Do Christians who commit suicide automatically go to hell?
We should rephrase this question and ask is there eternal salvation possible according to God’s Word to those who commit suicide?
Let us look at all Biblical instances where people have committed suicide.
Judg 16:29-30 “And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”
1 Sam 31:4-5 “Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.”
1 Chr 10:4-5 “Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.”
2 Sam 17:23 “And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.”
IKing 16:18-19 “And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king’s house, and burnt the king’s house over him with fire, and died, For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin.”
Matt 27:5 “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
Acts 1:18 “Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.”
Samson, Saul and his armourbearer, Ahithophel, Zimri and Judas were all men who did not take heed of following God with all their heart. This led them to an impasse where death was preferable to them. The Bible however, doesn’t mention if they are saved or not. We can only speculate here. Nowhere can I read in my Bible that a person who commit suicide is doomed forever.
There are other Biblical instances where someone considered or was tempted to commit suicide, but did not. Here they are:
Matt 4:5-7 “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (KJV)
Jesus was tempted to commit suicide, under the pretense that God would save His life. Jesus immediately saw the falsely of that claim.
Acts 16:27-28 “And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.” (KJV)
The prison keeper wakes up here and to his horror all doors of the prison are open. He had to face certain death by Roman authorities if someone under his guard had escaped or commit suicide. As he was ready in despair to commit this act, Paul stops him.
Num 11:14-16 “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.”
Moses had a big burden of caring for all the Israelites. He was longing for death. However, God gave him a solution to his problem that worked. Remember, that whenever you are considering this desperate attempt, there is a solution available, if only you trust yourself in God’s arms. He always has a solution to our problems!
1 King 19:4-5 “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.”
Elijah being afraid for his life ran away as far as he could from Ahab and Jeezebel. In desperation he plead to God to take his life away. Again God refused that solution, as it wasn’t a solution.
Phil 2:16 “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
What is a solution to suicide? Hold on to the word of life: the Bible. Trust in God, He will help you find a solution, just as He did with Moses.
Human life is sacred, since we are created in God’s image (Gen. 1:27).
Paul points out in 1 Cor 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
That our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Should we destroy God’s temple? Heaven’s forbid! We should trust in the power of God to help us find a solution.
This goes hand in hand with Exod 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.”
God cares for us. If we trust Him, and unload our burdens to Him, He assuredly will help us. He has the solution to all of our problems! Matt 11:28
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Will you trust in God and unload your burdens to Him? The choice is yours. He is the only one who can give you true rest!
I’m not condoning committing suicide as a solution to life’s problems, but I know that for a fact the God loves us so much that it actually hurts him to see any kind of suffering fall upon us. He wants so much more to help us than see one commit suicide.
According to Billy Graham’s book, “Death and Dying”, he states that a person who commits suicide is mentally ill and therefore God would not judge him the same as one who is not. Coupled with being a Christian and having an intensive and long background in the field of mental health, I feel comfortable to discuss this subject.
We have all had suicidal thoughts, be they fleeting moments or days of deep depression. Usually what stops us from performing on our thoughts is the desire, inherent in all humans from the moment of birth, to live. If you take a baby and put him under water, will he not struggle for breath? To have the thoughts of suicide and then act on them is totally against this inherent desire. Those who reach the point of planning and acting upon suicide are truly mentally ill and “not of their right mind.”
Therefore, as Billy Graham says, would a just God judge someone in this condition? As an added note, I think we must factor in the fact that it is taught that the only sure way to be doomed is to turn your back on the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer, have reached the point of desperation and can see no end to your sorrow, that does not fit the definition of turning your back on the Holy Spirit. Can you be held accountable because your depression is so severe you just can’t “see” God’s plan for your life in all this blackness? I think not.
I do not condone suicide and, accordingly, I have to question what ramifications the Lord would have for someone who committed this act versus another who suffered through life and let the end come naturally. Again, is it because his/her faith was not as strong? No, I think it comes down to the mental issue again and not being of a state of mind that the Lord holds accountable.
If a person who is truly born again commits suicide, I don’t believe he/she will go to Hell. When the Lord saves a person, He forgives that person of all of his/her sins–past, present and future. We have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-3); and it is the blood of Christ which washes away all of our sins. When the Father sees the blood of His Son, He sees His righteousness and not our unrighteousness.
I don’t believe that a person can lose his/her salvation because the Lord is always faithful–for His own name’s sake–even though we are not always faithful to Him. He cannot lie or break a promise because He is a holy and a just God and lying is sin.
The unforgivable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit–denying that Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son and the only way to the Father–refusing to accept the Lord.
