Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Do Those Who Commit Suicide Go to Heaven?
Christian Post ^ | 04/09/2013 | James Watkins

Posted on 04/09/2013 1:22:06 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

"I'm sitting here with a loaded shotgun. I want my family back or I pull the trigger," Al* threatened over the phone. "And don't call the cops. I'll kill them before I let them put me in some institution."

What could I say to this troubled parishioner? His wife and son had left him, he had been demoted at work, and he felt the church was unsupportive of him.

"Well, God loves you and I love you."

"Yah, yah. But if I commit suicide, I'll go to hell! Right?"

Al's question brought up the age-old question: Do Christians who commit suicide go to heaven or hell? In second grade, my Sunday school teacher had hanged herself. "How could someone who led her class in singing 'Happiness is the Lord' be so sad?" I had questioned.

My questions continued into my adult life and ministry as

I talked with survivors of suicide attempts and read actual notes left by those claiming to be Christians who succeeded. For instance, sixteen-year-old Matt left the following note before ending his life with a .22 rifle:

You that heard me preach saw how God changed my life. He can change yours too!! When he does, you better not turn back. Discipline yourselves now!! Draw near to God through Jesus Christ now!!! If you don't . . . you may some day find yourselves hopeless. It's your choice.

GOD FORGIVE ME FOR NEGLECTING YOU AND FOR BECOMING SO COLD!! TAKE CARE OF MICHAEL AND MOM. HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL. AMEN."

And then a barrage of questions from Genny, a once bright, intelligent Christian women who since heart failure had become mentally impaired-and was well aware of her disability. Genny repeatedly tried to overdose with her heart medication. "Why didn't God just take me when my heart failed? I want to go home to be with Jesus."

I've come to two conclusions as I've dealt with questions of Al, Matt, Genny, and others:

Christians are not exempt from depression and, at times, despondency.

William Cowper, who wrote the popular gospel song "There Is a Fountain" proclaiming Christ's forgiveness and love, repeatedly attempted suicide. Even saints like Moses, Elijah, and Jonah went through periods of extreme depression and, yes, suicidal thoughts (Numbers 11:10-15, 1 Kings 19:1-5, and Jonah 4:9). I half joke that I would have committed suicide during junior high, but I knew if

I did, my parents would kill me. (The first part of that sentence is no joke.)

I believe the Bible is clear that we go to heaven or hell based on our relationship to Jesus Christ.

Yes, suicide raises many spiritual and psychological questions, but one thing is certain:

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9). We obtain heaven only by our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior. And we go to hell only by our rejection of Jesus Christ as our Savior (Hebrews 6:4-6).

After nearly an hour, Al finally agreed to unload his weapon and meet his wife and son at the local police station. He has since been reconciled with his wife and found a church where he feels more accepted.

While I still fear the midnight calls from those contemplating suicide, I am assured that God dearly loves those who feel so depressed and desperate, and He will judge their actions with His mercy and justice based on their relationship with His Son.

* All names have been changed.

-- James Watkins is the author of 16 books and a public speaker. His website is: http://www.jameswatkins.com/


TOPICS: Moral Issues; Theology
KEYWORDS: christian; heaven; hell; salvation; suicide
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-138 last
To: Thumper1960

RE: Suppose that willingly taking your own life is, in fact, self-murder or suicide. Does that not also mean the soldier who falls upon a live grenade has willingly ended his own life? Entering into any act, for a noble cause or deed, knowing your life will end, is by definition, suicide.

Maybe we ought to remind ourselves that Jesus Christ Himself, although He could have avoided it, willingly laid down His life on the cross for us.

You wouldn’t call that a suicidal mission would you?


101 posted on 04/10/2013 6:15:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 93 | View Replies]

To: stylin19a

OK, I didn’t want to misunderstand ... It’s not an easy question to answer at all ...


102 posted on 04/10/2013 6:46:53 AM PDT by dartuser (My firearm is not illegal ... its undocumented.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 98 | View Replies]

To: stylin19a

If I do kill myself, have I really accepted Jesus ?
***

I have accepted Christ as my Savior also, but sadly, I continue to sin. Does that sin mean that I didn’t really accept Christ? I think not. Has anyone led a sinless life even after salvation? I say no, except perhaps the person who is struck by lightning immediately after his prayer of salvation.

