There are ministers who refuse to conduct a funeral of someone who has committed suicide. Some see suicide as an unforgivable sin and refuse to help anyone who is suicidal. Is suicide a sin ? In this blog post, I will share what some of the great ministers of our time, such as Billy Graham have to say. We’ll also show the “being human” many of the great, great leaders in the Bible and of our day suffered. Even Jesus suffered despair.
Freddie Prinze was a young comedian and good actor. He played Chico in Chico and the Man. Prinze was arrested on November 16, 1976, for driving under the influence of quaaludes (a sedative, hypnotic drug). A few weeks later his wife Kathy Elaine Prinze filed for divorce saying he was endangering the life of his baby son, Freddie Prize Jr., with his drug use. Prinze suffered extreme depression after that. His business manager, Marvin “Dusty” Snyder got a call from Prinze that concerned him so much he went over to his apartment to encourage him on the night of January 28, 1977. Prinze called his mother saying, “Mom, I love you very much but I can’t go on. I need to find peace.”
He called his estranged wife saying, “I love you, Kathy. I love the baby, but I need to find peace. I can’t go on.” With his manager looking on Prinze put a gun to his head and shot himself. He died at 1:00 p.m. on January 29 at the age of 22.
I was a young housewife living in the suburbs when I heard of Freddie Prinze’s suicide. There were those who I considered good Christians saying, “Prinze is in hell because he committed suicide.”
I started asking God to show me the truth. Was Prinze in hell because he committed suicide? Is Suicide a Sin ? As I prayed, a vision of Jesus holding young Prinze came to my mind with Jesus saying, “Some are not strong enough to endure the trials of earth.”
What does the Bible say about suicide? Since having that vision I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Freddie Prinze is in heaven with God. His mother Maria Graniela Pruetzel, a Puerto Rican, had strong Christian faith. Prinze kept saying, “I need to find PEACE.”
It wasn’t until recently I decided to look up Freddie Prinze and read the book his mother wrote, The Freddie Prinze Story. In the book, it tells of his saying to the news media, “Raised in our kind of neighborhood, the only thing that sustained me was my faith in God.”
He carried his Bible with him everywhere and talked to God in his diary. In his Bible, he wrote, “Dear Lord, I am not afraid to die. But please let me live until I buy my mom the house I promised her.”
He was a lonely kid. After he married Kathy he thought he would no longer be lonely, but when she chose to divorce him, he was devastated. His doctor had put him on quaaludes which have since been outlawed. A manager he had fired was suing him. Although he was very successful for a 22 year old, he had more loneliness, fear and worries than most 22 year olds.
Question: My sister struggled with severe depression most of her life and had to be hospitalized several times. Last year, she finally got so depressed that she took her own life. In spite of everything, she had a strong faith, but is suicide the unforgivable sin, as some people say? It’s all been very painful to me.
Answer: The only sin God cannot forgive is the sin of rejecting the Holy Spirit’s witness to Jesus Christ and His offer of forgiveness. Only when we reject God will He reject us. This alone is the unforgivable “blasphemy against the Spirit” of which Jesus spoke (Matt. 12:31).
God understands your heartache and I want to assure you that He also knew all about your sister’s struggles. Medical science has made many advances in helping us understand emotional problems, but there’s still much we don’t understand. Take confidence in your sister’s faith in Christ, and rejoice that she is now beyond the pains and sorrows of this world.
I don’t want to be misunderstood, however. Suicide is extremely serious and tragic in God’s eyes, and if someone who is reading this is contemplating suicide, I beg of you to reconsider and seek help for whatever your problem may be. God loves you whether you believe it or not – and He does not want you to end your life. Satan does, however, and you must not listen to him
Instead, put your faith and hope in Christ and His love for you. You are never alone if you know Him because nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
Question: My cousin had very serious emotional problems most of her life, and finally they overwhelmed her and she committed suicide. I firmly believe she was a Christian, but did she lose her salvation by doing this? Is suicide a sin ? Is suicide the unpardonable sin?
Answer: Whenever I answer a question like this, I’m deeply aware that someone may be reading this who is seriously contemplating suicide—and I would do everything in my power to convince them not to take that final, drastic step. With Christ, there is always hope.
God loves them; He loves them so much that Jesus Christ was willing to die on the cross for their salvation. And others care about them, as well, (even if they have a hard time believing it). Suicide is never God’s will, and even in the midst of life’s worst storms we can look to Christ and discover that He truly is “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19). The first step back from the brink of suicide is to turn to Christ and open our hearts to Him.
Is Suicide a Sin ?
Suicide is always a tragedy—but in itself it is not the unpardonable sin. The only sin God cannot pardon is the sin of rejecting Him. God knew your cousin’s heart, and He also knows that mental illness sometimes clouds a person’s judgment so much that they aren’t fully responsible for their actions.
At the same time, ask God to help you be sensitive to the needs of others—especially someone who may be facing discouragement or depression. Often simply knowing that someone cares will help them turn the corner.
If you have questions about suicide, I encourage you to pick up my book on Suicide – called Suicide is Not Your Answer
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