Q: “Is a person, serious in their atheist beliefs, one with a seared conscience whom God has turned over to themselves, and one of those who have committed a sin that the apostle says we are not to pray for (the one unto death)?”
A: Today we see people more gullible than ever. Believing just about everything except the truth. First off, we need to realize that 1 John 5:16 is directed towards “believers,” not to the lost... “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.”
The Bible warns that many will lose track of God and fall away from His truth. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears...And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
Proverbs 29:1, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”
2 Thessalonians 2:11, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
But the bottom line is that no matter who we are dealing with, if they are an unbeliever, it ultimately comes down to their choice of their free will whether they believe God’s truth or they choose not to believe.
John 3:36 pretty much spells it out: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
But should we, as believers, stop praying for someone who has seemingly gone over the edge to the point of no return? Absolutely not! v Why? Because Luke 1:37 tells us our God is the God of the Impossible, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” God also warns us that we all need to ask forgiveness and repent of our sins.
John 8:10-11 is the story of the woman caught in adultary. Jesus forgives her but also tells her she needs repentance (turn away from sin) as He says “go and sin no more.” “When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?’ She said, ‘No man, Lord.’ And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.’”
Luke 13:3 says, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
But the best news is right here in God’s word. God is very patient with us as it says in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
1 Timothy 2:1 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.”
We, as believers, need to continue praying for the lost, no matter what, as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Why? Because we are not the one who determines if and when someone has stepped over that line of no return; that is God’s call, not ours, and they will answer to Him one day, not us.