Here is an email question that I received with the response to follow:

Good Afternoon: I am writing to you under emotional pangs, as I wrestle with the Scriptures, and what I hear from certain others who are Christian.

The husband of a friend of mine committed suicide. My friend, I know well, and her love and defense of the Scriptures. But I only know of her husband’s belief by what she tell me, and his attendance to church. She said he prayed a lot and loved God, her and their children.

But he yielded to suicide. And from what I understand, this was a long term fight to avoid that. He subsequently said he was going for walk, and he was found in a park, after shooting himself.

Here is a man who “claimed” to love Jesus, but his actions to me, deny his having made Jesus Lord and Master over his life. Rather, he must have had Satan as master.

I used to believe in “free will” but after a long study of the Sovereignty of God, I changed my mind. That study took several years. So I can’t say this man had free will unless he remains outside of God’s Lordship, where he does what the flesh does…. denies the power, promises, and love that God has living within us.

The pastor at the services said what my friend said, he is in heaven, due to the Grace of God.

But how can a person be tempted to kill himself then actually follow through with it, if he has Life in him? And Hope. These reign over Death and Hell.

My Response

Thanks for the questions. These are very good questions, and necessary to struggle with.

You said: “But how can a person be tempted to kill himself then actually follow through with it, if he has Life in him?”

How could David have killed Uriah? How could Peter have denied Christ? How could John have fallen down and worshiped an angel? How could Paul struggle with sin the way he does in Roman 7? Why would Paul exhort Christians to “walk in the spirit and therefore not carry out the deeds of the flesh” if it was a foregone conclusion that Christians cannot walk in the flesh? How could the Galatians (whom Paul considers “brethren”) have turned back toward the law after knowing Christ? How could the Corinthians live as spiritual babes, living in strife, jealously, and envy?

The answer: we are all sinners.

My sister committed suicide. She had been with me at seminary and was one of my primary means of encouragement throughout my younger ministry years. She was a prayer warrior, an aspiring evangelist, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She fell into depression—terrible depression. Depression is a powerful result of the fall that ends up taking a lot of people’s lives. What she did was sin. Yes, it was premeditated as well.

What sins, in actuality, are not premeditated? There are not many . . . mainly personality and spirituality characteristics such as outbursts of anger, jealousy, and faithlessness. But most other sins are premeditated. If God does not forgive premeditated sins—if somehow these are the sins that are not covered by the cross—we are all in trouble.

Some may say that all sins have to be confessed before death. Roman Catholics, in fact, distinguish between mortal and venial sins. Mortal sins are those that you cannot have on your soul at death. They are the really bad ones like murder, pride, adutery, using birth control, or missing Mass without a valid excuse. Traditionally, suicide has also been among these, since suicide is a murder which is impossible to confess.

However, I disagree. While I do not believe that all sin is equal in God’s sight, there is no biblical reason to say that there are some sins that destroy the grace of God and need special penance and others that don’t. To say that we cannot have unconfessed sin when we die is problematic in many ways. Biblically, Paul is clear that once we have faith in Christ we have been saved. This salvation is primarily from the ultimate penalty of our sin—eternal death. If we cannot truly be saved until we die with all sins confessed, then we cannot ever say that we are saved as Paul does. The best we can do is say we might be saved (i.e., if I die without any unconfessed sin). Salvation would always have to be spoken of as a contingent possibility, not a present reality. Yet Paul says to the Ephesians, “By grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:8). Christ says in John 6:24, “Whoever believes in me has eternal life.”  There is no contingency here. The question becomes, Do you really believe, and will that belief persevere (another question, another time)?

The practical problem is this: If you do have to die without any unconfessed sin, how are you to be spiritually aware enough to know of all your sins? What if you forget one? What about the time you sped through the school zone? What about the time you pridefully thought about your promotion at work? What about the time you envied your neighbor’s new sprinkler system? What about the time you said you were sick, to avoid something, and you really weren’t? From a practical standpoint, everyone will die with unconfessed sin. Most of these will include serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy. Are we all then bound for hell? This trivializes the cross, forgiveness, and sin.

Christ’s death is a once-for-all remedy to our damnation. Because of this grace and forgiveness we should live a life that is pleasing to him, but some of us won’t do so well. That is what makes grace so wonderful and radical—indeed, beyond belief.

I don’t know whether the gentleman who went on a walk in the park was a Christian or not (my heart hurts just thinking of his walk), but I do know that the cross of Christ redeems us from all sin, no matter how severe, no matter how much premeditation. Were suicide less traumatic, were it just a push of the button, I doubt that there is any who would escape the temptation (we probably would not make it through our teen years!). Have mercy on this man. What he did was sin. What he did will have terrible and lasting consequences (just like any murder), but to think that this necessarily means he was not a Christian is unbiblical and well beyond our ability to judge.

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses (present tense; 1 John1:7) us from all sin, not just some sins.

Hope that is helpful.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    131 replies to "Do People Who Commit Suicide Automatically Go to Hell?"

    • C Michael Patton

      Thanks for the added contribution from our Catholic friend.

      JW,

      Most Arminians do not believe that one can sin their way out of salvation. So they would not say that suicide is a sin that sends you to hell. For the Arminian (again not all) the only way for a saved person to no longer be saved is to let go of their faith and not persevere in it to the end. Suicide does not amout to a forfeit of faith. My sister died with a copy of Chuck Swindoll’s Day by Day open in front of her.

    • […] Do people who commit suicide automatically go to hell? Michael Patton with a moving, challenging, and comforting answer. And the right one. […]

    • H-man: More suppositional questions that cannot be answered. We are always pressed back to faith and the Word of God, itself.

      Here is a nice link, the domain of the Holy Scripture!

      “A Christian believes, not because everything in life reveals the love of God, but rather despite everything that raises doubt. In Scripture too there is much that raises doubt. All believers know from experience that this is true. Those who engage in biblical criticism frequently talk as if simple church people know nothing about the objections that are advanced against Scripture and are insensitive to the difficulty of continuing to believe in Scripture. But that is a false picture. Certainly, simple Christians do not know all the obstacles that science raises to belief in Scripture. But they do to a greater or lesser degree know the hard struggle fought both in head and heart against Scripture. There is not a single Christian who has not in his or her own way learned to know the antithesis between the “wisdom of the world” and “the foolishness of God.” It is one and the same battle, an ever-continuing battle, which has to be waged by all Christians, learned or unlearned, to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5)
      Here on earth no one ever rises above that battle. Throughout the whole domain of faith, there remain “crosses” (cruces) that have to be overcome. There is no faith without struggle. To believe is to struggle, to struggle against the…

    • Mike O

      You simply can’t “do the math” on God and know you’re right. Theology is the result of “doing the math.” Armenian, Calvinist, pre-/post-trib, charasmatic or whatever – we’ve *all* done the math … some better than others … and come up with a wide variety of answers. Theologies.

      The main thing is, love the lord your god with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Truly do your best to be right with him. THEN do your theology and go with it. You can never be certain your theology is correct, only that it is genuinely pursued. To *know* you are right is to *know* you have figured out God, and you haven’t. Calvanists, armenians, what have you – we’re all wrong at some level. And we’re all right at some level. But all we can KNOW is that our search is genuine and my theology is where it has led me.

      Back to suicide – I don’t know. But based on what I see in scripture and my genuine desire to know Christ and him Crucified, I am led to the conviction that suicide does not, in and of itself, send you to hell. But who knows? Maybe it does.

    • Mark Ducharme

      If *saved* Christians go around killing themselves (engaging in every other negative activity the rest of the world does) how are we to answer the doubting non-believer who says this reflects poorly on our claim(s) of “a new life in Christ”?

      For the sorrow which God gives is the cause of salvation through a change of heart, in which there is no reason for grief: but the sorrow of the world is a cause of death. 2 Cor. 7:10 (BBE)

    • Mike O

      You seem to be referring to “a new life in Christ in a vaccum.” I’ve heard of it, but never seen it. I would explain it by, psychological or mental issues (if it was), or extended physical abuse (if it was), or mental or sexual abuse (if it was), or any one of a number of uncontrollable external circumstances that could cause extreme mental, physical, or emotional pain.

