SUICIDE THE UNFORGIVABLE SIN?
Suicide the Unforgivable Sin?
Most of us have our own opinion and beliefs about suicide, but I’m interested in finding the truth through God’s Word. I’ve search and cross-referenced scripture, covering related topics such as Suicide the Unforgivable Sin, Is Repentance Necessary for Salvation?, Is Suicide Always Wrong?’ What the Bible Teaches, Believers and Suicide, and Biblical Examples of suicide. This paper shall examine the concept of suicide as the “unforgivable sin” in regards to the Christian faith and the Bible and its views on suicide.
The Bible says in John chapter 16 that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, whatever He hears from the Father. But sometimes there are answers to questions not so evident in the Bible. In that case, we need to go even further into our study by seeking the deeper mysteries of God, which He also commands us to do. Suicide the Unforgivable Sin?
This might seem like a confusing question, but it does have an answer. Though the Christian who has committed suicide has committed a grave sin, he is still forgiven (Bible Answer). But, in order for us to understand why a Christian who commits suicide is forgiven, we first need to understand what salvation is and what it is based upon.
Salvation is the state of being saved from God's judgment upon us the sinner (Erickson). The only way to be saved is to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). All who do not trust Jesus alone, by faith (Rom. 5:1; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9) are not forgiven and go to hell when they die (Matt. 25:46; John 3:18). When Jesus forgives someone, He forgives all their sins and gives them eternal life and they shall never perish (John 10:28). He does not give them temporary eternal life otherwise, it would not be eternal.
Salvation is not based upon what you do. In other words, you don't have to obey any Law of God in order to become saved. This is because no one is saved by keeping the Law of God (Gal. 2:21; Rom. 3:24-28). But that does not mean that you can go and sin all you want. Rom. 6:1-3 expressly condemns such action. Instead, we are saved for the purpose of purity (1 Thess. 4:7). Our salvation is strictly from God: "By grace through faith you have been saved…" (Eph. 2:8). Other than acting by faith in trusting and accepting what Jesus did on the cross, you don't do a thing (John 1:12-3) in order to become saved. Since you did not get your salvation by what you did, you cannot lose it by what you do.
What about the unforgivable sin? Is that suicide? Suicide is not the unforgivable sin (Sheedd). Jesus spoke of the unforgivable sin in Matt. 12:22-32. The context is when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the devil. Therefore, suicide is not the unforgivable sin. Is repentance necessary for salvation?
This is a good question and the answer is yes and no. Repentance is a necessary result of the saving work of God, not the cause of salvation (Erickson). If repentance brought salvation, then salvation is by works; or rather, the ceasing of bad works. That isn't how it works. God grants repentance to the Christian (2 Tim. 2:25). The Christian then turns from their sin; that is, they stops sinning. They are able to repent because they are saved, not to get saved.
In 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Confession of sin and its natural result of repentance are necessary elements of the Christian's life (Sheed). But, what about the sins that we do not know we commit? If we do not confess them and do not repent of them, are we still saved? I believe we are otherwise, we would be forced to confess and repent of every single sin we ever commit. In effect, we'd be back under the Law, living by a rule of absolute repentance of every detail lest you be damned. This is bondage,...
Bibliography: Bible Answers (2005) “What does the Bible say about suicide?” Available online at
Erickson, M. J. (2001) “Introducing Christian Doctrine” Grand Rapids: Baker Book House
Gregory, W.D. (1997) “Why the Church Opposes Assisted Suicide.” Catholic Update. August.
Ryan, J. A. (2000) “Insanity”. New Advent. Available online at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08041a.htm
Sheed, F. (1981) Theology for Beginners. Ann Arbor: Servant Press.
The Holy Bible, New International Version, Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Thompson, F. C. (1990) The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible. New International Version. Indianapolis. Kirkbridge Bible Co., Inc.
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