Periodically the idea of unpardonable sin comes up.
“And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Mt 12:31-32
This week it emerged in the context of suicide. The person we spoke with was devastated, naturally — but this had been exacerbated by a member of a “cult” faith — who’d asserted there was no eternal hope after death by suicide.
Astonishing, actually. Let’s examine the presumptions one must make to support that assertion.
First — One presumes one knows the mind of the person. That is prima-facie false. Concretely: one can imagine cases were mental faculties are reduced. This could come about as a result of range of factors. Physical defect (even a teeny stroke?) Chemical imbalance (either induced or hormonal.) Age-related (Alzheimer’s , etc.) The list continues.
So an incident that produces suicide may not be related to an absence of spiritual condition. This is the concept of capacity for accountability. We have no problem extending it to the very young. Somehow we presume that once of age, it continues uninterrupted. Reconsideration of the latter is needful.
Second — One must presume that one knows the mind of God. Which is also prima-facie false. The breadth and depth of Gods mercy. Of His justice. Of His Grace.
So ones eternal status in the aftermath of suicide is a matter in Gods hands.
Admittedly, there are examples we can learn from. Judas Iscariot apparently died in self-pity and isolation.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” Mt 27:3
Judas’ action seems to have been motivated by greed, and then feeling remorse he attempts to absolve himself. The Pharisees wouldn’t help — even though they knew the story of David having murdered. Judas would have known this remedy as well — seek the forgiveness of the Lord. What prevented him from following this path?
Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” 2 Sam 12:13
Its a safe bet that some who take their life by their own hand will be conveyed out of the presence of the Lord. But not all.