      When I got saved, Jesus didn’t take all my problems away. Crap continues to happen. Here’s an example – Jaycee Dugard. As far as I know, she’s not a Christian. But let’s say she was, and she got kidnapped as a small girl and was held as a sex slave into adulthood. When she was found, she had two daughters by her captor. What would holding to “a new life in Christ” mean to her? Would it make everything OK? What about kids getting sex trafficked, or abused by parents, or spouses? Or what about the girl who carries a baby to term, and then it dies minutes before birth? What does “a new life in Christ” mean then? it *should* mean everything – I agree. But reality is a factor.

      Theology only works in a vaccuum. If you don’t season your theology with reality, you end up with a very stale, bitter, harsh product.

    • Nice post Mike! I approach both theology and the doctrine of the historical church somewhat closely together. Thus, as the Reformers, the Church is really a “Catholic” or universal reality, and should be seen as in 1 Tim. 3:15, the historical Church is the mainstay and preserver, but not the mother of truth. The Church will always be a “Pilgrim” Church and reality on earth in this evil age, Gal. 1:4. But, indeed we must always seek, as our Lord said, to be “true worshippers” [who] shall worship the Father in spirit/Spirit and truth: for the Father require even such to worship Him.” (John 4:23) So again, God and His Spirit lead and guide both the People of God, and His own Word… in “spirit and truth”. And yet, the Church itself, in the collective sense is always before the People of God, with authority, but not infallible. And yet the Ecumenical Councils, as too the Creeds drawn therein seek to manifest the truth of the Word of God. Again at least, this is my position as an Anglican priest/presbyter, in that historic church.

    • Again Mark, you write as if the salvation of the lost is within their own hands alone, and that somehow God is waiting and seeking the best evidential argument to get their attention. This is simply not how the God of the Bible works to “regenerate” HIS people!

    • Mark Ducharme

      //Theology only works in a vaccuum. If you don’t season your theology with reality, you end up with a very stale, bitter, harsh product.//

      I “hear” what you are saying, I just don’t see it anywhere in the Bible – which is, in my belief, the standard of objective truth. Also, I am left w/ this (apparent) answer for the non-believer: “Hey, life happens. God can’t be everywhere. Just trust in Him the best you can and, if He’s not available at one of your more challenging times, don’t worry about it – He understands.”

      p.s. the, devoid of the miraculous, “reality seasoned” theology you practice would seem to NECESSARILY look to *settling* for the fruit of the world rather than expecting the promise of the Father.

    • J W

      Michael Patton

      Before I became a Calvinist,I was a Pentecostal. And they most certainly do say you can lose your salvation by sinning. So how else does one lose their faith? Can they just will it away? I think one of the biggest errors today is to believe that faith comes from an act of the will. NO. It comes from the mind,moved by evidence,perhaps false evidence. You can’t just disbelieve in God by an act of the will. Try it. It can’t be done by a true believer.Think about it. To lose your salvation you would have to have the power to turn your regenerated nature back into an un regenerated nature. If you could do that,it would be a cakewalk to change water into wine. Sinful unsaved men have free agency,not free will. They can do what they want,but have no power to do spiritual acts,since they have no spiritual life.And trusting Christ is a spiritual act involving faith working through a spiritual renewed mind. You can’t lose it since it is a creative work of God.

    • Mike O

      @Mark, I get what you’re saying. Have you read Ecclesiastes? Life “under the sun” doesn’t work as it should. And we live “under the sun.” We may work hard, and then have it stolen. Or lose it in a deal gone wrong. We may be wise, only to become depressed because wisdome doesn’t fix anything – it just helps you see how broken things are.

      But God is “over the sun.” Our life under the sun, bottom line, doesn’t work right. That’s why nobody reads Ecclesiastes any more. It doesn’t fit *any* theology.

      I heard an EXCELLENT teaching on Ecclesiastes by Tullian Tchividjian of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. It’s his “Ecclesiastes: Life Without God” series. I don’t know if it’s cool to put a link in here so go to crps[dot]org, under sermons, then sort by series and select “Ecclesiastes: Life without God.” it’s amazing! I’ve never heard anyting by him before so don’t intend to vouch for him or his church or anything *other than* this series is excellent. I’m sure the rest is, too. 🙂

      Suicide is not OK. It’s not right. But it’s easy to lose sight of God “over the sun” when live “under the sun” is beating the living snot out of you.

      to your last point, you don’t have to settle for the fruit of the world. but you can’t stop the fruit of the world from happening. Sometimes HUMANS – Christians even – *forget* that God is good when they’re getting their teeth kicked in. God IS good. But it still sucks. And if it never stops…

    • Indeed as JW makes the point, we must seek to measure the doctrine and really the biblical theology of God, and as we can see here, some of us are believers in the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, and its certain providence and especially in the doctrine of God’s salvation. Why God allows such brokenness still in the regeneration and People of God? Is simply God’s will it does appear. Certainly the long life of King David shows us many things in the depth of God’s grace and mercy! As too Job! (Heb. 12:1-2, etc.)

