I John 5:16-17 states, “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.”
The Bible clearly shows two “types” of sin. One that is repented of and forgiven, which John calls “not unto death.” The apostle James also teaches about praying for this type: “if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him [facilitate his repentance]; Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (Jms. 5:19-20). Praying for this type of sin helps your brother and can “cover a multitude of sins.”
The second type of sin is a sin that is not repented of. If one does not repent of any sin, that sin is not forgiven—unpardonable! This type John refers to as a “sin unto death.” He tells us not to pray for someone who has done this. His lack of repentance means this sin will not be forgiven. (To learn more about this type of sin, read our booklet Just What Is ‚ÄúThe Unpardonable Sin‚ÄĚ?)
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