Michael Brown on Is Suicide the Unpardonable Sin?

There are some Christians who believe that suicide is an unpardonable sin, the logic being this: Suicide is self-murder, no murderer-has eternal life, and you cannot repent of the sin of suicide, since it is your last and final act.

Other Christians argue that we are forgiven because of what Jesus did, not what we do. Therefore, regardless of which sins we commit or do not commit, Jesus still saves us.

Still others would say, “Who says suicide is always a sin? What if the person suffered unbearable pain or was not in his or right mind? Surely God would overlook this.”

Before we try to answer these important, theological questions, we need to pause for a moment and look at the human side of these agonizing questions.

Just this past week, Pastor Jarrid Wilson, himself the founder of a suicide outreach group, took his own life, leaving behind his wife and young children.

Adding to the tragedy is the fact that, on the very day he committed suicide, he presided at the funeral of another suicide victim. Perhaps the pain of it all was just too much to bear?

Like many of you, I have never suffered from mental illness or battled depression. And aside from one crazed thought I had in 1971 in the midst of a massive overdose of hallucinogenic drugs, I have never for a split second contemplated suicide. (For those who don’t know my story, I have been drug free and alcohol free since December 17, 1971.)

So, I am in no way qualified to address the psychological or medical or emotional aspects of depression, mental illness, or suicide. And the very last thing I would dream of doing would be to judge someone who committed suicide (unless they plainly stated their reasons for their actions, thereby explaining things for themselves.)

What, then, of the biblical questions? What about the question of sin and salvation?

Speaking at Jarrid’s memorial service, Greg Laurie, the senior pastor of the church where Jarrid served, said this: “When you stand before God, you won’t be judged by the last thing that you did before you died. You’ll be judged by the last thing Jesus did before he died. He died for your sin.”

Here, Pastor Laurie makes an important point.

Many Christians think that if they fail to confess every last sin they commit each day, if they die in their sleep, they will go to hell. Or if they lose their temper on the road, yelling at a driver who cut them off, then die in a car crash, they will go to hell because they didn’t have time to repent.

That is a real misconception, one that can produce condemnation, fear, and bondage. (Bear in mind that I write these words as someone who believes in the importance of confession of sin and as one of the best-known opponents of the doctrine called hyper-grace.)

But we are not saved or lost based on a specific sin we commit (or do not commit). We are saved based on our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, who then becomes our Lord and calls us to live a new life.

What if we reject His lordship once we are saved? What if we turn away from Him and deny Him? Can we then forfeit our salvation?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown