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View Full Version : Do suicides go to hell?



DeniseK
05-15-2006, 06:17 AM
I know, a terrible topic. But here it is, mother's day, and I am in much pain. My 30 year old son killed himself last April, and though I am doing much better, I can't seem to stop being tortured by the idea that his soul is not at rest. Mine isn't either. I wish there were a way for me to find peace. I don't go to church, but I was raised Baptist, fire and brimstone, and all that learning is firmly planted in my head, although I don't want to believe it, I can't get past the thought that he is still suffering.

Can you offer some guidance or send me to a place online to find some? I don't like the sites for parents of suicides, they are depressing, as if people are building alters to their dead children and refuse to get past it.

Pat~
05-15-2006, 06:34 AM
Denise, I am so sorry about your painful loss. My heart goes out to you today. If it is any consolation to you, I have read nothing in the Bible which would indicate that all suicides go to hell, and I've read it pretty thoroughly. Hugs to you.

DeniseK
05-15-2006, 06:39 AM
Thanks, Pat. But isn't that a pretty widely held belief? I thought it came from the bible.

Perks
05-15-2006, 06:45 AM
I would guess it's a widely held belief so that people disinclined to suicide can have one more argument to lob, in some ham-handed way, to try to prevent their loved ones from going that route.

If Pat says it's not a biblically based conclusion, you can take it to the bank. That lady knows her stuff.

Denise, I'm so sorry. I believe there's peace, in some form or another, for those who find this plane too trying.

Shwebb
05-15-2006, 06:47 AM
Denise, there are a lot of widely held beliefs that aren't biblical.

I believe our God to be merciful. He is the only one fit to judge. AND He gave His Son so that we could be with Him. He desires us to be with Him. How can we say what is in the mind of God? I hope you will be able to feel His love and His comfort for you.

Pat~
05-15-2006, 06:48 AM
Thanks, Pat. But isn't that a pretty widely held belief? I thought it came from the bible.

It may be a pretty widely held belief, but God didn't say it.

P.H.Delarran
05-15-2006, 06:58 AM
it's an interpretation from the bible, sure. when i was growing up, i flitted from church to church and was exposed to different views on what happens if one is sinning as they die and has no time to ask for forgiveness. one religion in particular took a very heartless stance on the topic. but i believe it was Christ himself that says nothing can separate us from Him (God), and somewhere i was taught that all of our sins were forgiven even before we commit them. many faiths strongly believe this. those fire and brimstone sermons are scare tactics..they have their purpose i 'spose, but they scared the hell out of me and i came back week after week convinced that things i did during the week condemned me. sure glad i got past that. i don't have verses right off but will look around tonight. i have no doubt that i am continually under God's grace, heck, i'm depending on it. He promises this.
you can't do anything about the past, and all the what ifs could surely torture you if you let them. i can't even imagine the pain that you must carry. i wish i could offer something to comfort you. just keep in mind, in spite of the fire and brimstone mentality you may have encountered growing up, that God is also merciful. He molded and created your son with great care and love. (there's a verse in jeremiah that confirms this, ill look it up as well.) a tortured soul alive on earth would pain Him. whatever hurt prompted your your boy to end this journey, he has the same promise that we all have of eternal comfort and an end to pain and surely he is safe in his Creator's arms as we speak.
much love to you today Denise.

DeniseK
05-15-2006, 07:08 AM
"He molded and created your son with great care and love. A tortured soul alive on earth would pain Him. whatever hurt prompted your boy to end this journey, he has the same promise that we all have of eternal comfort and an end to pain and surely he is safe in his Creator's arms as we speak."

THIS is what I need to believe.

Thank you, all of you.

Pat~
05-15-2006, 07:13 AM
Denise, sending you a PM :-).

Puddle Jumper
05-15-2006, 07:16 AM
Do suicides go to hell?
Another question you might ask here is - if you're a Christian and sin and you die before you repent of it, do you go to hell?

The answer is no.

If your son was a Christian and if he did belong to Jesus, he is in heaven.