At some point, however, it is fair to question whether one really accepted Christ if sin continues unabated. When that is is far above my pay grade.

The best we can do is the best we can do, asking God for grace to overcome sin.


103 posted on 04/10/2013 7:12:14 AM PDT by NCLaw441
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Bryanw92

I use the analogy of love’s existence as an argument about God’s existence. The common refrain of non-believers is that since we cannot prove God exists, he does not.

I ask if there is anything that exists that one cannot prove (with evidence acceptable the person). I sometimes ask what proof would be sufficient for them of the existence of God.

I then ask, “Does love exist?” Few would say no. “How do you prove love exists?” The kinds of proof they suggest are almost exactly the same kinds of proof of the existence of God...


104 posted on 04/10/2013 7:16:55 AM PDT by NCLaw441
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Natural Law

“and God knows your intent, right/”
Yes, God is omniscient.
***

I am not sure I agree with that. I am struggling with the concept of omniscience vs. free will, and the definition of omniscience. Can God know that which is unknowable? If not, is He not omniscient? For example, God cannot know the eye color of my third child— because I have no third child. That does not make God less than omniscient.

If God gave us free will, He could have created us so that even He cannot predict what we will do. Kind of like a young child before whom a piece of candy is placed. We have a good idea of what he is likely to do, but we do not know for sure.

Anyway, my tangled thinking...


105 posted on 04/10/2013 7:24:03 AM PDT by NCLaw441
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 69 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack

Does it make sense that you could be punished for eternity, for something you did or didn’t do or believe in, for a mere 75-80yrs here on earth?


106 posted on 04/10/2013 7:25:03 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 100 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

That’s one of the reasons why I believe it’s all relative...


107 posted on 04/10/2013 7:26:28 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 101 | View Replies]

To: NCLaw441

I would say that while I may believe it, I do not KNOW it.


108 posted on 04/10/2013 7:28:00 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 104 | View Replies]

To: NCLaw441

We need the concept of freewill to be able to make laws and have functioning societies.


109 posted on 04/10/2013 7:30:08 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 105 | View Replies]

To: NCLaw441
" I am struggling with the concept of omniscience vs. free will"

Foreknowing is not the same as predestination. God knew every moment and decision of our lives since the beginning if time.

A good way to look at this is a hypothetical visit to a cemetery. As we walk through it we see the evidence of lives lived sequentially. If we begin in the oldest section of the cemetery can see the headstone of a person born in 1750 and dying in 1825. A little further on we will see the gravestone of person born in 1830 and dying in 1900. Newer still we will see that of a person born in 1904 and dying in 1985. In the newest section we will see the grave of someone we actually knew, born in 1935 and dying in 2013.

God, existing out of time, would see that same graveyard as though from an airplane, seeing all of the graves from above at the same time.

Unknowable is inconsistent with omniscient. All of creation is the result of a thought from God, He is the Creator.

Peace be with you

110 posted on 04/10/2013 8:29:22 AM PDT by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 105 | View Replies]

To: Kevmo
"...Are you saying God isn’t strong enough to guard our salvation, even from ourselves?...."

No, quite the opposite...I think he protects our salvation sometimes even in spite of ourselves. I guess I didn't make myself clear....

Can believers commit suicide...? Yes. Are they eternally damned if they do? I think not.

Yet, there are Christian circles that teach quite the opposite....

111 posted on 04/10/2013 8:36:15 AM PDT by Victor (If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert." -David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 86 | View Replies]

To: Natural Law

I understand your position, but I am not sure I agree with it. God is omnipotent as well as omniscient. He created us “in His image” as well. God certainly could have made us with true free will such that He would not know how we might use that free will.

I believe that God made us for Him and His pleasure. Much like our children, He delights in the good things we do, such as praising and worshipping Him. Again, this is my belief. I don’t so that you are wrong, because we are in the realm of faith, each doing the best we can.

Bless you.


