I just bought a gun...

I intend to use it. I read your information, the only question I have is there any possibility that God will forgive me for what I am about to do?

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. I guess only God can answer that question, but I will give you my opinion. If you have thought this out, which it appears that you have, and you decided that you are going to do it even though you know it is wrong, which is apparent by the fact that you are asking this question; then I think you have a problem.

Let's start with the basics, if you are not a Christian, then no matter how you die, at your own hand or someone else's or in an accident, it does not matter, you will be lost for eternity. Let me explain what I mean by "Christian," I mean someone who has accepted Christ as their Savior. Someone who realized at some point that they were a sinner and needed to get right with God and further realized that the only way to get right with God was through belief in Jesus Christ. The fine print is this, the person has to believe that Jesus is who He said He was: God's Son, who came to earth as a human, lived a sinless life and died for our sins, who rose again and is now seated beside God the Father in 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. So it is not me saying you have to get right with God through Jesus it is God Himself saying it.

Okay, let's say you are a Christian and you are thinking of killing yourself. First of all who is Lord of your life? You or Jesus Christ? If it is Jesus then you should allow Him to decide when you die. If it is you, then that may very well be your problem, you will never live the life you want to live or be happy until you totally give yourself over to Him. But back to your question of whether it is possible for God to forgive you. Let me give you a couple of verses: (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV) Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? {17} If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. That looks pretty straight forward and does not look good for killing yourself and then being forgiven. (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, {27} but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. This is the reason I made the point about you thinking this out and deciding to do it even though you know it is a sin. You would be showing deliberate disobedience to God. And one last one: (Hebrews 9:27 NIV) Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment... I believe this verse shows that whatever state you are in when you die is the state you will be in when you are judged. If you are in a sinful state (deliberate sin) you will be judged a sinner, but if you die as a believer you will be accepted into God's presence. Now there is a whole doctrine of whether a person who has been saved can be lost or not. I won't get into all of that, but I will refer you to the verses I have already quoted and tell you I certainly would not bet my eternal destiny on such doctrine. I don't believe that if a person falls into a sin and dies before they confess that sin that (assuming the person was a Christian to start with) God would judge them for that. However, that is much different then deliberately sinning and expecting God to forgive you afterwards. 1 John 1:8-10 shows that we will all sin and that we should confess those sins and God will forgive us, but again it assumes that the sin is a failure not a deliberate act of defiance to God. Suicide could not be considered anything other then a deliberate disobedient act against God's authority.

Let me say one more then, although I don't believe it applies to you. If a person is not in control of their emotional state or their actions then I don't believe God would hold them accountable for what they do. God is above all fair and merciful, I don't believe He will judge anyone on what they did not have control over. Like I said I don't think this applies to you since you are apparently thinking this through rationally.

If you are not a Christian, then I urge you to get to know God. He loves you enough that He sent His only Son to die for your sins. He wants to have a relationship with you and help you, but He will not force Himself on you. You have to come to Him, admit you are lost and need His help and believe that He did send Jesus to die for you. If you are a Christian, then I urge you to get on your knees and cry out to your Father which is in heaven. Ask Him to help you overcome whatever is going on in your life. He has not lost His power or His love for you. You have lost your focus. There is nothing that God can't help you with and there is no limit to the love He has for you.

If you agree that God loves you and that He is all powerful, then why not go to Him? If you don't think God can help you so you still want to kill yourself, you are telling God one of three things: You are saying that He is not powerful enough to help you, or that He does not love you enough to help you, or you are saying you don't care, you want it your way not His. I would not want to stand before Him after killing myself and tell Him any of those. Please think about it and talk to God. He will help you.

He will help you if you are a sinner crying out for salvation and He will help you if you are a Christian crying out for help with problems. Either way, He wants to help you and He will, but only while you are still in this life and willing to come to Him. Don't seal your fate with any questions in your mind as to whether you are right with God or not. As I said at the beginning, only God can answer for sure, but I hope I have given you enough to think about so that you won't take the chance.

Feel free to write me back and ask more questions or just vent or whatever.

Ralph

*** Update ***

I am writing back to thank you for the thoughtful response you gave me. I read it and was impressed with the depth of your response. I had already made my decision to turn to God but I would be dishonest not to tell you it moved me greatly, even as I read it after the fact, to see anyone, let alone a total stranger, take the time to write to me with that level of concern.

The verses I read were the ones your site directs people to who feel hopeless.

I had purchased the gun and was given a single shell by the salesperson (the devil makes it easy) to put in the shotgun. Last night all I had to do was walk down the stairs put the gun on the ground the barrel in my mouth and push the trigger. It would have been very easy. After reading the verses on hopelessness, I realized that there really is a battle going on for my very soul. The demons stalk the earth looking for people like me to devour. God's word says persevere, keep the faith for the reward that is promised. It was very evident to me I could kill myself last night or I could turn to God's word and realize that I must run the race before me and continue to the end. I turned to God's word. I read every single verse looking for an escape clause, one that would tell me it was ok to kill myself. Instead, I read persevere. Faith is what I had to embrace. I thought for all the world it would have been hope. My thoughts were muddled with intellectual occlusion. Reading each verse over and over I concluded that faith was the dominant thought and where I had to rest my head. That the demons who stalk the earth were waging their battle in my head and that I had to believe that God's army could defeat them.

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