Jesus died for us once. He can't die for us a second time. He also understands the human condition better than we do. God knew before the creation of this universe that man would become a slave to sin. And he knew that as long as we had mortal flesh and blood, we would struggle with that sinful nature.

The bottom line, Christians still sin. Becoming a Christian does not make a person perfect, it makes them saved. And salvation is not dependent upon our strengths and abilities to not sin. It's dependent upon God's mercy and love for us. That's not to say we can't willfully disown Him which the Bible says if we do He will disown us. But the Bible says that even when we are faithless, He remains faithful because He can not disown Himself. When we are saved, we become His and He doesn't let us go easily. He holds on to us even when we drift away because He loves us and His nature is love.

My heart aches for your loss.

DeniseK
05-15-2006, 07:48 AM
Thank you, Puddle Jumper. You guys are great. :D

SeanDSchaffer
05-15-2006, 08:12 AM
Some people believe that all suicides end up in Hell, but I've never read in my Bible anything that states such a thing.

The Bible does say, on the other hand, that Whosoever believeth in Him (Christ) shall not perish but have everlasting life.


I hope this helps, Denise, and I'm awful sorry about your loss.

InspiredWriter
05-15-2006, 09:44 AM
Dear Denise,

I am sorry your son died and left you with unanswered questions and disquietude. I lost a friend last year to suicide and wrestled with the question of his salvation pretty extensively.

In my friend's case, I know exactly where he is: safe at last in the arms of Jesus! My friend was in so much emotional and physical torment that he could not receive the love so many offered him. He was a believer in Jesus and left a simple note that read: May God have mercy on me. I believe that throughout scripture, God reveals that he is a God of justice and mercy, but His mercy supercedes his absolute justice in that He took the penalty for all sin upon himself, providing for us the mercy we cannot live without.

I hope that the following scriptures bring you some measure of comfort and peace. I also hope that you will find safety in Jesus, the Comforter of our souls who loves you and wants to hold you through this painful, perplexing and horrible time, that you may come through it stronger and wiser and more dependent upon the God who loves you!
Romans 8:31-39 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
10:28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Romans 10:13 "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." With my Sympathy and prayers,

Elizabeth

DeniseK
05-15-2006, 04:40 PM
Thanks, Sean.

Elizabeth, I am reading this, the first thing I clicked on, with my coffee this morning. I must say that these words from last night and again this morning ARE offering me peace. I will keep these verses close by.

Thanks so much, and I am sorry to hear about your friend.

LloydBrown
05-15-2006, 05:40 PM
According to Catholic doctrine, no, suicides do not go to Hell. For a long time, the Roman Catholic did teach that suicide was a mortal sin, so I'm sure that long-held and widespread belief contributed to worldwide thought.

Currently, the church teaches that someone who is distraught enough for suicide is not making a clear decision. It's like someone who freezes in panic on a test in school--it doesn't mean they don't know the material; it just means they're not thinking straight. Unfortunately in the case of suicide, there's no second chance for other thoughts.

I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you find peace.

Minister
05-15-2006, 07:45 PM
I dealt with this question with a lot of very confused highschoolers after one of the most prominent high school athletes and scholars in this borough of NYC committed suicide. Most of these boys were Catholic, and had been raised to believe that suicide was a mortal sin.

But as others have made very clear here, the real issue is not what action was a person's last -- the issue is whether or not they have accepted Christ as their Savior. We can't know a person's heart, but we can know what the Bible says. And John 3:16 says, "...that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Note the word "everlasting" -- it means lasting forever. Once a person trusts Christ, they have that everlasting life, a life that never ends. If they could somehow still go to hell, it would make God's Word a lie -- their everlasting life would have ended. For this, among other reasons, I think the Bible is extremely clear that once a person is saved, nothing they or anyone else does can take that salvation away from them.

silentpoet
05-17-2006, 02:46 AM
Jesus said there was one unforgiveable sin, Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. If suicide were unforgiveable, then Jesus would have said so. Now I will not say all suicide is forgiveable, but I would say that some is forgiveable.

Also God has said "I will have mercy on who I will have mercy" That is my response to those who claim to know the final estate of others.

