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I suppose I cannot be the only pastor who has often been asked by his parishioners what the unforgivable sin is that Christ mentioned in the Gospel. Admittedly it can sound a bit alarming, especially to tender consciences. Christ said that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” (Matthew 12:31) and naturally given the terrifying eternal consequences, devout Christians want to know what the sin is so that they can avoid it. Some are afraid that they may have committed it, and are appropriately distressed. So, what is this terrible sin for which there can be no forgiveness, either in this age or in the age to come?
To understand Christian ideas of sin and forgiveness it is important to locate these concepts in the Judaism of the first century. Sin against…
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