What is the Unpardonable Sin?

6 What is the Unpardonable Sin? Christians are wondering, “Have I committed the un- pardonable sin? What hope can you give me?” No question, in our ministry, we frequently meet those who have wondered if they have committed this unforgivable sin. A man feels his prayers seem to bounce back from the ceiling, or a woman feels there is no hope of receiving God’s favor or forgiveness. Yet they can’t identify any particular sinful act that severed them from the hope of salvation. God just seems si- lent. How can they tell if they have actually committed the unpardonable sin? Can any person really know? Why Does This Matter? A few years ago the psychology department of Duke University carried on an interesting experi- ment. (It would never be allowed today.) They wanted to see how long rats could swim based on hope. In one container surrounded by sheer walls, they placed a rat for whom there was no possibility of escape. He swam in circles a few moments and then gave up, re- signed to drown. In the other container, they made the hope of escape possible for the rat. A little ladder was placed just out of reach. The rat swam for sev- eral hours before finally drowning. We usually say, “As long as there is life, there is hope.” The Duke experi- ment proved, “As long as there is hope, there is life.” Some people believe they have committed the un- forgivable sin and have lost hope and stopped living. So before answering these troubling questions about the unpardonable sin, a glorious truth first needs to be recognized: We serve a God of infinite love and compassion! It is not His will that anyone