I don't fully agree with the OSAS potion above, but I am alot closer to that position than many. If I err in my judgement or positions I try to err on the side of grace.

rich
05-17-2006, 03:54 AM
I'm surprised, Desinek, that that question came from you, but that you asked that question can be discussed at another time.

I'm not religious, but I was raised in the Catholic religion, schooling and all. I don't believe in a hereafter. That doesn't mean I exclude spirituality.

I know you must be hurting badly for you to bring it up here. If there is such a thing as a soul his is at rest. I think we sometimes choose to die because of circumstances that we can't cope with at one of our weaker moments--and that's the whole lot of us. A parent's grief is so overwhelming that nothing can stop the burning. The only respite is time, and some outlet, even if its with the orgs you don't feel comfortable with. You may find another person who feels your way. As far as fire and brimstone goes, you've a brain, you'll know the reality soon enough.

Puddle Jumper
05-17-2006, 03:57 AM
Jesus said there was one unforgiveable sin, Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. If suicide were unforgiveable, then Jesus would have said so. Now I will not say all suicide is forgiveable, but I would say that some is forgiveable.

Also God has said "I will have mercy on who I will have mercy" That is my response to those who claim to know the final estate of others.

I don't fully agree with the OSAS potion above, but I am alot closer to that position than many. If I err in my judgement or positions I try to err on the side of grace.
Has anyone ever figured out what blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is exactly? I've heard several theories.

Pat~
05-17-2006, 04:02 AM
Jesus said there was one unforgiveable sin, Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. If suicide were unforgiveable, then Jesus would have said so. Now I will not say all suicide is forgiveable, but I would say that some is forgiveable.


As you said yourself, the Bible mentions only one unforgiveable sin--and it's not suicide. Ever.

Pat~
05-17-2006, 04:14 AM
PJ, regarding blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, here is an excellent link exploring what it means:

http://www.biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi?number=T95

The article ends by saying, "In summary, we may confidently conclude that "blasphemy against the Spirit" is overt, even verbal, repudiation of the presence of God's Spirit in the ministry of Jesus and those whom he has sent."

(I've heard it much simplified to mean, in essence, 'unbelief'.)

Puddle Jumper
05-17-2006, 06:09 AM
PJ, regarding blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, here is an excellent link exploring what it means:

http://www.biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/BakersEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi?number=T95

The article ends by saying, "In summary, we may confidently conclude that "blasphemy against the Spirit" is overt, even verbal, repudiation of the presence of God's Spirit in the ministry of Jesus and those whom he has sent."

(I've heard it much simplified to mean, in essence, 'unbelief'.)
Except that unbelief can become belief and we can become forgiven. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit I believe was described as something that would never be forgiven.

Another thought I've had is this. Later on in the Bible (and I can hunt down the verses if you like) there are verses which would suggest you can lose your salvation, you can willfully turn your back on Jesus after entering into a relationship and walk away, and such people are forever lost because Jesus can not die a second time. Perhaps this "overt, even verbal, repuddiation of the presence of God's spirit in the ministry of Jesus and those whom he sent" refers to the person who does this after being saved. Although I don't quite gather that in the context of that passage about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for the link, btw.

Pat~
05-17-2006, 06:24 AM
Although I don't quite gather that in the context of that passage about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Thanks for the link, btw.

Neither do I....and you're welcome for the link :) .

oarsman
05-17-2006, 07:29 AM
I think these original thoughts about suicide came from the 5th century in Rome and St. Augustine in his book "The City of God". His teachings influenced Christianity at the time and it was after his time that Christians began to severely condemn suicide.

There are several suicides in the old and new testament and they are not condemned in the writings.

William Haskins
05-17-2006, 08:02 AM
sometimes what one wants to say has already been said (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=616300&postcount=18).

denise, you're in my thoughts.

JennaGlatzer
05-17-2006, 11:20 AM
:Hug2:

DeniseK
05-17-2006, 01:22 PM
Thanks, Jenna, thanks to all who have offered their words of wisdom and their kindness.

