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Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell?

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 early 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 . . . They are 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.

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 its fate (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 John 1:7) us from all sin, not just some sins.

Some may say that all sins have to be confessed before death. I disagree. To say that we cannot have unconfessed sin when we die is problematic both biblically and practically. 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 then becomes: Do you really believe?

The practical problem is this: If you do have to die without any unconfessed sin, how are you to be spiritually aware enough to remember 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 stand point, everyone will die with unconfessed sin. Most of these will include serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy. Therefore, are we all 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.

Hope that is helpful.

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119 Responses to “Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell?”

  1. Michael an excellent post for the minds and hearts of many.

  2. I believe that suicide is a form of murder, self-murder to be precise, and since murder is a forgiveable sin then the Christian who commits suicide will be forgiven for doing it. However I think the Scriptures also teach us that Christians are rewarded in heaven based on their good works, so I would think that if a Christian committed suicide that s/he just wouldn’t get as much a reward in heaven compared to a Christian who didn’t commit suicide.

    • There’s NO such thing as “self murder”. That’s a stupid made up expression by man. God is not shy. If “self murder” was a thing He wouldn’t included it in His word. I can’t stand when people say that. THERE’S NO SUCH THING!

  3. GoldCityDance 2010-08-19 at 1:00 pm

    This question reminds me of a scene in the movie Luther (2003). A boy committed suicide and the Church forbade his body to be buried within its premises. Martin Luther passionately disagreed with the Church on this issue. A brief transcript of the scene:

    Monk (who refuses to bury the child): “Brother Martin, the boy’s damned. I’m not allowed to do this. The others won’t rest with him in here. This is holy ground, he’s a suicide.”

    Luther: “Tell Otto to bring his son. Tell him: Some people say that according to God’s justice, this boy is damned because he took his life. I say it was overcome by the devil. Is this child any more to blame for the despair that overtook him than an innocent man who is murdered by a robber in the woods? God must be mercy. God IS mercy.

    Luther then personally buries the child in front of the child’s parents, and prays:

    “He is yours. Save him.”

  4. FWIW, I experienced a brief moment of hell when I was on pain meds for kidney stones recently. It was a weird dreamlike-yet-awake vision or something that was a combination of Harlan Ellison’s I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM (read it, but beware) and the movies THE MATRIX and ALTERED STATES and some other vague stuff; I remember something about green and red LED lights.

    For a moment I felt that the lid or mask had been ripped off reality and I saw that our life/existence was an utterly soulless and godless and meaningless nothingness of energy and nothing else. It was beyond horrible and depressing; it was absolutely and totally maddening (as in insanity-inducing – that kind of “mad/madness,” not the angry kind) what was going through my mind. A horror beyond the ability to even describe or contemplate. Fortunately it was short-lived, and I was also aware enough to think somewhere in the back of my mind that I was ill and that this might be an effect of my illness and/or the medicines, and not THE TRUTH (which is what my mind was telling me it was).

    But what I was also starkly aware of, and even though the experience has faded away from my memory, I can recall the absolute knowing/certainty I had of this at the time – was that I knew – I KNEW – I ABSOLUTELY FELT AND KNEW with every fiber of my being and at the core of my being that if this were to continue and I were to believe it were true (and for that moment I really did believe I was seeing the truth), I would run as fast as I could to get a gun and blow my brains out.

    Which is all to say that I think there are or can be things that can so overwhelm a person that suicide seems to be the only hope of relief. And I believe that God understands.

    Lord, have mercy.

  5. Eric,

    You could not have more perfectly described my experience that I wrote about earlier this year. It was also after taking pain meds for my back (Viccodin). A week after I stopped, I went into that state of maddness, on and off, gradually subsiding, for six weeks. I thought the same thing. More specifically, I thought of my sister, who had her first episode after coming our of gall bladder surgery and being on a lot of pain meds as well. Unfortunately, she rarely came out of it and after 1.5 years she died.

    I, like you, had a deep down feeling that I would be over, so suicide was not on the agenda. But I did think of how I now perfectly understood how someone could kill themselves (even to the point of leaving children behind).

  6. Toradol and maximum-Rx-strength Vicodin (Norcor 10mg hydrocodone/325mg acetaminophen) for me following two nights in a row of morphine and some other stuff in two different ERs. A “trip” I hope not to take again for a l-o-n-g time. 🙂

  7. The idea that suicide is “THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN” is one of the most pernicious myths floating around out there. When I was a young man, I had the opportunity to confront some good brothers on this very subject after their hard-heartedness had reduced someone to tearful hysterics. They were all veterans of “The Big One” and I asked them if the soldier who threw himself on the grenade to save his comrades was damned for committing suicide? They hemmed and hawed and wanted to talk about reasons and how those justified the act. Which begged the question as to how much they knew about the reasons, life situation, etc, of the person involved. Suicide is wrong but we are broken people living in a broken world and some will find themselves in a dark midnight of the soul when suicide seems the only way out. If in a moment of weakness, they take that road, we can but commit them to the grace of God.

    Suicide is a disaster and the Christian community had best look within ourselves long and hard before failing to minister to the loved ones left behind by that disaster. We can do nothing to ease the burden of the one who is gone but we can do one heck of a lot in Christian love to help those still here pick up the pieces.
    And presuming the perogative of God to judge the salvation of a departed soul AIN’T ministry (and is, BTW, way above our pay grade).
    –Ishmael

  8. Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell ?

    Yes.

  9. Lucian, if you are affirming that every person who commits suicide goes to hell then I could not disagree with you more. However, at least present a Biblical argument if you are going to make such an assertion.

  10. Mark 3:28-30. Seems to me suicide is covered under Mark 3:28.

    You wouldn’t be Roman Catholic, Lucian, would you?

  11. Leslie Jebaraj 2010-08-19 at 4:23 pm

    Michael:

    Excellent response!

    I remembered the time I attempted suicide the very same year I trusted Christ. I was 15. I was depressed even as a child, because of being sexually abused by a neighbor girl. I didn’t know I was depressed nor my parents undertood. But I was growing quiter and detached emotionally from everyone. And it took it’s toll when I turned 15. But fortunately, I was rushed to the hospital on time.

    I would be dishonest if I said that I have not been tempted again, but I now know with Jesus I can somehow make it. I do not seriously consider suicide as an option anymore, though my life is in the dumps even now.

    Even if I had died at 15, I know I would be in Heaven right now, as His blood covers ALL our sins!

  12. Suicide is not always a sin.

    It is always irritating to Nomists however, because it is the only “sin” by their definition that can never be punished by men on earth, and is a direct affront to secular human power.

    Most people who commit suicide are not criminals, but they are often victims of abuse, and often feel hopeless.

    This should not surprise us, since Christians ought to know better than to expect any kind of “justice” on earth at the hands of wicked rulers and rogue criminals.

    By its very definition, most human sin involves the injury of innocent victims, 3rd parties, often children, who do not deserve the suffering imposed upon them.

    This suffering imposed upon victims by definition and very nature involves injustice, of a kind which cannot be addressed or properly compensated by ordinary men here on earth.

    Murder for instance is only an extreme example of a crime for which no compensation can be made, and no justice can be achieved, on earth. Sure, we can punish, even execute a murderer, but this does not restore our loved one, or adequately alleviate and compensate for the suffering of all victims involved.

    Christians of all people know this. They know that true justice and full compensation and healing can only come on Judgement Day, and be given by a God with truly miraculous powers.

    Only God through Jesus can raise the dead and undo a murder for instance. And only God can compensate a victim to their own satisfaction regarding any injustice imposed upon them while on earth.

    Our hope, our final compensation and satisfaction must always await the final Judgement Day. Christians do not expect, and do not hope for justice of any kind on earth. On the contrary, they expect, and sometimes even hope for, persecution without earthly reward.

    Of course, no NON-Christian can be expected to have, nor are they likely to have the kind of hope that inspires and drives a Christian to do amazing deeds of love and…

  13. Jesus was able, while on earth to amazingly reverse injustice (a perfect example is the blind man in John’s Gospel, who commited no sin worthy of his suffering, nor did his family!).

    Jesus not only healed a man born blind, (and one who had to suffer at least 30 years of injustice and great inconvenience and difficulty), but was able to offer this man COMPENSATION in the form of a future promise, which was believable to the man because he had been MIRACULOUSLY healed!
    This man received the amazing gift of hope, enough hope to suffer persecution for speaking the truth about Jesus. Would he say he finally got justice for his pain? In heaven, you bet he did! On earth? Probably not. He had to await a future life after death, as even Paul did.

    Now to the second half of my point, even more difficult for weak and inexperienced ‘Christians’ to grasp.

    Jesus committed suicide, and gave the prime example, along with clear and advanced teaching on this subject.

    Jesus’ death was both a murder and a suicide. We can understand this in the case of many other people.

    For instance, among police (who experience this everyday) the phrase “suicide by cop” is well-known and understood. Desperate people often provoke the police with threats and ruses to trick them into shooting them. Even though someone else pulled the trigger, it is recognised as a suicide.

    Similarly, when a mobster or gang-leader orders a murder, we know instinctively that even though he is not physically involved, and has an alibi, he is as guilty of murder as the hit-man or underling that carries out the killing. And courts will find the boss guilty if there is enough evidence.

    Likewise, even though Jesus did not physically put nails in his own hands, he is guilty of laying down his life willingly, and that is suicide, whether Christians like the term or not.

    (cont.)…

  14. At the same time, Jesus was also murdered. Those who killed him do not get off the charge of murder simply because Jesus did not resist them, in the same way as a police officer does not have an excuse to shoot a non-resisting, cooperating unarmed man.

    If a man were deranged, but were a known mental patient who was incapable of violence or harm to others, it would be wrong for a cop to play along and shoot him, just because he was waving his arms and shouting “shoot me, I’m not surrendering!”

    In the same way, the Religious leaders were still guilty of murder, even with Jesus’ cooperation. Because what they were doing was absolutely wrong and an unconditional violation of the Commandment Do not Murder.

    Nor did Jesus teach that it was okay for them to kill Him. He did not teach “Do as others want you to do to them.” but rather,

    “Do as YOU would have others do to you.”

    Under those conditions, we are not permitted to kill someone just because they want us to. This would of course rule out most cases of assisting suicides. Assisting suicides would be wrong, if you do not want someone to assist you to suicide when you might just be a little sad, or confused, or under a medical condition.

    But suicide is NOT always wrong for the person committing it.

    Jesus Himself as the prime example of love, first of all clearly and unambiguously taught this:

    “Greater love has no person than this:
    That they willingly lay down their lives for their friends.”

