It is a sad fact that some Christians have committed suicide. You may have a friend or family member who professed to be a Christian, yet in a particular stressful situation or result of mental illness, took their own life. I want you to know that the sadness and hurt you feel is one of the deepest in human experience. I am so sorry you are going through this.
Adding to the tragedy is the false teaching that committing suicide automatically consigns one to hell. Many believe that a Christian who commits suicide will not be saved. This teaching is not supported in the Bible, but comes from church tradition. So, I want to help you understand the Biblical teaching of the believer, salvation and suicide.
I hesitate to even post this because I know some are looking for a way out of their existence. I think the Bible is not ‘specific’ in this area to prevent people from choosing suicide over life. If you have never been at this crossroad, it is a horrible existence. There is hope, but it is hard to see. If you are contemplating suicide, please reconsider. God has better plans for you.
Scripture teaches that, from the moment we truly believe in Christ, we are guaranteed eternal life (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life (1 John 5:13). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39). No “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing”; therefore, not even suicide can separate a Christian from God’s love.
Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, his sin is still covered by the blood of Christ. According to the Bible, suicide is not what determines whether a person gains entrance into heaven. If an unsaved person commits suicide, he has done nothing but expedite his journey to hell. However, that person who committed suicide will ultimately be in hell for rejecting salvation through Christ, not because he committed suicide (see John 3:18).
I should also point out, however, that no one truly knows what was happening in a person’s heart the moment he or she died. Some people have “deathbed conversions” and accept Christ in the moments before death. It is possible that a suicide could have a last-second change of heart and cry out for God’s mercy. We leave such judgments to God (1 Samuel 16:7).
The suicide of a believer is evidence that anyone can struggle with despair and that our enemy, Satan, is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Suicide is still a serious sin against God. According to the Bible, suicide is murder and it is always wrong. Christians are called to live their lives for God, and the decision of when to die is God’s and God’s alone.
A suicidal person feels he has exhausted all his options. Life has no meaning, no purpose, no future, so why continue to endure its extreme unhappiness, anguish, hopelessness and despair? The idea that nothing will ever change for the better leaves him feeling helpless, with the thought that death is the only way out.
Such a person is a victim of depression, tortured with feelings of unworthiness, sin and failure, deep guilt, and the need to be punished. There are better answers to these feelings than suicide. It is important to share your struggle with another believer or pastor. Remember that God always loves and cares and will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5). God still forgives and restores (1 John 1:9). Look to the Lord not the problems and circumstances (Proverbs 3:5,6). It is important to get into God’s Word and talk to Him in prayer. Connect with a Bible-teaching church for support.
May God grant grace and the psalmist’s perspective to each one who is facing trials today: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 43:5).