In a somewhat superficial way, in one of their blogs, the Christian Post is asking this question in the wake of Matthew Warren’s suicide by a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
The following questions are put forth to show that a Christian cannot lose his or her salvation:
So since suicide is a result of mental illness, then the question is whether or not God holds illness against a person when deciding whether or not to allow them into heaven?
Does He hold it against cancer patients that die of cancer?
Or heart disease patients who die of heart attacks? Is that reasonable?
The blogger who wrote this for the Christian Post is taking a dangerous position with the assurance of salvation.
First of all he groups all mental illness with other illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Then he classifies suicide in the same way as death from a heart attack as a result of cardiovascular disease, and death from complications of cancer. He cites Romans 8 where it states that nothing can separate us from the love of God, and he implies that even taking our own life is subject to this declaration made by apostle Paul.
The big difference is that unlike suicide victims, cancer patients and heart attack victims for the most part do not premeditate their death, and they do not carry it out by volition.
There will be cases where believers have completely lost their mind as a result of some medical or psychiatric illness, and they are effectively unaware of the consequences of the suicidal act. They do not have the reasoning capacity to discern the gravity of what they are doing. In those cases, their actions cannot be held against them. But those cases may be more rare than we imagine.
Most suicides take place after prolonged suicidal ideation, and some of these victims have an elaborate plan on how to accomplish the act. Euthanasia is an example of this type of premeditated assisted suicide.
In those cases of suicide where the person is aware of their actions and understands the consequences, and more so is a professing believer, and THEN proceeds to destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit by self-murder, there is no excuse.
Such an action actually may be evidence they are not believers. One who has the Holy Spirit living inside him will not destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit willingly.
There is one other possibility. Gabe Bogdan brought this up in a previous comment. Depression and suicide may not be a sin in themselves, but they may be the consequence of unrepented sin. One’s refusal to be convicted by the Holy Spirit may lead to depression and then suicide, and in that case the spiritual devastation is evident.
Now… It is not appropriate for us to say in which group suicide victims belong. Whether they have lost their mind and are victims of lack of understanding, or whether they have premeditated and meticulously carried out the act.
We cannot speculate whether they go to heaven or hell, because that is the domain of the Omniscient.
Image credit: istockphoto.com
This is not to hard to understand if you apply the scriptures. First you have to answer a simple question. What guarantees a person salvation? Belief that Jesus died for his sins and asking for forgiveness of sins. What guarantees someones damnation? The opposite of what I just said? Does the Word tell us that something else can cause one to go to hell? No. Just rejection of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
Next question. Did Jesus die only for our past sins? No. Jesus died for sins past, present and future. Suicide is nothing more than murder. Murdering yourself. Did Jesus die for the sin of murder? Of course he did. Is suicide a forgiven sin? Of course. So then why twist the word and lead people into confusion?
You said something very damning for many Christians in the church.
“one that has the holy spirit living inside him will not destroy the temple of the holy spirit willingly”. Really? You actually believe that? Is that what your pastor preaches from the pulpit? You don’t have to commit suicide to destroy your body. That’s a sudden destruction. But incremental destruction is no different. You want some examples of incremental destruction that gets practiced by Christians in the church? Drinking coffee, gluttony, overmedicating, vaccinating, drinking flourided water, etc. All these things have been scientifically proven to incrementally destroy the body. So back to my question. Does your pastor or teachers in your church preach against these? Probably not.
Some things to think about.
Jason, thank you for the visit and the comment.
You really think it is no different whether one commits murder or one drinks fluoridated city water?
I think that is a bit careless in terms of understanding one’s status in the faith.
A more specific question which was not asked in the CP headline I used for my title would be, if one who commits suicide is saved or not. That is where I think we should outline the possibilities but not declare one going to heaven or hell.
Remember, Paul jumped to prevent the warden from committing suicide. If ordo salutis is correct, then the warden was saved because he was convicted even as he was attempting the act. But Paul prevented him from it toward his salvation.
BTW… It is interesting that you left alcohol off the list of coffee, fluoride etc… Items that you claim destroy the temple of the Holy Spirit…
Thank you for your comment and clarification. I did get confused for a minute!