A born again Christian who commits suicide will stand before the Lord most likely unhappily, knowing that the Lord could have used him/her to lead many others to Christ. Realizing that the rewards that he/she would have placed at Jesus’ feet will not be available to give back to Him, the person will also feel some sadness at first before the Lord wipes away all of our tears.
But that person would still go to Heaven, and his/her works would still be tried as by fire to leave only what is good. Only the people who die without trusting fully in the saving grace of Christ will go to Hell.
I believe that God is a loving and merciful God, and therefore he knows the pain these people are in. So, no, I do not believe that a Christian who commits suicide automatically goes to Hell. Some folks who take their own lives are not mentally capable of rational thought, so I don’t believe they will spend eternity in Hell, either. Some suicides are simply the result of great, unbearable pain, as in my brother’s case. He fought manic depression for years, and one day it apparently became too much for him. I believe I will see him again, and that now his pain has ended.
I hope your answer to this is NO! Because my older brother killed himself, and he was one of the strongest believers I’ve ever known. He was taking a prescription medication which his doctor told us backfired on him so quickly and so strongly that he wasn’t able to think clearly enough to reach out for help. This very question as well as cruelty from others regarding his death has made me become really upset with people who state that those who kill themselves go immediately to hell.
If there was anything crueller than his death, it was the thoughtless and cruel people who implied that he was in hell. I know my Bible much better than most pastors do, and I’ve never or ever seen anything in the Word of God which said that a person regardless of being saved or unsaved went to hell because of killing themselves. The unsaved go to hell because they have rejected the Son of God, Jesus Christ, not because they killed themselves.
In His Name and love,
Thanks Rob. I should have added that of all forms of death suicide is the hardest for those left behind. I loved my brother so much, and he had actually been more of an earthly father than just a brother that his death had a profound affect on my life.
There are many things which happened that year that I don’t remember, but in January or February, I was hit from the rear while stopped at a Red light, and the result of that accident led to major back surgery in July 1989…..I had to have two back surgeries in all. I had been battling depression, deafness, uncontrollable migraine headaches and due to an accident in 1988, I had to have all of the cartilage removed from my left knee, and this, of course, meant that because all of the cartilage was totally ruined that I would live the rest of my life with bone rubbing against bone in that knee because there was not enough undamaged cartilage that could be left so that it would grow to replace that which was removed.
My brother killed himself on my birthday April 3, 1989, and like I said, there are many, many things which happened that year which I have no memory, but after I got out of the hospital in July….within just a couple of days or so after I got out, my husband told me that we were sitting on a sofa downstairs when I got up and told him that I had to go to the bathroom. He said that as I began walking up the stairs that he asked me why was I going upstairs and not using the one downstairs?
He said that I looked at him and said, “I’m going to find Mel.” Mel is my brother’s name. My husband said that he didn’t think much about it for the first couple of minutes then it hit him full force that MEL WAS DEAD AND THAT THERE WAS ONLY ONE WAY FOR ME TO GO LOOKING FOR HIM! He said that he ran up the stairs as fast as he could, and he got there just as I was swallowing the last handful of pills. He told me that he begged me to let him take me to the hospital and even went so far as to call the police, but when they arrived, he told me that I told them to get out of my house. The police left because they said that it was my home and there was not one thing they could do because I had ordered them off the premises.
When I finally passed out, my now X rushed me to the emergency room, and after examining me and pumping my stomach the doctors told him and my family who by this time were at the hospital that I had a 10% chance of living and that 10% meant that I would be a vegetable for the rest on my life if I lived. They said that the reason there was not anything they could do was the medicine I had overdosed on went directly into my blood and by passed my stomach. I took enough to kill three huge men and not just one little lady which I was.
According to medical records, I had one violent seizure right after the other, and the doctors said that just one of those seizures should have killed me because they were so very violent, but yet, I did not die.
I was in a coma for a couple to three weeks, but I can’t remember exactly. I was in the hospital close to three months recovering from all of the drugs I had ingested, and Rob, I wasn’t exactly a happy camper to find myself still on this old earth! They tried to get me to see a psychiatrist, but I refused, and there wasn’t anything they could do about it.
My Mom was the one who drove me home from the hospital, and she first took me to my home to pickup some clothes. I’ll never forget seeing myself in a full length mirror because it was a real shocker, and I let out a piercing scream at my appearance because I looked like one of those people you see who survived the holocaust during W.W.II because I was nothing but skin and bones.
It took me another couple of months to get well enough to go home, and not long after this, I went to the beauty shop to have my hair trimmed. The beautician asked me, “What’s this bald spot at the crown of your head?”
