I have spent my whole life believing that if a person commits suicide they go to hell. TODAY I LEARNED THAT IS NOT TRUE. What?!? I spent the day looking back on conversations I have had on the topic and can't remember a single time when I heard anything other than if you commit suicide you go to hell.
So in the first few minutes of the sermon when the pastor asked "Does one go to hell when they commit suicide" and his answer was "no" I was all ears. What??? In my 41 years of life I have never heard this; especially from a pastor.
He than referred to Romans 8:38
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries for tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.
He went on to mention that in the Bible there are at least 6 accounts of suicide and none of the six is condemned for taking his life.
In doing some research today I found that St. Augustine said that one who commits suicide can not repent after his death so he goes to hell. But we all commit sins that we either don't ask forgiveness for or don't believe we are sinning. We all die with sins we have not repented of.
What is important is that we asked God in our heart, that we are a Christian. Once we ask God in our hearts He is always there. He never leaves us. We may choose the wrong path or commit sins, but He is always there.
This mornings sermon was something I needed. I have lost friends/family to suicide and always wondered if I would see them again and now I have faith that I will. We have an amazing God that loves us no matter what.
Something I read today that really hit me was that instead of spending our time worrying if Christians who commit suicide go to Heaven we should be praying for those still with us who are in a place of despair and being dragged down that path. So that is something I have added to my prayer list. I will pray that they find the light or spark of joy that brings them out of whatever they are going through.