Q&A – Suicide

Q:        I was hoping to ask you a question….it’s a rather hard question to ask, so I’ll just come out with it….If someone kills themselves, and they are saved, do they go to Heaven, or Hell?  I’ve always heard that killing yourself was the “unforgivable” sin, but I also believe that our salvation is not “lose-able”…that we are not saved by our works, so our works will not un-save us either.  I am very mixed on this subject…I have  had two people I know commit suicide this year.  I am confused about what happens to those people. I have always learned that by killing yourself you are destined to hell, but that is hard to think about and accept.  I really just want to know what you think–be real with me because I feel like most people aren’t. Do you have an opinion on this, or is there scripture that talks about this.  If you don’t mind, please let me know what you think on this subject.

A:        Thanks so much for your email.  According to the Bible, whether a person commits suicide is not what determines whether he or she gains entrance into heaven.  This belief comes from a teaching that some churches have that is not biblical.  The only thing that determines whether or not someone goes to heaven is their relationship with Jesus.

What does the Bible say about suicide?   The Bible views suicide as equal to murder – that’s what it is – self-murder. God is the One who is to decide when and how a person should die. To take that power into your own hands, according to the Bible, is sin against God.  But that does not mean that it is unforgiveable.

Our church does teach that once a person is saved they are always saved and that there is nothing they can do to lose their salvation.  Suicide is murder.  And to murder yourself is to say to God that his plan for you is not good enough and that you want to take your destiny into your own hands.  For any Christian to do this it is a slap in the face of God and it must break the heart of God.  God will forgive anything except the unpardonable sin of not accepting Jesus as the penalty of your sins.

I do not believe that a Christian who commits suicide will lose salvation and go to hell. The Bible teaches that from the moment a person truly believes in Christ, he or she is eternally secure (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life no matter what happens. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love! “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). If no “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing,” then not even suicide can separate him from God’s love. Jesus died for all of our sins…and if a true Christian were to, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide – that would be a sin that Jesus died for.

We have talked with many suicidal people here at NewSpring.  They often ask the same questions that you just asked.  When they ask if God will forgive them if they kill themselves, I tell them that this is not the most important question.  I tell them the question to ask is, “Is this God’s plan, or is this your plan?”  “Is this God’s best for you or are you looking for the easiest way out?”  God’s plan is never for someone to end their life.  Let me know if I can help you with anything else.

(If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, you should call 911 and seek help immediately.)

(Several of the thoughts in this email were borrowed from www.gotquestions.org …Another great article on this subject is found here)

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