    That is suicide. It does not matter what the circumstances, or how heroic that suicide is. It is still killing yourself willingly and knowingly, and that is what suicide is by very definition.

    This is a wonderful thing. It means very clearly that the man who jumps in front of the train to save a child and is killed, is still a hero, and is not going to hell for killing himself.

    It means the person who risks their life going into a buring building to rescue trapped victims is…

  15. …that fireman is a hero, whether he lives or dies. Whether he foolishly risks death and saves someone, or fails and dies in the fire.

    God and Jesus are not unreasonable. And many circumstances that justify, even call for suicide, demand it, are perfectly ok with God and Jesus.

    The real issue with suicide is not whether it is universally right or wrong, because it is not a universal rule or law. There is no Commandment “Do not commit suicide.”

    The real issue with suicide is whether or not taking your life or laying down your life or risking your life is being done for the right reasons, and being done effectively.

    Christians are ALWAYS commanded to lay down our lives as LIVING sacrifices for others.

    Sometimes, we can be expected to lay down our lives as REAL sacrifices for others, even unto death.

    Christians CAN do this, because we have hope in a Resurrection, which will justify our actions.

    This of course does not justify suicide for selfish reasons or incorrect motives, but nor does it condemn those unfortunate cases.

    A man without hope or vision or Christian faith cannot be held to the same high standard as a Christian. They may be in danger of destruction or hellfire, and we may as Christians be accountable for their lives, but Jesus also taught,

    “He who sins and doesn’t know what he is doing will be beaten with few stripes, but he who sins and does know will be beaten with many.”

    This principle holds good here too. Suicides of teenagers or children, or those told they have cancer, or mental patients will find leniency with Jesus.

    Those who know better, will be held to a higher standard.

    Suicide is neither right nor wrong. Its all in the circumstances, which includes personal knowledge and motive.

    peace
    Nazaroo

  16. If Jesus’ death was a suicide, then I think we need to distinguish between kinds of suicide for the question being asked so as to differentiate between 1) those who end their life for the sake of others (or to save others’ lives) and/or others’ pain and suffering and anguish, and 2) those who end their life to stop their own pain or suffering or fear or madness.

  17. Why would you wonder if Lucian is Catholic? Here’s what the church teaches:

    Suicide

    2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

    2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

    2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

    Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

    2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.

  18. Because I perhaps wrongly understood the act of suicide if not mitigated by other factors to be considered to be a mortal sin. Thanks for the CCC sections.

  19. This kind of question is always amiss. (You act like a god to ask that). You may better ask it to the one already dead ;-<

    No? Then, the question should be NOT whether someone goes to hell or to heaven when one dies. The question should be whether they have lived in heaven (= with God) or in hell ( = without God) when they die.

  20. Having lived through a suicide attempt, all I have to say is that when the attempt is a result of depression, i.e., clinical, biochemically induced depression, most people do not understand or realize the darkness that surrounds one, so that in order to end the darkness one must destroy the darkness. Having lived through that attempt, and working through the lingering darkness that remains, I have come to realize that such a condition is no different than having cancer. Without treatment, both cancer and extreme depression will end with the disease killing the individual. Even with treatment, not all cancer or depression is cured.

    My point in this, even as a Christian, I have a physical condition that can be treated and controlled, but it is always there. As a Christian, I know the joy of God’s love and forgiveness, and I look forward day by day to living in his grace and peace. But the depression could spiral out of control if care is not taken. This is no different than heart disease or cancer. Medical science is forging new treatments for all of these diseases. One hundred years ago there was no treatment for any of these. Now there is understanding of many of the biological causes and underlying biochemical interactions that can lead to the onset of these diseases, and treatments are being devised to counter the disease.

    Before my suicide attempt I would have agreed with the CC’s catechism. Now I have to say that I believe that many, perhaps most, cases of suicide are not cases of extreme selfishness. It is the disease controlling the person. I believe that it is a grave injustice before God to suggest that the one who commits suicide when in the clutches of such depression is a despicable sinner, worthy only of hell.

  21. When we dirty little Orthodox boldly attack Protestants head-on, by using Saint James’ cute little Straw Epistle, they immediately respond to our wild accusations by turning into innocent little lambs, and showing us how identical their religion is to ours: we are saved by faith alone (they say), but saving faith is never alone (they promptly add), saving faith (they continue) is a working faith — as Christ said in the Holy Gospel: by their fruits you will know them. And Saint Paul (they go on) concurs, when he describes faith as ‘working through love’ (Gal. 5:6). Thus (they serenely conclude) both the words of our Redeemer, as well as those of the Apostle Paul, agree with the ideas that Saint James, the brother of our Lord, expressed in the second chapter of his Catholic (but not “Roman Catholic”) Letter.

    Sounds all peachy-keen, fine and dandy, now, doesn’t it? — Until you get into other subjects, in which they conveniently forget all that they’ve just said somewhere else (about there not being genuine faith if there are no works to prove it, per James 2:18), and write about how someone whose works prove the exact contrary of anything even remotely resembling faith and hope, had actually saving faith all along! — by all means, then: let’s eat, and drink, and be merry!

    My two cents? You guys should get your stories straight, because, –quite frankly–, it’s getting rather annoying, irritating and insulting all at the same time, not only towards us, (your mean, fiendish, and evil dialogue partners), but also towards God’s holy Word as contained in His Sacred Scriptures.

    Eric Weiss,

    recite the line in the creed concerning the Holy Spirit, think of the actual meaning of the word Spirit in all three sacred languages (cheap tip: re-spiration), and then read the passage(s) you provided again. Thank you.

  22. The better question is: why do people still labour under such foolish and legalistic questions, even as John 3:16 has for decades now been the most-repeated sentence? O foolish moderns! Who has bewitched you, before whom pardon was clearly portrayed as acquired by believing, rather than by timing? This only I want to know from you: did you receive the Lord by chanting forth all your sins before the right time, or by faith? As it is written, “whosoever believeth in Him”; for that summary of Jesus’ goal—from the lips of our Lord Himself—says nothing at all about what whosoever does, but whether whosoever believeth. Again, it is written “believe … and you shall be saved”, wherein nothing is found about whether you die as a martyr, or by bulimia-induced starvation, or by cardiac arrest from bad eating, or by failure to move from your neighbourhood/country. It is not about you; it is about Jesus. “It is finished!” Stop being foolish, everyone! The suicide gentleman is not special enough to over-turn the love of God for him: this is the point of the gospels.

    If you think that you can commit some sin, any sin, to reverse the redemptive work of God Himself, or, for that matter, if you think that you are so cool as to have discovered the one corner of sinfulness where Jesus’ blood is none effect, or for that matter, if you think that you are capable of chanting a few lines at the right time an in so doing assuage the wrath of God in a way that believing in Jesus’ finished work could not do …
    You do not need forgiveness. You need your ego trimmed.

  23. Thus (they serenely conclude) both the words of our Redeemer, as well as those of the Apostle Paul, agree with the ideas that Saint James, the brother of our Lord, expressed in the second chapter of his Catholic (but not “Roman Catholic”) Letter.

    I have no religion, so I only speak for myself here.
    I understand St. James as saying that if you believe, you will do. This is not unusual—he was not writing a shocking thing—because whatever you believe, that same thing you will act on. You believe that you will get home safe, so you promise buy food to eat at home. That is faith that is alive (faith in the safety and certainty of the journey, in this case) and works follow from it (living as though one has that faith, hence buying stocks to deliver home). I do not see how St. James can be construed thenceforth to mean “If you do not do the works … then you do not have faith.” Because, after all, even the not-doing is itself a work resulting from faith (faith, that is, in the opposite of what would have driven the doing).

    (about there not being genuine faith if there are no works to prove it, per James 2:18)

    Actually it is you who, by your works, prove that you do not have faith in the sufficiency of Jesus’ work to save you. Again, St. James is right. You panic when you sin, because you think you are no longer covered by the blood.
    We, on the other hand, maintain “We live by faith, not by sight.” “Nothing can snatch them from my hand.” “In our weakness he is shown to be strong.” “Where sin aboundeth, Grace aboundeth even more.”
    And most-importantly: “Faith without accompanying works is dead.” Or works are primarily the trust we put in Him. Believe; the doing follows necessarily, for that faith (in whatever) is alive, hence the works (such as penance, or re-affirming “No condemnation”).

  24. recite the line in the creed concerning the Holy Spirit, think of the actual meaning of the word Spirit in all three sacred languages (cheap tip: re-spiration), and then read the passage(s) you provided again. Thank you.

    by Lucian on Aug 20, 2010 at 12:13 am

    What “passages” are you saying I provided? Are you sure it’s my comments you’re referring to?

    And what does your attack on Protestants have to do with the subject of this thread?

  25. And thanks, Lucian, for spelling out my whole name so I’d know you were referring to me and not to some other “EricW.” :rolleyes:

    Now I’ll have to endure the endless string of people ad infinitum approaching me in the comboxes here asking me: “Do you know what Harry Houdini’s real name was?”

    Thanks a lot, my friend! 😀

  26. Mr. Patton, tear down this 2000(sic)-character limit.

    CMP:

    Please keep the limit, or maybe increase it by 500.

    But don’t remove the limit. Limiting post length promotes DIALOGUE – versus LECTURING or cutting-and-pasting huge lengths of Scriptures or previously-written materials. If a response can’t be written in 3,000 characters or less, it belongs in another venue, perhaps the writer’s own personal blog. If people write on at length and length and length, it hogs the discussion and becomes a monologue rivaling the thread topic post.

    My 2 cents.

  27. Hmm, Eric Weiss;

    I am compelled to accept your viewpoint. “Do you think you can turn me into a length limitist so soon?” 😀
    Because, on second thoughts, I see the community utility in preventing long-winded rants.
    Maybe, then, he should work in a reliable feedback counter.

  28. “From a practical stand point, everyone will die with unconfessed sin. Most of these will include serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy…. 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.”

    The practical question is, given this kind of theology, whether there is any kind of sin that is able to keep one from entering heaven?

  29. @ Lucian

    It’s grace my friend….grace, don’t fight it, embrace it.

  30. The beginning chapters of 1 Corinthians – addressed to perhaps Paul’s most fleshly-minded-and-acting and problematic children – as well as all of Galatians should put to rest the idea/teaching that salvation and/or the Holy Spirit are acquired or obtained by works and/or as a result/reward/gift for lengthy practices of askesis or katharsis.

    That is, assuming one “believes” in Paul’s Gospel and not “a different Gospel, which is not [really] another Gospel.”

  31. To #29 & 30

    As to the limit of the amount of text one can post, it forces me to clean up my writing. That’s very good.