Rich, I am confused. Why are you surprised that I would ask this question? Or are you just surprised that I would ask it here? And even that is confusing to me. Where else but a Christian forum would I ask this question, as a believer?

rich
05-17-2006, 02:13 PM
Sorry, Denise. I didn't notice it was a Christian forum. Most times I just click on "new posts" without looking at the topic. Ignore my first paragraph; just know that what I went on to say was heartfelt.

johnnysannie
05-17-2006, 04:25 PM
According to Catholic doctrine, no, suicides do not go to Hell. For a long time, the Roman Catholic did teach that suicide was a mortal sin, so I'm sure that long-held and widespread belief contributed to worldwide thought.

Currently, the church teaches that someone who is distraught enough for suicide is not making a clear decision. It's like someone who freezes in panic on a test in school--it doesn't mean they don't know the material; it just means they're not thinking straight. Unfortunately in the case of suicide, there's no second chance for other thoughts.

I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you find peace.

I am a cradle Catholic and have been touched by suicide within my family. Even in the old (pre-Vatican II) church, we were not taught that our loved one went to hell but that he would spend time, as do many souls in Catholic teaching, in Purgatory and so we lit candles and had masses said for his soul for sometime. In most recent years, I have asked a priest who said that no, although suicide may be considered a mortal sin, it does not mean that the individual goes to hell. And personally I don't think that this person lingered long in Purgatory but gained full entrance to the pearly gates.

My sympathies and empathies to you, because I know the pain of losing a loved one through suicide.

rwam
05-18-2006, 09:04 PM
Hi Denise,
I hope you're managing through this difficult time. Though a little late, here are some thoughts that come to mind:

1) I'm sure if there's a hell, then at least some people who commit suicide probably go there. Just like some people who don't commit suicide go there. But I doubt it was the suicide that put them there. The suicide is merely an outward manifestation (symptom) of conflict.
2) If suicide plays a role in a person's eternal destination at all, I think the motivation behind the suicide is the critical factor. In a way, you could argue that Jesus committed suicide by sacrificing his own life for the salvation of others. What about the good people on Flight 93? Or the people in WTC who jumped to their deaths so they wouldn't burn? Sure, these are extreme examples of selflessness, but if there was a blanket policy in heaven against suicide, then a lot of our heroes are screwed. So, I would have to think God's judgment on a self-inflicted death is highly subjective and one that requires an inspection of the heart.
3) If the acute act of suicide's a spiritual crime, then why isn't the chronic act of self-destruction? Wouldn't the 45-year old guy who ate at McDonald's every day for 20 years & died of a heart attack be just as guilty as his brother who - in a moment of desperation - ended his life with his own hands?
4) I would suppose that anyone foolish enough to make the "all suicides go to hell" argument would make some cockamamie comment that "Committing suicide is the ultimate act of faithlessness and you can't go to heaven without faith." Any unforgiving "Christian" making this blanket statement knows nothing about living the despair caused by guilt, tragedy, drugs, abuse, etc.

Just some ideas for you to ponder and while I'm not sure I can back any of this up with Scripture, it's more or less a product of my interpretation.

Hang in there,
Rob

goldpeace
05-18-2006, 10:19 PM
I believe that God is a God of infinite mercy.

Who else would know our mindset better than our own Creator?

I don't believe that ANY individual wants to end their life...they simply want to end the PAIN that consumes them mentally or emotionally. with suicide being the last resort. I don't believe that someone in that much pain would be condemned to hell.

I know that this is a Catholic/Protestant issue, but I also don't believe that there is a place of suffering known as purgatory.
When Jesus gave his life as the PERFECT sacrificial lamb to pay the penalty for our sins....he said, "It is finished"!

He did not suffer and die on the cross so that WE would also have to suffer.
Those who have Christ have been promised the gift of salvation.
It was completed on the cross by Jesus, our role is to accept Him....or not.

We have a merciful God!




Another note-

Scripture tells us that ALL sin is forgivable through Christ...all except sin against the Holy Spirit.
If suicide is considered a sin-then it, like every other sin, is covered through the blood of Christ for those who have him in their lives.

LightShadow
05-18-2006, 10:19 PM
Although in a sense I'm repeating what's been said, Biblically, the only unpardonable sin is rejection of Christ.