    • Irene

      This suicide question necessarily involves other theological issues: what is the role of the will, what is the visible evidence of regeneration, how is grace applied, etc. I also see the issue of how do we arrive at our theological conclusions? Bible alone despite uncertainty? Common sense and reality? A combination of both to achieve a moderate position? The goal of a merciful position? A hard line, unwavering position? And so on.

      In response to the last dozen or two comments, I’m going to take a step backwards to look at the bigger picture of what theology is. 

      I think it’s true we can’t understand God.  But we can understand his revelation. And that’s what theology is, right?  Not the study of God, but the study of God as he has revealed himself and his plan to us. This revelation must be reasonable, for that is the nature of revelation. If God’s plan is incomprehensible to us, then that means God has not revealed anything to us after all. For this reason, I think if you can’t square your theology with reason in most all cases, the theology should probably be rethought. 

      Also, revelation concerns God who IS truth. Therefore revelation is truth. If our theology doesn’t jive with reality around us, then again, the theology should probably be rethought. 

      So, to sum up, theology must correspond to reality, and theology must be reasonable (able to be reasoned), because theology is the study of Truth’s making Himself known to us. 

      Thanks for reading.

    • Irene: Nice post! Indeed we are responsible creatures, with responsible will, but this is never fully “free” will, as we are not free creatures, but sinners. And thus any revelation of God is GOD’s too, we are enabled by grace. As an Anglican this is pictured and seen in the “Sacrament” of Baptism, itself a ‘sign and seal’ of our death & resurrection into Jesus Christ, (Rom. 6). But, I am amazed in fact how many confessing Christians are ignorant of their baptismal vows and covenant! But in reality not every baptised person is “regenerate”, but still every baptised person is under “covenant”. Here are the wheat and the tares, (Heb. 10: 29). And for us Augustinians and Calvinists, the elect and the non-elect. Btw, there have been some very profound Catholic Augustinians, starting of course with Augustine! 🙂

    • Mike O

      Agreed! Nice, Irene!

    • H-man

      Like what Irene is saying to a certain extent. However, I totally disagree with that God has revealed his plan. He has revealed only fragments of his plan. Under this well written header attempts are being made to fill the gaps, using what I would call theology, but perhaps a cross breed of philosophy. I don’t think it’s concluded anything, it’s speculative, we can say we think it’s right because it feels as if it makes sense. It cannot be proven. Whatever product we end up with is a direct result of what value we assign the different variables in the equation. If we are Calvinists we say X=1, if Arminian, X=2. Then we compute and think we have the answer.

      I’d say we will see on judgement day.

      Has hell already happened is another question? Are there souls in hell already, or am I correct in saying that hell has not taken place yet. So therefore, we can’t know too much about it. Some, yes, but we don’t know exactly who will populate this place, for how long.

      We know though, it’s a place we don’t want to be in. Nor do we wish anybody will have to go there. We can only hope that none of the people who has opted for suicide will. I certainly hope. I would not bank on it, even though I find it so hard to believe that our Father, who IS love, would put anyone in hell. But he will. We know that. Question is, whom?

      Again, can you turn away, refuse Christ in a much more obvious way than ending your own life, knowing how much he loves you? Sorry for being blunt…

    • Mark Ducharme

      To summarize (as understood by a non-believer):
      Salvation (& the opposite) is not by choice but by grace alone.
      The *saved* are just as likely to destroy themselves, when tempted, as much as anyone else. So, when “the rain falls”, whether I choose to climb under a rock to hide or dance in it, neither matter “in the grand scheme” because, um, uh…I think this is where someone chides me for being heartless & too theological about things.

