Recently, there were headlines in a Dallas newspaper that a pastor’s wife had committed suicide after purchasing a gun at a gun shop. Also, an interesting editorial was written by a former parishioner from TN regarding her love and tenderness for him and his family when she and her husband ministered there.
This was a lovely, talented, beautiful woman who loved the Lord. I have known people who were touched personally by her life in TX as well. But one thing caught my eye in the article.
The man commented that even though he had heard that suicide was the unpardonable sin because we can’t pray for forgiveness, he was certain that she was in heaven.
I cringed when I heard that sentence…for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that it shows a failure in understanding where our salvation becomes effective and on whom it ultimately depends! What qualifies us for heaven? This is a very important issue! It is crucial to our joy as Christians, our confidence in our salvation, and our certain hope for heaven.
When Jesus paid the eternal penalty for all your sin by paying with His blood, how many of your sins had you committed at that point?
Was His death fully effective or do we need to add something to it?
You need to think about this. When He paid for ALL your sins past, present and future, they were all in the future then. He paid for every sin you would commit…completely and effectively! There has not been one sin you committed in your life, or will commit, that will take Him by surprise or make Him say, “Oh, I forgot that one when I died for you. I forgave all the others, but I forgot to take care of that one.” Nor did He say, “I’m sorry. That sin there is just too big and awful for me to forgive. You’re on your own with that one!”
I am not trying to be irreverent here. I am stating this in a form that shows how our often traditional way of thinking doesn’t link with Scripture…at all! We get sentimental and in doing so, it is very easy to get heretical. When we become sentimental, we move to the position that there really is something we can add to the work Christ did on the cross to pay for our sin…and there isn’t!
If Paul was in the room, he would be pounding on the pulpit…or a nearby table! If you don’t believe me, read Galatians 3:1-14 or Romans 8:1-17 or Colossians 1:18-23.
Our salvation is based on the righteousness of Christ, not on anything special that we do to earn it. That is it! Nothing more or less.
His death on our behalf was the totally and completely effective to pay for every sin we would commit or good deed that we would fail to do. The bottom line is that our salvation is based on Christ and the work He did, not on us and our ability to do anything! Not even to pray for forgiveness at the end of our life for those last few sins we committed!
So when we hear about an unpardonable sin, the one we need to think about is that of continuing to refuse to listen to the voice of GOD that is calling us to turn from our sin and turn to Him.
We are dealing with a just and holy GOD.
He doesn’t look at one person and change His standards and go, “There, there, you did a good job, I’ll let you in.” He has one standard.
What did you do with my SON Jesus?
Did you trust the work He did on the cross as sufficient payment for your sin before the Father? Are you willing to live your life in submission to His will? Are you walking by faith? Then you are part of the family. Welcome!”
We have no idea what motivated this poor woman to do what she did. We do know that her life was a testimony of the grace of GOD. In a brief moment, she took a desperate action. The whys may never be answered this side of heaven…they aren’t for us to know anyway.
We pray for her family that must be in agony! They dearly loved her and miss her as do the many to whom she ministered the love of Christ.
One thing we don’t want to do is add to their pain by not knowing the truth about salvation. The grace of GOD is amazing and most undeserved! It is also something we can’t earn. Jesus did all of it.
- He met GOD’s standard of holiness and lived a perfect life as a man here on earth.
- He paid for sin with blood…the requirement for sin stated throughout Scripture.
- Because He was both fully God and fully man, He was able to pay for an infinite number of sins when He died. No man could have done this.
- His resurrection from the dead showed that He triumphed over sin! Yes, He paid the price for sin, but His resurrection from the dead showed that sin didn’t win…He did!
He paid for all her sin…and yours and mine too, on the cross 2000 years ago. As I live my life in confidence that His work was enough to pay for my sin, I will find joy in my salvation. I will have hope in His coming and in the day when I will spend eternity with Him…not because of anything special that I have done, but because of the wonderful and effective work that Christ did on the cross to pay for my sin.
If you are “in Christ,” you can also have this same assurance.
When you stand before Christ that final day, you won’t be presenting Him the record of your good works as the thing that will make you able to stand before a holy GOD and not be destroyed. You will be presenting Him Christ’s record of living a perfect life because when you came to Him for salvation, you realized you were bankrupt. You turned your record to Him and He gave you His perfect record of living a righteous, flawless life here on earth for 33 years. He took your awful record of sin and failure and died to pay for it with blood, the only acceptable payment.
Thanks be to GOD!
**I purposely didn’t want to link to the many articles about this incident. It is a horrible tragedy and I don’t want this article to be mixed in with others on the topic…or to seem like my blog is benefitting in any way from it.
Thanks for this kind posting. As you probably know, my father was a dedicated missionary who took his own life at the age of 40. Cruel things were said to my mother to the effect that he would be in hell. She was told never to speak of his death in the mission, and so were we. Mother never believed that he went to hell and neither do I, but the reactions of people stayed with her until her death. I got past it by learning to understand depression and the several factors that caused his death. Mother never really got to understand that. People’s reactions are based in ignorance but the family still has to deal with them. Whenever I am with people who are older and knew my father, his death still comes up, and I have to answer questions about it. I said to one of my more intelligent friends that I was a bit tired of my identity being tied to my father’s suicide. She explained to me that in the mission, the students who knew my father were told never to ask about it. They are still trying to understand what happened, and they expect me to explain it to them or they want to tell me the explanations they have come up with. Her explanation made me more patient with the fact that it’s ALWAYS going to come up after 62 years.
it does seem so. i think it breaks down to a misunderstanding of what our salvation is based on. that is why i wrote about it. this woman’s husband is a pastor in our presbytery. we had friends in common, but i didn’t really know her. it is very sad.