Thursday, October 07, 2010

Is it an Unforgivable Sin to Commit Suicide? (2)

Previously we looked at the Biblical record concerning suicide. Read more here.

Is there so grave a sin that God cannot forgive? The Bible notes that God has forgiven all our sins--past, present, and future (Colossians 2:13-14). Paul says in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The Bible does not use the phrase “unforgivable sin” but however there are some verses which are frequently associated with the “unforgivable sin.” These are Mark 3: 22-30, Matthew 12:31-32, Luke 12: 8-10, Hebrews 6: 4-8, and Hebrews 10: 26-29.

Mark 3:22-30
    "And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, 'He has Beelzebub,' and, 'By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.' …'Assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation;' because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit'" (NKJV).

Matthew 12:31-32
"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come" (NKJV).

Note that in the above two passages and in Luke 12:8-10, Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees who had set themselves against believing that Jesus is the Messiah. The driving out of demons by Jesus is a demonstration of His being the Messiah. Instead the Pharisees attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of Satan!

Obviously, this “unforgivable sin” has nothing to do with committing suicide. Suicide is the last thing on these Pharisees’ minds as they planned to resist Jesus which ultimately let them to plot Jesus’ murder. So what does Jesus means when he mentions a sin that cannot be forgiven?

Pastor/Theologian John Piper defines this “unforgivable sin” as “the unforgivable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an act of resistance which belittles the Holy Spirit so grievously that he withdraws for ever with his convicting power so that we are never able to repent and be forgiven.” Listen or read his excellent sermon, Beyond Forgiveness: Blasphemy against the Spirit here.

In summary, suicide is not the unforgivable sin. It is however a sin against God who created us in his own image. It is also sin against our spouses, families and communities because of the tremendous emotional and psychological scars a suicide leaves behind.

Related articles by me

Down and Out and Suicidal

"Please Let Me Die" - Mercy Killing

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Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I disagree a bit with Piper in that I think that the unforgivable sin is probably something that happens over time (instead of an "act") where a person commits many acts of resisting the Spirit and eventually finds himself with a heart so hardened he is unable to believe. Of course Piper's sin could be that last sin that hardened the heart. :)

..Noticed that you moderate and do word verification Alex. Any reason for doing both?

5:29 AM  

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