The Point of No Return: The Sin That Leads to Death

By Timothy K.

1 John 5:11-17

And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

If you see a Christian brother or sister sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.

All people eventually die. It's appointed to men to die once, then the judgment. This happens because of sin. All of us are eventually going to die (exception being the Raptured, but these will likewise be changed from what they are now).

This is because of sin. John is not speaking of the physical sense, or else this passage doesn't make sense. The context is eternal life as per verses 11-12.

Not all sins lead to spiritual death (or even physical death, as do some sins). Many, many kinds of sin can wound your soul greatly and make great distance between you and God. Sexual sin, witchcraft, false teaching and leading others astray from the faith are examples of very grievous sins that can even in themselves prevent the lost from being saved by way of pride and deception. Or else drag the saved (God forbid one such as this) through the hot fires of judgment and the mud of life. This is one that will be turned over to Satan.

Keeping verses 11-12 in mind, John makes clear a very simple truth. Whoever has the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not have God's Son does not have eternal life. Those who do not have the blood of Jesus Christ have nothing to look forward to except the eternal judgment, to forever be apart from their Creator and God whom they have rejected, eternal death.

Keeping the context set by verses 11-12 in mind, we read in verses 16-17 that if we see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, we should pray for them and God will give them life. We also learn there is a certain sin (not sins) that leads to death, and that we should not pray for those who commit it.

All wicked actions are sin, but not all of them lead to death. Many sins can wound us greatly and some can even cause our physical lives to end, these things happen on an individual basis, but only one sin in this Age of Grace can end in spiritual death: the rejection of God's Son, Jesus Christ.

You and I as a person outside of that individual known as another, you and I as mere mortal man, being not privy to the workings of God and what He is doing with that individual, cannot know whether that person has crossed that point of no return as of present known only to God and themselves.

That point is known only to God and then themselves, and until they're dead and gone away to meet our Lord and God, it does no harm or foul to pray for them I'd wager. There's only one sin that cannot be forgiven nor should you pray for if it is committed: the final rejection of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, our Savior.

This rejection is final upon death.

If you know someone who dies outside of Jesus Christ, you certainly shouldn't waste your time praying for them or speaking falsehoods about them (They were 'good' men! In a 'better' place now! Blah blah blah... nope, that's very far from the truth and you'd be a deceiver of the worst kind)

Their fate is decided forever.

Praying for the dead is a pagan practice in general and seeing as they are gone, being good or bad, off to meet with our Lord and God to whom we pray, there is no point.

He Himself will deal with them there and then. Those that are His will be given the full measure of mercy and loving kindness merited by Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, and those that are lost will be dealt with according to the absolute justice of God, having rejected He who loves them.

You can't pray any better or worse for them.