Q/A Friday: What Is the Sin That Leads to Death? (I John 5:16)

First, it is NOT the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Some also call this the unforgivable sin (Mark 3:29). It is the sin the Pharisees were accused of breaking when they accused Jesus of delivering a man from a demon through the power of the Evil One and not the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:22-32).

The problem is always context. No one speaks anywhere about sinning against the Spirit. He speaks of sin in very general terms – as being against God.

Second, it is NOT a moral sin.

Catholics have come up with two categories of sin: venial sins (or lesser sins) and moral sins (sins that the Bible say bring about death). The most notable sins that the Law says brings death are murder and adultery (Leviticus 20; Numbers 18). And the O.T. Law does make a distinction between sins committed willfully and sins committed in ignorance (Leviticus 4-5; Numbers 15).

Here’s the problem: all unrighteousness is sin (I John 5”17). Minor sins are not somehow more tolerable than other sins. All sins lead to death – the curse brought on from Eden. Plus, what do we do with murderers like Paul or adulterers like David?

Finally, the sin which leads to death IS denying Christ as Lord or rejecting the Gospel.

This view makes the most sense, because at the end of life, we are not measured by how much robbing we did (e.g., the thief on the cross) or how many Christians we killed (e.g., Saul before he was converted), we are gauged by our acceptance or rejection of Christ.

In his Gospel, John wrote, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18). The sin that leads to the ultimate of spiritual deaths has to be our rejection of Jesus Christ.

If you have a question you would like to submit to our blog to be answered in the future, please email it to charlesheck@cox.net or pose your question in the comments section of this post.

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