Now this was an interesting passage for me to read even though I have read a couple times prior and had this same thought process towards it before, but I felt the need to write it out. Again as I say with all of my other thoughts and blogs, I pray that you don't take these at truths but take with a grain of salt and really study for your self. Essentially all I'm writing these for is to externally process, being the extrovert that I am. I also want to note that I never look at something by just a verse but we should ALWAYS read in context so please if you decided to study this, please read further behind and ahead to understand where John is coming from in accordance to the letter written.
1 John 5:15-17 (NLT)
15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.
16 If you see a fellow believer[a] 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. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.
Okay, so my inclination to study this passage comes from the latter half of verse 16 in particular. I was confused that John would imply not praying for people who have committed the “sin that leads to death”, when I reality all sin leads to death. And even in the beginning of these verses, we are told to pray for our brothers and sisters who sin but not for this particular sin. I believe he is talking about the “unforgivable sin” if there were to be one. Now most people (that I know of) believe that all sin is forgivable. There is also a large percentage that believe the opposite, meaning most are forgivable. There is also quite bit of speculation on what that unforgivable sin might be. I have heard that murder is the unforgivable sin. But that is not correct. I mean Paul once killed Christians and he became and apostle. There were many instances of holy war in the old testament. (That is an entirely different article). And Jesus Himself was murdered, and to quote Levi the Poet, “Murder became salvation, the resurrected truth,” meaning in fact that murder itself actually caused utter forgiveness (essentially). And because of treachery and murder those same people who caused Christ’s crucification, where forgiven of it. This is also the same mentality to go with Romans 6:1 “Well then should we keep sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course Not!” (I know this seems like a tangent, and it kind of is but bear with me.) That meaning we don't need to sin in order for us to be forgiven but because we had inherently brought sin into the world, Christ used our sin to forgive us!
Now, this “unforgivable sin” I believe John is talking about is sin against the Holy Spirit and the Salvation of Christ Jesus. Essentially, blaspheming the truth of the Holy Spirit existing,God being the father and that Christ’s death was salvation. What that means is that, turning your faith from the Trinity and the whole truths that make up christianity. If you don't believe in this there truths then I would question what one were to believe is the act of following Jehovah and Yeshua. Here is where God’s love and compassion astound and delight me. If one were to be afraid of “accidentally” performing the unforgivable sin, it would be near impossible. Because having the fear of the lord and believe that He is true would automatically rule you out from performing such atrocity. So good news to those who think they are too far from grace but what to follow the Lord! The thing of beauty that God is, is the fact that He gave us free will. (this is not an argument to predestination v. free will but I do believe He gives us a choice, [but I think once you have seen/experienced God it’s really hard to choose the other path]) So, in saying that He gives us a choice I think its incredible that If we were to commit the Unforgivable sin, it would entirely be the willing choice to leave faith entirely and go against the truth of salvation, creation, and the spirit. BUT Jehovah STILL has compassion for us If we choose to go the other way. What I mean by that is, one would essentially be saying, “Listen, I don't want to believe you exist or I don’t want to follow you” Now obviously Jehovah would be devastated by this. He loves us SOOO much He wouldn't want us to turn away from Him (obviously) BUT He still allows us to make the choice and His response would be then “Well then if you don't want to be with me or want anything to do with me, Ill let you go to the farthest place from me and not force you to be in my kingdom.” I am NOT saying that He choses to neglect us or to stop pursuing us, but giving us the CHOICE to not be with him and decide where one would like to follow. I am saying though that He is heartbroken when we chose to not go His way. All He has for us is unconditional love, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness.
Now, I have been in the position to almost lose my faith. It was very hard place to be because of a couple of things:
1. I have seen God, felt his presence, and heard His voice, so it would be extremely hard to refute that He exists, even if I chose not to follow Him.
2. The only thing I have found hope for in the past 4-5 years has been Christ, so I would have no will to live if I were to leave Him.
3. Almost all of my family, friends, and community follow Jehovah so I would either have to leave all of them, when they
have shown me nothing but love or learn to tune out almost everything they say, making our relationships pretty
much surface level, and then even lonelier then I felt before.
BUT here is where I have felt His undying compassion. Even when i was deciding wether to leave Him or not, HE STILL SHOWED ME LOVE REGARDLESS OF MY DECISION. On the days I didn't want anything to do with Him, I could still feel Him pursuing me. (I know for the layman, that is hard to explain but its something I felt and can only show through experience) And the days where I wanted to be with Him, there He was with peace and joy that I could get from nowhere but Him.
Now to tie up conclusion with the original idea. Why who'll Joh tell us not to pray for those who have committed this “sin that leads to death”. That I'm still not sure about, but my speculation is that they have already made that decision. Not saying they couldn't turn from it because our God is one of redemption, but that judgment only comes from God himself. I still think we would pray for those that have decided that. i don't think that is entirely heretical. Prayer is always a good thing. But I guess we would have to look at our own hearts in the reason for praying. I’m gonna tell you I don't have the answer (I almost never do) BUT I want to end saying:
Pray for your brothers and sisters, neighbors, and enemies, because that is what we are called to do.
God’s compassion and mercy are never ceasing and are always there for us to grab onto, but only if we turn to Him entirely and not just to whore out His blessings for us.
We have a choice. And regardless of our choice, Jehovah, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit continually love and pursue us.
I hope that was not heretical in what I typed but I believe in a God of love and love is not forced. That is slavery and rape. A loving God gives us a choice. It’s evident everywhere. Adam and Eve. Abraham and Isaac. Jonah and Ninevah. Judas and Jesus. etc. But in every choice there are repercussions and there is always redemption.
Praise be to God who redeems us and loves us.