How are you? I’m well.
Have you ever thought whether Judas Iscariot, the betrayer among the disciples might be saved before he killed himself? I have no intention to say something as certain or biblical, unless we know clearly from the Scriptures. I thought of him a few times and thought to myself, “Who knows whether he repented before he killed himself and we would see him being with Jesus?” Of course, I read the Scriptures where Jesus said, “but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:23)
Then, do you think King Solomon will be with the Lord, when we see Him face to face? Many would think so, as he is one of the authors of the books in the Bible. Yet, I heard the late Bible teacher, David Pawson say, “If he is in Heaven…”. Hmmm, it was quite an eye-opening comment to me, as I used to think he would be in Heaven. But, the Scripture says, “Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. (1 Kings 11:6)” Interestingly enough, I heard the late Pastor and Prophet Neville Johnson shared one of his experiences where the Lord took him to a very dark place in the spirit realm. I don’t think he exactly said it was the hell, but what he described sounded like the hell. He said there were some ugly demons and he saw a crown in there. Then, the Lord told him to pick up the crown. So did he, without making the demons noticing it. Then, he got to know from the Lord that the crown was King Solomon’s. And he was surprised to hear that. Just like many of us thought, he would have thought he would be with the Lord. And Pastor Neville said, “How come? He had great wisdom and so forth.” (I paraphrase it from my memory.) And the Lord said, “It was simply My gift.”
Friend, I’m trying to say that we can’t certainly say that someone’s spirit would go to hell or to heaven, as we are not the Judge. I would like to share Pastor John Fenn’s weekly thoughts posted in 2020, “Surprised Who Is in Heaven?”, which encouraged and enlightened me and I hope it does to you:
I was ministering in a church near Spencer, Tennessee – a small church, maybe 40 people present. As I taught, my attention was drawn by the Spirit to a woman sitting about half way back on the left side, with a couple children sitting next to her. Suddenly I saw a vision with my eyes wide open, taking place above this woman like I was watching a scene on a TV show. I saw a man with dark hair, clearly distraught from the look on his face, in great anguish, sitting in a rocking chair on a porch of a home, and the man had a pistol in his hand. The vision ended as he lifted the pistol to his head.
The Father spoke to me while I was seeing this: “This is her husband. He killed himself with that pistol, but he is with Me and I want you to tell her that, for she has been very afraid for her husband’s salvation and I want to give her assurance.” Just then I saw him standing above and to the side of where the woman was sitting in the pew, smiling hugely as he looked down on her and his family; looking at his family with such love and compassion and sorrow for the pain he had caused – it was all so clear on his face, aided by the Holy Spirit letting me feel what he felt in the same way the Lord will, as we are in intercessory prayer, often let us experience the emotions or pressures of the person we are coming alongside in prayer to carry the burden with. The level of regret was intense; it was bringing me to tears.
I asked the Father, “How is this possible? I’ve always wondered about people who commit suicide from the verse in I Corinthians 3:17 that says if we destroy the body we will be destroyed.” He replied: “Different context. He was not in his right mind. He was emotionally ill. Would you condemn him for being sick in his mind any more than you would for someone who died sick in their body?” “Oh, sorry, you’re right. That makes sense.”
I shared from the pulpit what I saw and what He said, and tried to communicate as accurately as I could the guilt he was feeling over the harm he had caused her and their children. Of course she burst into tears as she confirmed that’s where and how she found him when she returned home that day, and later told me she had been so worried over him, not sleeping, so afraid due to his alcoholism and anger and suicide. She said it weighed on her every waking moment, because she loved him so much and so wanted him to be in heaven.
If you were not part of that service and just knew of the alcoholic, abusive, angry husband and that he had killed himself, you might assume he was in hell. Suicide is murder, and murder can be forgiven. Just ask Moses and King David. Rejecting Jesus is the unpardonable sin, for to reject the work of the Holy Spirit who brings salvation, is to reject Jesus.
A few years back in Singapore, an elder’s wife who used to be the hostess in my Shanghai church Friday homegroup meeting also shared her thoughts on suicide with me, as there are some people who are under the bondage or mentally ill and they end up with killing themselves. Her thoughts were in line with what Pastor John shared. In a Bible class that I used to attend weekly after the work, I heard a middle-aged lady share her thought. Ethnically she was a Chinese. And she said some elderly people in her parents’ generation didn’t read Chinese so that they didn’t read the Bible at all. Yet, they had unmovable faith about God so that we can’t judge someone's faith according to his or her reading the Bible. I agree with her. God is the Word and I don’t demean reading the Bible and understanding His will through it. But He is so gracious and merciful that He gave His Son and all we need to do is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
I used to pray that the Lord showed Himself to my mom through her dreams, as she doesn’t read the Bible especially after the dementia. One day, she had a dream just like Jacob saw the ladder from the heaven in his dream, and she was overjoyed. On another occasion, when we were on the flight from California back to Seoul, she was looking at her screen in front of her seat. Then, I heard her saying Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth…”. Curious, I looked at her and her screen and I saw her watching the earth shape that showed where we were, time at destination, time at departure and so forth. At first, I bursted out laughing, but soon enough tears welled up in my eyes. How faithful our Father is. Although my mom doesn’t read the Bible, He made her remember her Creator, the Creator of the universe, looking at the earth on the screen. It reminded me of the prophecy that a pastor gave me back in Singapore during the altar call that all of my family will be saved. And I was comforted and I was thankful for His faithfulness.
Friend, I have no intension to encourage that we don’t have to read the Bible nor get away with murder. Like Jesus said:
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47~48)
One day, you and I would be in front of the Judgement seat and give account of what we did with the resources He entrusted to us: our time, our finances, our talents and so forth. We walk in His righteousness and love, fearing the Lord. And we do not judge others by what’s on the surface. We don’t try to take His place. We have the One and Only Just Judge, Who knows our hearts and our motives. There is no flaw in Him. He is merciful yet fair. No one would argue with Him in front of the Judgement seat.
Have a bliss!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)