No Turning Back

by Greg Laurie on Sep 8, 2023
So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven—except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.
—Matthew 12:31

As Christians, we know and serve a God who is forgiving. The Old Testament abounds with teachings about His forgiveness.

David declared in Psalm 86, “O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help” (verse 5 NLT). In another psalm, David reminds us, “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases” (Psalm 103:3 NLT).

Daniel 9:9 tells us, “But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” (NLT).

And God described Himself this way to Moses: “The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin” (Exodus 34:6–7 NLT).

The prophet Micah, reflecting on God’s forgiveness, said, “Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love” (Micah 7:18 NLT).

Even when Jesus hung on the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NLT).

Again and again, we read in the Bible of the forgiveness of God. He will forgive all sin if it is confessed, no matter what it is.

As Pastor John MacArthur pointed out, “There is no forgiveness of even the smallest sin unless it is confessed and repented of; but there is forgiveness of even the greatest sin if those divine conditions are met.”[1]

But according to Jesus, there is one sin that even God will not forgive. And what is this unforgivable sin? It is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It’s the point when there is no turning back.

When people deliberately choose not to believe in Jesus Christ because they don’t want to change the way they live, ultimately it can lead them to the one sin that even God will not forgive.

People don’t reject Jesus Christ for any other reason except that it’s a threat to their lifestyle. They hate the light and know their deeds will be exposed.

The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of nonbelievers is to speak to them and lead them to Jesus Christ. Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8 NLT).

In other words, the Holy Spirit works to bring nonbelievers to their senses, to show them their need for Jesus Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit is incredibly patient and persistent. But there comes a point when the Spirit will no longer be patient, because we continue to resist Him. This leads to the ultimate, unforgivable sin: the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

[1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Matthew 8–15 (Chicago: Moody Press: 1987), 304.

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