September 24 2021
Today, Friday September 24
“Sin That Leads To Death”
1 John 5:16-18
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. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
I’ll never forget in my very first year at Lynchburg Baptist College, now Liberty University, we had a special guest speaker by the name of Dr. J. Harold Smith. He preached a message that was entitled, “God’s Three Deadlines”. To say the least, it was a very interesting and powerful message that prompted lots of discussion, especially among us students for several weeks.
In his message, Dr. Smith presented what he believed to be three deadlines with God that a person could commit. The first two deadlines concerned an unbeliever, and the third one, which is found here in this passage before us today, concerned a genuine believer.
To the best of my memory about Dr. Smith’s message, the first deadline was from Genesis 6:3, where we read the phrase, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man…..”. Dr. Smith believed that an unbeliever could sin away their day of grace. In other words, a person could say no the convicting work of the Holy Spirit to a point where the Holy Spirit would no longer speak to them about their eternal salvation. Like Pharaoh, you could harden your heart to the point that you would never have the opportunity to repent and be saved and you would be eternally lost.
The second deadline Dr. Smith mentioned was from Mark 3:28-29, “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”. He believed, according to the context of this passage, that if you ever attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the devil, that this was an unpardonable sin, and you would know you committed it because within a few hours or days you would literally die and perish for eternity. And he gave several examples of this happening in his ministry.
Now I know we might disagree with Dr. Smith on exact interpretation of these passages and what they mean and how they should be applied to our lives and situations. The last deadline that appears in this passage in 1 John 5 is also very interesting and thought provoking!
It appears here that there is a sin that a believer can commit that will lead to their premature death. We know from other scripture that all sin leads to spiritual death! Spiritual death means separation from God. Because of Adam’s sin we are all born separated from God spiritually and need the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ to forgive us and cleanse us from our sin and put us in a right standing with God.
But I believe that this passage is speaking of a physical death for a believer who commits this sin. And John says if they commit it, we don’t need to pray for them because they will be taken on home to heaven. Tomorrow we will look at what this “sin” might be and discuss some Biblical examples of individuals who committed this sin and went to heaven. It might surprise you.
But today, take heart! The fact that you are still alive, probably means you haven’t committed this sin! So confess any known sin in your heart and life and find forgiveness and peace in Christ today!