About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

WHAT IF A CHRISTIAN COMMITS SUICIDE?


Will a person who commits suicide go to Hell? If so, can a Christian commit suicide?


I remember when I first heard about someone committing suicide.  I was in 5thgrade hearing on a person taking their own life.  I remember in Dad's church, preachers who came who tried to commit suicide.  And of course some who really did.  Its been a part of ministry to deal with those who take their own life.  I remember trying to think through why a person would want to do that, but I just couldn’t understand their motivation.  Over the years since then, I’ve walked alongside a few friends who have lost parents and siblings to suicide as well.  It is a confusing and depressing situation, especially for the family and friends that are left behind to deal with the pain.

For a preacher, a pastor, who is a pastor of a church to commit suicide in their church, must be the most paradoxical of all.  To have preached on Sunday a very good biblical sermon that was so good, yet looking back seeing the stress, its so amazing.  


How does it happen is for another post but we will give a brief answer as to the question I have asked?

Before answering the question at hand, let’s try to create a biblical framework around the idea of suicide.  Suicide is the murder of oneself, or self-murder, and because there are explicit commands from God to not murder anyone (Ex. 20:13), we can conclude that suicide is definitely a sin.  As humans, we are created in the image of God, which means we are made like God and we represent God to the world.  Because we bear the image of God, our lives have dignity and value.  This is why the Scriptures are so clear in the condemnation of murder.  To murder someone, even yourself, is to place yourself in God’s position because we are taking authority over someone’s life.  We know that the Creator God alone has ultimate authority, and therefore no “creature” has a right to steal life, even his own. 

While it is true that suicide is murder, murder is sin, and sin separates from God; it is equally true that all sin is forgiven by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.  There is no place in Scripture that teaches that suicide is an “unforgivable” sin.  So to answer the question, a person who commits suicide is not automatically sent to Hell.  A person’s eternal destination is completely decided by their faith and trust in the sacrifice of Jesus for their salvation, or on the other hand, their lack of faith. 

We must recognize that even in the brokenness of our world... God has rescued us...

Now to answer the second question, there is nothing more paradoxical in this world than a Christian who commits suicide.  A Christian has hope because they are trusting Jesus for salvation and they have the promises of eternal life and restoration with God.  So for a Christian to commit suicide, they are giving up hope even though they are trusting in the God of all hope.  That’s why it is a paradox, but it does happen because of the brokenness of our world.  Most of the time, despair grows as we lose hope, and we lose hope because we transfer our satisfaction and contentment from the eternal things of God to the temporary things of this world.  There are almost always a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual factors (such as depression, anxiety, despair, etc.) that lead people towards suicidal thoughts, but none of these should ever be used as an excuse to attempt to justify the act.  So in an effort to be clear, it is possible for a person who is a Christian to commit suicide.  But even in stating that, it should never be an excuse or a license for anyone to take their own life.  We must recognize that even in the brokenness of our world where despair is so prevalent, God has rescued us and called us out of death and into life, out of darkness and into light, out of despair and into hope.  We must base our lives on the promises of God and the truth of the gospel, just like Paul stated in Romans 5:1-5...

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.  We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. F
or we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.