Is Cursing the Holy Spirit the Unforgivable Sin?

Cursing the Holy SpiritMany Christians wonder about the nature of the unforgivable sin and whether or not they have committed it. It is often taught in some churches and Bible studies that cursing the Holy Spirit is the unforgivable sin. This post shows that while it is a sin to curse the Holy Spirit, cursing the Holy Spirit is not the unforgivable sin.

First of all, we must recognize that there are various sins we can commit against the Holy Spirit. These include the sins of grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30; 1 Thess 5:19). Quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit are basically a denial of what the Spirit is doing or a refusal to participate in His work, which means blasphemy against the Spirit must be more serious than these.

Blasphemy against the Spirit is also a sin, and is a sin which will not be forgiven. In fact, it is the only sin which Scripture says is unforgivable. But is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit the same thing as cursing the Holy Spirit? Some think so. In Matthew 12:31-32, Jesus equates blasphemy of the Spirit with speaking against the Spirit. As a result, many argue that the unforgivable sin is cursing the Holy Spirit.

But when we understand what a curse is and what it means to curse the Holy Spirit, we will see that cursing the Spirit, though a grievous sin, is not the unforgivable sin.

What is a Curse?

We begin to understand what it means to curse the Holy Spirit by first understanding what constitutes a curse.

To curse someone is more than just being angry at someone, or calling them bad names.

A curse is when one person wishes or expresses a desire that some sort of adversity, calamity, or misfortune would fall upon someone else. A curse is when we tell someone, “Go to hell,” or “I wish you were dead.”

But a curse is different than blasphemy.

Blasphemy is best defined as “a reviling judgment,” usually in reference to God. It is a decision about God in regard to His source, origin, destiny, purpose, goals, or intents, which equates these things with the devil. Blasphemy is not condemning someone with a curse.

While cursing God and blaspheming God are similar, they are not the same thing.

We will discuss in a later post exactly what the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, but note for now that it is not cursing the Holy Spirit. ⇦ Tweet that!

Not only are the words “cursing” and “blasphemy” different, but notice that in the context of Matthew 12:31-32, there is no hint anywhere of anybody actually cursing the Holy Spirit. There is no hint of anyone in the context committing this sin, or even thinking of doing so.

In fact, most Jewish people at that time did not even believe in the Holy Spirit, so how could they curse Him? They couldn’t.

So cursing the Holy Spirit is not what Jesus had in mind when He spoke about the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in Matthew 12:31. Cursing the Holy Spirit is not the unpardonable sin.

If you have made the mistake of cursing the Holy Spirit, or cursing at Him, do not be afraid that you have committed the unforgivable sin.

You haven’t.

Instead, go to God, confess your sin, and thank Him for the forgiveness you already have in Jesus Christ.

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Comments

  1. RM says

    I copied this from another site, this confuse me , ther are so much teaching that it’s confusing
    Yeah, I believe all sins have been forgiven through the finished work of Jesus (except the one that Jesus said would not be forgiven – see below). If a person doesn’t believe before they die, they have already been forgiven of all sins, but they haven’t received it by faith. They die as someone who has been forgiven through what Jesus did, but without having received His life. That’s the difference right there. Being forgiven isn’t the same as being born again as a new creation… born again into new life.

    The sin that won’t be forgiven… blasphemy against the Holy Spirit… is made a little more clear in the Mark 3 account of this same story. Jesus has just cast out a demon from a man, and the scribes are accusing Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub.

    Jesus responds to them by saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand, etc. He says a strong man’s house can’t be plundered unless the strong man is first bound. In other words, it’s a silly notion to say that Satan can cast out Satan.

    Jesus then leads into His talk about the unforgivable sin.

    Mark 3:28-30
    “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” — because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.'”

    They are saying that the spirit that Jesus has is UNCLEAN. They are blaspheming (speaking evil of) the Holy Spirit. And to that effect, they are unbelievers.

    Rejply

    • says

      I am not sure I understand your questions, but I think I answered it in some of the other posts on this topic, which are listed in the links above. Read through some of them and let me know what you think.

  2. Michael Robinson says

    I’m sure I have committed this sin, because one night when I was praying to God I thought of when the Holy Spirit talking to me and a I said the word bad. I don’t know why but for some reason I meant that it was bad at the time. I don’t know if you can help but I don’t know what to do.

    • says

      You definitely have not committed this sin.

      God is not so petty that a misspoken word will offend Him enough to send you to hell. He loves you WAY more than that. Even if you had spoken bad words on purpose, this is still not enough for God to cast you away from Himself forever.

  3. says

    THANK YOU so much for “doing your homework” and breaking apart these words. I have done a lot of studying in the past (and heard lots of sermons) on blaspheming the Holy Ghost, but they never addressed this particular topic which I have always wondered about–off and on–because of my cursing the Spirit long ago in my past (but after being saved). One of the best teachings I had heard, that you alluded to, was that the religious leaders wanted the praise of men more than the approval of God, and hence condemned Jesus. Knowing that I hadn’t done that brought some degree of comfort; but under the Mosiac covenant anyone who spoke God’s name lightly was put to death; therefore, I thought, one could deduce that saying, “I curse you, _____,” etc., would be much worse than simply saying, “God,” or “Yahweh,” in the O.T. as a byword. I am so glad I found your website, thank you so much. I feel this nagging doubt I have had has somewhat crippled me spiritually. I will “arise” now by the grace of God;) and move on up spiritually, with, I feel, more strength and confidence in God. Thank you.

    • says

      Thank you Tresha. I really want to write more on this subject (and related topics) in the future, and will hopefully be able to do so later this year. Hope you stick around and learn more along with the rest of the people who are here.

  4. suanne says

    many years ago i had just given my life to jesus and was in a great deal of emotional pain and turmoil because my mother had been very verbally abusive to me and i came home and was looking for comfort in the bible-i instead found those words and in my pain cried out to god that this holy spirit as a comfort was a lie because i felt no comfort and was afraid he was rejecting me like my mother had-i was so upset when i told him this, but immediately told him i was sorry for saying such things and talked to him about how i was feeling, that i was just really confused…i never thought of the holy spirit being demonic or that jesus was demonic-nothing like that…i had not always understood people falling out under the spirit and never had it happen but even in my lack of understanding it was not because i thought jesus or god or the spirit was demonic or anything….what has worried me is that a few years after that i had forgotten it, assuming i was
    forgiven because i repented straight away and did not revisits i, but other things in my life were causing me continued pain and hurt…i became so overwhelmed by it and thought maybe god had abandoned me, i still was going to church and clinging to what faith i could, was even playing music for ministry and yet because of the depression and pain i got really sick and stayed so for many years, to the point of being bedridden…i had committed some other sins during this time but a year ago began to make my way back to god and it was like being a lost prodigal child…at first it all seemed very exciting…i prayed and asked jesus to heal me and in a week was off over many medications and out of bed and able to walk without help i was elated and was doing my everything to really have him back in my life-i felt it was his conviction of my sins which led me to repent of them fully and i truly did end them all as i was being shown them…but one day i came
    across a scripture from hebrews talking about sinning after knowing jesus and suddenly felt all this condemnation flooding my very being….suddenly all my sins were right back on me including the words i spoke that day about the holy spirit being a lie as a comfort because i hurt so bad…it seemed someone was yelling in my chest that all these were held against me….i was now more confused and terrified because why would i feel the holy spirit convict me of sin and lead me to repent and also to be healed the way i was if i was unforgiven, yet the fears and terror of this have haunted me to this day…try as i might and i have my husband and some friends who are saved tell me i did not commit the sin i thought i had and that because i had repented and had been so seeking after him , that i am allowing the enemy to accuse me….it is awful because i have no lasting peace in this…beyond healing and then the conviction of sins and a few visions and
    what what i thought was jesus telling i was forgiven but to have faith in him, [my dad even called me up when this first happened and told me that the spirit had come to him in great power and told him to let me know i was forgiven and saved by his grace-he did not know i was going through this at the time and felt an urgent need to call me with this message] so why can i not get inner confirmation in this and why am i still so afraid….i need help and am not sure what to do….

    when i spoke out like that calling the holy spirit as a comfort a lie, i was really upset with god because i thought he had betrayed me by letting my mother keep hurting me…i even asked him am i now condemned do you hate ,me too? i then immediately regretted doing this and told him so and was very upset and then afraid he left me in that moment….after many years of going through much pain and having it brought back to my remembrance, i feel so hopeless….i have told him over and over how so sorry i am and have asked him to please come back into my life ….i need help and i truly now have no comfort from him at all

    • says

      Suanne,

      God loves you and forgives you and He wants you to know it.

