Just a quick one today, although if you start thinking about the lesson, you’ll be tangled up thinking about the mercies of God for a long, long time. Here’s the scoop. I promoted a page last week having to do with teen suicide. In it, I stated that suicide is not the unforgivable sin and referenced Greg Laurie of Harvest for more information regarding suicide and believers. I understand that there is controversy surrounding this. I grew up in a church with the belief that suicide was an automatic ticket to hell. While the bible doesn’t address this topic specifically with regards to salvation, we can draw conclusions when we examine things closely.
Let’s start with a framework of thought, if you allow me to do so. I don’t know this first hand; but from what I understand, suicide is a method of escape from life’s problems. If there were no problems, there would be no reason to escape. We all must deal with these problems. Unfortunately, all too often we turn to sin to cope with them. Basically, this is idolatry. I’m choosing this or that over God. When I should be turning to Jesus for my praise and comfort and instead turn to something else, it doesn’t matter what else, then I have other gods before the one, true and living God. That’s idolatry. That’s sin. So, if suicide is an escape mechanism, it is turning to something else besides God. That’s sin. I’m not sure we can take the leap to say it is a sin that is “unforgivable.”
Why would I say that? Isn’t suicide a willful act that shows unbelief that God can help? I would venture to say that it is. But you know what? So is stuffing my face to feel better after a bad day. So is pouring a big drink. Heck, what about needing coffee so that I’m not crabby in the morning? That’s addiction speaking, and addiction is idolatry. So, isn’t any sin willful? Or, can we say that there is some sin that we cannot escape, that it, sin that is beyond God’s help? No, there is not.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Even so, we sin. Hopefully, we who are saved will find ourselves sinning less and less, although our remaining sin will bother us more and more. We won’t be rid of sin until that day we stand before Jesus. Think about it. If we can rid ourselves completely of sin, we won’t need Jesus. If we don’t need Jesus, he died in vain. That isn’t going to happen.
No, we will continue to sin this side of heaven. Thanks be to God that he is merciful. We have a way of dealing with this problem.
1 John 5:10 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
So, does that mean we need to confess our sins and so be clean? Does that mean I have to get all clean so that I may have no sin before I die? If I don’t, does that mean I don’t get into heaven? Some would say that suicide is proof one lacks faith and offers no chance for repentance. Eating a plateful of cookies demonstrates my lack of faith. What if I choke on a cookie and die? Does that send me to the lake of fire?
Romans 5 is a great place to understand that Jesus died for our sins, past, present, and future. Let’s take a peek.
Romans 5 6:11 For while we still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
I realize this goes against some major denominational doctrine, but the bible is clear in many places and in many ways that faith as small as a mustard seed is what is required to be saved. With faith, sin can no longer keep us in the grave. And guess what? Faith, itself, is a gift from God. Think about that for awhile.
Father, thank you for your mercy. Without Jesus, I can do nothing. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers