Suicide is one of those topics that must be handled gently and respectfully. Many people, Christian or not, have lost the battle with life and have ended theirs on their own. The pain they leave behind for their family and friends is such that only the Lord Himself and time can bring a healing salve to the sting of suicide.
Recently I spent about 30 minutes on The Dirty Christian Podcast talking about this very topic, trying to bring a logical view to this tragic instance. Many loud voices appear on both sides of this argument and it’s easy to get confused over what the result of a suicide is for a person. Especially those who we know are in Christ, but choose to end their own life.
Let’s get right into the discussion. The first thing we have to establish is what actually sends someone to Hell. As Christians we believe the Biblical doctrine of Original Sin. The fact that all people have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (or expectation). (Romans 3:23) This sin nature we are born into must be removed and we must be redeemed by something/someone outside ourselves. (Jesus)
We know that by no means of our own can we save ourselves. Our debt is too great and only Christ can pay that price. (Romans 5:8) We believe that no one and no thing can remove us from God’s hand (Romans 8:39). Though some may argue that we can remove ourselves from His hand, there is no indication of that throughout the entire Bible.
With this established we must look at the sin of suicide as what it is, a sin. If the argument for suicide as damning is that it’s a sin you cannot repent of, let us look to Christ and what He paid for on the cross. When Jesus died, He died for every sin that the believer had, have and are going to commit. His salvation was definite for those who respond to the Gospel call. God is all knowing, and He does not change. If He has saved you, you are saved once and for all (Phil 1:6). God will not discover one day who was saved and who was not. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Heb 12:2)
If we are expected to ask forgiveness of every singular sin we have committed individually, then it’s likely that Heaven will be much less populated than we imagined. Specifically because as we live a life of repentance we are often convicted by the Holy Spirit of sins we weren’t even aware we were committing. Even more so we can be reminded of past sins that we didn’t remember we had committed. This argument quickly falls apart when you investigate it further. To further prove my point, the thief on the cross was told by Jesus that he would be in paradise with Him on that day. Jesus didn’t make the thief go through his entire Rolodex of sins, the thief believed on Jesus and he was saved.
The final argument is usually that a real Christian would not commit suicide as God would not command someone to do so. They are right to say that God would never command anyone to commit a sin, yet here we are, still sinning and still being sanctified. If we truly believe a Christian would never commit the sin of suicide then we logically have to believe that a Christian would never commit the sin of lying or lusting. Anyone who believes that would likely be ignorant of scripture and the Christian life. See, we still live in this flesh, and that flesh is still tempted. Sometimes we lose our battles with temptation and unfortunately some people lose the battle with a suicide. That isn’t to say they aren’t or weren’t saved. We can’t truly know the heart of man, but we must be sure not to say the opposite and convince others they were damned to Hell.
What I find in these situations is usually someone who has a low view of God. That isn’t to say a bad thing, if they rectify their view and come to a greater knowledge of the character of our Lord. This type of thinking is typically taught along with a slew of bad or shaky doctrine. Many people believe we serve a God who is only powerful enough to save us if we do a work or let Him do so. Then there are some who willingly admit that they did nothing to earn salvation but somehow they can do something to take it away.
The final point I’d like to make is that Christians can and will deal with depression. Getting saved doesn’t always take away our ailments. In some cases it does and God is amazing for healing us, but sadly and rightfully so we are left with thorns in our sides (2 Cor 12:7). As long as we are alive in Christ we are being sanctified. A Christian life is one of perpetual repentance and will be until we die.
Ending your own life is never the answer. Just like the commission of any sin is never the answer. We must walk with Christ in obedience to His word and His will. We know that God would never prompt someone to sin, nor would He ever justify someone sinning for His will to be done. This is the life of the believer, that we are led by the Holy Spirit into righteousness until the Lord’s appointed time to take us home.
If you or a friend are dealing with suicide or suicidal thoughts, there are resources that can help: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255. Don’t wait, get help today!
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