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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Unpardonable Sin, the

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Setting one's mind against the Holy Spirit and crediting Satan with what is obviously God's work. To understand the unpardonable sin referred to in Matthew 12:31-32 , is to understand what it is not .

It is not: murder, lying, stealing, suicide, adultery, taking the Lord's name in vain, a sin committed in ignorance, a sin that a Christian can commit, or a sin that a person may feel he or she has committed.

It is: to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. To blaspheme means to speak an insult against someone so as to defame the person's reputation and character. The unpardonable sin is a persistent and deliberate sin against light, maintained in the face of the positive work of the Holy Spirit. This can happen to people today. Jesus was not talking about a sin of His day only; it can happen anytime. It happens when a person sees a work that is without question God's work and not human work, but says it is Satan's work!

What is the Holy Spirit's work? To point one to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The unpardonable sin is committed today when one sets mind and will and spirit against the Holy Spirit. This is telling the Spirit that He is trying to do something evil in the person's life by pointing one to Jesus. When do people reach that point? No one knows for sure, but each time people reject the movement of the Holy Spirit and Jesus' claim upon their lives, that sense of urgency and conviction gets weaker until, finally, it is too late.

Two points occur in a person's life when salvation may not be possible. Salvation cannot come before the Holy Spirit convicts a person; and salvation cannot come after the person no longer feels conviction, because rejection has hardened the heart. That is why the invitation to trust Jesus Christ is always now . See Blasphemy; Devil; Holy Spirit; Sin .

Jim Henry

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Unpardonable Sin, the'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/u/unpardonable-sin-the.html. 1991.

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