Reader: “I dunno. It sounds too simple. You still don’t know what I did.”

Me: “No, you don’t know what Jesus did. His grace is greater than your sin. His best is better than your worst.”

Reader: “I feel so helpless.”

Me: “Stop living from your feelings and walk by faith. Yes, we are helpless on our own, but you are not alone. God himself is your Helper. Trust him!”

Reader: “Okay. Can you pray with me?”

Me: “Sure. Why not repeat these words: Heavenly Father, thank you for your love that is greater than my sin. Thank you for your Son who died that I might live. Thank you for your Spirit who pours your love into my heart. Thank you that nothing I say or do can separate me from the love that is in Christ Jesus. Thank you, Father, for promising to never leave or forsake me.”

Reader: “Amen.”

___________

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38 Comments on Have I Committed the Unforgivable Sin?

  1. Great stuff. Simple and effective. Take our eyes off ourselves and focus instead on what Jesus has already told us.

  2. That is wonderful! I am one who has struggled with the same fear!

  3. After 32 years of walking faithfully wit Jesus, I had what I call a giant melt down. I had waited all of these years for certain answers to prayer and had become very frustrated and disappointed. I went to bed and started screaming and shouting at God. I said horrible things about Him and told Him I would never serve Him again. I was devestated and so afraid that I had really blown it, that God could never forgive me now. I fell asleep and when I woke up, Jesus was sitting on the side of my bed and He was holding me and stroking my hair and my brow. He looked deeply into my eyes and He said, ” There is no condemnation in Me. No guilt, no shame.” He repeated those words and then He said, I am not leaving until you get it.” He continued to look into my eyes as he stroked my brow and suddenly I got it! I knew that He meant it and I will not let condemnation in my life anymore. Jesus knew what I was thinking and feeling, all along and He just wanted me to get it out of my system and then He could heal me and reveal His true nature.
    Religion is based on performance, but grace is based on love and rest in the Lord. God knew we could never be perfect within ourselves and that is why He sent Jesus to redeem us. He accepts us, loves us and meets us where we are at!

  4. There is no sin greater than the completed work of Jesus and the love of the Father. The only thing that is unforgivable is not accepting His means for forgiveness. You are unforgivable when you do not accept forgiveness.

  5. God is faithful even when we are not! Thanks, Paul.

  6. I struggle with this A LOT!
    What do you do when you are trying to focus on Jesus and when you do, immediately blasphemous thoughts start?? It’s terrible because it makes me want to stop doing the the very thing that I need to do — focus on Jesus!! This is a horrible situation, uncontrollable…almost like OCD. Unless someone experiences it, others have no clue how overwhelming and despairing it makes you feel.

    • Thanks for your comment, Paulette. I know exactly what you are talking about and I understand it’s a battle. The good news is it’s a battle you can win. You need to prepare your ammunition in advance of the battle. Find some promises in God’s word that are helpful in your situation. Have them printed up, loaded, and ready to go. Then when the battle commences, wield the sword of God’s word. Don’t take ownership for the bad thoughts that come, but let the praises of God be on your lips. There are spirits behind these attacks and when you praise the Lord it’s like raising the temperature 1000 degrees. They can’t stand it. I have been in what I considered to be hopeless situations and been completely set free by praising Jesus in my struggles. I’ve given you the short version. If you’d like to read more, I recommend reading The Power of Right Believing.

      • Paulette // June 22, 2017 at 6:59 am //

        Yes, I do this instinctively when the thoughts hit, and it seems to keep them at bay…for awhile and then it will start at another time. Sometimes it actually happens when I am praising and worshipping Him!! It’s a temptations to think blasphemous thoughts and it seems the more I resist it, the greater the temptation! (Obsessive thoughts – OCD) So now I’m at the point at someone else’s suggestion to just ignore them…let them come and go. But that doesn’t deal with the awful guilt, shame and condemnation I feel after experiencing these thoughts. It just breaks my heart because I so love and adore my God and don’t want to do anything to offend or sin against Him! I feel so defeated…and ashamed 😥

      • Guilt and shame can damage our sense of identity. Dealing with these requires a different response to dealing with blasphemous thoughts. When your core identity comes under attack you need to counter the lies of the devil with the truth of God’s word. You might want to say to yourself, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I am my Father’s dearly-loved child.” (There are many wonderful promises regarding our identity.) Some will say you should just ignore these feelings, but feelings matter. I don’t want my kids to feel guilty or ashamed. Nor do I want them to pretend they are feeling something else. But feelings follow facts and facts follow faith, so put your faith in what God says is true about you and the feelings will come into line. It’s one thing to know you are righteous, it’s another to feel righteous. By the grace of God you can feel or experience what he says is true about you. Be blessed.

