Jesus Saves: Even from the Sin of Suicide
Elder Jeff Winfrey, Pastor
Dawson Springs Primitive Baptist Church
101 East Walnut Street
Dawson Springs, KY 42408
Coping With A Suicide
Coping with the death of a loved one is always difficult. But surely some situations by their very nature are more difficult than others. In a case where all that are involved know that the death is approaching, it is often possible to at least somewhat get prepared for the moment. Hopefully there can be precious unforgettable moments where you are able to say to him those things that you had always wanted to say. Or maybe you can be blessed to be able to sit with her and squeeze her hand as she peacefully passes into glory. But even when you know it is coming, there is still an indescribable emptiness in your heart when you realize the dreaded moment has come.
But in the case of an accidental death, there is no time to prepare. There is a knock at the door. You see the look on your pastor’s face and you know it is bad. There is a phone call and you know by the tone of voice that you do not want to hear what is coming. There’s no right way to deliver such news. There’s no easy way to take such a message. Words cannot describe the ripping apart of your heart. Your mind goes into a blur. An agony fills your soul. Say it’s not so! It can’t be real. But as the long moments pass you know that it is. There was no time for good-byes. There was no last “I love you.”
But worse than either of these is the case where you learn that your loved one has taken his or her own life. You must deal with the emptiness of heart. And you have to cope with the torn apart heart. But in addition to these you have to try to answer the heart wrenching questions.
“What could I have done?’
The Eternal Question
A deep sense of loss is felt at the death of a loved one, even when you knew it was coming. To that deep sense of loss there is an added shock at the sudden news of an unexpected death. And to that deep sense of loss and added shock comes a multiplied sense of despair when the death is a suicide.
You who are left behind are haunted with many hard questions. “Why did he do it?” “Why was she so unhappy?” “Why couldn’t things have been different?”
And perhaps you are left with the even more haunting questions. “What could I have done?” “What could I have said?”
But the most haunting question of all may have to do with the eternal destiny of the one you loved so dearly. There is a widespread error that continues to very much disturb God’s people concerning the false teaching that a person who commits suicide is doomed to hell forever.
This mistaken idea is not based on anything that is found in God’s word. It is a man-made idea found in a system that is based in error. Any scheme that bases the eternal salvation of sinners on works is contrary to the Bible and will lead to error.
Suicide is wrong, but the Bible does not say that it is some kind of unique, unforgivable sin. Now it is admitted that there is no way to repent of this particular wrong. But heaven is not based on our works, including the act of repentance. By grace ye are saved….not of works. Our works are what justly condemn us to a burning hell. All of us are sinners, not just the ones who commit suicide. But be assured that the same blood of Christ that washes away all the sins of all His people can surely wash away the wrong connected with a suicide.
Salvation By Grace
At the time of death nothing beats the idea of salvation by grace and grace alone. When we come to the end of our way, we all must admit that we have fallen far short. Each of us has many times broken God’s laws and the Bible says that if we offend in one point of the law we are guilty of it all. There is none good and if our salvation is based on our sinful lives we all burn in hell forever.
But salvation is by God’s grace and not by man’s works. Before creating man God had a plan to save man. In His infinite wisdom God knew that man would become sinful and if man were to be saved from his sin God would have to do it. So God chose to save sinners before sinners ever sinned. Before time began God gave a vast host of sinners to His Son in a Covenant of Grace. At the appointed time Jesus came into the world as a man with a mission. Thou shalt call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins. Jesus came to save and He was successful in finishing the task. In His own words He proclaimed, It is finished, as He had paid for all the sins of all His people. Redemption was accomplished. The sins of all God’s children had been washed from them. God was satisfied with the work of Christ, and God was satisfied with the ones Christ had done the work for. There were no sins left by which they could be condemned. They were justified by Jesus’ blood and declared by God to be righteous. Since God declared them righteous, nothing can keep them out of heaven. Jesus came to do the Father’s will and the Father’s will was that Jesus would lose nothing of the ones He had been given. Praise God, no sin was too vile and no sinner so lost that grace and blood could not successfully save.
Saul and Samson
Consider Saul and Samson as we try to refute the error that those who commit suicide are condemned to hell. They had failed to honor God in their lives and when faced with life’s problems both knowingly took their own lives. But the evidence shows that both were born-again children of God, and if so their salvation was certain.
In Saul’s case we find that Samuel said to Saul, “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee.” The passage further says, “God gave him another heart.” The Spirit of God did come upon Saul and that Spirit took out of Saul a hard and stony heart and gave him a heart of flesh. This is a description of the new birth, even the giving of eternal life to one who had been dead to spiritual things. And be assured that this life that is given at the time of the new birth is eternal life, so that the one who receives it will never perish. Saul lost his earthly life by committing suicide, but you cannot lose the eternal life that is given at the new birth. Saul’s final sin was just one more in a long list of sins, but the blood of Christ was good enough for that one too. That eternal life that Jesus paid for and that eternal life that the Spirit gave to Saul at his new birth could never end.
Samson’s life was spent with harlots and his death was self inflicted, but he is listed among the faithful in the book of Hebrews. The Bible is clear that faith is a fruit of the Spirit. So if Samson had faith he must have had God’s Spirit. And if He had the Spirit of eternal life while here on this earth, he must now and forever be in possession of the same Spirit-given eternal life.
Both these men failed God in life and in death, but though we fail Him, His life giving grace cannot fail us.
Once in Grace Always in Grace
Those who falsely teach that our eternal life is based on our works do two terrible things. First of all, they rob Christ of His glory. The Bible declares that Jesus successfully saved every one of His children by His finished work on the cross. So to now think that one that He died for can go to hell not only robs Jesus of His glory but also makes Him a failure.
And secondly these false teachings rob God’s children of the assurances that are clearly laid out for them in the Bible about the certainty that every one of God’s children will finally be saved to heaven.
Dear child of God, I beg you to find peace and assurance in these words spoken by your Savior.
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Oh, what assurances! All that God gave to Jesus before time began will be with Jesus when time ends. God gave them to Jesus and Jesus gave to them eternal life. None can be lost, nor can they perish, not even the ones that commit suicide. No man, or no act of man, can pluck one of these from God’s saving hand. Praise God