White men run the highest risk of suicide. In fact, they account for almost 75 percent of the 32,000 suicides a year in the United States.A different source yielded a slightly lower figure for 1993, but also stated a steady increase in suicides, except for 1992:
1970 = 23,480 (male, 16,629; female, 6,851)
1980 = 26,869 (male, 20,505; female, 6,364)
1985 = 29,453 (male, 23,145; female, 6,308)
1990 = 30,906 (male, 24,724; female, 6,182)
1992 = 30,484 (male, 24,457; female, 6,027)
1993 = 31,102 (male, 25,007; female, 6,095)
Others who have been religiously misled by eternal security may think a person once saved will escape the agony of their compound painful problems by killing himself by going to heaven. For such a misled person, a heavenly paradise, through suicide, seems appealing and actually promotes suicide! Eternal security teachers are DANGEROUS people, who have misled many to hell through their teachings! The following is additional proof.
We tend to think that suicide does not occur in Christian families. And it does. There are thousands of Christians listening at this moment that are contemplating suicide.Then later in the same broadcast, a concerned caller phoned in:
We'll go next to our own backyard, Arlington, Texas through KCBI. Lynn, thanks for holding so long. Sir, do you have a question?Clearly, it was Les Carter's belief in OSAS that caused him to answer this way. Furthermore, if it was true as stated at the beginning of the same program that "there are thousands of Christians listening at this moment that are contemplating suicide," then there could have been hundreds of that number that came a step closer to self-murder because of that answer based on OSAS.
Caller: Yes I do. I have a brother that lives in San Antonio. And he has a problem right now, I believe, with suicidal thoughts. And he's pretty, well, determined to commit suicide I do believe. He changes his mind very often and let's say he just is fixing to call me right now and he's already claimed to know that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose the third day and he believes that he is saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. And let's say he calls me and he gives me two minutes to, to, to talk, to speak to him and well, what should I be able to tell him? Should I tell him that he has assurance that he would have eternal life even if he knew Jesus as Savior, or what are your comments on that?
Les Carter: Well, first I do believe that an individual that takes his life does not necessarily lose salvation. I believe that when you are saved, God is not going to kick you out of his family because of the flaws that you have. And so, I, I'm one of these that believes in the security of the believer.
Two of them call and were in the process of committing, gonna commit suicide. Tuesday morning another person called and that's just, that's just three just one week. Many times over a period of time, in fact probably about every six weeks or so, operator will call me in the middle of the night, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 in the morning and say, "Now Dr. Stanley, I got this emergency call and this person says they are desperate and I want to give you the call." Now, they can't give them my number, but they do call me if it's an emergency. And so, I pick up the phone, call the number back and usually it's somebody who's talking about suicide that time of the morning. And they've come from the west coast or east coast or wherever it might be and they're desperate. And the more we talk, the more we find out what's going on in their life. Most of the time, well they'll say, "It's just hopeless, it's just hopeless, I just can't go on any longer ...."So if a believer ever decides to commit self-murder, he is already forgiven before the act, according to Charles Stanley. One must then wonder if that's true, then what if the same person would rob a chain of banks, become a serial murderer and serial rapist, then is he also already forgiven? Stanley would have to answer yes to be consistent! That means the next time you hear of a serial murderer in the news, that same person could be a Christian, according to Stanley's teaching.
Now, when you come to the cross and you read the Scriptures, there's not a single verse in the Scripture that says that you and I as believers have not been forgiven of every single thing. When Jesus went to the cross, what did he carry? He carried all our sin. How much of it? All of it. Did that include any sin, every sin, all sins? All sins. A believer who commits suicide is already forgiven. Now I didn't say it was gonna be good for them. I said they're forgiven. They are pardoned of that sin.
You say, "Wouldn't that encourage people to commit suicide?" No, I haven't finished yet. Because even though a believer commits suicide and there are believers who can get caught up in such pain and heartache, especially if they're believers for example, who've been in churches where it's performance, performance, performance, performance, performance. And they get in this legalistic rut and they think, "You know I can't perform, nothing's working, God where are you?" And so they've never been taught that God really loves them and so they don't feel God's love. They can't experience God's love. And they just see that they've made mistakes in life and it's all tragic and it's all a mess and so, I'll just forget it. And then the question is, will God forgive? And sometimes, they'll write notes, "I don't know whether I'll be forgiven or not," but you know, they're checking out.
