Does a Christian who commits suicide go to heaven?

By Dillon Burroughs

Many have concerns about what happens to a Christian who commits suicide. Will a Christian still go to Heaven, or does suicide in some way keep a Christian from receiving eternal life?

First, it is important to be clear that suicide is wrong. God clearly taught murder was sin (Exodus 20:13), which would include taking one's own life. Further, suicide does not "fix" the problems of life, but rather creates numerous new problems for the many people impacted by the death of the one who commits suicide.

Second, despite the fact that suicide is wrong, the Bible never mentions suicide as an unforgivable sin. The only unpardonable sin mentioned is found in Mark 3:20-30. There Jesus referred to those who claimed His work was attributed to the work of Satan were those who could not be forgiven. Others view this as an accusation against those who reject Christ in general. Either way, the unforgivable sin has nothing to do with suicide but with rejecting Jesus. Further, Scripture is clear in other places that nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1; 37-39).

Third, the Bible mentions believers in God who desired to end their lives, but God did not approve of their plans. For example, Jonah was angry enough to die (Jonah 4), but God used Jonah's anger to speak to him regarding the importance of the people of Nineveh who had repented at Jonah's preaching. Job also wished to die during his time of suffering, yet God intervened and eventually provided future blessings following his time of struggle.

If you or someone you know struggles with or is talking about suicide, get help immediately. Everyone has times of discouragement and may even think of death as a solution, but those who openly talk or write about suicide are generally at a more serious point and are in need of intervention.

No matter how difficult the Christian life might be at times, suicide is not the answer. Even in His darkest hour, Jesus Christ endured the pain of the cross rather than taking an easier option. Despite the pain He faced, God used Christ's death to serve as the sacrifice for the sins of all who would believe. Our goal must be to turn to the Lord for strength during difficult times, as well as seeking help from others who can encourage and support during trying situations, rather than seeking a destructive solution.

Remember, Christ came to offer eternal life (John 3:16) as well as abundant life in this world (John 10:10). We are called to faithfully trust in Him and follow the Lord, allowing Him to determine the days of our lives.

Image Credit: Zoltan Horlik; "sotetben"; Creative Commons

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Published on 4-15-13