There is nothing more devastating than losing a friend or family member through suicide. It usually comes as a shock and surprise.
Why did he/she do this? Why didn’t they tell us? We could have helped! Guilt, sorrow, and anger are often the emotional blows that impact everyone involved. It is brutal!
One question often considered but rarely talked about is what happens to someone who commits suicide after they die? Is it the mortal sin that sends someone to hell or will God forgive the action and allow the person into heaven? In order to answer this question, we must answer it from a biblical perspective and not rumors or tradition.
1. Suicide is Murder (self-murder)
In the Book of Exodus, we are given the 10 Commandments, a list of instructions from God to avoid sinful behavior so that we can honor Him and live healthy and fulfilling lives. Most of us have heard these commandments from childhood; honor your father and mother, don’t steal, don’t covet, don’t lie, etc.
The 6th commandment says, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). For most of us, we realize that taking someone else’s life is an obvious sin. Even our culture recognizes murder as being wrong and has laws against it. When someone commits suicide, they are essentially taking a life: their own. Therefore, from God’s perspective, suicide is self-murder which makes it sinful and wrong.
2. God Can Forgive Murder (suicide)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ reminds us that we are all born dead in our sins and our only hope of avoiding God’s judgment and hell is to trust in Jesus as our personal Savior (see my previous blog post, Hell No!). We also know that when Jesus died on the cross it was sufficient enough to cover all our sins.
1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.
Therefore, if you are a Christian, there is no sin that can disqualify you from heaven because you are only qualified through the cross of Christ and not your own good works (c.f. Ephesians 2:8-9). This is an important truth when in comes to suicide. Unfortunately, when a person commits suicide, their last act is a sinful one and God is not pleased. But this doesn’t mean that God won’t or can’t forgive them.
Like any other sin committed in life, Christians rely on God’s forgiveness on a daily basis. Because suicide is a sin, the same holds true and also requires God’s forgiveness.
In other words, this becomes a personal salvation issue rather than a suicide issue. If you are a Christian, Christ has forgiven you of your sins, suicide or not. If you are not a Christian, you are not forgiven, suicide or not. God’s grace and mercy are bigger than any one sinful act you or I could commit.
It’s really about whether or not Jesus is your Savior before you die, regardless of how you die. Praise the Lord!
We all know there are many variables that contribute to “why” someone may decide to take their own life and commit suicide. (e.g., clinical depression, mental illness, etc.). These struggles will certainly impact a person’s state of mind causing desperate and hopeless thinking, but they will not impact God’s state of mind and put limits on His grace and mercy toward those who have trusted Him as their Lord and Savior.
Yes, suicide is a sin and yes God does forgive sin. The real question is whether or not someone has trusted Jesus as their Savior before they die. It’s the same question we all must face.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
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