      He fully understands the pain and suffering you have experienced, and He cries along with you at what you have experienced. You should not have been abused by your mother the way that you were.

      I am not a psychologist, but I believe that the separation you feel from God is probably related to the treatment you received from your mother. She should have protected you, loved you, and encouraged you, but did the opposite.

      So I would invite you to change your prayers a bit. Rather than asking God to forgive you and come back into your life, instead, KNOW that He does forgive you, love you, accept you, and is already in your life. Based on this, when you pray, thank Him for His love, forgiveness, and acceptance of you, and thank Him for being in your life, and ask Him to reveal things things to you in real ways as you go about your day. Then look for these ways that God is showing you how much He loves you.

      They may come as a word of encouragement from a friend. A bird landing on your hand. A beautiful sunset that brings you to tears. A song that speaks to your heart. A hug from a child. A lick from a puppy. You never know where these “kisses from God” might come from, so be on the lookout!

      God DOES love you, and He wants to show you.

    • Chad says

      I lashed out at God many years ago. I prayed that God would bring me peace after I was praying about something that bothered me and He didn’t . I then sarcastically said God you didn’t lift me up when I was down and then I said God all I asked was for a measly peace and you wouldn’t even give me that . It has haunted me for 20 years . I have begged God for mercy and forgiveness but I can’t find inner peace with this . All I want is to serve Jesus.

  5. suzanne says

    thank you jeremy-i have one other worry and it is in regard to teh hebrews books of chapters 6 and 10…i am afraid that because i was so afraid he had rejected me, for the past 20-ish years i had resorted to trying to earn back his love but i lied about many things, giving a flase testimony and a fasle idnetity….i have since repented fully of those things which were many and now worry of this also is unforgivable/ it is these things and the post aboe which are keeping me stuck in accepting He loves me and is willing to truly forgive me…i really would like to know that i know he truly has forgiven me even after all this time and for those many sins…thank you for any help in this…

  6. Eternal Optimism says

    “Love” forms a circle because one individual always benefits/puts the other first (doing for others), but does your “heart” agree?
    Simple logic shows that “Love” is always firstly dependent on “Hope” because although you may choose to “Love” another (person or thing), there is no valid way of guaranteeing that “Love” will be returned/reciprocal; therefore it is a “blindtrust”/”Hope.”
    Selflessly,
    Ps. “Love” is the best tangible manifestation of “Hope!” If we are to “Love” our neighbor as ourself and for ourselves it is w/o limit; imagine “limitless.” Nevertheless, as long as the one (“infinitely perfect”) ultimate rule/law of “E.O” is followed then the respect of life and choices will exist. What is not an “absolute truth” of “Hope” as “choice” if/when it always exists whether we choose to do or not do?
    https://www.facebook.com/notes/eternal-optimism/love-as-a-circle/10152192479190720

  7. Rachael says

    I am so thankful for find others who are going through what I am right now. I was saved 4 years ago and after that my life went down hill and never seemed to get better until just a few months ago. God put me through a trial and temptation period and I feel like I failed Him miserably. Right at the end of my trials and temptations, my husband and my sister-in-law turned on me. They all hurt me very very badly to the point where I did not want anything to do with God anymore. I felt that He had turned His back on me.

    I didn’t say the words out loud, but I shouted a curse word towards Jesus in my mind with all my heart so loudly that I felt my soul actually pull away from God in an instant and sink into hell. I felt like God had hurt me so badly that I did not want anything to do with Him anymore. Immediately afterwards, I realized it was wrong and tried reading the Bible to see if I still had the Holy Spirit. I felt like I had lost my salvation. I was crying over and over again because not only what I was going through with my in laws. I felt like Got hated me as well. The words about Esau immediately came to my mind about being profane and selling his birthright for a morsel of food. And even though he wanted to repent, he couldn’t. That was months ago that it happened and I literally haven’t stopped crying about it since. I keep asking God, why are you keeping me alive if you hate me this much?

    Before this happened I constantly heard these blasphemous thoughts coming into my mind day and night. No matter how I tried to stop them they wouldn’t stop. When I would eat or drink anything, all I could think about is saying blasphemous thoughts towards God, like ALLAH IS GOD, and other ridiculous things. Sometimes I hear the most ridiculous thoughts in my mind come out of no where.

