Cursing the Holy Spirit
Q: Am I doomed? I read about the unpardonable sin and foolishly confessed that the Holy Spirit gets its powers from Satan. Also, is cursing against God’s Spirit unforgivable?
A: You’re right — making such comments is foolish and sinful. However, they don’t, by themselves, mean that you’ve automatically purchased a non-refundable ticket to Hell. If such loose talk automatically damned everyone who did so, the number of the saints would be drastically reduced. What we often call the “unforgivable sin” is “blasphemy against the Spirit,” which Jesus says “will not be forgiven. (Matthew 12:31)” In Ephesians 4:30, Paul similarly warns, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”
What is this blasphemy, this grieving of the Spirit? Nothing less than outright rejection of His greatest gift, which is faith in Jesus Christ and the accompanying forgiveness of sins. As I’ve said previously, “The blasphemer rejects that which already freely belongs to him and remains unforgiven until he finally enters eternal condemnation and hell’s punishment.”
Therefore, I urge you to repent. Confess your sins and receive the full forgiveness that you crave. And then pray that the Spirit would lead you into a life of renewed commitment to the Word of God, enthusiastic participation in His Church, and reliance upon Him for every good gift of body, mind, and spirit.
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.
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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.
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Newspaper column #567:2