      FWIW, truth is not determined by our experience(s) or how much we want certain things to be – it truly IS from God and, contrary to 90% of what the modern church preaches, it can really hurt. In fact, I think it is supposed to.

      And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross DAILY, and follow me. Luke 9:23 (tall letters added)

    • @Mark: Sorry, but if your a non-believer, then you really have nothing spiritual to say about the Word of God! See, 1 Cor.2:14.

    • Mark Ducharme

      @ Robert: Given that most here agree that suicide (or anything apparently) is NOT tantamount to one saying “God, thanks all the same but, I reject you.”, I asked repeatedly what we (yes, that includes me) are to say in ANSWER to the non-believer who asks, “If being a ‘new creation in Christ’ includes suicide and all the other RESPONSES to what we all endure as humans, why not simply live for yourself & get back to Him in the afterlife?”.

      No one has ventured a response so was trying again, that’s all.

    • Mark: Don’t get me wrong at all, I hear ya about the biblical reality of the New Creation In Christ! I have lived long enough to see the Church today as simply well below what it was a generation ago. But, that is to be somewhat expected, as the culture itself has really moved away from the Judeo-Christian culture, to postmodernity. I am not an “Easy Believeism” guy for sure, but I also know that even the best of Christians struggle with the flesh, and the Old nature. There is no perfection in the flesh! (John 3:6) A true Calvinist knows we will never escape something of Romans 7:13-25 in the life of the believer.

    • Mark Ducharme

      @ Robert: When reading Romans 7 (and so much of Paul) it is necessary, for sake of context, to – AT THE VERY LEAST – from chapter 6 through 8. You see, Paul is taking us through his testimony and, by the middle of chap. 8 he is speaking of becoming “the sons of God” which, to stay in context w/ the above article & my question regarding it, would appear to suggest we are something out of the ordinary. A peculiar people, you might say. Certainly, although subjected to the same perils as others, we must be empowered to be more than our “old man”, our living in the flesh selves, IMO. Aren’t we?

      And so I ask once more: what do we say to the question, “Why should I give up a life lived for me when God wipes suicide off the slate of ‘the saved’, in order to prove His love, and take THEM to heaven?” Or, “If Christians can destroy themselves w/ impunity, what is the point of striving for Holiness?”

    • Judy

      @Mark

      You said, ‘“If Christians can destroy themselves w/ impunity, what is the point of striving for Holiness?”

      Christ has taken the punishment for all of our sins. Our sins do not go unpunished, Christ paid for them. Is his sacrifice sufficient for all sins but suicide?

      Do you mean to say that there’s no point in striving for holiness if someone you perceive to be a worse sinner than yourself gets into heaven as well? That doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • @Mark: As I have mentioned, I did my Th.D. on Roman Studies and especially chapter 7, and of course verses 13 thru 25. In Christian theology this has been an ongoing study and question, even Augustine changed his position here, to what has become the classic Augustinian position. As we have seen especially since the Reformation and the early Reformed. Btw, my Irish Catholic priest (as I was growing up in Dublin, Ireland) held also to Augustine’s later position, though certainly more in the Catholic Augustinian sense, but he admited to me, (I was about about 13 as I remember?), that man cannot perfect himself in this life, even in grace man was always sinful within himself, i.e. the sin nature. We can somewhat by grace diminish the old nature, but we will never remove him in this life.

      Btw, no one has said that Christians can “destroy themselves with impunity”. You are asking and pressing the wrong questions to my mind, and I am someone who pastors people, and sees even Christians at their worst if you will. Again, the real question is found in the depth of who God is, and the depth of that grace and love, always in the face of Christ! How deep is the love and mercy of God? To my mind, this is a better question, even in the midst of human sin and failure! For here is still the Moral Law of God!

    • Mark Ducharme

      What do we (Christians) say in answer to:
      If the Spirit of God, the Creator of the universe, abides in you (Christians), are you not better equipped to resist the temptation(s) of the world? And if not, what is the difference between the “saved” and them who are not – other than the former has won the predestination, mercy & grace, lotto?

      Could someone PLEASE humor me & answer this question?
      I am running out of ways to posit it. 😮

    • H-man

      James 2:24.

      I can’t see it’s about being better equipped, it is about having the faith, turning away from self, putting God, then other people, and last self. When the heart is right, we’re granted part of the grace. Fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Not premeditated self destruction.