    But is there any indicator to tell me when I am about to go over the limit, without resorting to open MS Word and have total characters counted?

  32. It’s grace my friend….grace, don’t fight it, embrace it.

    This statement has to be addressed to those who commited suicide, and who obviously DID fight and reject God’s grace. 🙁 (Choose life, not death, and all that…)

    And thanks, Lucian, for spelling out my whole name so I’d know you were referring to me and not to some other “EricW.” […] Thanks a lot, my friend!

    Ah, don’t mention it: it was all my pleasure! 8)

    You mentioned blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (the giver of life) as being unforgivable.

  33. Lucian wrote:

    You mentioned blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (the giver of life) as being unforgivable.

    I think that was Jesus, not I, who said/mentioned that. 🙂

    And in that context, Jesus wasn’t referring to suicide as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Mark makes it clear that it was referring to Jesus’ enemies’ charge that He was doing what He was doing because He had an unclean spirit. Which is why I pointed to more than just 3:28.

    Did YOU read the entire passage? If so, how do you derive “suicide” from it?

    Your equation seems to be:
    1. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin.
    2. The Holy Spirit is the life-giver.
    3. Therefore, to take one’s life is to blaspheme against the lifegiver, the Holy Spirit.
    4. Therefore, committing suicide is an unforgivable sin.
    5. Therefore, if a person commits suicide, he/she goes to hell.

  34. @ Lucian

    This statement has to be addressed to those who commited suicide, and who obviously DID fight and reject God’s grace.

    Huh

    How is it that you have come by your omniscience’s as to Michael sister and my sister and brother-in-law who also committed suicide?

    Let me guess……..by their fruits right. Their final act of self murder bares witness to their standing before God. You forgot one thing…..”The Mediator”

    Is it safe to say you have accepted God’s grace? If so, do you still sin? If you do could I not say that you blaspheme the name of God and stand with those who crucified Christ because you’re still a slave to sin. After all, your fruits bare witness against you; I could, but I won’t because scripture doesn’t teach that.

  35. Michael,

    I appreciate your graceful, and truthful, response.

  36. I just come across the following sentence:

    …..Until the day we die, we are clearly still within God’s plan or providence when we sin, ….

    It seems to give me something to think on our topic.

    It’s found under a paragraph heading “God’s Providence and God’s Will”
    in the current article by Jeff Mirus (Aug 20, 2010):
    “Providence, Sin and Love, for Jews and Christians”
    http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=458

  37. C Michael Patton wrote:

    “From a practical stand point, everyone will die with unconfessed sin. Most of these will include serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy…. 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 ask him:
    Is there any sin that is able to keep one from entering heaven?

  38. I thank the Lord for his mercy and grace that surpasses proud, self indulgent, and self righteous sin filled human beings who always have an answer for everything. I thank the Lord that he is not like some who can sit as judge against suicides with their Pharasaic and Sadduccaic “no-it-all-isms.” How sad that there are actually those who would say, “Yes he/she is in hell for committing suicide for this reason or thus.” Thank God for His Grace! Thank God He is not like us! And thank you Michael for recognizing that.

    Blessings!

  39. This statement has to be addressed to those who commited suicide, and who obviously DID fight and reject God’s grace.

    Lucian, it is not obvious that they did fight and reject God’s Grace. Rejection or acceptance of it happens at the level of faith, of believing, and you have no obvious markers of that.

    This suicide question quite clearly marks out those who rely on their works to get righteousness, and those who understand that Jesus did not lie when He said “whosoever believeth”; because a suicide has no more opportunity to work for his/her salvation in light of this sin. Does nobody read Hebrews 10 anymore? O foolish moderns! Who has bewitched you?

    Most of you in this comment box will die by (non-violent, nutritional, lifestyle-related) suicide. Suicide by bad eating is how we classify Alan Turing a suicide. “There is none righteous; no, not one.” I say this to level the ground for everyone here, in the style of “the Catechism tells you to not shoot yourself … but I tell you that whosoever eats less that ultra-vegan is a suicide”, that you may know that we all rely on the sufficiency of Grace, not what we had a chance to say, and none is better than the guy who shoots himself in the head. You base your righteousness on whether you did ((not do) something), we base ours on whether we believed.

    Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.

  40. Michael,

    Thanks for this post. I particularly resonate with survivor’s post because it seems to accurately reflect the medical dilemma at work when someone is experiencing depression. It most closely reflects what my family’s experience with depression was at least. Many people don’t know that there is help for many cases of depression. Many people know it but are afraid to seek help due to the negative stigma. Sometimes it can be treated with talk therapy alone … but sometimes it requires medication and sometimes even hospitalization.

    With prayer and persistence on treatment, many often find the help they so desperately need. Sometimes the person that is depressed is thinking so wrongly that they aren’t as qualified to get the help they need as someone they love might be. I know this because of walking through this with my wife.

    I don’t want to over simplify this because it is complicated and there are many misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments. I do see how someone can get to the point of suicide because I watched my wife get there. She is a wonderful Christian person and we’ve been married nearly 30 years with grown children now and we have lived through this difficult disease together. It’s a medical condition that needs attention. Early on, I made a lot of mistakes that worked against my wife getting the help she needed. I’m still learning and I’m grateful to God that we’ve been able to get to the point we are at when so many people don’t. My heart cries out for those familes.

    My biggest prayer is that people reading these posts won’t conclude it’s o.k. to commit suicide because it is forgivable. The act is tragic … and can destroy families … it happens to Christians too. It is often treatable if you go to a doctor and seek help, being persistent until you find the right treatment.

  41. Does nobody read Hebrews 10 anymore?

    Actually, various parts of that chapter, as well as other parts of Hebrews that emphasize Christ’s once for all complete work, His continual intercession for us, and the superiority of the new covenant, etc., have been shared by various persons in our church on occasion over the last several weeks. It’s encouraging, and challenges us to understand and grasp and believe what He has done.

  42. Is anyone willing to answer the question in #31 and repeated in #40 above?

  43. Dozie,

    There is no sin for which there is not forgiveness when sought. The Bible makes it clear that the blood of Christ (his atonement) cleanses us from all sin. The sin of blasphemy against the Spirit is, as best I can tell, the sin of unbelief (not yeilding to the Spirit’s conviction). When someone truly turns to Christ for forgiveness (which is simple trust and calling on him to save them), all their sins are covered.

  44. Harry Houdini, yes Hebrews is a loaded canon of an epistle (no pun intended); the believers have rarely ever used it, even as they get defeated over and over by dart-launching powers and principalities. The only problem I see with the Good News is that it really is too good to be true, and I understand if people refuse to believe it in its insane extent. “Chirst is the end of the law, that all who believe may be justified” is an offensive thing to hear and live with.

    @Dozie: If Hebrews 10 is to be taken seriously, the only sin “for which no pardon remains” is “trampling on the Spirit of Grace”. It is so, because only by having faith can one be made right with God; it follows that the only sin left for us to commit before God is to not believe in His sacrifice, and the sufficiency thereof. I regret to say that it is one we have unfailingly committed over and over, as can be seen from our emphasis on what one does (not do). If we had not, we would not have this blog post, whose title question could safely be completed as “After all, suicides can no longer do …”. O foolish moderns.

  45. Harry Houdini, yes Hebrews is a loaded canon of an epistle (no pun intended); the believers have rarely ever used it, even as they get defeated over and over by dart-launching powers and principalities. The only problem I see with the Good News is that it really is too good to be true, and I understand if people refuse to believe it in its insane extent. “Christ is the end of the law, that all who believe may be justified” is an offensive thing to hear and live with.

    @Dozie: If Hebrews 10 is to be taken seriously, the only sin “for which no pardon remains” is “trampling on the Spirit of Grace”. It is so, because only by having faith can one be made right with God; it follows that the only sin left for us to commit before God is to not believe in His sacrifice, and the sufficiency thereof. I regret to say that it is one we have unfailingly committed over and over, as can be seen from our emphasis on what one does (not do). If we had not, we would not have this blog post, whose title question could safely be completed as “After all, suicides can no longer do …”. O foolish moderns.

  46. “There is no sin for which there is not forgiveness when sought. The Bible makes it clear that the blood of Christ (his atonement) cleanses us from all sin.”

    Ok, this look like you are pedaling back from your earlier assertion. Now (above comment) you are talking about confessed sins but your original comment was about unconfessed sins, including “serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy”.

    “From a practical stand point, everyone will die with unconfessed sin. Most of these will include serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy…. 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.”

    You are free to amend your earlier comment but that was the basis for my question. I am sorry you missed it.

  47. To #42 the 27the comrade

    When you say “Most of you in this comment box will die by (non-violent, nutritional, lifestyle-related) suicide. Suicide by bad eating is how we classify Alan Turing a suicide. …” you are mixing up suicidal behavior with suicide. Otherwise, everything will be same as suicide, yeah, even Adam’s Fall was a suicide.

    It’s prudent to focus on the topic rather than divert.

  48. Eric,

    See? It wasn’t so hard, now, was it?

    How is it that you have come by your omniscience’s as to Michael sister and my sister and brother-in-law who also committed suicide?

    For the same reason I also have omniscience about what goes on inside the body of someone who came down with the common cold, fever, or influenza: I’ve been there. It’s that simple.

    Let me guess… by their fruits, right?

    See? You’re omniscient as well. (And it wasn’t so hard, was it?)

    your fruits bare witness against you;

    Of course they do. One problem, though: I’m not dead. Yet. There’s still time to repent. (Hebrews 9:27)

    Is there any sin that is able to keep one from entering heaven?

    Yes. An unrepented sin. (Like suicide, for instance).

    How sad that there are actually those who would say, “Yes he/she is in hell for committing suicide for this reason or thus.”

    Let us focus for now on condemning the sin (as opoosed to exculpating it), and not the sinner — shall we?

    Most of you in this comment box will die by (non-violent, nutritional, lifestyle-related) suicide. Suicide by bad eating is how we classify Alan Turing a suicide.

    1) That’s why there’re four Great Fasts each year, as well as two fasting days each week, plus the commandment to serve God, not the belly. (Philippians 3:19)

    2) “Everybody’s doing it” is not mentioned in the Bible as a viable excuse in front of the Throne of Judgment.

    My biggest prayer is that people reading these posts won’t conclude it’s o.k. to commit suicide because it is forgivable.

    Same here. God forbid.

    it is not obvious that they did fight and reject God’s Grace: rejection or acceptance of it happens at the level of faith, of believing, and you have no obvious markers of that.

    According to the Bible, I do. We all do. Some of them, (like Matthew 7:16, 20; 12:33; Luke 6:44; and James 2:18) were already mentioned in my…

  49. Suicide is clearly the work of the one whom Christ described as being a liar and a murderer of men from the beginning: the devil. — It doesn’t take tons of exegesis to figure this one out.

