Fresh Thought Friday

Fresh Thought Friday: Suicide And The Bible

Hi Katie,

I have a friend who’s been contemplating suicide, and as a Christian I’m not really sure what to believe. Will my friend go to hell for committing suicide if she’s a Christian? I thought she was saved, but is she still going to Heaven if she does this? What does the Bible say about Christians committing suicide?

-Desperate

 
Dear Desperate,

You’re not alone; I’ve come to a point in my own life that I wondered the same thing: do Christians go to Heaven if they commit suicide? The Bible says the only unforgivable sin is that of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 12:31).

Committing suicide is just as much a sin as murder, adultery, lying, stealing or not loving God with all your heart, soul and mind. For a Christian, however, sin is not damnable; because if you are a Christian, Jesus paid for your sins – all of them.

The argument from theologians debating this for years has had basically two sides. One is “suicide is a sin that can cost one their salvation.” The other is “suicide cannot cause one to lose their salvation.” I have godly Christian friends that see it from both sides and each have valid reasoning to their argument.

But to answer your question, the Bible doesn’t talk a lot about suicide. A story that does shed some light on it, though, is in 1 Kings 19, when the prophet Elijah is in a state so poor in spirit that when he prays to die, an angel of God ministers to his physical needs. In this illustration we see God meeting his servant where he is at, and that is enough. Elijah rests and is strengthened back to health with the food the angel gave him, enough to last him 40 days and nights until he reaches his next assignment.

I’m a believer that although our salvation cannot be forfeited – as they say “once saved, always saved” – we still wouldn’t want to choose death over suffering. God is merciful and kind, and His grace and kindness can lead us to repentance of wanting to end our lives, if we are willing to understand that our pain can serve a purpose beyond the temporary desire to alleviate that pain with death. Our lives are but a moment and a breath, and the pain we suffer is only temporary. Very often the inability to see hope beyond the pain is the problem, and we need to trust God to see us through, and to use all of it for our good and His glory.

I am not the final authority on this, but this is how I interpret the Bible regarding the topic of suicide. I choose to acknowledge that though a Christian’s battle with depression and suicidal thinking is a very real fight, I also know that God has a way out of every temptation (as promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13). Also, if God has adopted me into His family, there’s now no getting out of that family, and His Spirit is a guarantee (2 Corinthians 5:5).

I hope this gives you a good idea of what suicide entails for Christians. God forbid anyone, believer or unbeliever, chooses to end his or her life. But know that this body’s death is not the final act for one who’s placed her trust in her Savior.

Bravely,

Katie

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