[Ezekiel 47: 1-5]
…When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles…
[1 John 5: 16]
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
This is the 23rd session of God Measures Our Faith.
After transplanting the rice seedlings, you have to fully irrigate the rice paddies. But if there is a drought, the bottom of the paddy will be exposed, and there cracks would develop if the drought is prolonged.
Then, the roots dry up and the seedlings would die.
Those who have committed grave sins that lead to death can be likened to such rice seedlings.
If the ‘water’ is drained away from the root, that is to say, if God’s word drains out from the heart of a man, this man cannot receive salvation.
Until now, we have looked into the sins that deprive of salvation, which are found in many parts of the Bible.
Beginning today, let us delve into sins leading to death.
I hope you will carefully listen to this message and be more cautious about sins, so that you can live in the Word of God.
In doing so, I pray in the name of the Lord that, you will enjoy all the blessings in your life as recorded in Psalm 1:3, “He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, viewing audiences,
Let us once again think about the background and the significance of today’s passage.
Ezekiel saw in his vision that water came out of the temple, flowed through the temple and out the temple.
This means the word of God preached in the temple goes out to the world.
This water became increasingly deeper and eventually formed a river.
When Ezekiel was first crossing this water, it came up to his ankle, but next time, it came up to his knees and then to his waist.
Finally, it came up so high it could not be forded.
Water spiritually symbolizes the Word of God.
Therefore, the extent to which one’s body is submerged symbolizes the extent to which we practice the word of God, which then represents our measures of faith.
At the Great White Throne Judgment, God will measure each one’s faith and give a strict judgment.
Each one’s faith is measured accurately with the word of God.
In today’s passage, the messenger of the LORD measures a thousand cubits each time before Ezekiel crossed the water.
Through this, we can understand how precisely God measures each one’s faith.
In God’s measure, if the water does not reach even the ankle, namely, if you have not even gained the 1st level of faith, which is the lowest level of faith, you cannot be saved.
Up until this point I have explained about the sins depriving of salvation. They are: idolatry, violating the Lord’s Day, robbing God by not giving the tithe, various kinds of sexual immorality, and obvious works of the flesh. If you commit these sins and do not repent, you cannot enter Heaven.
The Bible clearly records that there are sins for which your salvation will be taken away.
Through the last session, we had looked into fourteen of them.
Sins are not all the same.
There are light sins that can be forgiven immediately upon repentance, while there are heavier sins that will deprive you of salvation if you continue to commit them.
For example, if a new believer cannot be saved just because he has lied, how many people can be saved?
But when the same new believer robs God or commits sexual immorality, the magnitude of sin is different.
If he keeps on committing those sins without repenting, he can never be saved.
This is not my word but the word of God written in the Bible.
But fortunately, even if you have committed such sins, if you thoroughly repent and turn away, God will forgive you.
But the sins leading to death, which I am going to explain today, are different.
They are the sins that can never be forgiven.
Therefore, if you commit such sins, you will definitely face death, namely the eternal punishment in Hell.
1 John 5:16 tells us that there are sins that lead to death.
It says, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.”
Through this verse, we can understand that there are sins that do not lead to death and those that lead to death.
Also, those who committed sins leading to death cannot receive forgiveness.
It tells us not to make request for those who committed such sins. It means they themselves asking for forgiveness or others interceding for them will be useless. It is very explicitly stated.
The result of sins leading to death is really something fearful.
Brothers and sisters, now, how are sins leading to death differentiated from sins depriving of salvation?
Simply stated, sins leading to death are intended for God’s children who have received the Holy Spirit to commit sins depriving of salvation while knowing the truth.
James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Of course, new believers in faith might commit sins depriving of salvation in the process of trying to change their lives around to live by the Word of God.
Novices do not know the truth very well, and their faith is weak.
God of mercy will take into consideration such factors when measuring the magnitude of sin.
So, when a new believer or a novice commits sins depriving of salvation, if he repents from the heart and tries to cast off the sinful nature itself, God will open the way of salvation again.
But the real problem is with those who know the word of God and who have been believers for a significant period of time, for example, pastors or leaders who commit sins depriving of salvation.
In such a case, the sin is not just a sin depriving of salvation, but it becomes a sin leading to death.
Hebrews chapter 6 and 10 explain the reason why.
Let us first read Hebrews 6:4-6.
It says, “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,  and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,  and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”
Next, Hebrews 10:26-29 says, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
What can we infer from these two passages?
When a person commits a sin depriving of salvation, there is a very important factor to consider. It is the duration of time one has been a believer.
Hebrews chapters 6 and 10 do not refer to new believers, but those who have ‘tasted of the heavenly gift’ and have ‘received the knowledge of truth’.
They have been believers for quite some time, and have even received such titles as elders, leaders, or pastors.
If these people do not circumcise their hearts but commit sins depriving of salvation following their lusts, and especially doing it repeatedly, they cannot repent and there is no forgiveness.
Such sins are referred to as ‘sins leading to death’.
By the way, among our church members, there are many of you who have not received any position or title in the church, yet you have been believers for as long as 5, 10, or even 30 years.
Most of you have experienced the spiritual realm, and you know the word of God very well, too.
Therefore, even though you are not pastors, elders, or leaders in the church, I hope you will understand this message very well and take caution.