I reached up and felt it, and it was about the size of a silver dollar and as bald as a bald man’s pate. As I sat in that chair while she finished doing my hair, I remember talking to Jesus and Him saying to me that I would come out of that attempt to take my life without anything wrong except what had been wrong with me BEFORE I tried to kill myself.
I rushed home and began to pray asking the Lord if I really did talk to you and if you really did tell me that the doctors were wrong that I was not going to die nor was I going to be a vegetable, why do I have this bald spot at the top of my head? My answer came about a month later when I returned to the same beauty shop (I had been using this beautician for a number of years.) As she ran her fingers through my hair, she said, “Do you remember that bald spot I showed you the last time you were in here?” I said of course. She said well that slick spot of scalp is now covered with hair about a half of an inch long!
I guess you could say Rob that it simply was not my time to go, and the Lord had work on this earth yet for me to do.
And Rob, perhaps, you should tell my story because people need to really give a lot of consideration before they tell a loved one that the one whom they love is in hell because they killed themselves. I was even willing to die if it meant that I could find my brother. Finding him had become far more important to me than living ever had. It’s something to think about, and it should be something that people should ponder before they open their mouths to a grieving brother or sister
In His Name and love,
I do not think Christians automatically go to hell when they commit suicide. We do not know that at the last moment before death they show remorse to God for what they are doing. We simply do not know, and should never judge.
This is a question I have pondered very earnestly. I speak from experience here and not from academic knowledge. About 10 years ago I suffered traumatic stress resulting in a serious nervous breakdown and hospitalization for same. I was a definite suicide risk at that time and in the following years have suffered deep depression resulting from ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’. A severe illness last year in which I was lingering on the verge of death for over two weeks has not helped. So, yes, I have contemplated suicide and because of Christian beliefs have pondered the above question.
I became convinced that had I done it, I would have gone to the second death. I do not say ‘hell’ as I believe that to be symbolic of the burning of the wicked after the judgment – it is not a place where people ‘go’ on death. At death the body returns to the earth and the spirit returns to God, where it remains in an unconscious state until the resurrection.
You see, we are told not to commit murder, and suicide is murder of oneself. There being no opportunity to repent and seek forgiveness, we are stuck with our last act one of breaking that commandment. In my case that would have been with full knowledge of that law.
Nevertheless, the temptation to end the suffering at such times can be great. I have no doubt that in some cases, the mind snaps and the will no longer controls the actions. If that is truly the case and there was no premeditated intent, then I expect God would understand that.
People commit suicide for many different reasons, depression is only one of them. Some can no longer live with the loss of self esteem that comes from discovery of secret sin – e.g.. the bank manager caught with his finger in the till. Some do so out of hopelessness of a life ruined on drugs etc. Some even do it as a means of ‘punishing’ someone – a kind of emotional blackmail. Most of these latter are usually ‘attempts’ done in such a way as to be discovered before death occurs, but sometimes they are not found in time.
In all these cases it is man trying to resolve a situation himself without the help of God. This has always been my weakness, a proud man, I would always try and work things out myself and usually failed. Time and again this would happen and when brought to my knees God would intervene and present a solution to the problem. People who suicide out of self pity or any self centred cause, instead of turning to God with their problem, would be at great risk of waking up at the ‘second’ resurrection.
I have read that in some cultures such as Eskimos when old people reach the stage where they can no longer contribute and are but a burden, that they walk out into the snow and let death claim them. Because of the harsh environment and the constant struggle for survival, such an act may be seen by God as an act of self sacrifice, and be highly regarded.
As with many actions we can take, it is the motive rather than the deed that God looks at. I would suggest that if the motive is honorable and for the benefit of others, rather than oneself, justification before God will have a much better chance. After all Jesus Himself – whilst He didn’t commit suicide – willingly ‘laid down His life’ so that we might have salvation.
During that illness last year (septicaemia, toxic shock, complete renal failure, right sided heart failure, liver on the way out – all complicated with diabetes) I was totally helpless. Whilst often aware of what was going on, I was completely unable to offer any response – could not speak for the tubes – too weak to move my arms even; I was a mind trapped in a body that was dying. I thought I would have welcomed death but at an instinctive level fought against it.
During that time I got very close to God. For the first time in my life, I let go and left it all to Him. I came out of that experience feeling I had been in His presence. I understand now that my life is His to command, not my own.
I know that when the pain gets too severe, the body produces endorphins in the brain to dull the pain and one drops into semi consciousness. I know that in those moments when the body has given up and the mind still lingers, that no matter the pain or the narcotic drugs, there is awareness of what is happening. I know too, that when a man reaches the point of suicide there are but two ways to go. Either do it or turn to God. I have been in these places.