  50. Dozie,
    Let me try a different approach at explaining what I think Michael intended to say. Let me start by dichotomizing our standing from our actions. As unbelievers, how often people sin does not change their standing. Yes, their actions are wrong, but it does not make them any more or less likely to end up in hell. As members of Adam’s race, our standing before God is “condemned.” When Adam sinned, we all received his guilt as members of the human race through his representation. When Christ died sinless, we were offered His righteousness by God’s grace through faith. What was done in Adam’s rebellion was undone in Christ’s perfect obedience (Romans 5:12-21).

    The issue with salvation is not activity, but standing. I am going to heaven, not because I am a really good person, but because I stand before Him justified. Justification is simply God’s legal declaration that a person is now righteous, and this justification is brought to us courtesy of Christ’s work through which I am imputed Christ’s righteousness. No matter what I do, no matter how heinous of a sin I commit, this standing will not change.

    This is the important element. A Christian can die with unconfessed sin, and that sin can affect his walk and relationship with God, but it does not affect his standing. In a way, it is similar to our justice system, where a person can never be tried twice for the same crime with the same consequences. God doesn’t “appeal” our salvation status after violations; we stand before him reflecting the righteousness and holiness that Christ Himself possessed. Christians live just like unbelievers, and Christians sin just like unbelievers. The difference is NOT what we do, but how we stand before God through what Christ did.

    So, to answer your question, for the one who stands as “justified”, nothing can be done to negate that standing. A disobedient child may hurt his relationship with his parents, but cannot lose his place as their child.

  51. “The issue with salvation is not activity, but standing. I am going to heaven, not because I am a really good person, but because I stand before Him justified.”

    First question: Where exactly does one find the above in the teachings of Christ specifically or the bible as a whole?

  52. “Justification is simply God’s legal declaration that a person is now righteous, and this justification is brought to us courtesy of Christ’s work through which I am imputed Christ’s righteousness. No matter what I do, no matter how heinous of a sin I commit, this standing will not change”

    Second question: Where exactly does one find the above in the teachings of Christ specifically or the bible as a whole?

    “A Christian can die with unconfessed sin, and that sin can affect his walk and relationship with God, but it does not affect his standing. In a way, it is similar to our justice system, where a person can never be tried twice for the same crime with the same consequences.”

    It is obvious from the bogus assertions that many have been decieved into beliving many lies. What you have asserted is not part of Christianity and you will not be able to find Christ or the NT writers as backups for the evil teachings you are propounding. You brush aside the very word of God which warns:

    “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God”

    Instead, you prefer your very sectarian and novel theories about having a reservation in heaven.

  53. “So, to answer your question, for the one who stands as “justified”, nothing can be done to negate that standing. A disobedient child may hurt his relationship with his parents, but cannot lose his place as their child.”

    This can only come from a terrible and terrifying religion. The entire bible, old and new, is full of admonitions to refrain from evil and fear God – God will avenge evil. This new religion is teaching that once you punch your time card, you are in.

  54. Dozie,

    “This new religion is teaching that once you punch your time card, you are in.”

    This is the teaching of easy believism, or cheap grace, as some of us call it. The truly converted do not follow this, but believe that our inner conversion is just as important as our outer one. Christ’s transforms and renews the minds and the actions of those who are truly His. This does not mean that we don’t ever sin, just that we recognize it and repent of it when we do.

    And unfortunately we even the best Christians don’t always do that immediately either, or even ever. But please never base your judgement of Christianity upon we do, which is always imperfect, but upon what Christ did on the cross.

    Remember when you stand before Him He will not take the excuse that it is what others did that influenced you. That helps me, a Christian but one who still sins despite that, to know the difference.

  55. Dozie,

    Part of it is inherent in the term “justified.” It is a legal term that does not deal with the involvement in a crime, but in one’s legal standing as a result of a court ruling. Also, Paul speaks of his right to receive the resurrection of the dead, which is the ultimate consummation of salvation, in Philippians 3:9, because he is found not having his own righteousness, which of is of the law, but rather he has the righteousness of Christ. Romans 3:22 assures that this “righteousness of God” is available through Christ’s work to all who believe regardless of nationality. I Corinthians 1:30 reassures us that through Christ we are offered among other blessings, righteousness that Christ brings through His death. And again, I would point you in the direction of the Romans 5 concerning Christ’s imputed righteousness.

    But laying this alongside other passages demands a view that makes this standing. We are not immune to sin once we believe. This is not Paul’s point. As believers, we still sin, but the effect is relational. Paul deals with sin in many of his epistles. His point is not to tell them that they are going to hell, but to remedy the sin by laying a doctrinal foundation for how they should live and deal with sin.

    Paul does not deny sin in the believer’s life, but he affirms that it is present. Likewise, he affirms as strongly that all believers are righteous in the eyes of God. So although I am not sure that the word “standing” is used Biblically to refer to a believer’s righteousness before God, the concept is clearly there. And if anyone would oppose this understanding, I would be interested to hear their take and explanation on how to reconcile a believer’s righteousness and sin. Remember, the terminology that is used may not be in the Bible, but the question is whether the underlying teaching is, and I think one would be very hard-pressed to refute my understanding from the Bible.

  56. Eric,

    See? It wasn’t so hard, now, was it?

    How is it that you have come by your omniscience’s as to Michael sister and my sister and brother-in-law who also committed suicide?

    Because I’ve been there as well. (I also possess ‘omniscience’ as to what goes on when one is sick with the flu or the common cold, falls in love for the first time, etc). — See how ‘omniscient’ I am? 😐

    Let me guess… by their fruits, right?

    Yes. That’s what the Gospel teaches. These are the words of Christ.

    You forgot one thing… ”The Mediator”

    I’m not alone: they forgot Him as well. 🙁

    your fruits bare witness against you

    Of course they do. The only problem is, I’m not dead. Yet. Repentance is still possible. (For the rich man in the parable of Lazarus, it wasn’t: see Hebrews 9:27).

    Is there any sin that is able to keep one from entering heaven?

    Yes. An unrepented sin. And suicide is such by its nature.

    How sad that there are actually those who would say, “Yes he/she is in hell for committing suicide for this reason or thus.”

    Let us condemn the sin, not the sinner, shall we? Neither excusing the sin, nor condemning the sinner, are the right things to do.

    Rejection or acceptance of it [God’s Grace] happens at the level of faith, of believing, and you have no obvious markers of that.

    According to the New Testament, I do. We all do.

    Most of you in this comment box will die by (non-violent, nutritional, lifestyle-related) suicide. Suicide by bad eating is how we classify Alan Turing a suicide.

    And what other does this do, than to confirm Christ’s words, that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat? (Matthew 7:13)

    That’s why Saint Paul admonished us to serve God, rather than the belly, whose worship leads to destruction. (Philippians 3:19) That’s why there’re four Great Fasts each year.

  57. My biggest prayer is that people reading these posts won’t conclude it’s o.k. to commit suicide because it is forgivable.

    Same here, Jeff… God forbid! + 😐

  58. Dozie,

    I am sorry that it appears I came across wrong in my first post. Understand that I do not believe Christians should go and live however they want. Paul is very clear that we should not live in sin that grace would abound. But at the same time, just because we sin does not mean we lose our salvation. But that also doesn’t mean that the believer is immune to consequences. My understanding of Hebrews is not that we lose our salvation, but that by living a life that is tethered to anything but Christ, we do not forfeit our salvation, but we forfeit eternal rewards. So yes, there is still “punishment” in a sense for believers who sin, but to the degree of jeopardizing their place in heaven, which is what your question originally regarded, that is not the punishment in view. I agree that God does punish evil, but as a child of God His wrath toward me was poured out upon Christ on the cross. Christ took MY penalty upon Himself.

    It must not be understood that in order to keep that salvation I must conform to the law, otherwise Christ is dead in vain. Galatians 2:21-3:4 asks the penetrating question that how could the Galatians, whose eternal life was begun in the Spirit, be perfected by their works of the flesh. The answer is obvious, it can’t. Salvation in each stage is not effected by me, it is effected by God through Christ’s work (Ephesians 1). Grace is not cheap, grace is FREE, otherwise it becomes merit. If this concept seems terrifying and foreign, I would recommend wading through Dillow’s 600 page book entitled The Reign of the Servant Kings. Sit down and work through the book, and I think it will clarify many of your questions about the relationship of works, salvation, and rewards.

    I truly hope this helps. I think part of the problem was an assumption that all of my theology was summarized in my post, but there are many facets to salvation that we must understand for a complete picture, I was only trying to deal with one facet.

  59. Lucian @58 – you’re responding to J.R. @37, not me, by the way.

  60. “But at the same time, just because we sin does not mean we lose our salvation. But that also doesn’t mean that the believer is immune to consequences.”

    What you will need to do is address how you take care of your uncleanness (sin) when the bible says nothing unclean shall enter shall enter heaven.

    Also, I would like you to summarize Christ’s own teachings in the gospels on who, or how one, enter’s God’s kingdom.

  61. I’m responding to a lot of people at #58, including you, Herr Weiss.

  62. @Oun:

    … you are mixing up suicidal behavior with suicide.

    Suicide results from suicidal behaviour. Is there someone here able to argue that suicidal behaviour is more-permissible that suicide? How is the partition even made?

    Otherwise, everything will be same as suicide, yeah, even Adam’s Fall was a suicide.

    Yes. “There is none righteous. No, not one.”

    It’s prudent to focus on the topic rather than divert.

    Whenever I see people saying “he is damned because he does/did …” I seek to show such a one that he too, by the same law, is damned. It is not diversion. Jesus Christ Himself did this.

    @Lucian:

    Suicide is clearly the work of the one whom Christ described as being a liar and a murderer of men from the beginning … It doesn’t take tons of exegesis to figure this one out.

    Yes. So is self-righteousness. He was also called the Accuser of the Brethren.

    @Dozie:

    Where exactly does one find the above [“I am going to heaven, not because I am a really good person, but because I stand before Him justified.”] in the teachings of Christ specifically or the bible as a whole?

    John chapter 3, in the words of Jesus Himself. How do you understand this: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

  63. @Dozie:

    Where exactly does one find the above [“No matter what I do, no matter how heinous of a sin I commit, this standing will not change”] in the teachings of Christ specifically or the bible as a whole?

    John chapter 10, in Jesus’ words. How do you understand this: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
    You should note that if you rely on yourself for justification, then this does not hold. The one who rescues the condemned man on the cross—whose only act there was believing—is the one who rescues you. The better question: where do you see Jesus’ salvation pivoted on your works?