If you understand the cross, you have to understand that when Jesus Christ went to the cross, he took all of our sin. He said in 1 John he says, "My little children, these things I write unto you that you sin not. But if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. And he is the sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the whole world." How many sins? Let me tell you something. If you can name a single, solitary sin that anybody can commit who is a child of God that's not under the blood, then friend we have a major problem in the whole theological realm. All our sin, past, present, and future went to the cross, because it's all future for us. He died 2,000 years ago. When he died on the cross, he took care of all of our sin. You say, "You mean to tell me that if a person takes their own life, after all these things that you've just talked about, all these things of sins, that that person's forgiven?" Forgiven.
Now, but the issue is, what about the Judgment? Because that person's gonna stand in the Judgment of God having violated the principle of life and death itself. And what happens is, though they are saved, you'll recall he says in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 that when they come to the judgment seat of Christ, they're saved, as he says, so as by fire. That is, that person is going to lose reward.
From these we learn that Charles Stanley's ministry allows the unrepentant murderers (suicide victims) in heaven, if they ever for a moment of time had a saving faith in Christ. Hence, in keeping with OSAS, Stanley declares one's spiritual condition at the very end of his life is totally irrelevant to his eternal destiny! In contrast, see Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10,11 cf. 21:8.
By teaching as he does about suicide, Stanley (and others) places a loaded gun in the hands of the intensely suffering Christian, completely drained of all hope. For those who buy into OSAS, the sin of self-murder is actually a blessing, for it prematurely will end one's pain here and send him quickly to a pain-free heaven (so he thinks)!
According to the Bible, the lake of fire, not heaven, is clearly the destiny of all unrepentant murderers (Rev. 21:8; 1 Jn. 3:15). Remember it is impossible for one who murders himself to afterwards repent! Getting back to Stanley's understanding of Scripture, he says:
No matter what you do as a child of God, you are forgiven. You say, "Murder?" Forgiven. "Stealing?" Forgiven. "Adultery?" Forgiven. "Worshiping idols?" Forgiven.Pandora's box is clearly opened through OSAS. Limitless kinds of the most heinous sins known to mankind are no longer something to be avoided for salvation's sake, since the Christian is already forgiven even before the sin is committed! Elsewhere, Stanley said:
It is not lying, cheating, stealing, raping, murdering, or being unfaithful that sends people to hell.To hold to a theology in which man can do something that throws him back into a state of spiritual deadness, thus denying God His predetermined purpose, is to embrace a system in which man is in the driver's seat and God is just a passenger. If there ever existed a distortion of Scripture and a counterfeit grace message that is, in reality, a license for immorality this type of teaching has to be it! This isn't the good news the Bible speaks of. It is bad news for all who accept it.
There is no way to know how many suicides, broken families through divorce, and criminal acts that have occurred because of OSAS, which continues to flood forth.
Paul Carden: Next on the line, Marie in San Diego, California on KPRZ. You're on the air.With Marie's own personal testimony as a person who embraced OSAS and was contemplating suicide, we now have a precedent since she said she would kill herself, if she knew she would go to heaven! This should remove all doubt about how the belief in OSAS encourages suicide for some. There is no way to know how many others like Marie were listening to that broadcast and were adversely affected because of OSAS! On the other hand, Marie also said:
Marie: Hi, appreciate your ministry. I'm glad to get through, it's taken a while. Uh, I have a sort of a two fold question. One of them sort of does refer to that Hebrews passage.
Paul: Um, hum.
Marie:If a Christian is saved, and commits suicide, what Scripture is there to document that they would go to heaven or hell?
Paul: Ron Rhodes.
Ron Rhodes: Well, let me begin by pointing out that in Scripture, suicide is definitely portrayed as a sin against God. Uh, suicide is murder and the Bible says "You shall not murder," Exodus 20, verse 13. That's from the Ten Commandments.
Marie: Even though murder is referring to someone else.
Ron: Well, it doesn't necessarily have to.
Paul: We're talking about killing.
Ron: It makes no difference whether it's your life or someone else's life, so it is a form of murder and the really, the backdrop to the whole thing is that all life is said to belong to God. He alone has the right to take life, according to Scripture -- Deuteronomy 32 verse 39 and Job 1 verse 21. And even as you look at individuals in the Bible who wanted to commit suicide but still wanted to follow God, they never tried to take their lives, rather they prayed like Jonah, "Lord please take my life from me for it is better for me to die than to live." You see, even though Jonah wanted to die, he knew that that was God's place. All life and death belongs to God because God is the Lord over life and death.
