Hey there, I came across your website while entering the search-string of "How to truely talk with God" b/c I'm dating a girl who's 19, I'm 22 and we're in love, I trust her, she trusts me, but I think that maybe since I'm 3 years deeper in life experiences that I have a little broader of a view into my horizons of how some things are. She's going off to work at a summer theatre in NC, which is something I have done, and I know how things are at places, a whole lot of crazy, wild partying, and I'm a bit concerned. I have a tendency to be a worry wort, and I know that what will be will be according to God's plan for me, for her, and for us. It's kinda strange that I ran across this hit of yours in my search about this call you had from a guy who was contimplating suicide. I mean, I would never think about suicide, but I don't exactly agree with you on the whole thing that says you're going straight to hell if you commit suicide. I'm not going to argue with you on the issue, but I'm curious as to where you get your support for such a strong and judgemental view on what you may believe that God will or will not decide on someone's fate. I'm just curious man, I'm a southern baptist (although I don't like to claim them at times) and am about to graduate from college in December, and I'll tell ya man, it's hard to maintain a healthy christian life, but I've been true to myself. I have done some things that I'm not very proud of, and I'll tell ya that I have learned more from personal prayer and personal acceptance of what God speaks to me, and the reading from one book, As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. James Allen writes the teaching of Jesus in a very matter of fact way, cause & effect versus "You should do this, you shouldn't do that". I don't know, maybe I'm preaching here, I know that I don't know you, & I even understand yoru point about taking responsibility for your own life and being accountable for certain things, but don't you think that God would be able to see past certain mental road blocks within our psyches? Just a thought, if you would respond sometime, I'd be interested to read what you think. Thanks for your time.
My reply is below:
You calling my view judgmental kind of bothers me. That sounds very judgmental of you. Just kidding, but I hope you see my deeper point. Am I being judgmental to tell people what I believe the Bible says? Exactly what part of my answer do you disagree with? Just the fact that I told this person that if he killed himself he would spend eternity in hell? What about the scripture I quoted, do you agree or disagree with them?
See this is a deeper subject then just suicide, it has to do with once saved always saved. You may not have ever heard that before but I bet you have been taught it all your life. OSAS says a couple of things (both of which I believe are unbiblical). First it says that at the moment of salvation you are forgiven for all sins past, present and even future. Second it says that you can be a Christian and go to heaven but not be a follower of Christ.
If you are truly interested then let me refer you to my OSAS pages where I go into depth responding to people who ask about it. http://www.behindthebadge.net/osas/
The doctrinal question is this: can a person place their faith in Jesus Christ and then live like the world and even kill themself and still be a believer and go to heaven? Let's see what God has to say, since what I think or say means nothing.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5 NIV)  But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Denying that God has the power to help us live lives that are pleasing to Him. Paul does not take this lightly, he tells us not to even have anything to do with them. That is not Paul telling one set of brothers not to have anything to do with another set of brothers, it is Paul saying those that live like this are not truly brothers.
(Colossians 1:21-23 NIV)  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
If you continue in the faith... So what happens if the person does not continue in the faith? And what does continue in the faith mean?
(Matthew 16:24 NIV) Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
Jesus says it means to deny yourself and follow Him. As I told this guy it is hard to claim you are following Christ while you take your own life. It is also hard to claim you are denying yourself while you kill the very temple of the Holy Spirit.
(1 John 2:3-6 NIV)  We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.  The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
If we obey His commands... So what about the person who doesn't obey?
(Hebrews 10:26-27 NIV)  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Suicide is certainly a deliberate sin, if it isn't then it wasn't really suicide.
(1 Corinthians 15:2 NIV) By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
If you hold firmly... Otherwise your belief was in vain. That has to mean that you don't get to heaven.
(Ezekiel 18:21-24 NIV)  "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.  None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.  Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
 "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.
Yes this quote if from the Old Testament, but I ask you, has God changed? His word says He never changes.
(2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV)  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Notice Peter says 'past sins' and not all sins past, present and future?
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NIV)  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul was speaking to believers in this letter, so why didn't he just say unbelievers instead of listing a bunch of sins? I believe the reason is simple, he was telling them that they could not live like this and go to heaven.
(James 1:13-15 NIV)  When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Again James is speaking to believers, yet he says that sin will lead to death.
(1 John 5:3-5 NIV)  This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,  for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
This passage also shows that a believer will follow God's commandments. Committing suicide does not fall in the category of following God's commands.
(Matthew 13:41-42 NIV)  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.  They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Notice this does not say that they will weed out just unbelievers, but "all" who do evil.
(Galatians 5:2-4 NIV)  Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
If we can never fall under judgment after our salvation then this passage is a lie. Paul is telling these believers that if they now go and try to be justified under the law by being circumcised then their faith in Jesus Christ will do them no good. Why? Because the fact that they try to be justified by another way shows they have not put total faith in Jesus.
(Mark 9:42-48 NIV)  "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,  where "'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"
Why would Jesus tell believers that it is better to pluck out an eye then to go around sinning? We know He was talking to believers from the context, and from common sense. It would do a sinner absolutely no good to do any of these things or to even stop sinning because they still won't make it to heaven:
(John 14:6 NIV) Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Not sinning won't get an unbeliever into heaven!
(John 15:6 NIV) If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
Thrown into the fire and burned. That is not talking about rewards, it is speaking of the person.
(James 5:19-20 NIV)  My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,  remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
If we can't wander away then this passage is bogus. Notice James is speaking of a believer who wanders away, and then calls that person a sinner. Are you beginning to see my point?
(Romans 2:7-8 NIV)  To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.  But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Those who persist in doing good, or in other words continue in the faith and following Christ. Does that mean we have to be perfect? No, it means, however, that if we stumble and sin we must come back to the throne of grace:
(1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Why would we need to confess something that was already forgiven when we were saved?
(Galatians 6:8-9 NIV)  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Again check the context and you will see that Paul is speaking to believers.
(Romans 11:17-24 NIV)  If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,  do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.  You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."  Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.  And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.  After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
This passage speaks for itself.
(Galatians 1:6 NIV) I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-
This passage shows it is possible to desert Christ.
(Hebrews 12:14 NIV) Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
This passage goes along with those where Paul tells believers that those who are drunkards, homosexuals, liars, etc... won't get to heaven.
(Ephesians 5:3-7 NIV)  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.
God's wrath comes to those who are disobedient. So if OSAS is true, then God is going to pour out wrath on people for sins that have already been forgiven and which He says He will never remember again!!
(1 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV) For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.
Was Paul not sure they had faith to start with? No, but he was worried that they might not continue in that faith.
(2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV)  Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,  and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you do these things, you will never fall... Why tell us that if it is impossible to fall no matter what?
(Hebrews 11:13 NIV) All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
Why bother telling us that these people were still living by faith when they died if it doesn't matter?
Okay, that is not all of them, but that should give you the idea. So am I being judgmental when I say that if a person deliberately sins against God and does not continue to follow Christ they will be lost? I didn't pull that idea out of thin air. Don't believe me and don't believe any doctrine you have been taught, check out God's word for yourself and see which is true.
I am glad you are a curious man, now just use that to find the truth.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)