What Is The Sin Unto Death In 1John?
by Curt Klingeman
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1 John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and He shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it (KJV).
Understand that it is God’s will that none perish and all come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). He is not looking to write someone off because he falls into sin; rather, He desires that person to repent and be restored. This is one reason that we are to pray for those who have fallen. Furthermore, the Father desires that we come along side our fallen brother or sister to restore him or her. Galatians 6:1-3 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself (KJV). Instead of taking a self-righteous posture, our hearts should ache for them, so much so that we would stick our necks out to reach out to them. It may be that they need some help, but do not know where to turn. Self-righteousness is deadly, and it is one reason that many will not ask for help. How many of us would go to someone who is going to judge us? When we are more concerned about how righteous we look to others, we will never reach out properly. That is not love. Love will always speak the truth, but it also compassionate! James tells us, “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20, KJV). Please consider the next two verses of Scripture before going any further, especially if you are struggling with where you are in relation to God because you just “blew it.” 1John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (KJV). Secondly, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2, KJV). The ability to redeem a person depends on the condition of the heart.
Hebrews 6:4-8 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly Gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned (KJV). While reading these passages, we learn that there is a point of no return. This should indeed give us pause! We need to heed the warnings that God gives us, which also shows us the lengths He goes to keep us. Nevertheless, He leaves the decision to heed them up to us. Why is it impossible to renew them to repentance?
Hebrews 10:24-29 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the Day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the Blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace (KJV)? Jesus made the final Sacrifice; there are no more sacrifices available for those who ultimately reject His. Therefore, this willful sin is unto death, and it is the result of a wicked heart of unbelief that has counted the Blood of Jesus to be unholy. They have insulted the Holy Spirit and have thusly reproached Him. As a result, they will not heed the Holy Spirit’s call to repentance. Jesus said, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31-32,KJV). The sin unto death, therefore, is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
We close with some parting thoughts. One is that those who have truly blasphemed the Holy Spirit could care less if they have. They are that far gone, which means if you happen to be one who has sinned, but very much care about your condition, it is not too late. However, let this also serve as a warning: the Bible tells us about those whose consciences become so seared that they reject Truth. Unrestrained sin leads to death, which means the more we ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the easier it gets to sin. There comes a point where the grace of God is no longer in the picture to help those who have entered into willful sin, because they have rejected it. Their heart is so hard that they will never repent. Their knees will never bow before the Lord on this side of eternity; however, at the Great White Throne Judgment, they will, but then it will be too late. God did not design us to stand alone, which is why it is so important to spend time with brothers and sisters in the Lord. He has provided us a “safety net” through the Church. There are days when some will need you by their side to help them; likewise, there will be times when you need their encouragement to keep going. We have to be able to speak Truth into one another’s lives in love, especially, to keep each other from faltering.
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