    You brush aside the very word of God which warns: “Be not deceived: neither fornicators … nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    You are only a sinner if you are not covered by the blood. You who relies on how good you are will find that you qualify as a fornicator. (“You have heard that it was said to you … but I say to you …”) We who get our righteousness from Christ will never be found to be sinners before God, because Jesus never sinned.

    The entire bible, old and new, is full of admonitions to refrain from evil and fear God – God will avenge evil.

    God did avenge evil. What do you think Calvary was for? And if you are not justified by the Sacrifice, what was it for? You, you want a righteousness that comes from your works. Good for you. As for me, I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that Day.

  64. @mbaker:

    This is the teaching of easy believism, or cheap grace, as some of us call it.

    Mark my word: if it is not cheap Grace, it is not grace at all. If it is not easy-believism, it is not faith at all. “For what we preach is foolishness to those who are perishing.” St. Paul is here: “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Here is Jesus Christ: “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish.” If that is not cheap grace and easy-believism, nothing is. Yet if something is not, then it is another gospel, which is not even a gospel.

    @Lucian:

    Of course they do. The only problem is, I’m not dead. Yet. Repentance is still possible.

    Repent and believe. (Go and study the meaning of that line. “Turn around from your ways and start believing.”)

    Lucian, do you believe that Jesus should have qualified John 3:16 with “unless one commits suicide, of course, in which case …”?

    According to the New Testament, I do. We all do.

    And though we all do, some of your kind were saying “If he be a man of God, why does he eat with sinners and tax-collectors?” Yes, yes: we have obvious markers.

    And what other does this do, than to confirm Christ’s words …

    It also confirms that you are certainly going to die with that unconfessed sin. If you take advice, here it is: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, you and your household, and you shall be saved.” “Whosoever does not believe stands already condemned.” It is not “make sure you fast hard”, but rather “make sure you believe”. “For the law was not given to make men righteous, but to show them the need for redemption.” “Christ is the end of the law, that there may be righteousness for those who believe.”

  65. @Jeff:

    My biggest prayer is that people reading these posts won’t conclude it’s o.k. to commit suicide because it is forgivable.

    That is very unlikely, because before you get to Romans 8, even Romans 8:1, you must pass through Romans 7. And Romans 7 is the manifesto of one who hates sin, but is unfortunately a child of Adam. We do not come to Grace for a chance to sin, but rather for a chance to be righteous in spite of our failure to not sin.

    @Dozie:

    What you will need to do is address how you take care of your uncleanness (sin) when the bible says nothing unclean shall enter shall enter heaven.

    We do not take care of our own uncleanliness. We are not under the Law. We have no uncleanliness left, after Christ has washed us. Nothing unclean will enter Heaven. That is why you should believe, and be washed, or you will have only the option of, as you put it, taking care of your sin. And you, most-certainly, will fail to get yourself clean. “If righteousness could come by observing the Law, Christ died in vain.”

    Also, I would like you to summarize Christ’s own teachings in the gospels on who, or how one, enter’s God’s kingdom.

    Jesus Christ made a summary, once. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” It suffices for me, as I am (through experience) not very eager for my assurance to lay on my shoulders. St. Paul wrote: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Isn’t it clear? Thank God that it is true…

  66. “You should note that if you rely on yourself for justification, then this does not hold.”

    You are afraid to let the text stand by itself; your addition above is not part of the text you cited.

    “You are only a sinner if you are not covered by the blood.”

    Again, extra biblical. This is no where in a text you can find in the bible. So much for sola scriptura.

    “God did avenge evil. What do you think Calvary was for?”

    Ok, why is there still evil? Why is the great judgment day being waited? You see, you seem to have bravado and nothing more.

  67. 27th,

    Belief in Christ as defined in John 3:16 and other places in the Bible offers salvation by His grace because of what Christ did on the cross. It doesn’t give us permission to deliberately take advantage of that opportunity to sin without consequences because we are Christian. That is holding His suffering very casually indeed. That is my definition of easy believism.

    But our sin is forgivable. No one makes it to heaven in a perfect state because our righteousness is imputed by the blood of Christ, it is not earned and cannot be.

    Do I believe suicide is the unforgivable sin and that people go to hell because they are so desperate they cannot discern the difference between right and wrong? No, absolutely not. They are taking their lives literally in their own hands because they have reached a place of such distrust in life and desperation that they are literally not in their right minds.. Do you think in that situation they would be denied God’s grace? By it’s very definition, I don’t think so.

    This is different from say someone who is in their right mind and knows better, then commits a heinous murder thinking he/she is immune from divine consequences because they may have accepted the gift of eternal life somewhere long the line, but never really became converted. They are using and abusing Christianity for their own ends.

  68. Dozie,
    I’ll summarize my understanding.

    Eight times in the NT, we read of “entering the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 5:20; 7:21; 18:3; 19:23; 19:24, Mk 9:47; Jn. 3:5; Acts 14:22). In some cases, “entering the kingdom of God”, or a similar phrase is used interchangeably, but most are other accounts of the same stories. Each one of these passages asserts that the problem of entering the kingdom is that of faith. So, for example, the rich have a difficult time entering because they trust in riches rather than God, or we must become like a child and believe. Entering the kingdom refers to salvation, and it is only by grace through faith, not works.

    Many times the Bible refers to “inheriting the kingdom.” This is where I point toward the reward factor. Inheriting refers to taking possession of the kingdom, and actually has the meaning of rulership or ownership. I am premill, so I understand this as taking place in the millennial kingdom of Christ. When works are in view, it is speaking of inheriting a position of rulership in the kingdom, e.g. rewards. Inheritance, both lexically and in the Bible, can refer either to an object given graciously, or earned. So when we read of inheriting the kingdom, I conclude that it is not salvation, but earning the right of ownership and rule in the millennial kingdom. Again, concerning this, get Dillow’s book. He deals with this for about 100 pages and supports this premise very convincingly from Scripture.

    When the kingdom is used, it must not be assumed that it always refers to heaven. In some cases, it refers to God’s rule over all the universe (read through the Psalms, and you’ll see this usage regularly). In some cases, you will see it referring to heaven. In some cases it refers to God’s rule on David’s throne. There are some good works on the kingdom, for one who is new to kingdom theology, try Pentecost’s Thy Kingdom Come, and for more advanced, McClain’s The Greatness of the Kingdom.

  69. @Dozie:

    You are afraid to let the text stand by itself; your addition above is not part of the text you cited.

    Well, then, remove my gloss and read it again. See if you can read your works into the salvation plan.

    Again, extra biblical. This is no where in a text you can find in the bible. So much for sola scriptura.

    I am not into sola scriptura. I am not a Protestant. I have no religion. All the same, do you claim that I am wrong to say “You are only a sinner if you are not covered by the blood.”? What, to you, is the purpose of Jesus’ sacrifice? Is Galatians 2 really so far away from you?

    Ok, why is there still evil? Why is the great judgment day being waited?

    Evil is there, because some (like you) do not have faith in the finished work, but have faith in themselves. So they return to the law, which was never meant to produce righteousness, but to point out shortcomings. This is why we still have evil. If we all “believed (and) shall not perish”, seeing as not-perishing is for those who are sinless, it would mean that we are all sinless. —Not because we obeyed the law, but because we believed.
    The judgement day is waiting for you, who think that your works can pass muster before God. You will be surprised just how bad even the best humans are. “You have heard that it was said to you … but now I say to you …” Have gouged any eyes out, of late? Hearken the words of your future judge: believe, or you already stand condemned. John chapter 3.

    You see, you seem to have bravado and nothing more.

    No, it is just that I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day. (St. Paul never held copyrights, thankfully.)
    Allow me to note that you did not answer any of my questions. They were asked to establish for me where you stand; we have answered yours.

  70. Comrade,

    As I already said above: I never accused anyone, bretheren or not. I did however expose this sin for what it was, and acknowledged its evil and its true power.

    John’s Gospel also makes it clear that friendship with Christ includes keeping His commandments.

    Eating is not a sin the last time I checked.

  71. @mbaker:

    It doesn’t give us permission to deliberately take advantage of that opportunity to sin without consequences because we are Christian. That is holdng His suffering very casually indeed.

    Like I said before, the only people who actually know their need for Grace (and therefore believe) are those who have wanted to not sin, and found that they ram into the law. This is why the law was given: to lead men to Grace. So nobody gets to Grace who treats the law lightly. We get to Grace because we know that we will sin, whether or not we do not want to. Romans 8 comes after Romans 7.
    We do indeed sin without judgmental consequences (for they are born in Christ); but I have never met anyone who then encourages people to murder because there is no condemnation for them. Indeed, this has it opposite. If we dwell on our justification, we put to death the law, and so sin—which springs to life due to the law—is put to death.

    The only people who do not treat Jesus suffering casually are those who know how much he has saved them from. “He who is forgiven much loves much.” It is those who scorn “easy-believism and cheap grace”, and those who think that their works can augment Jesus’ works, who are treating Jesus’ suffering casually. We who understand that “It is finished!” is a literal triumphant cry of the Lamb of God Who Taketh Away the Sins of the World, we are the only ones who are not treating the blood casually. Hebrews 9-10!

    This is different from say someone who is in their right mind and knows better, then commits a heinous murder thinking he/she is immune from divine consequences …

    Nobody does that. No sin comes before temptation. Jesus is a blessing precisely when/because we fall to our temptations, however trivial they may look to self-righteous Pharisees. Jesus is for the weak, as the doctor for the sick. Some refuse to accept that they can never be good enough; but remember Luke…

  72. @mbaker:
    Some refuse to accept that they can never be good enough; but remember Luke chapter 18!

    … because they may have accepted the gift of eternal life somewhere long the line, but never really became converted.

    Conversion is turning from being works-delivered (which is a botched delivery anyway) to being faith-delivered. “Repent and believe.” If you believe, then you have converted, and you are safe. I see you used “heinous murder”; why not looking at waitress’ breasts/legs? Or porn? After all, adultery should result in the death penalty, and Jesus told us that this is adultery. We are beggars all. Whoever accepts eternal life does it by believing. “Whosoever believeth has passed from death to life,” says Jesus. What you do neither adds nor removes from your assurance: God has you in his hands, and you are safe, if you believe. May you then have peace. This is what it means to be free from the law and alive in the Spirit.
    What do you know that one could do that would undo Jesus’ redemptive work? Do you feel that He should have qualified John 3:16? (There is a reason this verse has been written everywhere on Earth, in every language, by the Holy Spirit. It is complete salvific doctrine in a sentence. “Whosoever believeth.”)