There are many comforting passages in the Bible for the Lord well knew our fears and pains. The one I particularly like is the 23rd Psalm. It is written by a shepherd who well knew the problems of raising sheep in arid regions. To lead sheep to ‘still waters’ and ‘green pastures’ required considerable planning and hard work for the shepherd in such an arid region as where David lived. The comparison is to God as shepherd and us as sheep – one that Jesus was fond of using. This Psalm tells of the total care and attention to detail with which God guides those who are in His flock.
If you are currently not in His flock and perhaps considering suicide, please think again. He offers salvation, forgiveness for sins, everlasting life in paradise with eternal safety and security for all. Your sins are already paid for, there is nothing to do except repent of them and seek forgiveness.
May you sample the peace and love of God that is available to you.
I use to think that if you did kill your self that yes you do go to hell. But now I believe that GOD judges you on your heart & state of mind. Read the story of Saul.
Hello. I am sending this in response to the site asking Do Christians who commit suicide automatically go to Hell? I feel that anyone who does commit suicide is away from Jesus at the time. No one knowing Jesus would destroy their life. Science will attribute depression to a chemical imbalance, this may be true but Jesus can heal our bodies frailties.
Science will also say that the dead don’t raise. Jesus did and wasn’t the first( Lazarus) glory to God. The complete story of Saul is that he was a backslidden and possessed man. His death came because of the situation he was in with God. Many who commit suicide may be supposed “Christians” they may very well at one time have been or at least been in some kind of church in there life. This will only more so prove the scripture on the house that was put in order, but was idle, and when the demon returned it brought back seven more to further torment the person. Anyone who blames suicide on some medical diagnosis is accepting this from a mans tongue not Gods. They may have some form of Godliness but are denying His power to heal. Suicide is the evidence of a sore need of God. In a sermon on Judas I heard pointed out that he did realize his wrong but instead of going to his brethren or Jesus he went to the Pharisees to be forgiven. He couldn’t shake the guilt and killed himself. He is condemned. “
It would be better if a millstone ( a very large stone ) was tied to his neck and he was thrown in the Sea.” Suicide is a terrible way for a life to end that is why we need to reach out to the hurting and pray for them as Abraham prayed on behalf of Sodom. We cannot justify destroying our life. This is the aim of Satan, to destroy life, not God. No one who takes there own life in such a way is close to God. They may in fact be running from Him and so tormented by the fact that they know what is right and do otherwise. One example is Pilate. He killed himself later on in life. He was said to went crazy always washing his hands but never cleansing the blood away. My Pastor always says one way to go crazy is to do contrary to what you know is right.
Once God touches your heart your life is changed. You will either get saved or fall into more wickedness. Running from God causes a numbness of morality. I know because I was a backslider. I never became suicidal but did become homicidal. I was so tormented by my knowledgeable disobedience and had such little value for life that I was serious meditating on taking a few peoples lives. In the car all alone God spoke to me when I was broken down an on the edge of letting go of my last strand of morality. He saved me and this backslider came home. I had no value of my own life I would’ve let myself get
life or here in Texas most likely death. Suicide is no different than murder.
In no way can it be justified.
When you’re in a real relationship with the Lord, where you don’t just believe in what he’s saying, but you let the Lord really work in your life there is no way you would want to kill yourself. During high school I went through a period where the devil tempted me to be suicidal and depressed about my life. I didn’t think I was happy. I didn’t think that I was where I needed to be and Satan made me think that the easy end to all of it was going to be to give my life away.
When I asked for Gods healing and wisdom in my heart he took that anger and sadness away. I don’t care if you want to define it scientifically by saying it was a change it my seratonin level, it was called sin. God stood by me through it, and brought certain people around me to give me the strength to get through it. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t go away automatically.
Satan will throw things in our way and it is how we choose to handle them that makes us real Christians and worthy of being with the lord someday. Satan wants us to give up! That’s exactly what he wanted me to do—to let stupid things bother me from where God wanted to bring me in my life. If I had given up I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be a prayer coordinator for the ministry at my college, and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to speak to others about the Lord. I wouldn’t be there for my family and I certainly wouldn’t be enjoying everything that God has provided for us.
Suicide is a sin. When you choose to die, you are basically choosing to think about yourself. Tell me who would rather sit in a grave and rot than let the hard times slide?
God never said for Christians to be weak. For those that are struggling in that area, they need to turn to the Lord. Every day is a gift from God, full of trials and tribulations. God will provide the willpower for us to get through them and will never leave us! Death is not the answer. “Love where you are while you’re on your way to where God wants you to be”
“Be thankful for all things” Sabrina Sabrin2000@aol.com