Suicide Isn’t an Unpardonable Sin

hires_140926_436There can be no doubt that suicide by our nation’s veterans has become a national emergency. There is even a hashtag for it (#22aday). It is on the national consciousness yet it seems that nothing is affecting the numbers. For those people who are left behind in the wake of a suicide there are oftentimes more than just earthly concerns. Many people who don’t understand what true forgiveness and a reconciliation with God might fall into the belief that the sin of suicide is beyond redemption. Not only do these family members have to start their lives minus an important person in their family, now many believe (wrongly) that their family member is ultimately in hell. The concept of an unpardonable sin (after salavation in Christ) is incorrect and non-biblical. I hope today to give comfort to those of you who have lost someone to suicide and to give you the peace of mind that if your loved one had accepted Christ into their lives that the method of their death does not negate their salvation.

I will say it again, the concept of suicide being an unpardonable sin is non-biblical. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that suicide unredeemable. In fact there are several instances in the Old Testament where suicide was used by the prophets. If you look at the deaths of Samson and of King Saul you will see that neither sets of scriptures condemn this act. Now I want to make sure that I don’t go down the slippery slope and make you believe that I am condoning suicide either. Suicide falls under the same commandment as murder. Whether murdering your neighbor or yourself. What I am trying to tell you is that this sin is no worse than any other in the eyes of the Father and that the heavy nature placed upon it was done by men and not God.

My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. – John 10:29

At the end of the day, once you belong to Christ, you are His forever.

There is one Bible verse that speaks about an unforgivable sin and should put to rest any doubt about to forgive-ability of suicide with salvation in Christ.

“I promise you that any of the sinful things you say or do can be forgiven, no matter how terrible those things are. But if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you can never be forgiven. That sin will be held against you forever.” – Mark 3:28-29

Aside from the rejection of God, any sin can be forgiven. The belief that somehow Christ’s sacrifice is insufficient for some sins but not for others cheapens the price paid by Jesus on the cross. Those of us who have been forgiven and saved in the blood of Christ have been forgiven for the sins we have committed, the sins we are committing, and the sins we will commit.

soldiers-prayingThere is one slight problem with the understanding that any sin is forgivable. Though the grace of God is matchless and is beyond comprehension, it must first be accepted. It is a sad reality, but whether a nonbeliever dies of natural causes or by suicide, the gift of forgiveness of sin was not accepted. The reality is that any person who dies outside of Christ’s salvation ends up in the same place no matter the method of death. This is the reason why witnessing to the lost especially those who are hurting and in need is so important. Every time one of our friends or family members die without having accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior we should all see it as a failure on our part. Not everyone will accept this salvation, but how do you know if you never even try. If that does not convicted you, I don’t know what will.

I truly believe that Christ can save lives both in the spirit and in the body. I personally achieved so much healing and comfort when I was saved. The memories became easier to bear and the pain gained purpose. I realized at that moment that I did not need to deal with the burdens of my past by myself. I believe that this understanding would be a game changer and would drastically reduce veterans suicide throughout our country. That being said, if you have lost a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, a cousin or friend, rest easy in the knowledge that if they were a Christ follower that they are waiting for you and that their earthly pain is over.

Michael Davis
Senior Editor of Veterans to Christ. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.