    To be honest, I do not worry that people will sin after they have believed. They were sinning outside of Grace, anyway. When in Grace, they have been redeemed, and the devil is playing a losing game, no matter what. God has won, when Grace triumphs. I focus my eyes on the brass serpent that has been lifted up, that the vipers may peck all they like, and still I shall not die.
    Until you understand how extreme the Grace is, you will never be able to understand that God Is Love.

  73. @Lucian:

    As I already said above: I never accused anyone, bretheren or not.

    You said that the suicide is in Hell. You said that the suicide was a sinner, and was condemned. That is what it means to accuse. You did accuse a brother, even as our Intercessor stands before God and holds up His wounds. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

    I did however expose this sin for what it was, and acknowledged its evil and its true power.

    In turn, I acknowledged its extent. You are condemned under this same law.

    John’s Gospel also makes it clear that friendship with Christ includes keeping His commandments.

    Yes, that is why only those who believe are Jesus’ friends; for by faith in this Grace of God, we uphold the law. Romans 3. You, who seek to be justified because you work, end up not upholding the law, because it is beyond you to fulfill it. As such, you are not Jesus’ friends. You do not obey His commandment; neither to live according to the commandments, nor to have faith and thereby uphold the commandments.

    Eating is not a sin the last time I checked.

    Over-eating is, and you do it. Eating bad food is, and you do it. Eating unclean food is, and you do it. Smoking (passively or not) is a sin, and you do it. Eating while your neighbour starves is, and you do it. Eating more than the bare minimum is, and you do it. Eating unfairly-traded food is, and you do it. Eating without hunger is, and you do it. “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3, still.
    Lucian, repent and believe. There…

  74. Comrade,

    refrain from putting words in my mouth that I didn’t say.

    I would also have to disagree with you on your last paragraph.

  75. Lucian, are you saying that you did not say that the suicide is in Hell? How should I understand this:

    Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell ?

    Yes.

    You said that the suicide is in Hell. You said that the suicide was a sinner, and was condemned. That is what it means to accuse. You did accuse a brother, even as our Intercessor stands before God and holds up His wounds. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

    I would also have to disagree with you on your last paragraph.

    Since it is long, you will have to be specific. In particular, I maintain the following:
    Over-eating is, and you do it. Eating bad food is, and you do it. Eating unclean food is, and you do it. Smoking (passively or not) is a sin, and you do it. Eating while your neighbour starves is, and you do it. Eating more than the bare minimum is, and you do it. Eating unfairly-traded food is, and you do it. Eating without hunger is, and you do it. “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3, still.
    Lucian, repent and believe. There is time yet.

  76. “We who get our righteousness from Christ will never be found to be sinners before God, because Jesus never sinned.”

    I will simply let you reflect on the gospel reading for Mass today (Lk 13:22-30).

    “Jesus passed through towns and villages,
    teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
    Someone asked him,
    “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
    He answered them,
    “Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
    for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
    but will not be strong enough.
    After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
    then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
    ‘Lord, open the door for us.’
    He will say to you in reply,
    ‘I do not know where you are from.
    And you will say,
    ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
    Then he will say to you,
    ‘I do not know where you are from.
    Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
    And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
    when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
    and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
    and you yourselves cast out.
    And people will come from the east and the west
    and from the north and the south
    and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
    For behold, some are last who will be first,
    and some are first who will be last.”

    You will struggle to no end to find a thing that resembles your model of salvation. St. James warns you; faith without works is dead. Faith without works is dead, not merely bad, or not good enough; it is dead – not there and not faith at all. Are your ears tuned to hear?

  77. The 27th Comrade:

    Lucian has not contested my post 36.

    I wrote it based on his earlier replies to me re: my use of Mark 3:28-30 in which I suggested that the only unforgivable sin is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, not suicide, and that suicide seemed to be a forgivable sin under Mark 3:28.

    Lucian, however, seems to me to be suggesting that committing suicide is blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. As I wrote him:

    Your equation seems to be:
    1. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin.
    2. The Holy Spirit is the life-giver.
    3. Therefore, to take one’s life is to blaspheme against the lifegiver, the Holy Spirit.
    4. Therefore, committing suicide is an unforgivable sin.
    5. Therefore, if a person commits suicide, he/she goes to hell.

    ISTM that the only way to say with confidence that the suicide is in hell is to insist that suicide is an unforgivable sin – i.e., what I guess the Catholic Church (and I know Lucian is not Roman Catholic) would call an unconfessed/unrepented mortal sin.

  78. 27th,

    Dozie said:

    ‘You will struggle to no end to find a thing that resembles your model of salvation. St. James warns you; faith without works is dead. Faith without works is dead, not merely bad, or not good enough; it is dead – not there and not faith at all. Are your ears tuned to hear?”

    And I think the knowing part is very important once we have been converted. Suicides are often confused on that point I think, thinking that grace is no longer available because to them because they do doubt. Do you not think that is a big factor in their giving up?

  79. “We who get our righteousness from Christ will never be found to be sinners before God, because Jesus never sinned.”

    Are you striving to enter the kingdom of God or are you relying on “easy believism”? Hopefully you believe that Jesus is not a lier nor does he have any guile in him. Therefore, we believe he told the truth when he said:

    ““Strive to enter through the narrow gate”
    Elsewhere he said: “carry your cross and follow me” and in another:

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven”.

    Hopefully you begin to notice that for Jesus and the whole bible, salvation is by works. The believer is an acting man – a working man.

    Jesus warns:

    “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
    And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.

  80. @Dozie:

    I will simply let you reflect on the gospel reading for Mass today … Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
    for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
    but will not be strong enough.

    Yes. Faith is the narrow gate. All who do not get in will be found wanting, because they relied on their incapable selves.

    You will struggle to no end to find a thing that resembles your model of salvation.

    It is not my model. I did not write John 3. I am certainly not St. Paul, and I did not write Romans 10.

    St. James warns you; faith without works is dead.

    Yes. Read the first response I wrote to Lucian. And unfaith with works is also dead. Do you know how many times “Pharisee” is used as a praiseworthy term by Jesus? Count them.

    @mbaker:

    I have to ask you the same question, do you believe that the believer has no responsibility to respond to grace with the kind of thankfulness that is so appreciative of that very grace that we do not want to come against it by knowingly?

    Responding to Grace is having it. Unless you have believed, you do not even know why you should be thankful. “He who has been forgiven much loves much.” You who have work left to do … well, you can never respond to Grace with eager thankfulness. Romans 4. The ones who give Jesus the glory of the triumphant saviour are those who know that they are saved because of Him alone. This is palpable thankfulness for any who believe it.

    Do you not think that is a big factor in their giving up?

    I do not know much about suicidal thinking, but if they can have faith as suicidal people, then they can die saved.

  81. @Dozie:

    Are you striving to enter the kingdom of God or are you relying on “easy believism”?

    Since John 3 is easy-believism, I am relying on easy-believism. (And Romans 4-10. And Galatians. Whatever.)

    Hopefully you believe that Jesus is not a lier nor does he have any guile in him. Therefore, we believe he told the truth when he said: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate”

    Faith is the narrow gate. Read Romans 9-10. “Unless you become like one of these children …” What did the Pharisees lack: works, zeal, being “working men”, or faith? Read John 3 to the end.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven”

    The Father’s will is that we might believe. Read Jesus’ words in John 3. That, He tells you, is the Father’s will. Who are you to challenge Him?

    Hopefully you begin to notice that for Jesus and the whole bible, salvation is by works.

    The Pharisees were not saved for a reason. Here is something for you: “But Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the ‘stumbling stone.’ I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 9-10. If you want to be judged on your own merit, go for it. Just don’t say I never told you, when you are found wanting.

    The believer is an acting man – a working man.

    Self-contradictions aside, look again at John 3. The road of faith is narrow indeed, for (1 Corinthians 1) it is foolishness to those…

  82. @Dozie:

    Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

    What have you done about what Jesus said in John 3? “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish.” You, you say “Whosoever says this and that, and remembers to do this and that, and remembers to make this or that pilgrimage.” You have fallen from Grace, choosing to live under the Law, which can never make you righteous. Galatians 3:24: “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ hat we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” Choose: law or faith? Pharisee condemned, or adulteress rescued?
    You have built your house on your efforts, and that is sand. Those who build on God are on solid rock. You take your pick. The day of reckoning is near, and we shall see whose house does not get burnt up.
    Ever wondered why the Pharisees—who would have no trouble running law-observance circles around you—never managed to believe in Jesus? And you brag about being “a working man”. The road of faith is narrow indeed, for (1 Corinthians 1) it is foolishness to those who are perishing. Read you some Galatians.

  83. My point was that there’s a difference between rules and exception to the rules.

    My point was that suicide drags people to hell much in the same manner in which a bullet through one’s head drags one to death.

    I saw a Discovery Channel documentary once, about a man who had half of his brain (one hemisphere) blown out, yet still lived: he’s in an armchair, but that’s pretty much it — YET you DON’T see me writing articles on my blog, entitled “Do People Who Are Shot In The Head *Really* Go to the Morgue?“.

    NOR do I see other articles on this blog about how things like zoophilia, necrophilia, and incest (for instance) DO NOT make someone lose his or her salvation… and then everybody here congratulating the writer for being so super-biblically-true for “preachin` the Gospel”…

    Heaven is not what should be “expected” and “held for granted” in such cases… quite the opposite.

    Depression is hell (as everyone who suffered from it very well knows), so it’s only logical to expect that if someone is in hell 5 seconds or 5 minutes before death, he or she will still be there for the next 5 seconds or 5 minutes…

    Heaven and hell are not physical places to which we are sent… they are spiritual states in which we find ourselves — it’s that easy.

    Hence, those who are depressed will continue in their depression afterwards: in other words, they stay or remain in their own hell upon death…

    Death is NOT the solution to escaping depression, because the depressed despises existence itself, and –as Christians– we know that “existence” is NOT the same as (earthly) life (since we have an immortal soul and believe in the resurrection of the dead).

    Eternal existence (i.e., the afterlife) is eternal hell for those for which existence itself is hell (i.e., the depressed).

  84. Is depression unbeatable? By no means!

    By the words of two or three witnesses shall every truth be established. (Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28).

    And there are three that bear witness in earth: Michael, Eric, and Lucian: and these three agree in one [that it is possible for depression to be to overcome]. (1 John 5:8) 🙂

    Is there a slight chance of someone having a change of heart and mind even in the afterlife? Seems so.. (1 Peter 3:18-20).

    But it’s dangerous to turn rules into exceptions, and exceptions into rules… that was my point. (Let alone “expect” or “demand” such a thing from God, as if He would owe something to us!…)

    Why is it so dangerous? Because such articles benefit NEITHER the living, NOR the dead. — Why so?

