The sin unto death is defined in 1 John 5:16b:
There is a sin face-to-face with death. (1 John 5:16b)
The preposition in the Greek, prov" (pros), means face-to-face with.  Therefore, the translation should be "a sin face-to-face with death" or "a sin that leads to death."  The "sin leading to death" is the last sin that a person commits before God sentences him to death.  Although the sin leading to death is usually committed by a person in reversionism, it can be committed by a person at any time and any stage of maturity.  Moses committed the sin leading to death when he was in Spiritual Rapport.  God alone decides when a person in sin deserves the death penalty.

The sin leading to death for the believer usually results from failure to Rebound.  The unbeliever is sentenced to death for rejection of the Gospel.  The "sin leading to death" is usually a very horrible and painful suffering that is designed to make a person hurt like he is dying.  Sometimes people hurt so bad they wish they were dead.  The punishment fits the crime because the person has rejected the greatest Spiritual Life of all history.  Those who reject the Love of God can look forward to the worst misery and suffering in death.  However, when the believer dies, even by the sin leading to death, he will go to Heaven where there will be no more pain or suffering.

Recovery Procedure

Rebound will not work for the "sin face-to-face with death."
I do not say that a person should make a request for that. (1 John 5:16c)
The context is intercessory prayer, which is appropriate for anyone who sins except for the one who has committed the "sin leading to death."  When a person is under the death sentence from God, normal intercessory prayer is meaningless.  However, there is a recovery procedure.

Rebound cannot reverse the "sin leading to death."   The person with this sentence is under God's punishment.  The punishment will lead to death.  The punishment is not based upon a single sin, but it is due to a lifestyle of sin and rejection of God's solution.  The person dying the sin unto death has rejected the Christian life and the teaching of his Right Pastor.  He has rejected the only solution for his life.  However, under special circumstances God may still grant clemency.  God in His mercy may grant the person more time to fulfill his life.  He did it for Hezekiah.   The dying person must decide that he wants to live and that he wants to accept God's solution.  God's decision to grant clemency will be revealed to the Right Pastor by the Holy Spirit.  Then the Right  pastor-teacher must pray for the dying person.  Then the person under the sentence of death will recover.  He will be given more time to return to Bible class and fulfill his Christian life.  The pastor must pray for the person who is dying the sin leading to death because that person has rejected the metabolization of Bible Doctrine, which begins with the pastor's teaching.

Example of Hezekiah

Hezekiah was sentenced to the sin leading to death.
In those days Hezekiah was sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” (2 Kings 20:1)
However, Hezekiah remembered the doctrine of the sin leading to death and decided that he didn't want to die that way.  So he told the Lord in prayer.
2 Kings 20:2-3, NAS
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Remember now, O LORD, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Thy sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Although the Lord would not honor his prayer, without the intercession of Isaiah, He sent Isaiah back to Hezekiah to follow the recovery procedure for the sin leading to death.
2 Kings 20:4-6
4 And it came about before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 5 “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD. 6 “And I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”’”
Then Isaiah went back and interceded for Hezekiah.  Of course, Isaiah already had the promise from the Lord that Hezekiah would be granted 15 more years in order to execute the Plan of God.  Isaiah did not anoint Hezekiah with oil, but he applied a poultice of figs to Hezekiah's boil that was the source of his sickness.  Figs cause boils to be drawn to a head.  So Isaiah applied the standard medical remedy.  This indicates that many times people who are dying the sin leading to death may also require medical help.
2 Kings 20:7-8
7 Isaiah said, “Take a poultice of figs.” And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”
When Isaiah told Hezekiah that the Lord would heal him, Hezekiah demanded a sign.  He would not simply believe Bible Doctrine and metabolize it.  This was Hezekiah's problem for the next 15 years, after which he finally did die the sin leading to death.  As a sign, Isaiah told Hezekiah that he would make the shadow of the Sun on the sundial go either forward or backward, whichever Hezekiah wanted.
And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go back ten degrees?” (2 Kings 20:9)
Of course, Hezekiah, being an arrogant ass, demanded that Isaiah make the Sun go backward 10 degrees.
So Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to decline ten degrees; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten degrees.” (2 Kings 20:10)
Isaiah prayed to God and the Sun went backward in the sky 10 degrees, which amounts to 40 minutes, since there are 15 degrees per hour.
And Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD, and He brought the shadow on the sundial back ten degrees by which it had gone down on the Sundial of Ahaz. (2 Kings 20:11)


The sin leading to death is the sin for which the Lord sentences a person to death.  The death sentence may come up to a year or two before death.  An example is a person diagnosed with a terminal illness.  Such an illness may be associated with the sin unto death.  The Lord alone decides the time, manner, and place of death.  When a person rejects the greatest Spiritual Life of all history, his death will be miserable.  The sin unto death is designed to include horrible suffering.  However, no one has to die the sin unto death.  The unbeliever can choose to believe in Jesus Christ and receive the gift of Eternal Life (Salvation).   The believer can advance to Spiritual Maturity through positive volition to Bible Doctrine and qualify for Dying Grace.  However, God alone makes the final decision as to whether a person will die under Dying Grace or divine punishment.  And even after the sentence of the sin unto death has been given, the Lord may grant clemency.  The believer must decide to live, and his Right Pastor must pray for him. God may then give him more time.

Author:  Larry Wood,   Released August 10, 2005 - Revised Feb. 3, 2013

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