      I think the inverted Nike approach to suicide that I have come across in churches or among Christians is the second best, since we can’t be 100% sure. “Just DON’T do it….”. It is always hard to argue something without being misinterpreted as condemning, but we can hopefully agree that it is not only sin (regardless of if it is a small or a large one), but not a good idea.

      I’ve never heard a good argument for not doing it. It is just the nature of it, the sequence of decision, sin and then end. I cannot see anything that is more premeditated and final. That is what makes suicide so hard to understand, and accept for me.

    • MIke O

      @Mark, I did answer your question. The answer is that having a new life in Christ does not remove the “fruit of the world” (I think those were your words) from your life. People are human, Christians are human, and when HUMANS are getting their teeth kicked in unrelentingly, sometimes they do the wrong thing. Suicide is wrong. But people are frail … Christians are frail. And sometimes circumstances win. I referred to Ecclesiastes where it says that life under the sun doesn’t work. The answer – well, what I think is the answer – is in my posts. If you don’t like my answer, I can’t help you with that. But I did answer, which is what you are looking for.

      Pure theology does not work in the real world. Reality happens. And the fruit of reality gets the better of a lot of people … Christian people.

      A summarized recap of my posts is this – suicide is an “under the sun” solution to “under the sun” problems, be they psychological or environmental or both. You are right, there is an “over the sun” solution that is better, but sometimes people forget to look “over the sun” to the spiritual, and can’t get past the “under the sun” life that is currently bashing their face in.

      Suicide is not the right answer. It is a reaction to an unbearable life. Should it be? No. But people fail. And I don’t think you go to hell for failing.

      I think the best thing to do is to change your question – why doesn’t God make the life of Christians better…

    • MIke O

      … than non-Christians.

    • MIke O

      Should have said “easier” rather than “better” at the end of my last post. Sorry for the triple-post here 🙂

    • @Mark: None of us “wins” God’s “predestination”, it is God’s grace & mercy to the “election of grace”, (Rom. 11:5). And certainly not all men will be saved! And the “elect” are made docile by grace, but their choice of Christ, does not cause their election.

      Here is a nice quote by Calvin…

      ‘The elect are gathered into Christ’s flock by a call not immediately at birth, and not all at the same time, but according as it pleases God to dispense his grace to them. But before they are gathered unto that supreme Shepherd, they wander scattered in the wilderness common to all; and they do not differ at all from others except that they are protected by God’s especial mercy from rushing headlong into the final ruin of death. If you look upon them, you will see Adam’s offspring, who savor of the common corruption of the mass. The fact that they are not carried to utter and even desperate impiety is not due to any innate goodness of theirs but because the eye of God watches over their safety and his hand is outstretched to them!’ (Calvin, The Inst. vol. II)

      Indeed only the Lord knows who, and where, the Elect or chosen of God, are! But in His time He calles them, and changes their hearts, and they are only then regenerate. But just like Paul, they are known and called by God even before they manifest God’s personal calling. (See Gal. 1: 15-16). The life and calling of Saul/Paul, is a “pattern” for all the Elect of God, ‘In Christ’, (1 Tim. 1:16).

    • Mark Ducharme

      @Mike: My apologies for not paying attention better, you DID answer me. Here’s my problem though – your answer is a misinterpretation/misuse of scripture. Solomon is not paving the way for explaining “the fruit of the world” as being our “out” for when we fall. He is lamenting his own downfall that came as the result of his *surrender* to LUST for that fruit. My biblical support for this is, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Ecc. 12&13 (i.e. LIVE by the old covenant and you are bound to DIE by it)

      We have, available to us, what Solomon (or anyone in the OT) did not have – the INFILLING of the Holy Spirit. Thus, as Jesus declares, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…”. The flaw in your assertions is, BELIEVING doesn’t have the FRUIT He PROMISED. “…be of good cheer: I have overcome the world”.