112 posted on 04/10/2013 10:29:25 AM PDT by NCLaw441
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 110 | View Replies]

To: NCLaw441; dartuser

Thanks. I understand.
It is a difficult subject and I am mostly asking questions.
I am not far away nor too long ago from a dark place.
you good folks are helping to put clarity into cloudy.


113 posted on 04/10/2013 10:43:56 AM PDT by stylin19a (obama - Fredo smart)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 103 | View Replies]

To: Natural Law

Does God know what people will do before they are conceived?


114 posted on 04/10/2013 11:27:17 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 110 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack
It makes plenty of sense. People have real problems understanding the depth of God's grace

#1 Any sin will keep a person from heaven, but Jesus died for all future sins when he died on the cross.

#2 Suicide is a sin, like many others. Believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior cleanses us from ALL sin.

#3 Sampson is in heaven (see Hebrews 11) and yet asked God to give him strength to destroy the pillars in an act of suicide. He could have prayed for deliverance, but did not. God answered his prayer.

#4 Jesus said hating another is guilty of murder, and lust is guilty of adultery, what then of the person who just once thinks of suicide?

#5 According to the Bible, Ephesians 2:6 "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" Keep in mind God is outside of time. This is past tense, because to Him, it has already happened.

#6 We are promised Eternal life when we become a believer in Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you can suddenly lose your salvation, he would have to be a liar, because Eternal means forever.

It is sad so many people cannot grasp the depth of God's grace.
115 posted on 04/10/2013 12:06:47 PM PDT by jps098
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 100 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
"Does God know what people will do before they are conceived?"

Everything is known by God. Our freewill is God given. Our entire lives are foreknown, not predestined.

Peace be with you

116 posted on 04/10/2013 12:08:04 PM PDT by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 114 | View Replies]

To: Natural Law

Why do you think God creates people that He knows will commit suicide?


117 posted on 04/10/2013 12:39:38 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 116 | View Replies]

To: Osage Orange; vpintheak

I see you didn’t reply.......


118 posted on 04/10/2013 2:00:38 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Osage Orange

A lot of freepers don’t, because they really can’t, and are unable to admit it.


119 posted on 04/10/2013 2:11:44 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 118 | View Replies]

To: stuartcr
I guess.........

I'd just like a response....

As I am interested in other thoughts........

120 posted on 04/10/2013 2:29:38 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 119 | View Replies]

To: jps098

“#6 We are promised Eternal life when we become a believer in Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you can suddenly lose your salvation, he would have to be a liar, because Eternal means forever.”

Still haven’t bothered to look up “penitence”, have you.


121 posted on 04/10/2013 2:47:23 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 115 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack

I already know the meaning, but that does not change any of the truths I presented to you.


122 posted on 04/10/2013 3:01:57 PM PDT by jps098
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 121 | View Replies]

To: Osage Orange

I know what you mean. Lots of people just call me names when I ask about their beliefs. I haven’t figured that out yet.


123 posted on 04/10/2013 3:15:47 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 120 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Considering that we now live in a commie cesspool, I wouldn’t blame anyone for committing suicide. It’s basically just an escape from torture and imprisonment...before the enemy can break you down.


124 posted on 04/10/2013 5:54:04 PM PDT by Wanderer99
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Osage Orange

What’s to reply? Life is a gift from God. We are His, and when we take a life that isnt ours, it is murder. I will not argue any further about it. Scripture is pretty plain and people twist it to fit what they want.


125 posted on 04/10/2013 9:57:35 PM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Mind!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 118 | View Replies]

To: Osage Orange

BTW, I just attended a funeral of a friend of mine who suffered for years with MS. It got pretty bad toward the end. You know what he did the whole time? Praised God thru it all!


126 posted on 04/10/2013 9:59:55 PM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Mind!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 118 | View Replies]

To: vpintheak

That’s inspiring. TY


127 posted on 04/10/2013 10:13:15 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 126 | View Replies]

To: jps098

“Truths”?! You can do what you want because Jesus died on the cross? Sorry, Pal, NO! You are deluded. It would be interesting to hear WHO taught you this. I can’t fathom it.


