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chloe_fantastic

"Sin Unto Death"

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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.

 

So what is the "sin unto death"?

 

This came up in Bible study tonight. Someone said that it was rejecting Jesus, based on the understanding that death in the verse refers to spiritual death.  I disagreed, reason being if this was so, then why are we told not to pray about it? If a brother or sister seemingly fell away, wouldn't that be something we should pray about? The only reason I can see to not pray about this is if the death being referred to is physical and prayers after this point are futile.

 

What say you?

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John Piper, addressed this, and I agree with his assessment.  He said the following: 

 

"I believe that He does not have “kinds of sinning” in mind.  Rather, it is degrees of rootedness, and degrees of habituality and degrees of persistence.  So that the “Esau” factor comes in from Hebrews 12: 16-17 where Esau sinned against God’s benefits so relentlessly that  God finally said, “it’s over.”  The Bible says to remember your Creator in the days of your youth because if you pursue sin, you may think you are going to repent one day, but you will discover that you are unable to repent, just like Esau who sought repentance with tears but couldn’t find it. 

 

It is a frightening thing to think that you have lived thinking that after you have sowed your wild oats that you will then seek repentance in the end, but find that you are powerless because there is sin unto death and you don’t know when you crossed that line and God is done with you and He isn’t going to real you in again.   Beware because if you put it off, you will become so in love with your sin, you couldn’t repent if 10,000 horses pulled on your heart."

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Jesus' attonement is for anyone that will receive it.

If a person comes in contact with the workings of the Holy Spirit and rejects it (calling it the work of the devil) they are literally sealing themself off from devine intervention and therefore prayer for them is meaningless.

Edited by 2404
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Hey Shiloh

Does he mean the person eventually loses their salvation by not being able to repent (spiritual death), or that because they're unable to repent God eventually takes their life (physical death)?

 

Hey 2404,

Do you mean blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Can/would a believer commit such?

 

Thanks, guys, and I'm sorry I'm posting in this way. Ever since my upgrade to Windows 8.1, the quote feature no longer works for me. :th_frusty:

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Every sin is either forgiven if repented - if not the sinner is judged and is cast into outer darkness not eternal death. But what sin is a sin "unto death"? I as others thought sinning against the Holy Spirit but is that judged unto death? Then I thought suicide. Is it a sin unto death? Just curious - we are really not given an answer or clear explanation of what that really is. Sinning against the Holy Spirit is not a frivolous thing but "unto death" that is a curious phrase.

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Hey Shiloh

Does he mean the person eventually loses their salvation by not being able to repent (spiritual death), or that because they're unable to repent God eventually takes their life (physical death)?

 

Hey 2404,

Do you mean blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? Can/would a believer commit such?

 

Thanks, guys, and I'm sorry I'm posting in this way. Ever since my upgrade to Windows 8.1, the quote feature no longer works for me. :th_frusty:

No, a believer can not because that is what they are. They may stumble but the attonment is applied.

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Hey Shiloh

Does he mean the person eventually loses their salvation by not being able to repent (spiritual death), or that because they're unable to repent God eventually takes their life (physical death)?

 

No, the sin unto death doesn't apply to Christians.   The sin unto death is the attitude of unrepentance of a sinner.  A person who chooses continued separation from God and never comes to Jesus and dies in that condition has committed the sin unto death.

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Okay, so what I hear you guys saying is this isn't pertaining to Christians. My next question is, why does the verse say....."If any man see his brother...."? I always took this to mean "a brother or sister in Christ" when I read it in the NT. Is this a wrong understanding?

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Okay, so what I hear you guys saying is this isn't pertaining to Christians. My next question is, why does the verse say....."If any man see his brother...."? I always took this to mean "a brother or sister in Christ" when I read it in the NT. Is this a wrong understanding?

Is it not proper from a Christian's perspective of mutual love and respect?

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Okay, so what I hear you guys saying is this isn't pertaining to Christians. My next question is, why does the verse say....."If any man see his brother...."? I always took this to mean "a brother or sister in Christ" when I read it in the NT. Is this a wrong understanding?

I guess the answer would depend on whether or not one sees this as referring to spiritual death or simply physical death. 

 

I don't think it is referring to a brother in the sense of sibling and since I see this as referring to spiritual death, I think it might refer to one who participated in the Christian community but was not a genuine follower of Jesus.  There are "Christians" who are full members of churches who participate in the life of the church and are considered "brothers and sisters" but in the end, never really knew Jesus.

 

Now if one sees this as referring to physical death, then it would be easy to say that "brother" refers to a fellow believer who commits a sin like Annaias and Saphira or who were like the Corinthians who were sick and falling to fatal illnesses because they had defiled the communion table.

 

I see it as a spiritual matter, but there are those who see it differently.

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