      Bottom line: those in the Bible who trusted in God did not destroy themselves – and they went through far worse than anything we can imagine. Why? They were “better”? No, they merely acted on the power given (and accepted by) them.

      continued…i hope… 🙂

    • Mark Ducharme

      “Abel and Cain,both sons of Adam.Abel chooses God.Cain chooses murder.And God lets him.Abraham and Lot,both pilgrims in Canaan.Abraham chooses God.Lot chooses Sodom.And God lets him.David and Saul,both kings of Israel.David chooses God.Saul chooses power.And God lets him.Peter and Judas,both deny their Lord.Peter seeks mercy.Judas seeks death.And Go…d lets him.In every age of history,on every page of scripture,the truth is revealed:God allows us to make our own choices.And no one delineates this more clearly than Jesus.According to him,we can choose:a narrow gate or a wide gate,a narrow road or a wide road,the big crowd or the small crowd.We can choose:build on rock or sand.serve God or riches be numbered among the sheep or the goats.”

      from: “He Chose the Nails” by Max Lucado

    • Max Lucado, is historically Church of Christ, and attended Abilene Christian, of course in Texas. I am not sure if he has a Bible Degree from there? But theologically he is certainly Arminian. His many books manifest this, as quoted from the above.

      Btw, he has heart trouble since 2007, and now mostly just writes. He is in his mid 50’s. Just a little history of the man.

    • @Mark: You have finally flown your flag and colors, of course I am speaking theologically. 😉 You also are Arminian, and perhaps Pentecostal. I don’t say this negatively, but both historically & thelogically. I mean, we all come from some “place”.. as we should. We cannot escape this, all Christians have some form of tradition, history and a theological place.

    • Mark Ducharme

      //..all Christians have some form of tradition, history and a theological place//

      Yes, and I am simply saying we should strive to make that “theological place” EXCLUSIVELY the Bible – NOT the traditions of men like we see in the multitude of disparate denominations. Far too many are concerned w/ titles, backgrounds, pedigrees, etc. and look to conform His Word to there – man taught – concept of reality. I don’t “adhere” to Max Lucado, I simply acknowledge when he speaks true to BIBLE precepts – I don’t look at him (or Luther, or Constantine, or any other POST Bible figure) and then conform the Bible to what he says.

      To the issue at hand: We are the bride of Jesus. ALL husbands are called to forgive their brides but how many marriages would work if the bride said, “He, you VOWED to forgive me – therefore it’s all on you.” See, this is where “the church” (which has broken down COMPLETELY into the flesh) gets it backwards: it always insists that JESUS’ love is unconditional when it is OUR love which is to be so.

      What was it Job said? “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” ? Does trust not infer action, or does my “work” in this marriage end at my vows at the alter?

    • @Mark: Whether we like it or not, we are stuck with what we got! In God’s providence we must learn from all those true places of God’s history and Christian people. Protestant and Catholic alike! If you have chosen your place, so be it!

    • @Mark: With me your preaching to the choir! When I preach, and I do quite often (at least monthly somewhere, note I am semi-retired. I love to preach & teach God’s Word!), I am usually thought to be too serious often times! But I do seek to ‘fire that arrow’ of God’s Word, and let it land where He sees fit!

    • […] Michael Patton recently blogged on this subject in response to an email question he received in relation to suicide. Now Michael is an Protestant Evangelical thinker, and interestingly, he raises the issue of confession of sin in regard to the Catholic Church: Some may say that all sins have to be confessed before death. Roman Catholics, in fact, distinguish between mortal and venial sins. Mortal sins are those that you cannot have on your soul at death. They are the really bad ones like murder, pride, adultery, using birth control, or missing mass without a valid excuse. Also among these has traditionally been suicide since suicide is murder for which it is impossible to confess. […]

    • […] Suicide and Eternity (Article) C. Michael Patton (Parchment & Pen) […]

    • TomiPad

      The wife of our former Senior Pastor committed a premeditated suicide leaving behind 2 children and a disturbed 200+ congregation. She was quiet and never shared her feelings. Her husband, also a chaplain in the armed forces taught the warning signs of suicide to the families of those who were returning from active duty. He has since concluded abandonment on her part and remarried a year after her death. 

      We can only believe she was saved, but concerns do arise where outward performance can overshadow what is truly believed in the heart.

      So, the question for debate: Is suicide abandonment, if so, is this an indication that a person is not regenerated?

    • Jim Pemberton

      Fr. Robert: “In the end, we are cast upon God.”