    — They do not benefit the dead, because writing somewhere that Christians who take their own lives do not go to hell does not make it so. (Why? Because only God’s words and commandments have that power: to self-execute or self-materialize themselves — and this article was obviously not written by God).

    — They do not benefit the living either, since nothing less than total, absolute, and complete conviction that I will definitely go to hell if I kill myself was one of THE things that (quite literally) saved MY life.

  85. My mother tried that on my sister. She told her that she might go to hell if she did kill herself. She thought that placing a bit of doubt there would curb her enthusiasm.

    However, pragmatic means of belief are no more true simply because they may work at accomplishing the desired result. If we lived and functioned in such a way, there would be no end to the destruction of truth in favor of our life. Truth is more important than even one’s life.

  86. Lucian:

    I have no idea what you’re saying.

    And you still haven’t refuted or corrected my listing of what your equation/syllogism seems to be.

    Your statement:

    8. Lucian on 19 Aug 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell ?

    Yes.

    still stands, I think. Do you still stand by it?

  87. It’s important to be sure of something; leave no room for doubt. (Since depression is exceedingly overwhelming, and the soul is emptied and weakened beyond description).

    Eric,

    I’ve confirmed it in my first comment after it (#51).

    You wrote in your first comment on this thread (#4) about a very dark episode you had once.. one of extreme hopelesness and sheer & utter meaninglesness.. that’s depression. Total darkness and complete nothingness. (From what I understand, in your case it only lasted for a very short amount of time.. in my case it was three months [with recurring episodes of ever-decreasing duration and intensity over the following semester].. in the case of Michael’s sister, it was two whole years, if I recall correctly.. in Michael’s case, it was a few weeks or months..)

  88. Lucian:

    Oh, so that’s what you meant when you said it wasn’t so hard. I wasn’t sure what you were referring to. Thanks for the clarification.

  89. My point was that suicide drags people to hell much in the same manner in which a bullet through one’s head drags one to death.

    From your later comments, that is not true. You made it clear that suicide implied certain damnation. At any rate, you should be saying that about self-righteousness, for it what drags people to Hell. After Calvary, the only sin that gets men into Hell is one: not believing. The Pharisees were being dragged to Hell not due to suicidal tendencies.

    NOR do I see other articles on this blog about how things like zoophilia, necrophilia, and incest (for instance) DO NOT make someone lose his or her salvation …

    Perhaps someone should ask, and you will see the answers. They will be the same.

    Heaven is not what should be “expected” and “held for granted” in such cases… quite the opposite.

    Really? So John 3:16 is subjunctive when correctly translated? Your word against Paul’s. “I know whom I’ve believed and I’m persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that Day.” 1 Tim 1, 2 Tim 1. I have preferences.

    Heaven and hell … are spiritual states in which we find ourselves — it’s that easy. … in other words, they stay or remain in their own hell upon death…

    No. “Eye has not heard, ear has not heard.” If you are right, I should make sure I die of an ecstatic drug overdose.

    Eternal existence (i.e., the afterlife) is eternal hell for those for which existence itself is hell (i.e., the depressed).

    Jesus teaches the opposite. “Come to me all ye who are weary heavy laded [Greek: depressed], and I will give you rest.” Sucks to think the martyrs are still burning and bleeding.

  90. @EricW, I also see no answers to my questions. But perhaps you can permit him a quiet retreat on things that he may have typed rashly. We all do it, from time to time. It seems to me that he does not answer because he cannot (or, still, just will not).

  91. Is there a slight chance of someone having a change of heart and mind even in the afterlife? Seems so..

    From the same person who quoted “Once to die, and thereafter the judgement”?

    … writing somewhere that Christians who take their own lives do not go to hell does not make it so.

    Writing that they go to Hell does not make it so, either.

    They do not benefit the living either, since nothing less than total, absolute, and complete conviction that I will definitely go to hell if I kill myself was one of THE things that (quite literally) saved MY life.

    In light of the fact that your lifestyle is a slow and certain suicide, you really have a big think to do. And if you get ‘round to it, recognising that what makes suicide a crime is “Thou shalt not kill”, start with the Romans 10:1-4. And then have the kind of peace that comes from Calvary. “The punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” Isaiah 53.

    @Pastor Patton:

    Truth is more important than even one’s life.

    It is even worrying that, though Jesus said “The truth shall set you free,” we dare to hold it back from those who need it the most, who are so seriously bound. It is because we have no faith in the Truth that we tell such lies. You are right: Truth is more important than even one’s life. Not least because it gives life.

  92. Comrade,

    if someone doesn’t get rid of his drug-addiction in this life-time, he will go with it in the next: only he or she won’t be able to satisfy it there. Ever. — And this is the fate of almost all that end their lives in such manner.

    John 3:16 does not imply universalism: humans have to repent (like Peter) — not take their own lives (like Judas).

    Since you brought up Saint Paul, read the sixth chapter of his letter to the Romans.

    The “peace” that Isaiah the Prophet mentions is obviously not present in the souls of those that take their own lives due to succumbing to depression. — so why invoke it in the first place?

    And when Christ said “come to Me”, He didn’t mean for us to kill ourselves! Those that prefer to rather take the matter into their own hands, and falsely-“solving” it on their own, by taking their own lives, rather than going to Christ with their problem, and asking Him to fix it, obviously do not respect this verse, so why did you even quote it?

    I also didn’t say that depression is the only sin that drags people into the abyss. [I basically said that guns kill people, to which you responded that -since cars also kill people- it follows therefore that bullets don’t — which is a complete non-sequitur].

  93. if someone doesn’t get rid of his drug-addiction in this life-time, he will go with it in the next: only he or she won’t be able to satisfy it there. Ever. — And this is the fate of almost all that end their lives in such manner.

    In the words of The Smothers Brothers: “Bolshoi!”

    Tom: I went to the ballet last night.

    Dick: Bolshoi?

    Tom: No, really.

  94. Lucian, LOL, you’re a romantic eisegete. Your comments leave one asking “what the….”.

    And please, don’t take that in a bad way, at least I know where you’re coming from.

  95. if someone doesn’t get rid of his drug-addiction in this life-time, he will go with it in the next …

    Not true. You seem to mean that only those who die with no burdens will live forever with no burdens. This is the opposite of what Jesus promises.

    And this is the fate of almost all that end their lives in such manner.

    Not true. It may be the fate of the (perhaps large) subset of these who also do not believe in Jesus.

    John 3:16 does not imply universalism …

    It does not. If it did, legalists would be certainly redeemed. But you, because you rely on being good, are not covered by John 3:16. It is explicitly non-universalist. Only those who believe.

    … humans have to repent (like Peter) …

    Yes: “Repent and believe.”

    … not take their own lives (like Judas). …

    It is not taking his life that condemned Judas; just as your own taking your life will not be what condemns you. John 3:18.

    Since you brought up Saint Paul, read the sixth chapter of his letter to the Romans.

    Yes, Rom 6 insists that we are dead to the Law (“Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? … In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”), and that is why Rom 7 uses the example of a widow being free from her husband. We are dead to the Law, and that is why we can no longer live in sin. Sin is not imputed where there is no Law.

  96. Those who die are freed from the Law. That we read our legalism into Rom 6 (especially in isolation from Rom 7) is a bad sign.

    The “peace” that Isaiah … mentions is obviously not present in the souls of those that take their own lives …

    It can be (we have no obvious markers for that). For you, though, it is not (Heb 10; “fearful expectation of judgement … treated the Spirit of Grace as an unworthy thing”), because you do not have peace, seeing as you live under judgement for what you do. Your debt has not been paid. For the suicide who believes, there is such a peace. Depression is human, Calvary’s peace is divine. You may be at peace as a human, when you have no peace before God: this is the case with people who feel good about their works—Pharisee or legalistic Christian—having peace with themselves, but not before God.

    And when Christ said “come to Me”, He didn’t mean for us to kill ourselves!

    Who claimed thus? Merely that when we do fail to be upright, we are not condemned. As always: “Not under Law? You want believers to be mass murderers!” But St. Paul: “Sin is not taken into account where there is no Law. … When the Law came, sin sprang to life and I died.” Make your choice.

    Those that prefer to rather take the matter into their own hands, and falsely-“solving” it on their own …

    You sound like you do not yet realise you are one of them. You are a suicide. Slow, yes, but a suicide nonetheless.

    I also didn’t say that depression is the only sin that drags people into the abyss.

    You did not. I am the one who said that the only sin that drags them to Hell is not believing.

    … to which you responded that -since cars also kill people- it follows therefore that bullets don’t …

    Quote me.

  97. JUST A COMMENT ON DAVID’S MURDER AND ADULTERY. YOU SAY THAT GOD FORGAVE DAVID BUT THIS WAS ONLY BECAUSE HE SENT NATHAN TO REVEAL TO DAVID THAT GOD CALLED HIS DEEDS EVIL. SO IF DAVID WOULD NOT ACKNOWLEDGE HIS DEEDS OF COVETING, ADULTERY AND MURDER THEN HE WOULD HAVE DIED AND GONE TO HELL. DAVID ONLY ACKNOWLEDGED HIS SIN 9 MONTHS AFTER ALL HIS EVIL TOOK PLACE. HAD HE DIED BEFORE GOD SENT NATHAN THEN HE WOULD HAVE GONE TO HELL.

  98. Good answer. But your answer brings another question. What does the scripture say about sin against the Holy Spirit….remember Jesus even added that such sin would not be forgiven neither in this world nor in the one to come. Please explain….we are arguing about this. Thanks for your help.

  99. People commit suicide for various and numerous reasons; depression being the most common. If we abide in Christ and are being lead by the Holy Spirit then suicide will not become the answer to our ailments but if we leave an opening then Satan comes in and suicide takes place. Spurgeon suffered with ongoing depression but he kept holding onto Christ. My friend suffers from deep deep, depression most of her life but she hangs onto the cross, even when she’s really manic and cannot see the wood for the trees. We are made in the image of God and therefore we are not allowed to destroy that image. Jesus did not commit suicide as some write; no, He was commanded by the Father to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for the world. Of all the testimonies that I have read and seen on youtube it is without doubt that people who commit suicide go to hell. We are commanded to eat from the tree of life until we die and if we did that then only goodness will prevail in our lives and depression can be beared.

  100. @Sallyanne

    Visualize hand to face!!

    First off I pray you don’t get your Holy Spirit drawn wisdom from “testimonies and youtube” to inform your theology.

