DOES A PERSON WHO COMMITS SUICIDE GO TO HEAVEN?
I am Christian, 26 years old, from a traditional church. Since early in my life, I have been uneasy with the Kingdom issues. When I was a child I did not like the classes in my church because I thought the teacher treated children as “mental”. Therefore, I joined the teen group 2 years before it was time. I was a part of this group during part of my childhood and adolescence. Nevertheless, the subjects covered in the Sunday school did not inspire me to be there. I have always wondered about the Kingdom of Lights and about the immense grace of God, but the answers have always been empty. At that time I named the teachers “circus players”, because when I asked a question they would go in circles to answer me. In my youth I sought answers on my own. I read many books and learned about the Arminians and the Calvinists. At that time, heaven opened up to me and it was as if was drinking a glass of fresh water after several years of thirst. It was wonderful to understand the grace of God and his plan. But if you think my uneasiness was gone, you are wrong! From that day on, my desire was that my friends (who had shared those painful years in Sunday classes) would understand the amazing grace of God. I was infuriated that no one could teach in a simple didactic way, free from prejudice, and without going in circles. This annoyed me a lot. Many friends stayed after to ask me my opinion about what the teacher had just taught…and more. Some teachers thought I wanted to embarrass them, but the class was divided into a group who hated me and another group who thought I was seeking the Word of God and appreciated good teaching. Things exploded when a teacher said that God forgave all sins. Then I wickedly launched the following question: can a person who commits suicide go to heaven? So I was surprised when I got the following answer from my teacher and presbyter, who claimed to be a Calvinist: “A person who commits suicide can never go to heaven”. Then, I asked him why. He said: “a person who commits suicide does not have time to repent from his/ her sin”. That day I almost went crazy, it drove me nuts. Half of the class agreed with him. But before being stoned as a heretic I asked my teacher: “do you remember all of your sins?” Can you ask for forgiveness for all of them?” The answer was a “circus show”. I tried to explain that no one goes to heaven based on their own good or good deeds. Likewise, bad deeds (sins) do not send anybody to hell. I said that if the person who commits suicide had received and believed in Jesus someday, he would go to heaven. However, if the same person never knew Jesus he would go to hell. Before I could explain my zillions of biblical arguments to justify my answer, I was interrupted with statements like: “someone who is saved through Jesus would never commit suicide”. And so on. I am sad because I know that it is rare to find a church that teaches people to think on their on, answer questions with clarity, freedom from fears and prejudice or still without traditionalisms. All this time I have been concerned about people at church, who are being taught by unprepared people. Church is like “Swiss cheese”. Pastor, I guess I am committing suicide. _____________________________________________________ Answer My beloved: simplicity and peace to you! If only everything were simple! If only Grace were a plan to be understood! If only the linear sequences of time – the before and the after – could be explained. If only “to receive Jesus” were like a birthday event. If only Calvin and Arminio could, with their doctrines, pacify the hearts and simplify the mystery. If only the scholastic issues could, by logic, trap the untrappable. And do you know why? Because it is simply inexplicable. Because it is completely inexplicable. Because God does not work with the before or the after. Because “to receive Jesus” is an absolute impossibility for man. The free will and the election by sovereignty are issues which are not issues. Because no word puzzles or logical system can draw us close to what it is. There is no such a thing as “suicide” when we think about God and man. Yes, suicide exists. There are men and men. Likewise, there are suicides and suicides. I don’t know what happens in the heart of a man and I don’t know what happens in the heart of a suicide either. The salvation of a suicide is identical to any other human being’s salvation. The Lord knows who belongs to him! This entire quarrel is heresy. And do you know why? Because it is a joke to try to give destiny to something that to God is holy: a man’s being. All suicides long to go to heaven – or at least anywhere but hell, that is why they vanish from “the hell of their lives.” Many people who committed suicide ironically killed themselves in hope! As for me, I feel affection, mercy and love for all suicides. I just can’t imagine a suicide, which kills himself in despair, in hell. By the way, when Jesus talked about hell he did not mention suicide. Instead, he described another character: a rich, wealthy, pampered and successful man in charge of his own destiny. But he died and went to hell. Referring to hell he, who does not like surprises, should never nominate anybody to go there. Concerning your “fed up” status I say that: If you had chosen to exert your free will by killing yourself, who would have won: Calvin or Arminio? I don’t know. The only thing I know it is that you would have died. Considering your argument, you would have died as a demonstration, as a live testimony, that people who committed suicide can go to heaven. Maybe this way, your friends would be convinced that you are right. In Him, Who guides us in the way of life. Caio. Original Title: Acho que eu vou me suicidar. Suicida pode ou nao ir para o ceu? Translation: Sara Machado, Massachusetts. Reviewed by Kathy and Guilherme Sazonov, New Jersey. www.caiofabio.com/cartas WM