Paul: What prompts your question, Marie?
Marie: Uh, certainly contemplating it, but I, but I wouldn't want to do it if I was going to hell.
Paul: You're talking you are personally contemplating suicide, Marie?
Paul: You are contemplating suicide?
Marie: Yeah, but I believe in eternal security. See, if I knew I was going to heaven, I would do it.
Paul: Marie, excuse me. There is no circumstance under which suicide would be justified in your life, none.
Ron: Suicide ...
Paul: You need to understand that right now.
Ron: Suicide is never ever an answer. As a matter of fact, uh, there are a couple of suicides recorded in Scripture but it was always recorded in a sense that was not approved of by God.
Ron: And, uh, what God tells us is that even though he will not protect us and keep us out of individual problems that we may encounter, he will always walk with us through those problems.
Paul: Marie, I know you are on radio, but nobody knows who you are. Why are you considering suicide?
Marie: Well, it's, it's, it's kind of personal. I just, I just wanted to know the, uh, you know, the Scripture verses, if, uh, you know, that, you know ....
Paul: We want to help you. Are you willing to get help for whatever it is that is leading you to contemplate this course of action?
Marie: I've tried already, and it's ....
Paul: Are you willing to try one more thing? Your life is precious, Marie, more precious than, than we can adequately express to you. And if you will live, God will use you. He will turn this around but we want to get you help. Marie, will you accept our help? Will you let us try?
Marie: But I don't understand why you won't answer my question about the, uh, about the, the eternal security and the verses.
Paul: Okay, once again, that's, that's really irrelevant to your question. I mean if a Christian dies, uh, a Christian will, will in all likelihood, uh, spend eternity with Christ, but that is no excuse to take your life. None whatsoever. You cannot, you must not do that under any circumstances, Marie. We want to help you. You are, if you love God, I don't see how you can do that.
Ron: You are eternally secure. Anyone who has trusted in Christ is eternally secure, and I think this is clear from Ephesians 4:30 and Romans 8, John chapter 2 and John chapter 10 and a number of other passages. But the Lord of the universe, your Shepherd, your Savior, is at your disposal and wants to see you through whatever difficulty you are facing right now. I think back to the time of David. David often had situations in which he just wanted to give up.
Paul: All of us do.
Ron: We all do, that's right, but what David did was he focused on God's faithfulness in his own past and in the past of his nation. He reminded himself about how God had done this and that for him in the past. He looked at the promises of God and the living Savior ministered to his needs and every time, without exception, the Lord delivered him through the circumstances. The same is true in the New Testament of the Apostle Paul. Paul was shipwrecked, he was bitten by snakes, he was beat up, 39 lashings by the Jews, uh, one thing after another happened to him, but the Apostle Paul was delivered through each one of them by the living Shepherd who accompanied him. And, uh, the same thing is true of you and me. Each one of us face different difficulties in life, but our Shepherd walks with us. He calls us to follow his lead, and following his lead will never result in suicide.
Paul: Marie, please, let us help you. Please, stay on the line and let us help you.
Paul: Alright. Hang on, someone will talk to you immediately. This is The Bible Answer Man broadcast. I encourage our listeners to pray for Marie ....
I wouldn't want to do it [suicide] if I was going to hell.This proves that teachings on the believer's security from a conditional point of view would be a deterrent to suicide, especially for those who have been contemplating it like the Marie type.
In 1980, Grace Community Church was hit with a lawsuit charging that the pastors on our staff were negligent because we tried to help a suicidal young member of our church by giving him biblical truth. It was the first clergy malpractice case ever heard in the American court system. The secular media had a field day as the case dragged on for years. Some nationally aired tabloid-type programs even alleged that our church had encouraged the young man to kill himself, teaching him that suicide was a sure way to heaven. Of course, that was not true. He knew from Scripture that suicide is wrong. We urged him to let the Word of God lead him to intimate knowledge and appropriation of the resources available in the One who wanted to heal his troubled mind. Tragically, he refused our counsel and took his own life.While it is inconceivable that Grace Community Church would ever directly encourage any believer to commit suicide, the act will always be a viable possibility for those who put two and two together and come up with four, like Marie did who called into The Bible Answer Man.