My reply was to Jason. I think Delightinthetruth is mistaken.
Speaking of Christians…. “…. but if we sin, we have an advocate with the Father…”…it doesnt say, if we sin and repent we have an advocate..but if we sin…He mediates for us constantly so we dont have to spend 24/7 on our knees repenting nonstop.
Agree Val, but the same epistle says, “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning…”
suicide cannot be practiced–it’s a one time deal 🙂
ok… what about persistence in the state leading up to suicide?
the point was, Chris, the legalistic theory that unless you have time to repent of your sin(s), you are lost forever is exposed for what it is–heresy (that is what the reformation was all about; sadly most pentecostal are still catholic in theology)–when we come to the cross we are saved past, present, and future—not so we can continue in sin, but to give us rest in our souls, to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
I understand the heresy, Val.
But here is my point more detailed:
The regenerated will commit sin, but not persist in sin. He may say something inappropriate when he is incited or loses his cool, for example.
Will he commit premeditated murder or live a double life with another beside his/her spouse? No way. That entails persistence in sin (1 John 3:9)
Which brings us to suicide. Many suicides are preceded by suicidal ideation and elaborate planning. Euthanasia is an example.
IS PLANNING A SUICIDE COMPATIBLE WITH A REGENERATED STATUS? That is the big question. I am inclined to say no based on 1 John 3;9
“No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God”
Sin is not compatible with the new man, but is very compatible with the old man…no matter how holy we want to appear, we still have the old man in us; moreover, most of us are led more by the old man than the new man in our daily life…I hope when you say…”he who is born of God cannot commit (go on) sin(ning) ” you also include lying, cheating (on your taxes, too), being illegal, working for cash and collecting welfare, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, contentions , hatred, jealousies, outbursts of wrath and so on–we are all guilty, I’m afraid…..
Thank God Scriptures says, “but if we [Christians] sin [not a sin in particular, but sin], we have an advocate”..If it wasn’t for that, we would all be doomed.
Am I trying to approve suicide? No, by no means. I dont approve any sin per se, because Jesus died for it so we be saved from sin. I am only blowing away the classical pentecostal (really Catholic) doctrine of ‘…if you die before you confess every sin, you are lost” even though you are a child of God..unless it’s about the sins that we pentecostal Romanians all (most of us anyway) do daily.. :).
Yes Val, believe or not I was referring to persistence in all the above mentioned sins. And I surely don’t subscribe to the orthodox/ catholic view. I don’t think it is held by Pentecostals… Maybe some legalists…
Even leading Romanian Pentecostals (one has a most popular blog) believe this…Most American Pentecostals believe it too (at least on the unconfessed suicide sin) 🙂
If nothing else, their logic is wrong–the guy doesnt go to hell b/c he could not repent of his sin of suicide… that is not it…
Val good to see you back…question… do we still need to repent? If we do, why? Weren’t all our sins forgiven at the cross?
to restore our relationship—e.g. 2 married people vow to be married for life, no matter what… during their life together they offend each other (small and/or big ways)… but they are still married; however, unless they ask forgiveness from each other regularly and communicate properly, their marriage is more a legal one and less a practical one.
So, children of God, when they sin, they don’t repent to have their names rewritten in the Book of LIfe or for fear of hell, but so their relationship with their Father is restored and brought back into harmony…Are there sins that can separate us? Sure. Which ones? Spiritual adultery–thinking Mohamed is God, etc;unbelief–I no longer believe Jesus is the Saviour…
Of course people who say Jesus is God, but live like the devile, have no conversion, etc… are out of luck
Val.. thumbs up.. did you forsake your charismatic ways? 🙂
that is the Charismatic way…. 🙂
Gabi, all jokes aside–what i just explained to you you’ll find nowhere in the pentecostal doctrine; that is why they (the Pentecostals) don’t get it. And, that is why most of them walk around tortured in the souls and fearful, not knowing if they even belong to Heaven. And that is why they need ‘batic’ and other outward things to make feel secured in the salvation. So sad!