You are standing on a tiny ledge of trim that runs around the top outside wall of a building. Your shoes hang over the edge and looking down makes your head swim. Just picturing this makes my palms sweat. If you pay attention and keep your balance, you just might make it back to safety. But, if you lose your balance and fall there won’t be anything anybody can do to save you.
There is a sin like that, a sin from which there is no rescue, nothing anybody can do to save you. John calls it “the sin that leads to death.” Commit that sin and you have fallen off the ledge. Even prayer isn’t going to help.
If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death. (1 John 5:16-17)
Are your palms sweaty? Do you want to know what the deadly sin is? Jesus called it “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” He said:
“But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” (Mark 3:29)
But what does that mean? The best explanation is that it refers to someone who knows that what he has experienced was accomplished by God’s Spirit, and that he nevertheless attributes that experience to the work of Satan. In simple terms, the sin that leads to death is deliberately and knowingly hardening one’s heart against God.
Bad news and good news. Bad news: If you deliberately turn away from God, knowingly turn away from Him, there really is a point of no return. Good news: If you are worried about this, you probably have not yet stepped off the ledge, so to speak. And there is a way to be sure you don’t.
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God [Jesus] keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. (1 John 5:18)
How can we be “born of God?”
Yet to all who received him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name [believed in Who He is], he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent,c nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13 with my added explanations)