Caller: ... My husband listens to Charles Stanley sometimes .... And he said that if a born again Christian is walking, has a strong walk with the Lord, and suddenly for some reason commits suicide, that they could still go to heaven. They'll just lose, lose all their treasures in heaven. But they will go.Hanegraaff stated that there was no Biblical precedent for saying a believer would go to hell, if he committed suicide. Could it be that he has never connected 1 Jn. 3:15b and Rev. 21:8 to this form of premeditated self-murder?
Hank: Yeah, well Charles Stanley does believe in eternal security, so I would think that would be consistent with his belief system, at least in terms of that person that commits suicide going to heaven. Obviously, a sin like that against a temple of the Holy Spirit is a very grievous sin. God is the controller of death and life and we should not take that control into our own hands. So we're talking about something that is very, very serious. However, I don't see any Biblical precedent for saying that a believer, a born again believer committing suicide would go to hell. I do know that there are churches that would teach that. I don't find a Biblical precedent for saying that, and again, the Scripture is the final court of arbitration. It's not my word or anybody else's word, so I would agree with Charles Stanley's assessment of that situation. As far as losing all of their rewards, I don't know that we could say that categorically either, because when we stand in the great assize with people from every tongue and tribe and nation, God then will be determining what rewards we do or do not get.
Ron: ... And what Hank said was exactly right. You can't say that God is going to take all rewards because of one act or one lapse of judgment of a person. God is a perfect judge so while suicide is a heinous sin against man and God, God himself is a perfect judge and I believe that that person, if he really trusted in Christ, will be with Christ in heaven.
I ought to pause for just a moment and answer a question that often comes to me. I've had the funerals of a number of people who've taken their own lives. And quite often family members will come and say "Is there any forgiveness if someone takes their own life?" And I need to report that that sin is neither accorded any greater or lesser value in the economy of God than the other sins which are chronicled in the word of God. And it is possible, I believe, for a person who has gone through some terrible stress in their life and in a moment of not thinking clearly has ended their life. That person very easily might find his place in heaven, especially because he could have given his heart to Christ in this life. And even to take one's life does not undo what God does in the inward act of salvation. But any of you who have been close to that or have been around it can testify to the fact that it is the most difficult and it is perhaps the cruelest thing that a person can do to those who are close. It leaves so many questions and hurts and those who knew and loved Saul having heard of his death must have wept and mourned even as David did in the first chapter of second Samuel. What a tragic ending ....
June: Well, technically, Carl, a person who has truly entered into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, let me ask you this, how many of their sins were forgiven once they entered into that relationship with him?
Carl: Well, I believe all of mine have been.
June: Yes, because that's what Scripture teaches.
Carl: Past, present and future.
June: And future. So the issue is, all of our sins are already forgiven.
June Hunt sounds like Charles Stanley on this issue. How anyone could teach all of our future sins are already forgiven, even before they are committed is incredible, especially considering the clarity of 1 Jn. 1:9.
Just because you're converted this does not mean that you cannot have mental problems due to chemical imbalances or other things. Thus suicide is never described as the unforgivable sin. It is maybe the unforgettable but never the unforgivable and a Christian can do any sin except that which is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And thus Christians can commit suicide. It's horrible, it happens, but it does not automatically mean they're not saved.From all that, Robert Morey shows that he does not really believe to be saved one must endure to the end in the way of holiness, since a suicide victim dies as an unrepentant murderer!
Also, Morey implies that only those who commit the unforgivable sin will go to the lake of fire! However, Rev. 21:8 doesn't limit the ones who will be thrown into that place to just those who commit the unforgivable sin. In fact, such isn't even cited in that list, but the murderer is.
Nevertheless, some Christians, I am sure, do commit suicide and in that case suicide is forgivable, just as any sin is forgivable, because Christ paid the penalty (see 1 John 2:12.). A true born-again child of God, Dan, can never loose [sic] their salvation.To misuse 1 Jn. 2:12, which refers to our past sins, is a travesty! The same writer of that passage also gave us 1 Jn. 1:9 which is clear about receiving forgiveness of sins after the point of salvation. Please note his conditional word if.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9, NKJV).
Q. My uncle was a suicide. Will he be in heaven?Just like other OSAS proponents, Breese reveals that one's final spiritual condition is totally irrelevant as to where he will spend eternity.
