First I wanted to thank you for your awesome website. It is very clear that you thoroughly study God’s work and have a good understanding of it. And you have been a tremendous help in motivating me in my walk with the Lord.
Having said that I would like to ask for clarification on your view of suicide. You had stated in answering a previous question that you believed that if a person committed suicide and had previously received the gift of salvation, that person would spend eternity with God. Having been raised Pentecostal, the Once Saved Always Saved belief has not been something I would say I have believed in, but the way you describe it and back it up with scripture, I am tending to believe you have valid points.
Until we get to the issue of suicide. I am having a hard time believing that this is not a sin that will keep you out of heaven. If you are right, then, we Christians could always take the easy way out when things got tough. We could say “I’m ready to be with Jesus, and tired of this world” and take our life, and instantly be with him. That is the one area I have come across that is preventing me from getting completely ‘onboard’ your belief, of OSAS.
The idea that suicide is an unforgivable sin came from a time before theologians understood that God is not someone with an inexhaustible supply of time but is outside of time altogether. They believed that since a person who commits suicide can’t repent of his or her sin and ask forgiveness, it couldn’t be forgiven.
We now know that God is outside of time, knows the end from the beginning, and saw all the sins of our life before we were born. When He went to the cross, He took all of them and nailed them there (Colossians 2:13-15 & Hebrews 10:12-14) including the sin of murder, whether of self or another. When you think about it, it doesn’t make sense that God would forgive a person for murdering someone else, but wouldn’t forgive someone who murders him or her self.
As for opting out by killing ourselves when things get tough, that argument doesn’t make any more sense than the one legalists use to deny the doctrine of Grace, saying that if we were saved by grace alone, everyone would run around raping and pillaging without restraint or regret. Even non-believers just don’t act that way.
I believe the act of suicide is motivated by a severe demonic oppression that can overpower even a believer. And when it does, God knew it would happen before granting the believer’s plea for salvation, and had already extended His forgiveness to cover all the sins of the believer’s life including the last one.