128 posted on 04/11/2013 3:16:27 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 122 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack
I read the Bible. The verses are they for you to read.

1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

I know.

What part of ETERNAL do you not understand?

I do not put God in some box. He knew every sin every person would commit before He created the universe. It is not like God is surprised by an action or thought we have. If He was He would not be God.

It is sad you cannot wrap your mind around this. For you to arbitrarily decide what sins God has not forgiven is to place yourself in His stead. I will simply take Him at His word.
129 posted on 04/11/2013 3:32:56 PM PDT by jps098
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 128 | View Replies]

To: vpintheak
So you will not argue. Fair enough. Although I didn't think I was arguing..

How about just answering a question?

Do you think the folks at Masada are in heaven or hell?

Pretty straight question...with a one word answer from you.

TIA....

130 posted on 04/11/2013 6:11:37 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 125 | View Replies]

To: vpintheak
Love it!!

I've had some friends and patients just like that..!!

131 posted on 04/11/2013 6:13:36 PM PDT by Osage Orange (Life is a bitch. If it was easy, we would call it a slut)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 126 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Not in my mind.
Just wondering aloud about the murky areas we confront each day.
Since the Creator knows all, intimately, could exiting this world by our own hands and means be a fulfillment of the Creator’s will?
This weekend, when I have a full pot of coffee, I’ll likely sit out and ponder some more with the limited intellectual faculties He blessed me with.
Cheers!


132 posted on 04/12/2013 7:30:09 AM PDT by Thumper1960 (A modern so-called "Conservative" is a shadow of a wisp of a vertebrate human being.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 101 | View Replies]

To: jps098
“For you to arbitrarily decide what sins God has not forgiven is to place yourself in His stead. I will simply take Him at His word.”

I have NOT done this. Try again. Your problem seems to be that you see what you WANT to see rather than what is there.

“GO AND SIN NO MORE” is a pertinent verse. You see “go and sin all you want, you are forgiven.” Big difference

133 posted on 04/12/2013 10:31:45 AM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 129 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack
I can sin all I want, but as a follower of Jesus, I don't want to sin. But I do know that if, and when I do, his blood has already paid for it. I do not take sin lightly, but you seem to put suicide in some special class of sin that is not in the Bible. Suicide would be a last sin and nothing more.

Don't you realize that the woman at the well told to "Go and sin no more", still committed sins later? Hopefully she stopped being an adulteress, but if you think a person can "sin no more", you need to read all of 1 John 5.

Look, you are going by your feelings. If you want to go through life missing that the Gospel is Good News, go ahead. I will not live my life in bondage.

Everyone will have a final sin, and the good news is that they ALL were paid for thousands of years ago.

Assuming you are a true Christian, you can ask Sampson about his request to destroy his enemies and himself at the same time someday.
134 posted on 04/12/2013 1:30:18 PM PDT by jps098
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 133 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack

Actually read all of 1 John. Chapter 1 will show you your state, if a person thinks they can “Sin no more.”


135 posted on 04/12/2013 1:35:38 PM PDT by jps098
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 133 | View Replies]

To: jps098
“Actually read all of 1 John. Chapter 1 will show you your state, if a person thinks they can “Sin no more.””

The “sin” in the quote is a reference by Jesus to a SPECIFIC sin (that aside if the advice comes from the Saviour it MUST be good and practicable or do you know better than Jesus?). Thus you prove my point. You've got to lose your loathing and ego when you pick up your Bible. I'm serious. I'm not being a wiseass; you SEE what you WANT to see.

136 posted on 04/12/2013 2:25:34 PM PDT by TalBlack (Evil doesn't have a day job.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 135 | View Replies]

To: TalBlack
Huh? You make no sense to me. I have no idea what you are getting at proving your point??

As I said before, live in bondage as your wish. I know where I'm going and I know it is none of my doing. If you think you can never sin again, good luck with that.
137 posted on 04/12/2013 4:21:16 PM PDT by jps098
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 136 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

The ONLY positive thing about life is that we eventually die. Everything in between is grim and hopeless.


138 posted on 04/13/2013 7:18:43 PM PDT by Wanderer99
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-100101-138 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson