In the first epistle of John there are verses which many people find confusing. I have not found a firm conviction of their meaning in Bible commentaries. “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. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” 1 John 5:16-19.
The first question I considered when reading this was why the sinner did not pray to God himself. All of us have access through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to approach the throne of God in prayer and ask for forgiveness. Why did the sinner need a Christian brother or sister to pray for him? I believe it means the sinner had departed from communication with God. He was not praying to the Almighty. Such a person could be returned to fellowship with God and other Christians by the prayers of friends. But there are some sins which the apostle John said not to pray about. The person could not be returned to Christian fellowship. What are those sins?
In the fifth chapter of the book of Acts there is a story about how Ananias and Sapphira lied to the apostles about how much money they had made in the sale of a piece of property. They were pretending to give all of the money from the sale to the church but were secretly keeping back part of the money for themselves. Both of them died. Also, in the fifth chapter of the book of first Corinthians there is the discussion of a man in the church who was committing fornication with his father’s wife. The word for fornication covered a range of sexual sins meaning sexual intercourse outside of marriage. There was no repentance and even the church was not concerned about the sin. “And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” I Corinthians 5:2-5. I believe Paul was saying the same fate that took Ananias and Sapphira should take the fornicator. He would die, perhaps by an accident, or a heart attack, or by some illness. He would not lose his salvation. Paul said his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
For those sins, it is obvious that the sinner had contempt for the Ten Commandments and was ignoring God, perhaps thinking that God did not care about sin and would not do anything to punish the sinner. God does not have to punish the sinner. He only has to withdraw His protection from the sinner and Satan can have his way with the rebel Christian. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” I Corinthians 11:30. Paul said this concerning Christians who did not show any reverence to the Lord when they celebrated the communion service, but I believe it can apply to other sins as well. They stuffed themselves with the bread of the communion service and drank the wine until they were drunk. Some of them slept, which means they died. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2.
I believe if a Christian is sorry for his or her sin, then that person is not subject to a sin that leads to death. If there is confession and repentance, there is deliverance from the curse of sin. The connection to God and other Christians will not be broken. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. There is no sin more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ. But some will ask, “What about the unforgiveable sin?”
Jesus said, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” Matthew 12:31-32. This would be bad news for the apostle Paul, because he regarded the preaching of the Gospel as evil, even though it was the work of the Holy Spirit. However, Paul died and was born again. The old Paul (Saul) that cursed the work of the Holy Spirit was gone. The new Paul (Christian Paul) was filled with the Holy Spirit and would not blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It is the inner person, the spiritual part of each of each of us, the born-again child of God, that will stand before Christ in the day of judgement. That spiritual person is without sin. The sinful body and mind of the flesh that we inherited from Adam and Eve will have died and will have been born again, as a new body, in the image of Christ. That new body will be without sin, like the angels of God, for eternity. Therefore, a Christian should not fear judgment. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.
Some may ask, “What if a born again Christian blasphemes the Holy Spirit?” I believe such action would be a sin of the flesh, not from the person’s spirit. The inner person would never blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Our flesh is responsible for a multitude of sins and will die someday, but not until we have finished the work God has for us. God’s Will is supreme.
In conclusion, I would say Christians should not be afraid of God’s Judgment or of the power of any sin. We should be praising and thanking and worshiping God and expressing our love for him, not wondering if he is going to cast us into hell. He loves us and has provided a way of salvation for us through his Son.