In a recent op ed for The Washington Post, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship reflected on the passing of fellow pastor Jarrid Wilson, who died by suicide on September 9th, 2019. Laurie emphasized that he believes Jarrid’s decision to commit suicide was not “spiritually fatal” and said failing to recognize this truth about suicide and hell can lead people to make extremely painful statements.
“One dark moment in a Christian’s life cannot undo what Christ did for us on the cross,” wrote Laurie. “When you stand before God, you won’t be judged by the last thing you did before you died, but by the last thing Jesus did before he died.”
Greg Laurie on Suicide and Hell
Laurie spoke at Jarrid’s memorial service, which took place several days after the young pastor’s death, and made his views on suicide and hell clear at that time. But some people have taken issue with Laurie’s position. He wrote, “Misunderstanding can lead people to say seriously hurtful things. I have received angry messages from ‘well-meaning’ Christians who are upset because I’ve said Jarrid went to heaven after he died.” Even more shocking, “One individual even commented to Jarrid’s wife, ‘We’re praying for you, but Jarrid is in hell!’”
Laurie was clear he did not think that suicide was a good or right choice. But, he said, the whole point of the gospel is that Jesus died to save us from the penalty of our wrong choices. It is not our right choices that save us, but our acceptance of the free gift Jesus has given us. Said Laurie, “I know that while living, Jarrid made the right choice: He chose Jesus Christ as his savior…Because of that, I believe Jarrid is in heaven right now.”
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Source: Church Leaders