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What is the sin unto death?


1 John 5:16

ESV - 16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life - to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
First John 5:16 is one of the most difficult verses in the New Testament to interpret. "If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him lif...

July 01 2013 20 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ben Zickefoose Retired, Kinesiology Dept. ACU, TX & traveling ministry.
It seems that the answer to the question about the "sin unto death" would be found in the epistle that John wrote, not what Matthew, Mark, Luke, Peter, Paul, James or Jude wrote. John's readers did not have a New Testament and concordance. Surely, he wanted his readers to know what he was talking about, and its application. 

In the context of 1 John, could the “sin unto death” be one who denies he has sin and he will not confess his sin, he keeps on sinning, he does not walk in the light as Jesus walked, and he does not obey God’s commands? 1 John 1:5-2:6 In this passage, John writes about two kinds of sinners: one who has sinned, repents and confesses it, and the other who keeps on sinning.

Also, 1 John 3, 4 & 5, consider the sin of one denying that Jesus is the Son of God and that He came in the flesh. And, in addition, consider the sin of one not loving the brethren. If one continues in these sins, where is the forgiveness and the hope if there is no repentance?

1 John 5:18ff seems to indicate that not CONTINUING to sin is important. Continuing to sin is dangerous. One's eternal life is in jeopardy. Hence, repent, confess and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not CONTINUE to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
21Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. NIV

We know that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. The child of God will repent, confess and ask for forgiveness through Jesus Christ and His shed blood.

1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. NIV

In all of this, could John be saying: if one does not repent, do not pray for his forgiveness?

These thoughts are being offered simply for consideration.

April 17 2014 7 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image Laura Cheek
Jesus tells us in Mark 3:29 that "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven of the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin". He does not spell out specifically what constitutes this blaspheme, but I believe we are to be cautioned by these scriptures or they would not be in the Word. 

Since our purpose as mankind is to glorify God with our bodies being a temple for the In-dwelling Holy Spirit, I have often wondered if the ultimate blaspheme might be the deliberate and persistent pursuit of being a channel or medium for evil or unclean spirits. Jesus and his disciples, and Paul cleansed many who were tortured by unclean spirits, including the slave girl " with the spirit of divination". So it is not clear cut. My thinking is that a person may cross that line by knowingly, persistently seeking possession by other spirits. 

Of course this answer is just a somewhat educated guess. I think it is n important for all of us to be mindful of the reverence we are to have for the Holy Spirit and to flee (or rebuke) any situation where any other spirit is invited to be present.

November 20 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini William M. McCoy
The "sin against the Holy Spirit" is the continued resistance of the unbeliever to respond to His "drawing" us to Jesus Christ. Since the Holy Spirit is the One whose function it is to make the Gospel understood to those "with ears to hear," the continued rejection of the Spirit's influence is rejection of God's testimony of His Son, the ultimate unbelief. Continued rejection of the Gospel can never be forgiven.

May 15 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Michael Bartlett
The only sin that can't be forgiven is the sin of unbelief. If one won't believe in the saving power of the blood of Jesus then they can't partake of this saving power and this leads to death or separation from God. This continual rejection of the compelling of the Holy Spirit to receive the Gospel and thereby receive forgiveness leads ultimately to death.

December 01 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Scan14 Michael Tinsley Retired Army veteran. Love my Bible (Jesus) and fishing.
The 'sin unto death' is apostasy which is abandoning or renouncing faith in Jesus and thus belief in God. Anyone who believes the overwhelming truth of salvation through Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of all sin and then, turns back to sin, choosing sinful pleasure over eternal life, is apostate and beyond forgiveness.

As many good folks above have stated, an unrepentant sinner cannot hide his or her beliefs for long. They will either say something or do something un-Christian or _not say what they should, that they believe in Christ alone. Stay away from those people because they have embraced Satan. Jesus said in Matthew 10:14 to shake the dust from your feet if people don't listen to your words of truth.

The apostate is beyond prayer and salvation and Christians have way better things to do, the main being to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 

How you do that is to study your Bible and talk with the Lord through His Holy Spirit to learn how much He loves you. When you understand He loves you with a love so abundant and everlasting, you will come to love Him in return. This was Jesus' first commandment and the greatest. When you faithfully love Him you can begin to truly love others, His second commandment. All Christian activity flows from those two.

John tells his readers in 1 John 5:20 that doing those we are in Christ and the Father, glorifying Him, and He therefore is in us, assuring us that all things work for good.

Remember, Jesus said all the law and the prophets 'hang' on these two commandments, Matthew 22:40, so, if you're living them, you are doing everything you need to walk faithfully in God's Grace.

What John is essentially saying is to wash your hands of apostates because they will never change and dealing with them is a waste of time, taking away from real Christian activity.

John's last verse, 1 John 5:21, tells us to avoid idols and thus idolators.

Many Bible scholars believe 1 John was the last book written which means believers in that age had access to the other epistles and Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, bad company corrupts good character, another warning to avoid apostate idolators.

Praise God for His mercy, grace, and love and for His inspired words found in our Bibles! The Bible tells us what to do and nearly always how to do it. Understanding and believing what the Bible says about who we are in Christ. _Being in Him is the first thing we do. Once we know how to _be in Him (loving God and our brothers and sisters) equips us to then _do what Christians should. 

That is found in Ephesians 2:10, 'For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.', NASB. The Lord knew what He wanted us to do before we were ever born so, knowing who we are in Jesus prepares us for the work God has planned.

Be blessed in Him.

February 08 2017 6 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini James Kraft 74 year old retired pipeline worker
If you read First Corinthians there was a believer that was sleeping with his fathers wife. Paul said everyone knew about it and it was so bad they should bar him from fellowship in the church, and turn such a one over to Satan to kill the flesh, so that His sprit would be saved in the day of the Lord, First Corinthians 5:5

It teaches us two things. First of all God will not allow his children to live in disobedience forever. If we do not change, He will take our life.

But at the same time, it show us that we can not lose our salvation no matter how bad we are. Jesus paid for all sin. First John 2:2

We are not saved by what we do, and we can not lose our salvation by what we do. Once we have trusted Jesus as our savior, we have eternal life. That can never change. Second Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, He abideth faithful, He can not deny Himself. His Holy Spirit that lives in the believer.

Once we have trusted Jesus as our savior, we are going to heaven whether we want to or not. Once you are sealed by the Holy Spirit, when we believe the gospel of our salvation, FIrst Corinthians 15:1-4 and Ephesians 1:13, You are a child of God forever, bought and paid for.

But if we trust in our works to save us, what we do or do not do, then we are not saved and do not have eternal life. Matthew 7:21-23 Once saved, saved forever whether you go off and live in sin the rest of your life. You can not be lost. John 6:39 Jesus has never lost one.

But some people continually believe they are saved by works and not grace. They are never saved. We can only be saved by grace, not by what we do. We have to believe that all our sins are paid for forever to be saved.

June 17 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Img 2213 1 Hugo Röhland
If you read onwards from 1John5:16 his comment ends with keep yourselves from idols as in :21. I believe that many Christians then and now are selling themselves out to idolatry. Is this possible?

November 21 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Gregory Tomlinson Minister, husband,father,grandfather,vet., college graduate
The law defines sin and its penalty for that infraction. Some penalties were death others required restitution of some sort. 

If we continue in sin it is spiritual death, death will come to this flesh for everyone. As this body is temporary, terrestrial it says in Corinthians, even if you are caught up this body will cease and you a living soul will inhabit a body celestial one that will not die if your name is in the lamb’s book of life.

In 1 john 5: 14-16 the topic is prayer and prayer by proxy or intercessory prayer it says 
14. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
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)

The topic in verse 16 is prayer by proxy seeking forgiveness on another man’s behalf. The sin unto death simply means the person who commits a sin unto death or a sin in which the penalty is death the individual that commits the trespass must pray/repent for it themselves it cannot be done by proxy. I do not think the reference is to committing an unforgivable sin.

The rest of the chapter calls out all unrighteousness as sin how we should not walk in it. But I think there are very good points brought out pertaining to unrepented sin, apostasy, blasphemy and so on I do not think that 1 John 5 references these topics.

July 30 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
“The sin unto death” is not a particular sin. Rather, it is a type of sin—it is the type of sin that leads to death. With Nadab and Abihu, it was their presumption to take charge of the priesthood and entering the Holy of Holies. In the case of Achan, it was covetousness. Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of hypocrisy and even of lying to the Holy Spirit.

September 07 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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