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The sin of murder – Is suicide ‘the unforgivable sin?’

Tom Johns, Austin, Texas – tomj3162000@gmail.com

One of my articles titled ‘Can or will a Christian commit suicide?’ is published in the Grace & Peace electronic periodical of October 2022. I came to know that this article became a topic of discussion in at least one of the internet forums, with a majority criticizing the article and a few supporting the arguments presented in it. One of the statements found there was from a very sincere and godly brother who said the following – “If suicide is a murder [which I said it is murder in my article] the Bible says no murderer has life in him. So, the person who committed suicide did not have divine life.” Another contributor said, “Apostacy and murder whether of self or others are two sins a truly born again child can never commit.” There were other comments also which are similar in nature.

Analysis & answers to these comments.
1 John 3:15 “Everyone who is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life.” Here it is very clear that any murderer cannot have eternal life, hence the person is doomed to be in hell. But most, if not all, would agree that any murderer can be saved, either by getting saved later or confess the sin and get pardon from God. But in the case of suicide the person doesn’t have a chance to confess and hence will be condemned to hell.

So, we are assuming that our salvation is maintained by our constant confession. Yet, we say strongly and believe that our salvation is indeed a gift from God and once we place our trust in Jesus Christ, we will have eternal life. Please refer to John 17:3; John 3:16; Rom 6:23; John 5:24; 1 John 5:11 -13 etc. Nowhere in the scriptures say that our salvation is maintained by our confessing sins but maintained by the power of Jesus’ blood. We are asked to confess our sins to maintain our fellowship with God and to have a clear conscience and to receive cleansing of unrighteousness. [1 John 1:9] Jesus taught that we need our feet constantly washed, indicating our need for constant cleansing. [John 13:10.]

Our salvation had originated in the eternity past. Our names are written in the book of life before God laid foundation to the earth. [Rev 13:8; 20:12] We are being born again by a divine intervention and not by our effort.

 Please read John 3:1-8. Just as we have never contributed anything towards our fist physical birth like picking our gender, parents, skin color or our mental faculties, we cannot contribute anything towards our second Spiritual birth. “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going.” Here, Jesus is saying about the mysterious birth of every Christian. If our maintaining of salvation based on continuous confessing, we are no better than anyone advocating that we can lose our salvation.  If it is indeed based on our ability to confess, please see how miserable we can be! These are the reasons why our salvation is secure and eternal. If salvation is originated with us and in us, we will most certainly lose it.

 Let me outline the conundrum of such understanding and adherence that our salvation is maintained by our ability to properly confess our sins. Allow me to quote from one of my articles I wrote about 15 years ago which stated that our confession can be subjective at best.

How well I know - how to ‘confess’ my sins?

“Now we have another subjective situation to deal with. If I have repeated the same sin five times yesterday and day before and had been doing it for years, what good is my confession and repentance? Gal. 5:20-21 gives a list of sins. “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like ese, of which I forewarn you that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor. 6; 9-10 gives another list.

Now we have yet another subjective situation. Is immorality of the same level of sin as outbursts of anger? Is ‘disputes’ as bad as Idolatry? Are factions equal to sorcery? Are the first few sins listed worse than the other sins?

Now we come to yet another problem. The verse ends with a dagger –“and things like these.” What are ‘things like these?’ Could those be smoking and visiting movie theaters or similar vices? Are we at liberty to make up our own list?

Often, we do not place much emphasis on anger & disputes or things of that nature. Because who in the world is free from anger & disputes? Is this how we treat sins? No. All sins are equally bad in the sight of God, although each may have its own earthly consequences at varying degrees. Immoral walk could bring children out of wedlock or catch diseases or destroy family lives. [It is considered as one of the most destructive sins and believers are strongly cautioned against it.] Whereas outbursts of anger could lead to physical altercation or vehicle accidents, or someone could even beat us up with a club. The results may be different, yet sin is a sin in God’s eyes. [I am not forgetting the OT laws and varying degrees of punishments based on the severity of offenses. Most of those are ways how God measured the need for restitution and personal responsibility.]

Let me go back to my earlier question about ‘confession.’ How do I know if I am confessing correctly? More importantly, what does the biblical meaning of the word ‘confession?’ Most of us think that we tell God the offenses / sins that we committed and ask God to forgive those. Catholics teach their congregation to go to the Priest in a private setting and narrate the sins and the Priest will prescribe certain penance.

But the biblical concept of ‘confession’ is more than that. In fact, asking for forgiveness of sins could be considered as part of repentance. The result of repentance is a willing desire to turn away from sins at all costs. This aspect of repentance will be an on-going task for all believers. But the crucial aspect of repentance is a change in our mind regarding God and Jesus Christ. That change would lead us to embrace Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Savior. This change would lead us to the other aspect. “The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. “ Charles Ryrie. Acts 26:20 ‘that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.’

What is the biblical concept of confession?
The Bible sees confession in a more divine way. ‘Confession’ means to say the same thing about sin as God does and acknowledge God’s perspective about sin. Now we face yet another dilemma. How well I know – how God measures sin? Unless I know exactly as God sees, my confession can be flawed. I am sure I could have a mountain of un-confessed sins because my perception of sins and God’s perception of sins must be different.

Jesus Christ made this point clear when he defined ‘adultery and murder.’ The actual acts, though not committed externally, were considered committed internally. So, even if I did not react with outburst of anger and then controlled it, I have committed that sin; even to the level of murder. [Matthew 5:21] Pharisees thought they knew all about ‘sin.’ But Jesus Christ stripped them off their façade. All of us do have such façade.  

We know that we are commanded to love others. Love one another; [John 13:34.] Love just as I have loved; [John 15:12.] Taught by God to love; [1Thess 4:9.] Love just as I commanded; [1 John 3:23.] Love your neighbor as yourself; [Lev 19:18 & Matt 19:19.] These commandments are the least observed among us. I know that I break these commands several times a day with no second thoughts about it.

There are seven places in the NT that we see the command to love your neighbor as yourself. When I ignore these commands, I do sin against God. When was the last time anyone of us asked forgiveness for ‘not loving our neighbor as ourselves?’ If we did not, do we have a clear stand before God?” [End of quotes.]

Are apostasy and murder ‘unpardonable sins?’
It is very clear from the scriptures that the sin of apostasy is the only unpardonable sin. If we reject Jesus Christ as our Savior, there is no hope of salvation. Upon careful analysis, as detailed above to some level, no other sin can be equated to apostasy. Without going into many details, let me quote a few passages to establish that murder is not the only sin that is punishable to eternal separation from God. Please study these prayerfully. 1 Cor 15:57 [quoted below] is our only hope and assurance.

1 Tim 1:9 “Realizing the fact that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers.”

Rev 21:8 “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstones, which is the second death.”

Gal 5:18 “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissentions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

1 Cor 15:57 “ But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”


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Prepared by Bro. Tom Jones, Texas as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium, provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and reference to this website. Please feel free to write to the author for details. Or contact    gracepeaceu AT gmail.com

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