Every Shabbat at our home synagogue, we have a class we call Foundations of Messianic Judaism, which is an open forum question and answer session where I welcome questions about Messianic Judaism, Judaism, Christianity, the connections between the three, and the disconnections. In this class, I receive all types of questions. Most of the questions are about how to live a Messianic lifestyle, while others are questions about what we read in the Bible, how we should understand what we read, and how we can or even if we should apply what we are reading to our life. I hear questions about things like kosher diet, Shabbat observance, biblical marriage, and Heaven and Hell.
Quite often, I am asked a question about “The Unforgivable Sin,” based upon the verses found in Mark 3:28-29:
Amen, I tell you, all things will be forgiven the sons of men, the sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever slanders the Ruach ha-Kodesh never has release, but is guilty of an eternal sin!”
Most of the people that ask questions about “The Unforgivable Sin” usually are asking the question out of a place of fear that they might have committed “The Unforgivable Sin” and are afraid that they can no longer find forgiveness and redemption. I try to assure them that if they still have concerns about having committed “The Unforgivable Sin,” then they have not yet committed “The Unforgivable Sin.” If they had, they would not be worrying about having committed “The Unforgivable Sin.” Sometime in the future, I will write a blog about “The Unforgivable Sin” and go into more detail about it.
By now, anyone reading this blog has noticed that I have typed “The Unforgivable Sin” in quotation marks and capitalized letters throughout the blog. I did this for a reason, which I hope to explain in the balance of this blog. As I said above, one of the most asked questions I receive is about “The Unforgivable Sin.” People who come to faith in Yeshua (Jesus) or return to faith in Yeshua are often plagued with a fear that they might have committed this sin and disqualified themselves completely from any chance of spending eternity with G-D. However, while many people are familiar with “The Unforgivable Sin” from Mark 3, that is not the only sin that cannot be forgiven; there is at least one more.
The other sin that can’t be forgiven is the unrepented-for sin. Yes, it is true that Yeshua’s death paid the price for all sin for all time. But, in order for people to receive the atonement that Yeshua provided, they must repent of their sins. Repentance is not simply feeling sorry for having sinned. Repentance is turning our lives around and living according to G-D’s Word.
In the Bible, we see the amazing testimonies of G-D’s forgiveness of those who committed murder, rape, theft, idolotry, and the list goes on and on. G-D’s grace and forgiveness is freely available to all so that, as the Bible says in John 6:37:
Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and anyone coming to Me I will never reject.
And the powerful words of 2 Peter 3:9:
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some consider slowness. Rather, He is being patient toward you—not wanting anyone to perish, but for all to come to repentance.
However, while both of these verses and many others speak about G-D’s welcoming grace and forgiveness, they both (and many others) also speak of our need to “come” and “repent.”
The truth is that while many people are absolutely terrified about “The Unforgivable Sin,” in reality, statistically very few people will ever commit the unforgivable sin written about in Mark 3, while millions of people, many of whom are our family members and friends, are living unrepentant lives outside of the grace and forgiveness of G-D. These people whom we know and love will one day stand before a just and loving G-D, and if they have not truly repented, whatever the last sin they committed before they passed from this world will be their “Unforgivable Sin.”
So, while blasphemy of the Spirit is unforgivable, so is any sin that is unrepented for. We must share the message that we read in Acts 3:19:
Repent, therefore, and return—so your sins might be blotted out,
Our focus must be readjusted so that we become more aware and more concerned with “The Other Unforgivable Sin.”