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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

September 25 2021

Today, Saturday September 25

“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.

In the context of this passage the Apostle John is telling us that if we pray according to the will of God, He will hear us and we will have the request granted to us. But then he immediately mentions something we do not need to pray for. We do not need to pray for a fellow believer who has committed a sin that leads to death. It is interesting that we do not hear very many Sunday morning messages on this subject.

God is definitely warning us here as believers that there is sin that can lead to physical death! (1 John 5:16-17) "All wrong doing is sin," but some sin is worse than other sin. All sin is hateful to God, and should be hateful to a believer; but some sin is punished with death.

The Bible mentions people who died because of their sin. Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron the priest, died because they deliberately disobeyed God (Lev. 10:1-7). Moses struck the rock three times instead of speaking to it as God instructed and he died prematurely and was not allowed to enter the Holy Land. Achan was stoned because he disobeyed Joshua's orders from God at Jericho (Josh. 6-7). A man named Uzzah touched the ark and God killed him (2 Sam. 6).

But someone may argue that those are Old Testament examples and John is writing to New Testament believers who live under grace. To whom much is given, much shall be required. A believer today has a far greater responsibility to obey God than did the Old Testament saints. We have a complete Bible, we have the full revelation of God's grace, and we have the Holy Spirit living within us to help us obey God. But there are cases in the New Testament of believers who lost their lives because they disobeyed God.

Ananias and Sapphira lied to God about their offering, and they both died (Acts 5:1-11). Some believers at Corinth died because of the way they had acted at the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:30). If a believer does not judge, confess, and forsake sin, God must chasten him. This process is described in Hebrews 12:1-13, which suggests that a person who does not subject himself to the Father will not live (Heb. 12:9). In other words, first God "spanks" his rebellious children, and if they do not yield to His will, He may remove them from the world lest their disobedience lead others astray and bring further disgrace to His name.

"The sin unto death" is not some one specific sin. Rather, it is a kind of sin—it is the sort of sin that leads to death. With Nadab and Abihu, it was their presumption in taking the priest's office 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.

If a Christian sees a brother committing sin, he should pray for him (1 John 5:16), asking that he confess his sin and return to fellowship with the Father. But if in his praying, he does not sense that he is asking in God's will (as instructed in 1 John 5:14-15), then he should not pray for the brother. James 5:14-20 somewhat parallels 1 John 5:16-17. James describes a believer who is sick, possibly because of his sin. He sends for the elders, who come to him and pray for him. The prayer of faith heals him and if he has sinned his sins are forgiven. "The prayer of faith" is prayer in the will of God, as described in 1 John 5:14-15.

Our final take from this passage is that we as believers do not deliberately practice sin. We have the divine nature within; Jesus Christ guards them, and we do not want God's discipline.

God bless!

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