“…All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men… neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31,32).
As a pastor, I often hear from people who are afraid they’ve committed the unpardonable sin. They cite these verses, and then proceed to tell me what they said or did that has caused them to believe they blasphemed the Spirit.
When this happens, I remind these dear troubled souls that before he was saved the Apostle Paul was “a blasphemer” (I Tim. 1:13), and it was unquestionably the Spirit whom he blasphemed. As a Jew who followed the Law of Moses scrupulously (Phil. 3:6), he would not have blasphemed God the Father, and there is no concrete evidence that he ever even met God the Son. It wasn’t until the twelve were “filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:4) that Saul showed up and led the blasphemous persecution against them (Acts 7:57—8:3).
So when the Lord said that those who blasphemed the Spirit couldn’t be forgiven “neither in this world, neither in the world to come,” we have to conclude that with the saving of Saul, God introduced a whole new world. A world called “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2). A world in which grace reigns:
“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:21).
How thoroughly does grace reign? Notice Paul says grace reigns unto life as sin reigned unto death. And sin reigned unto death with absolute sway over men. The prophet declared, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4), and there have never been any exceptions! So when Paul says “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign” to eternal life, you have to conclude that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13), with no exceptions. This is because whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord is “made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Cor. 5:21), allowing grace to reign “through righteousness unto eternal life” (Rom. 5:21).
So if you are among the many who have agonized over the Lord’s words in Matthew 12:31,32, agonize no more. No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve said or done, you cannot commit a sin that God’s grace cannot forgive. You have His Word on it.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.