Q. I have a question about James 5:19-20. It would seem to indicate that someone could taste death by their sinning. In other words, if the person wasn’t turned away from their sin, they would taste death. Yet I know that we are forgiven when we ask. How does this get rectified?
A. Since the Bible is clear in saying that as soon as we believe our inheritance is guaranteed (Ephes. 1:13-14) then the person James was referring to could not have been really saved. He might have been part of the fellowship but had wandered off before becoming born again. There are many around us who attend church regularly and appear to be part of us but are not really born again. Bringing such people back to complete their salvation saves them from death and covers all their sins.
Remember, Jesus said that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life (John 3:16). He also said even if a believer experiences physical death, he or she will live (John 11:25) referring to eternal life. James could not have said anything to contradict this.