There has been a view among Christians that I have heard since my childhood that people who commit suicide go to hell. I heard it again recently and was so disturbed that I feel I must try to clear up some very wrong thinking.
Primarily the idea behind this error is that; if we are in sin as we die then we are excluded from heaven because of our action of defiance against what God holds sacred… human life.
Let me make 2 points:-
1. If we are in Christ then we are not (ever) in sin !! Our sinful nature has been removed from us at the cross and we have been born again of God. We may fail at times along life’s journey, but we will never again be encumbered by the depraved and godless condition known as the sinful nature. This was permanently removed by the magnificent work of Christ and we received it by placing faith in His work.
2. There is no longer any sin that God is offended by. It doesn’t matter how gross, the power of Christ’s shed blood blew all of mankind’s sins into oblivion. We simply need to receive that reality by faith. The sin against the Holy Spirit is altogether different as it is a rejection of Christ’s atoning sacrifice after fully grasping the truth of it. In other words having a genuine revelation of Christ and Him crucified and then saying No! I don’t want it.
A Christian I know recently chose to comfort a family member of someone who committed suicide by proclaiming that the person was now in hell. This is an appalling abuse of not only the person involved but also the sacrifice of Christ. It implies that Christ’s sacrifice is not adequate to deal with all sin, only those sin’s that we have an opportunity to repent of before we die.
This is not the gospel of Jesus Christ, but rather a distorted mix of legalism and proud religious superiority.
If you know my blogs then you will be aware that this reaction is somewhat out of character for me. I don’t usually go to the trouble of confronting individual errors, I normally discuss more general issues of our faith.
In this instance I feel I must address such a miscarriage of the good news square on. Jesus came to unconditionally rescue us from our predicament of sin, death and satan. And He did it!!