    • Hi Paulette, you can be sure God’s love for you is unwavering, He is never offended with you. He only wants to help you and see you enjoying His life. I also dealt with something similar to this. But I’ll tell you up front, I like Paul’s advice better than what I did because we should get past worrying about the devil and get on with enjoying our Father.

      I would say, “if you’re going to spend time with me today, devil, l’m going to read you a story”. I would read to him from the Bible about my future, then read to him about his future in the lake of fire. He didn’t come around for story time anymore. 🙂

    • Hi Paulette! 2 Corinthians 10:5 is a scripture that really helped me. When Satan tries to put wrong thoughts in my mind, I immediately rebuke the thought in the Name of Jesus and instead quote a scripture that applies to my situation. Jesus did that when Satan tempted Him. He said, ” It is written ” and then He would quote the word of God.

    • Dear Paulette, Something that helps me a lot is to write scriptures on small pieces of card, about 12cm x 8cm. I punch a hole in the corner and tie them together with ribbon/string. I can carry these wherever I go and refer to them as often as I need to chase the lies away. It has proved very effective for me in replacing the devil’s lies with God’s truth.

    • Maybe this Scripture will help those who are tormented by guilt because of sin.
      Isaiah 43:25, “I even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

    • There is a group that deals with this, actually, you are correct…. there is a form of OCD called scrupulosity. Sufferers often deal with fears of the unforgivable sin or nasty blasphemous thoughts and words. If you feel like looking it up, you can. The Scrupe Group. It’s a yahoo closed group run by a former Lutheran minister. I learned a lot about Gods grace from him.

  7. I can remember being tormented for 18 months due to fear of the unpardonable sin. I used those months to really understand salvation. The biggest letdown was all the priests and people of God i went to to get help, but no one could set me free, there was always mixture. One day a guy gave me “Destined to reign” by Joseph Prince, and suddenly i could breathe again and enjoy my life.

    I learned a lot from that time, like the effects of condemnation and just how widespread it is. There is no use in teaching anyone anything before they are established in his rightousness and trust the Lord.

    This was a good one Paul, sadly stuff like this is needed around the world more than i would like.
    *Totally gracy guy*

  8. Medda June // June 22, 2017 at 4:05 am // Reply

    Big smiles 😊 This reads like a typical conversation between the Lord and me.

  9. The world can be so hard and demanding and people can be hard and demanding. How sad is it for Christians who love God who think that God is also hard and demanding, that he is constantly judging and sometimes even punishing you. One of the biggest changes in my life after hearing the grace message comes when something negative happens in my life. I used to be tempted to think – Is this happening to me because I did X? And of course there is always something that you did, right? Now I think that it is random occurrence in an imperfect world, that my perfect relationship with God has not changed. And I also know that the worse day I’m having God has a tendency to make it up to me with some special blessing because he knows what I am going through.

    God is NEVER against you. He is only giving you good things.

  10. Hello fellow grace believers. I’m seeking some help/advice. I’ve been in church since I was young and always have been confident that I was saved. However a few years back I started watching pornography which led to other things that I’m not proud of. I’ve been battling depression/fear because I feel as though I’ve lost my savior and that there is no forgivness for what I’ve done. The enemy keeps bringing up how what I’ve done was punishable by death in Leviticus and if there was no hope for them, why would God forgive you now. I’ve prayed, I’ve read the word and I still can’t shake it. I have become withdrawn and can hardly get out of the bed. Please Help!

    • Hi AC! There is no sin that cannot be forgiven. Jesus did not categorize sin when He shed His blood on the cross to rescue us from sin’s clutches. I was called to pray for a man whom was tormented like you. We prayed and ministered to him for some time to no avail and then theHoly Spirit told me the sin was sex with a farm animal. I knew I would never have thought of anything like that. I mustered up the courage to ask him and he collapsed in tears. He was instantly healed from humiliation and condemnation. God just poured out his love on that man and he was completely set free. He became a vibrant, beautiful Christian and had an awesome sensitivity to the Holy Spirit! I cried with tears of joy every time I saw him in church, praising God and reaching out to others, with no shame!
      I really believe that the only thing that could ever be considered unforgivable would be refusing to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Jesus knew every sin you would ever commit and yet He gave His life and shed His blood for YOU!!

    • You have said a lot here… I wish I had time tonight to address each point. Unfortunately, I don’t. Please remember, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ. Porn is a struggle and you’ll need community to walk with you. I encourage you to find someone to talk to in person and begin the journey towards healing and ultimately believing the Gospel is true. Sleep well in the knowledge of Jesus’ love for you. Zack Hicks penned an amazing song called “it is finished”. Google and listen. It is salve for the soul.

