Bible Question:

My son (18 years old) was killed in a motorcycle accident on July 18, 2005. I am not sure if he believed in God, heaven, or life after death. He was a good boy - young man who helped the sick, young, and old - but I never did know about this until his passing. My husband are I are so afraid that he is in purgatory forever. I take full responsibility for his possible disbelief. I have been saved - and have been baptized in a Baptist church. Please help me with these questions. Also, if one commits suicide (as myself), can I give my salvation to my son and exchange places with him if he is not with God? Please help me!

Bible Answer:

God tells us that each one of us will some day stand before Him and give an account of ourself.

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. (NASB) Romans 14:12

The good works of the Christian will be evaluated in order to determine what rewards he or she will receive (1 Cor. 3:12-15), but the evaluation of the non-Christian has already been determined. They will be judged and go to the Lake of Fire if they did not believe in Jesus during their life on this planet.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NASB) John 3:18

Each One Is Accountable

The unbelievers’ deeds will be evaluated too, but their evaluation is designed to prove that they deserve to go to the Lake of Fire. God makes it clear that each one of us will give an account of our works in this life. However, the evaluation is different for the Christian and non-Christian. Yet, each one will give an account directly to God. No one can help us – spouse, mother, or father. So your offer to give your salvation to your son is a very loving and gracious offer, but God will not allow that. Each one of us will give an account for our own conduct, and no will be able to help us. Each one of us has enough information to know that there is a God. Each one of us chooses to either seek God or reject God. Each one of us either rejects or accepts the message of creation that God exists. Each one of us rejects or accepts our personal sense of right and wrong, and our consciences have an instinctive understanding of good and evil. That is the message of Romans, and God will reject each one of us who have ignored Jesus and God’s holy standard.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks . . . Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . (NASB) Rom. 1:20-22

Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (NASB) Rom. 2:1

For when Gentiles who . . . do instinctively the things of the Law . . . they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day . . . God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (NASB) Rom. 2:14-16

Purgatory

As a side note, purgatory is not a biblical concept. It cannot be found in scripture. This is a Roman Catholic concept which is not taught in scripture. The apostle Paul says that Christians are either here on this earth or in heaven (2 Cor. 5:6).

Conclusion:

If your son did not believe in Jesus Christ, please know that he is ultimately responsible for his own decision. If you believe that you did not teach your son that Jesus was God who came to be our Savior and that he needed to accept Jesus as His Lord and Savior, then you need to confess that as a sin. God will forgive your sin. May I refer you to a previous question and answer that should be an encouragement to you with regard to your son. The question and answer is titled, “Who Are The Elect?” May the Lord bless you.