      Amen! Truly it is God we trust. He is both the righteous judge and gracious redeemer. All He does is good and there is none other who can save. The suicide perpetrator who is his own victim is in the hands of such a God.

      For those who have never suffered depression, it can be terrifying to lose the ability to reason. As depression compromises the mind through a deficiency of neurotransmitters, it seems very much like a hurricane of adverse thoughts that cannot be controlled. The thoughts you can control are marginalized and it’s as though you stand at the periphery with the storm as a great wind swirling at your very face and your back against the border of your existence. Just a little stronger and you will lose the last bit of control you have.

      Thank God for those who can get help before its too late. Most people don’t know what to do with someone who exhibits signs of clinical depression. I’m going to tell you what to do:

      1) Don’t leave them alone.
      2) Drag them to a doctor and get them the medical help they need.
      3) If they are Christan, encourage them by your presence and friendship.
      4) Don’t tell them how bad they are spiritually. They already have an unrealistically low opinion of themselves – probably worse than you would try to convince them of. They either believe that God doesn’t want them anyway or that it’s better to submit their soul to God now than to suffer as they are. They feel no…

    • Mark Ducharme

      It amazes how so many, arbitrarily, assign their – man made & *limitless* – concept of God’s mercy and yet have virtually no belief in the power of His healing love.

      I suppose it goes to the difference between a life led by this credo,
      “All we have left to do is pray…”, and this one,
      “(T)he prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up” James 5:15[a]

    • Samuel

      I don’t see suicide as qualitatively different from other sins. I identify all sins with a despairing nature. Suicide is certainly no different.

    • Stephen

      Great blog post, for the most part, however, I would clarify the Catholic Church has, thanks to modern medical science, recognized, no one commits suicide in their right mind. Therefore, one of the conditions for a mortal sin, deliberate consent, can’t be met. I would argue therefore that suicide is not a mortal sin. It is still grave matter, and it is our duty as Christians to counsel our brothers and sisters in Christ against it, but we can have comfort in knowing we have a merciful God.

    • Michael Karpf

      Suicide is not what will put you in hell. Rejection of Christ as your personal Savior is what will put you in hell

    • stranglez

      no priest or minister or paster is my father and no one can judge where im going. I have contimplated suicide often. It is Gods hands now, not yours not anyone’s. If i choose to end my life you can’t stop me. Am i going to hell or heaven? Will i walk with the sinners or pray with revrend? Tell the truth i did a little of both aint no telling where im going till my bodies a ghost.

    • Jim Pemberton

      “no priest or minister or paster is my father and no one can judge where im going… It is Gods hands now, not yours not anyone’s.”

      Except you can’t separate the Head from the Body. The Head (Christ) will judge according to His holiness, righteousness, grace, and mercy. The Body (Church) is called to minister in practical ways according to these same qualities. Therefore it behooves us to ask these questions so that we can minister more effectively.

      Stranglez, if you want to commit suicide without anyone stopping you, be my guest. But you wouldn’t have commented if that was truly your goal. Christ works through these imperfect vessels that make up His Body and we are called to submit to each other to that end. Find a Christian near you who can help you and submit to their ministry. Otherwise, hasten your stated resolve to leave this world unreconciled to Christ because you’re right: we can’t stop you.

      But likewise you can’t stop us for praying for you anyway.

      Brothers and sisters: to your knees on behalf of this soul…

    • Mark Ducharme

      I must say it is appalling (“for sake of the dead & those who mourn them”) that so many forsake any living – and very impressionable – soul who might read the thrust of this post, and most if not all of the comments, without even considering (apparently) the potential consequences.

      Then again, that would require shame – something which is virtually nonexistent in the world AND the church today. Maybe that’s a ‘category’ worth adding to this page. (?)

      Sadly (and ironically) enough the lack of that category is likely a guarantee it won’t be added.

    • rudo

      for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, it means human nature is sinful in nature.
      However the same bible says if you confess your sins, He is faithfull and just to forgive you. now the question is if you commit suicide, no doubt about it you have killed, the question is did you repent of your wrong doing?
      the same bible says the dead know nothing hence the dilemna is if u kill yourself when would you confess because it cant be before the killing,neither can it be after the killing since the dead know nothing?
      No offence and no judging but from these texts there is a posibility that you wouldnt be able to confess your sins especially when you are dead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.