  11. Rowan Durward // June 22, 2017 at 12:12 pm // Reply

    Beautiful – thank you Paul for sharing this.

  12. Thanks Paul… simple and powerful as the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ should be spoken. Focus on Jesus and knowing the Father’s unchanging heart of love and grace toward all who are born to earth will remove any doubt, deception and condemning thoughts. It takes the complexities and confusion of legalistic religion, to present a “tale of woe ” to those who would listen. To receive and understand, (with Amen and no “buts” left) that in Jesus there is now, no condemnation as we walk according to the Spirit, is certainly life changing and a sure release from thoughts of guilt, shame and unworthiness.

  13. I spent five years of my life suffering this fear; I dropped out of college in fact. Looking back I think that it was a manifestation of OCD. John 6:37 is a powerful verse when it comes to this.

    • Rob: Thank you for that Scripture…it is definitely helpful!! And, YES, it is a manifestation and symptom of OCD! But Jesus is our Deliverer! God bless you 😃

  14. Thanks Paul… simple and powerful as the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ should be spoken. Focus on Jesus and knowing the Father’s unchanging heart of love and grace toward all who are born to earth will remove any doubt, deception and condemning thoughts. It takes the complexities and confusion of legalistic religion, to present a “tale of woe ” to those who would listen. To receive and understand, (with Amen and no “buts” left) that in Jesus there is now, no condemnation as we walk according to the Spirit, is certainly forever life changing and a sure release from thoughts of guilt, shame and unworthiness.

  15. Ty I struggle with it as well but ty!

  16. Beautiful!!! I know this battle all too well but, praise God, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for reminding me over and over and over again: Jesus really is that good. He really did pay for it all. He really is for us. The gospel truly is GOOD news. I can never hear that too much. Thank you 🙂

  17. I have experienced this resulting in significant changes and breakthrough. 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; Healing is springing up quickly. Be bold and fear not!

    • Adam you may not be aware of how much Holy Spirit used you to bless me today, but it was amazing. I was sobbing my heart out because I have been declaring the Word and standing on God’s promises for healing. I know healing is a finished work at the cross. I know by His stripes I was healed. The Bible says in Exodus that sickness cannot dwell in me and yet I am still suffering from the symptoms. I was getting so discouraged and you might say “shaking my fist at God”, when a message came on my phone. It was your reply to Escape to Reality! When I read the words that healing was coming quickly and to be bold and courageous, I knew God had answered me and strength began to grow in me again. God Bless You!

  18. I, too, know this battle only too well. The same tormented me for the better part of 15 to 20 years. The feelings of hopelessness and dread, the lack of will to get out of bed, the blasphemous thoughts bombarding my mind in rapid-fire fashion to the point I felt I was literally going crazy, etc.. I thought at the time that I was the only one that ever experienced those things, but the more I read of others experiences with this particular battle, the more I saw that these are classic tactics of our enemy. At one point I even contemplated committing suicide, but I thankfully chickened out when I realized that the hell I was presently experiencing was nothing compared to the hell awaiting me on the other side, so I chose to live in the ‘lesser hell’ for as long as God permitted…..and I’m so glad I did. My life is completely different now. I know that Christ loves me and I’m secure in the fact that as a Christian I can never commit the unpardonable sin. Winning the battle took awhile and it wasn’t exactly easy for me because I was one of those folks that would let my emotions master me instead of the truths of God’s Word in spite of my feelings, but as the apostle Paul told Timothy, the Lord is faithful even when we aren’t, and He did not leave me helpless. At times He would send certain encouraging people my way, or a book (such as Joseph Prince’s Destined to Reign), or I would ‘serendipitously’ overhear a conversation at a restaurant, or a certain song or message, that would ‘speak’ to me that I was still His beloved child. It took awhile, but the one thing that really hoisted me up over the top was coming to a more thorough understanding of the Gospel of His grace and finished work, and knowing that it’s He that keeps me, not the other way around. Be encouraged- you will win this battle. Keep looking to him in spite of the waves.

  19. Awesome and powerful! Am sharing this on my timeline! This is something I struggled with, and am now receiving freedom from, after so many years! A simplistic and deep article! Great job!

  20. Oghegha Joshua // July 24, 2017 at 9:21 pm // Reply

    WOOSH!!!! this is so Enlightening ………
    i enjoyed Reading this PAUL!!
    “Stop living from our feelings and walk by faith”

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