    Secondly, if one goes to Scripture, there is only one sin which is not forgiven and it comes from the lips of our Savior.
    Mark 3:28-30 “I tell you the truth, people will be forgiven for all sins, even all the blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (because they said, “He has an unclean spirit”).”

    In your theology, if a Christian leaves an opening in their depressed state of mind, satan can come in which could possibly result in suicide and as you stated, “it is without doubt that people who commit suicide go to hell?”

    I’m reminded of the book of Romans and of Mark again

    Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    And Our Lord says,
    Mark 3:27 “But no one is able to enter a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can thoroughly plunder his house.”

    So I assume, in your testimonial youtube inspired theology, satan is stronger than Christ fore he has bound our Lord and plundered his house in the case of a Christian who commits suicide and the apostle Paul is misinformed or a liar. Is that a fair assessment?

    I’m sorry, I choose scripture over youtube. I pray you will as well.

  101. J.R…….name suits you. First of all if you had cared to spend more time on the main body of my comment you wouldn’t have had to add your nasty remark to the one liner I made. But, be that as it may, here is part of the content of my friend who shot herself testimony. “I was sinking into unbelievable blackness and in front of me looked like an entrance to an even blacker place. A young man stood at the entrance to this hellish place and he was wearing a white robe; he had a look of anguish on his face and I asked who he was. He replied immediatly, without any hesitation, as though he read my mind which indeed he did, as I later found out and said Jesus. Years later I understood that having tried to take my own life because of free choice, hell would have been my eternity; Christ could not save me but thanks be to God I managed to survive my suicide”. That is the true testimony of my friend who believed in Jesus. So J.R. I wouldn’t spread the word around that suicide is ok with God because you will be answerable to the thousands who believe you, decide take their lives and end up languishing in hell. As for the folk who go onto sites like ‘spiritslessons.com’ and ‘insightsongod.org’ don’t knock them but instead the sites yourself and learn from them. I prefer to believe the survivors testimonies; it makes my life easier. This is my last comment to you.

  102. TO ALL THOSE THAT ARE TEMPTED INTO COMMITTING SUICIDE PLEASE READ THIS TESTIMONY.

    Attempted Suicide

    Posted on October 10, 2012 by Eternal Life Blog

    [Personal Testimony] Hello I was reading about suicide. Whoever commits suicide they go to hell. 6 years ago I committed suicide. I hung myself in my room. God told my mum go see what your son is doing. She saw me and I kick the chair. Thank God my uncle was here. My mum was screaming for help. He came in my room. To be honest when he was holding my hand satan was killing me, the string [rope] was still in my neck. I remember I was lying in my bed. My life was going. I saw my room turning into fire. I got scared. I never believed in hell…. Judas committed suicide. He is in hell. He walked with Jesus, stayed with him and he is in hell.

    [Bible Answer] God was VERY MERCIFUL to you! Now that you know suicide is not the answer, if the devil tempts you with suicide again, you know the vital importance of resisting his thoughts. Remember Rev. 21:8 and 1 John 3:15.

    Suicide is NEVER the answer. People commit suicide because they wrongly think the grave is the end OR they will go to heaven. Neither is true! Instead of such people escaping their pain and misery, they intensify it. Make your life count for God. Be an honor to Jesus, who died for your sins. A PARADISE heavenly home FOREVER can be yours, but you must come to Jesus, according to his terms!

  103. I find it interesting that people always say there is hope. How do you know? What if you were hated by everyone not for who you are but for what society has labeled you as. I am 34 and a virgin I am also a sex offender. How many people just read that and thought okay this guy can kill himself. For anyone else I will continue. I have never had any self confidence and I made a mistake. I touched my nieces breast. This occurred over three years ago. For this I have been arrested tried convicted estranged from my sister under strict probation which will continue into lifetime supervision and therapy. Despite the crippling pain and depression that comes with committing the act and suffering the consequences I press on. I get a job pay my bills and try to live a normal life however if I had problems talking to a woman before it just increased a thousand times. All I have is my job and now there is a bill in the legislature called the Adam Walsh act that would further label me a high risk to reoffend. When it’s adopted I will lose my job go into debt and become a plight on my mother. I am a Christian and I believe Christ died for my sins and He will forgive me but man cannot. My death will only make people feel safer. The irony is that I’m no threat I’m a coward. If I see young girls walking on the street I cross to the other side look at my feet and keep walking. I never think of doing them any harm. Should I kill myself when I can no longer work and support myself or should I become a burden on my mom?

  104. Joshua, please don’t kill yourself. I’m not implying that it will send You to hell, but Jesus has a much greater intent for Your life. Your life can be a radical testimony that noone is beyond forgiveness, not even for sins for which many humans may despise one. Find a church that really lovingly accepts You for who You are, a forgiven sinner

  105. Joshua, if you believe in Jesus and know that He died for your sins then you must ask Him for forgiveness, from a sincere and contrite heart, for all your sins. You won’t remember them all if you are like all of us who have approached the Lord for forgiveness but God will forgive you because you have humbled yourself to ask Him to forgive you. Then find a bible teaching church (ask God to show you) and start your amazing journey with Christ by becoming baptized and receiving His Holy Spirit who will teach you how to live obediently to God. If you commit suicide you are killing the image of God; you are committing self-murder and all this is a sin and you will never ever see heaven. BUT if you do what I have told you then you will have a wonderful life as you put Christ in front of you and you follow Him along the narrow road to Heaven. May our Blessed Saviour draw you to him; God bless you my friend.

  106. I like !!!! Is there anything higher then LOVE ? And God IS love- as we all are sinners. This for, Jesus has died-
    I strongly believe that all people accepting this will have the chance of resurrection to life – and after this it will be their decision if they want to worship our only God or not. Only then it will show if they are worthy of a blessed life in the holy kingdom, that Jesus told about. Thanks a lot for your words !!!!

  107. The Spirit and Soul of the Christian are perpetual and never are extinguished. The body dies and goes through stages of decomposition where the energy of life is dissipated as heat. The spirit of the natural human is his or her intellectual power. It is enhanced by reception of the divine Spirit/intellectual power. Without a body, the living power of the soul is negated, resulting in its decomposition. Without a soul, the spirit/intellectual power of the individual is consumed in intellectual suicide/self-immolation. The individual is destroyed, and the energy that was his life and soul and spirit is dissipated as small clusters of heat in the space of the universe. Read “The Fresh Agreement” to know all the truth with the certainty of the original languages.

  108. God is enough!

    God is bigger than all our problems,
    But when any person commits suicide, it shows they are overcome by their problems. Instead of turning to God, they went the opposite direction, and eventually to hell.

    Do you think Judas Iscariot is in heaven???

  109. I’m sorry but turning towards God is not enough. That’s basically Old Testament theology (repent of your dead works or evil deeds and turn towards God) see Heb. 9:13-14. It’s not enough to turn towards God, James says, “even the demons believe that God is one and tremble with fear.” Acts 20:21 says, “Testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus” (New Testament theology). After all Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Eph. 2:8.

    With that being said, whoever it is, no matter their sin, if they have true faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, faith which saves; there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus….Rom. 8:1-4. The apostle Paul goes on further in chapter 8 starting in verse 31 declaring the security of the believer. But I guess some here don’t hold or believe in this security. Some seem excited or proud of the fact that they can proclaim that person to eternal hell and damnation who commits suicide.

    I have read many of the responses to Michael’s blog here and I truly appreciate everyone’s concern with suicide and concern for those who may be contemplating it. Yes, I even believe it is sin to commit suicide. But it’s not something Christ didn’t atone for on the cross.

    I have lived through two family members who have taken their own lives and I have endured the pain and suffering both pre and post to those events. But I also try to relay the message of our Lord Jesus Christ as best as I can and I don’t rely on dreams, personal testimonies, or emotions; All of which are subordinate to the word of God and must be weighed against His word. I try to speak the truth in season and out of season and if I am ridiculed for what I believe to be the true word of God I count it as a blessing.

    Continued…

  110. For those who try to use the I John 3:15 verse to prove that murder or suicide leads to hell for a believer they are dead wrong. The person John is speaking of here is not a believer. I encourage all of us to exegete God’s word to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. And may God forgive all of us who sin in ignorance to His word.

    BTW, Please study up on Judas. You might find some things in the Old Testament (Psalm 41, Zechariah 11, and John 17:12 come to mind) that will enlighten you to the story of Judas and Gods sovereignty. Maybe then you’ll understand why he is where he is.

  111. We are told in scripture that our bodies are not our own; a HIGH price was paid for them. I was a victim of depression and suicide. I died after the gun shot and was shown the entrance to hell. Jesus saved me when I called out to Him. Suicide is not an option for anyone in this life otherwise we’d all be committing it just to get to heaven. I had a choice, whilst in my depression and I believed I would go to heaven when I died. Sadly this is not so, you will go to hell. This is the truth. I am sorry for every person who commits suicide because the demon inside them has deceived them Some have survived (you can read on youtube the ones that have) and have told about their entrance to hell for this act, others have not been able to.

  112. I heard from Evangelist Angelica Zambrano, that any person whom kills themselves before their time, is a murderer and is in Hell. That our lives are not our own to take. And not anyone is Saved, but only those who put in to practice God’s Commands, Repenting, accepting Christ, then bearing Good fruit (No sin) are the Saved ones.

  113. If a pastor or anyone tells you that suicides go to heaven they are lying. This has caused some Christians to commit suicide so that they can be in heaven. John Macarthur said this and a young person committed suicide and his mother sued.
    I read an article about the act of suicide and in it the author said that at natural death the soul is separated by the body and taken by angels( if you are born again and have kept God’s commandments) to heaven. But if you commit suicide there is no angel to take you to heaven at the separation of body and soul; you will be taken by the demons to hell. Spurgeon suffered from awful depression but kept running the race.
    There are many instances on youtube where someone has suicide and found themselves in hell……no-one went to heaven after the act. Pastor’s have no right to tell folk that one goes to heaven after suicide. They should rather say that they don’t know. But I know because I tried it and saw hell; by God’s grace He pulled me out of hell.

  114. @ Candy

    Seriously, I’m praying for you. Repent from this false prophetess.

  115. Romans 10 verses 5 through 15

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell? | eChurch Christian Blog - 2010-08-19

    […] previous post probably sets out clearest my own personal experiences and understanding on this difficult […]

  2. Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell? « Biblical Paths - 2010-08-20

    […] Michael Patton of the Parchment and Pen blog of whom I have the utmost respect has just blogged on this topic in relation to an email he […]

  3. The Question and God’s Answer | Jody’s Devotionals - 2010-08-20

    […] Michael Patton, theologian, recently wrote “Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?” on his blog. He expressed my views much better than I could repeat. I hope you will take a few […]

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