A. If your uncle knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he will be in heaven. If not, he will be lost. We go to heaven not because of the manner of our own death, but because of the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross.
Whatever sin there is in suicide is included in the sins for which Jesus Christ died on Calvary, and for which forgiveness has been purchased. Thus, he would not be excluded from Heaven because of this act of self-destruction if he were genuinely Born Again .... If God is going to keep a Christian out of Heaven for suicide, then He will also have to exclude all Christian liars, coveters, those who lose their temper, those who take sides in church trouble, and so on .... Since you cannot be saved by doing any kind of works, then how can you be lost by doing any kind of works, even self destruction? ... any Christian who takes his own life will feel ashamed before the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Q. I was completely surprised when one of my friends from church committed suicide. How could a Christian kill himself?McGee admits a suicide doesn't have time to confess to get forgiven. But it seems to escape him that a murderer's identity isn't changed until he gets forgiven. This isn't judging, it's declaring the clear message of Scripture.
A. Now a Christian is a person who has accepted Christ and has been born again by the Spirit of God, indwelt by the Spirit of God. That cannot be changed at all. That Christian can get into sin as the prodigal son did, but he can always go home.
How can a Christian commit suicide? That is a sin, and somebody points out that they don't have time to ask for forgiveness. Well, I think there are many Christians who die with unconfessed sins. They are going to have to settle them at the judgment seat of Christ. Paul, you remember, said if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. Certainly a suicide wouldn't have much of a chance to confess. However, I can understand that a Christian may think he has gotten into a situation where there is no way out. He gets so down that he turns to suicide as the only alternative he can see.
And I can understand that a Christian might have a mental breakdown, a catastrophic illness, or certain other things which might cause him to do this. I would not sit in judgment upon a professing Christian who does this because, to begin with, the minute he commits this act he is out of your hands and out of my hands. We cannot pass judgment on him. And I do know this: if that person is a child of God, he is saved. I don't care what you say, he is saved if he is a child of God (italics his).
We can be certain that God will not cancel the salvation of a person who takes his own life.
Only God actually knows who is a true Christian, one who has accepted the resurrected Christ into his life. Since suicide is an "illness" of the brain-of the mind (if you will), a person who is born-again will go to heaven if they commit suicide.
In conclusion, there is no justification in this passage for the teaching that a believer can commit some sin, even suicide, which can in any way affect his eternal destiny.
This morning a note was on my desk telling of a born-again Christian who committed suicide. He walked outside and shot himself, leaving behind a grieving wife and shocked children. The reasons are unclear, except that He [sic] was weary of the emotional pain he suffered when he was abused as a child. Though he loved Christ, he thought he just couldn't take it anymore.
Of course no one knows the heart of a person except God. But I'm convinced that those who have trusted Christ are in heaven today even if they die with the sin of murder on their conscience. Even rebellious sheep are taken from earth to heaven.
Remember this, like abortion, suicide is just another name for murder. However, to be more exact, suicide is premeditated self-murder. But even beyond this, it is the kind of murder one cannot repent of! Unlike King David, who had another person murdered but was later forgiven, suicide victims cannot repent to find forgiveness.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 Jn. 3:15, NKJV).
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Rev. 21:8, NKJV).No exception to the above is made anywhere in Scripture for a person who was once a Christian, then commits suicide because of a bad combination -- painful circumstances, hopelessness and a belief in eternal security (the belief that you can never go to hell once you become a Christian)!
What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men's hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean' (Mk. 7:20-23, NIV).Please note that murder (regardless the form) comes from the heart and is not a mental illness, according to the Lord!
It is vitally important that suicide, like other satanic temptations, be steadfastly resisted. In other words, don't even for a moment entertain suicidal thoughts. Anyone who yields to this satanic temptation of murder, and becomes a suicide, will only be intensifying their own pain and misery in eternity, not escaping it! People in hell at this moment because of suicide would do anything to have the chance you have to reverse their actions but can't. It's too late forever for them.
Lasting hope and peace can be found only in the Lord Jesus. If you were once saved, but have backslidden to the point where you are thinking about suicide, please repent and read these safeguards for your soul and put them into practice.
GRAPHICS COPYRIGHT EVANGELICAL OUTREACH
The most exhaustive refutation
to the teaching of eternal
security ever written.
801 informative pages.