What Happens When…..?

In my years as a pastor, I have been asked numerous questions. I have been asked questions such as my take on “Calvanism vs. Armenianism”. Or questions on my belief in the spiritual gifts. And also easier questions as to who I believe is the best NFL running back of all time. Of course that’s an easy one…Barry Sanders. But if I were to tell you what the most difficult question I have been asked, I would have to say the “Christian and suicide” question. Regrettably I bring this up due to a pastor friend of mine who took his life after an altercation with his wife. It baffles my mind to sit back and think that the life of this young man while alive was a miracle indeed and had shown the power of God throughout his life and ministry. Yet in a matter of moments when emotions are high and anger is flaring, the sinful side of humanity sneaks it’s ugly head in and causes one to do the unthinkable! What causes a man to do this? Sin. What contributed to a man, husband, father, pastor to take his own life? Answer: It was due to a mind that was not under the submission of the Holy Spirit. Thus the question on the table is…where did this pastor go? Heaven? Hell? Is suicide the “other” unforgivable sin? I’m sure there are many takes and insights as to what one may think and believe as to what happens if a Christian (a pastor much less) would commit suicide. One may say that suicide for a Christian is to “do away with the life that God has given you, therefore forfeits salvation due to disobedience”. While others may believe that suicide, though bad, is still not the “other” unforgivable sin. Regrettably in ministry, I have seen the bad, the unthinkable and outrageous things that Christians do. It reminds us that even as followers of Christ we exist in a sinful shell! “Oh the wretched man that I am”, cries Luther! “The things I want to do, I don’t do them. And the things I shouldn’t do, I do” laments Paul! As long as we are in this flesh, it takes only one time to take our eyes off the Lord and away from His word and BAM!! Your marriage, ministry and life can be over. So to answer the question, where is this pastor today? Heaven? Hell? (Now,right where you are sitting, as I sit next to a window at Panera with a hot coffee to my right, can you shout “Amen!” because of God’s grace?) Grace and mercy at Calvary’s cross, under the sweet shed blood of Jesus our Lord, forgave us of sins past, sins present and sins of our future! Horrifically, even in the midst of a pastor and wife in a heated argument and a suicide short after, God’s grace is sufficient, even in our most vulnerable of times! Please understand, don’t take this as an “escape” to commit sin just to smear the blood of Christ on His Father’s face! Take this as an example of what NOT to do and an encouragement to never leave the Lord. In bitter sweet emotion, this pastor, who I believe is in the presence of the Life Giver, knows what he has caused while on earth. Both to his family and his church. Yet, with the Lord indeed.

I would love to hear your comments and insights to this “controversial” subject. It’s not necessarily who’s right and who’s wrong, because in the end, God is right and sovereign and He, only He, has the final say. Please pray for the family of Thomas Young and The Sanctuary Church in Sugar Land, TX.

Because of Grace- Pastor Sammy

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7 thoughts on “What Happens When…..?

  1. Hey pastor thanks for exploring this. Back on september 11 this year my friend also took his own life. Sometimes I still have trouble understanding the situation. My friend and I lost contact soon after I came to christ. Our lifestyles were completely different and I desperately needed to be sanctified and not have any stumbling blocks. Unfortunately that meant cutting ties with my old circle. Over time we mended some broken fences and about a week before he took his life I got to see him for the last time when he came to meet my wife and daughter. That day I noticed something though. As we were watching the video of my wedding his eyes and ears became glued to the tv and you began preaching pastor sam. He was nodding his head in approval as you talked about jesus and who he was in our lives. I thought to myself wow his heart is open and no longer hard. I began thinking of what the future could hold. And just like that a week later I got the call that he took his life. I wish I could say I had the faith of a warrior but I’d be lying. I was angry, confused, and very doubt filled. But after counseling with a couple men of god and gods word I took two things away. 1 is god is a god of justice. I don’t know if my friend came to know the lord. But to go to hell is to die without jesus. And 2 is that the same justice that sends a man to hell is the same that would allow a wretched man like me into heaven. Unanaweres questions still linger about my friend but my hope is this, I saw the look in his eyes when he heard the name jesus. I felt the love in his heart as we hugged before he left. His salvation is not up to me to determine, but I serve a just god and his judgement is sufficient and right.

  2. hey Pastor Sam! good blog.. i always wondered about this question.. i never really leaned on this subject to either side.. and to scared to find out for my self lol.. of whos’ right lol now i lean more on a calvanist point and predestined.. cuz God is the Alpha and Omega The Begining and The End.. so He knows how everyone is going to die.. its funny to me how ppl think of how they seem to think that they surprised God.. with a decision they make.. really? He’s God, He knows all.. it would be puttin God in a box to say that we surprised Him with our “free will” but thats a whole different subject lol but it goe’s right along with what i have to say.. and how the word says He forgave us from our past present and future.. so i do lean more towards hey maybe he is with God.. or he just commited a sin and never was able to repent from it.. so it is a very good question so im still stuck on the middle lol but to Hope and have faith that he made it is good to have.. thanks for ur openess Pastor Sam and God Bless!

  3. As a youngster I was taught differently and I guess tradition is that suicide is an unforgivable sin and commititng such an act would lead to an eternity in hell. Movies like “What adreams May Come” with Robin Williams further solidified my stance on the matter. I posed this very question to Rick and Mary San Miguel and was actually surprised when Rick said, ” I belive that once you’re truly saved, there is no sin in which the Blood of Jesus Christ doesn’t cover. Therefore I believe a true Christian would go to Heaven if they committed suicide.” Mary also agreed. The most painful part of such an act apart from the grief that would be caused in so many lives, is that a Christian who committed suicide would not allow the plans that God in his/her life to come to fruition because he/she chose to end their life prematurely. Now I can understand the reasoning behind your standpoint and I agree with what you say. It’s like you always say “Tragedies occurr when we take our eyes off of Jesus for even just a split second”. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking for someone to devour. I saw a YouTube video where a man is trapped in a cage for what seems like forever before someone finally comes to his aid and shoots the lion dead. The devil was slain over 2000 years ago on Calvarys Cross so we need not fear him when HD roams to and fro. Keep our eyes on Jesus!

  4. First let me, offer my condolences. My prayers are with his family and church. My heart is broken to hear of this type of thing happening. There is a lesson to be learned from this for all involved. God is soveriegn. I have always had trouble with christian suicide. I would rather not say where they went because only God knows their true heart. But if they truly were a child of God, the bible says that nothing can pluck us from his hand.

  5. Well this is the most difficult topic to discuss; It is to my surprise to hear a christian taking his/her life away.
    I have always been told that if you take your life away…hell awaits you.
    I don’t know what to say beyond this point.
    Hell is designated to people who play God…and if you apologize then God’s forgiveness comes. That as far as i’ve been taught in church.
    I did have an uncle who took his life away because he was going through nervouse break down. I sincerely doubt he went to heaven, i never heard of him going to church only when he was a child.

  6. Is there any scripture that talks about what “REALLY” would happen to someone if they were to take their life? I have looked up all the references that I can on Biblegateway.com and none of them make a reference as to what really would happen if a christian was to take his or her life.

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