    A few days ago, I laid in my bed crying out to God for forgiveness of the sins that I committed against him. I confessed the sins that I had committed that led me to that sin and asked for God to please forgive me. The next morning i felt a sense of peace and calmness and assurity in my heart with God that i havent felt in years! I tried to hold on to that feeling for as long as possible but as the day went on, those stupid blasphemous thoughts starting coming into my mind again and i began giving into them as a sign that I am cursed to hell and too weak to overcome Satan.

    I started feeling urges from God that I needed to put away my Bible for a white and just pray and focus on aligning up my soul with the Holy Spirit. This is day 2 and I can tell you that it feels IMPOSSIBLE. I don’t think I can stop having those thoughts and feelings towards God. I want to keep trying to beat this, but I honestly don’t know if I can or not. Its like once you cross that line, you go down a hole that you can’t get out of . It seems to happen every time I am angry with someone or something around me, I immediately get angry at God for my situation. I truly feel like I am cursed. But then on the other hand, why did God restore my heart for a brief time when I repented. Should I keep repenting of every single sin I commit and ask for strength to over come it? I prayed for God to help me overcome the devil and it doesnt seem to be working. My existence seems utterly useless and I can’t even understand the point to why I was born in the first place.

    The Bible says those who can’t stop sinning only have a fearful looking for the day of Judgement and frankly, thats all i go through everyday. Crying, weeping, anger and sadness. What kind of a life is that to live? I’m trying to get baptized next month and per John 3:5, I am truly hoping that this might help overcome my wicked flesh to help me stop cursing God. Please pray for me. I am a mother of 6 very young children. Thank you

  8. Thomas says

    I’ve not read another commentary making a distinction between cursing and blasphemy, Jeremy. But a couple of citations from the Hebrew scriptures may be relevant here, especially as we consider some of the personal experiences your readers are posting. I’m speaking of distinquishing between what goes on within us in our thought lives and what comes out of our mouths in speech.

    In Job 1:5, Job offered burnt offerings continuously, for he said (in the KJV), ‘It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts’. Why did he offer sacrifices if the sons could never be forgiven? On the other hand, after trials came upon him, Job’s wife urged him to curse God, and die. Job rebuked her for her foolishness , and did not sin with his lips (Job 2:9-10). So cursing God in your heart is terrible sin, and is one thing, but doing so in your speech, if your heart overflows with such evil, is quite another. Job resisted his wife and would not curse God for the trials he was facing.

    I hope these observations may offer some hope to people who posted earlier like Rachael and Suanne (Suzanne?), and others like them, who have experienced great turmoil in their hearts and felt/feel hopeless and cut off from God forever. The One to cling to is, of course, the Lord Jesus the Christ, who rose from the dead after dying for and atoning for all our sins. He would not/could not have risen from the dead had He failed to offer the sacrifice needed to reconcile us to God.

    There’s much more I could say on this important topic that may offer additional hope to those who feel hopeless, but perhaps this is enough for now.

  9. Nick says

    I have had so many bad thoughts about the holy spirit and when i say bad i mean they are horrible hateful things but i have never said anything i have only thought them… I try to say sorry when i pray but i feel like it isnt forgiven.. I know god is very forgiving but i feel like i just keep pushing the limits and i fear god will (if he hasnt already) stop helping me… I would like some help with this

  10. kenan says

    Hello nick i to,have these horrible blaspheming thoughts about God and the Holy spirit,its like they come when they want to torment me,i think the devil is trying to accuse you and me and so many of us,when we aren’t lusting and living a life of sin he attacks us spiritually because he hates that we are on the right path toward God.my advice brother is pray as much as possible and always ask for forgivness,pray so you are accounted worthy,if you have any addictions of some sort pray to God so he can help overcome these things whatever they are,PRAISE JESUS.good luck my brother.remember GOD is always with you no matter what.

  11. joshua says

    Finally found some people that going through the same thing as me Im 16 when i got saved i wanted to know alot about the Bible and God then there was one day in my bedroom where i was watching someone talking about blasphemy of the holy spirit and i kindda got curious and said something that i didnt mean and after that i felt a barrage of thoughts saying blasphemous things about god i wanted it to stop but it wouldnt it would allways happen randomly and finally figured that cussing god wasnt the unforgivable sin i finnaly calmed down and accepted that God still loves me but the thoughts still wont stop

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