NOTE: On May 13, 2013, my son, Jordan, took his own life. He was 19. What follows is one of the blogs I wrote in response to that event. nw
When I was a young Youth Pastor back in the 80’s, I attended a local seminar on Teen Suicide. I learned there are seven suicides recorded in the Bible. (1) Abimelech – this one is subject to interpretation since Abimelech was already mortally wounded and, as a result, ordered his servant to kill him. Technically, it’s homicide. But, Abimelech ordered it nonetheless. (2) Samson. (3) King Saul. (4) King Saul’s armor-bearer. (5) Ahithophel. (6) Zimri. And (7) Judas Iscariot.
Two biblical principles come to mind in light of the topic of suicide and what God has to say about it.
FIRST, I heard a wise preacher years ago say, “Just because the Bible records something doesn’t mean God approves it.” The Bible is an “unedited”, “un-sanitized” story of God’s plan to “turn right side up” what mankind “turned upside down” in Eden. As such, there are far more graphic stories throughout Scripture than the suicides cited above. Suicide is never approved in Scripture. At its most basic root, suicide is murder – of yourself.
SECOND, some have come to believe the satanic lie that “if a person commits suicide they will go to hell.” This is 100% man-made myth. You will find this nowhere in Scripture. What you will find is the complete opposite. God’s Word speaks with absolute clarity. Paul wrote, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation (this would include suicide), will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38, 39) In short, nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ – regardless of the manner in which we meet Him face to face.
According to the Bible, suicide sends no one to hell. Rejecting Christ sends a person to hell. To be clear, the only “unpardonable sin” in all of Scripture is rejecting faith in Jesus Christ as Savior & Lord. Again, here’s what the Bible says: John wrote, “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Allow me, parenthetically, to address a comment made to me stating that murder was an unpardonable sin. A statement like that completely nullifies the sufficiency of the Cross and the atoning power of Jesus’ shed blood. Either Jesus’s death cleanses us from all sin, or no sin. Furthermore, according to Scripture, all sin is unpardonable. This is why we needed a Savior. There’s a reason Jesus, from the cross, said, “It is finished.” His mission was fulfilled, dying for all sin – past, present & future. Regarding the sin of murder, I was able to remind this person of the following: Moses, a man who received the 10 Commandments directly from God, and (many scholars believe) authored the first five books of the Bible, was a murderer. King David, who authored 73 of the 150 Psalms, was guilty of having Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, murdered. Paul (formerly Saul), author of 13 books in our New Testament, was a direct accomplice to Stephen’s murder. Luke recorded, “And Saul approved of [Stephen’s] execution.” We are a corrupt lot, we earthlings. But, to quote the same Paul (who knew well the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ): “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!…”
This is the Gospel: Our eternal destiny is based not on what we do, but on what Christ did! My friends, as author, Philip Yancey, has so beautifully written, “There’s nothing we can do to make God love us any more; and there’s nothing we can do to make God love us any less.” His love for us is fixed – inexorably unmitigated, based on a death-destroying event 20 centuries ago outside of Jerusalem – the crucifixion of His Son, Jesus Christ! To a grieving Martha, Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”
As a young child, my son, Jordan, professed his faith in Christ. (You can read more about Jordan here.) And when he first opened his eyes after his final breath, according to Holy Scripture, he was in Paradise….and saw Jesus Christ. “Truly I tell you,” Jesus told the dying thief, “today you will be with me in paradise.” (Please see “NOTE” at the end of this blog.)
This I know to be true: God says, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…..Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 54-57).
And what that means is that, through Christ, alone, death has been conquered for all who have placed their faith in Him – regardless of the manner in which we die. To echo Job, “Blessed be the name of the Lord!”
FYI – I address a reader’s very good question about “suicide and the Bible” (a question I didn’t address in this blog) in another post which you can access here.
Jordan, my love, I will see you soon.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick
NOTE: If you have been, or are, suicidal, please do not misconstrue my intent here by interpreting this blog as it being ok to take your life since the Bible clearly says, if you’ve professed your faith in Christ, you will go to heaven. Suicide is never the answer to one’s problems. I know from personal experience the devastation suicide has on a family and friends. If you are depressed and/or suicidal, get help immediately. Talk to someone – anyone. Help and hope are available in abundance. (Click here for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.) The sole purpose of this blog is to give peace to those of us who have been forced to live through this horrific tragedy.