Dec 12, 2008

Suicide - What Happens to People who Commit Suicide?

I've been getting a lot of questions about suicide and a person's salvation today.

Suicide is never God's will.

Suicide is a grave sin before God.

However suicide is not an unpardonable sin.

The Bible is crystal clear that there is only one unpardonable sin - blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:31-32).

While suicide is a terrible sin against God, for only God has the power and authority over life, suicide is not the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. In the context of Matthew 12, it is crystal clear that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is denying the work of God through the Holy Spirit and attributing it to the work of the devil.

When Jesus died on the cross, Jesus died for ALL our sins (John 10:28).

Salvation is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12), in Jesus alone (John 14:6).

Then why do so many people believe that people who commit suicide will go to hell?

In the fifth century, Augustine argued that suicide was a violation of the sixth commandment - "You shall not kill." And later Thomas Aquinas, taught that suicide was the most fatal of all sins because the victim could not repent of it.

So some Christians have taught that those who commit suicide go to hell.

This is a misunderstanding about the work of the cross.

While suicide is a grave sin, it is not a sin that cannot be forgiven. And because Jesus died for all our sins, and since suicide is not blaspheming the Holy Spirit, even suicide can be forgiven.

Suicide is never the answer and suicide is never God's will.

So where is the young man who committed suicide last night?

He is in the presence of His Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. God has always loved this young man, and this young man gave his life over to Jesus Christ and committed to serving God with his life.

In a moment of excruciating pain and confusion, our friend committed a grave and serious error and sin. But this does not negate the awesome grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now what is left is for Christ-followers to minister to one another.

He who promised, "Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus," (Romans 8:37-39) is true to His word.

The death of our friend is tragic and terrible. We, who have been loved by this young man, and we who loved him, will never be the same again. And as terrible as this time may be for our church, we boldly claim the promise of God "That all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28).

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