Thursday, June 4, 2009

Can a Christian Commit Suicide?

Thank you to The Fools Gold, I found the inspiration for this post at his blog. I've been thinking about this topic for a while (because at times I've worked with suicidal youth), so I was very glad when I stumbled across the John Piper quote he had on his site.

The question is, can a Christian commit suicide and still be a Christian? Or to put it another way, can a person who professes faith take their own life and then go on to Heaven?
This wonderful, Christ exalting answer comes from a funeral message John Piper preached over a year ago for a young man at Bethlehem who committed suicide. He addresses this issue in the following excerpt from the online manuscript:

The stake is this: True Christians can commit suicide. Or to put it another way:There is nothing unique or peculiar about the final act of life that makes it determinative in validating or nullifying our salvation. Or let me say it another way: The final season of faith with all its battles and failures is not the only season of faith that will bear witness in the Last Day that we were born again.

For example, suppose tonight, in my physical weariness, the remaining corruption in my born-again, Christian heart were to get the upper hand, and pride and self-pity and anger were to lash out verbally at my wife. And then suppose that in a great self-justifying huff, I stormed out of the door, got in the car, bolted carelessly through the stop sign on 18th Avenue and was broadsided by a truck and killed in an instant? Would I go to heaven?

Unless I have been a hypocrite through all these last fifty-five years of my Christian life, the answer is yes. For these reasons: 1) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for my sins and bore the wrath of God in my place so that all my sins might be forgiven. 2) Jesus Christ lived a perfect life of obedience so that by his obedience many sinners could be counted righteous, including me. 3) This sacrifice and this righteousness become mine by faith alone when I trust Jesus as the Lord and Savior and Treasure of my life. 4) This trust is embattled till the day I die, with seasons of strength and seasons of weakness, seasons of darkness and seasons of light. 5) If the last season is so dark that I die by my own sin, that season is not the only season that God takes into account when he presents the evidence that my faith was real.

The scripture that came to my mind after reading the article above was this: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

The power of Christ's blood cannot be rendered ineffective by any force; not by sin or even death. In fact, sin and death are the very reasons that Christ came into the world. The very things that most people believe repels God is why he came.

While it is true that God is repelled by sin, (His nature is infinitely perfect and no sin can exist in His presence), God ordained a way from the beginning of time to fulfill both his wrath and his mercy by taking on our sin and enduring God's wrath. The power of His blood arcs over all of time, it reaches back into the past and justifies the saints of the Old Testament who had faith and into the future for sins we (and our grandchildren) have not yet committed.

If God were not sovereign over these things, He would be no God at all. However, Him being sovereign over death and sin prove Him to be God. "When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." (Revelation 1:17-18)

God is also merciful, He knows that we are dust and He cares for us. God is all powerful, but unlike pagan gods, he is not a god who is constantly angry and demanding. He is a God who has come to provide for us by and through His own death. I recently found this beautiful quote by Tozer:

"When through the blood of the everlasting covenant we children of the shadows reach at last our home in the light, we shall have a thousand strings to our harps, but the sweetest may well be the one tuned to sound forth most perfectly the mercy of God. ... Mercy is an attribute of God, an infinite and inexhaustible energy within the divine nature which disposes God to be actively compassionate. Both the Old and the New Testaments proclaim the mercy of God, but the Old has more than four times as much to say about it as the New." ~ A.W. Tozer

By: Tavia Pitkanen

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