I did not find it coincidental that this week while traveling in the car and listening to the radio, that a well-known pastor and evangelist, during a live interview, was asked this very question. Admittedly, the answer I heard was quite disappointing and, in my opinion, left the listener without a clear answer. I do believe that the Bible is clear on this subject even though there are only two incidents in Scripture where we are given accounts of people taking their lives: King Saul, after being wounded in battle took his life so that the enemy would not take him alive, and Judas Iscariot took his life after betraying our Lord.
On to the question, "Will a person who commits suicide go to heaven?" First, let's establish the criteria of which it is we are speaking. Is the person a believer (Christian) or non-believer? If the person commits suicide and is a non-believer he or she will perish, not because of the nature of the death (suicide) but because that person did not trust Christ. John 3:36 says:
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son
will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
Judas is in hell because he rejected Christ as Messiah, not because of the way he died. Therefore, we address this question from the perspective that the person who takes his or her life is a believer (Christian).
Now I say this with caution because I do not want anyone to think I am giving them license to take their own life; however, truth is clearly truth and must be stated as such. If taking your own life can send you to hell, then Christ's death is insufficient to cover all sin. If Christ's death does not cover all sin then no one is guaranteed eternal life because salvation would then rest on us and not in Him. Hebrews chapters 9 and 10 clearly state that "Jesus died once for all sin;" that includes suicide. Again, think it through! If suicide can nullify the work of Christ on Calvary, then no one is guaranteed salvation and eternal life. Andrea Crouch wrote, "The blood that Jesus shed for me … will never lose its power." How true! For all who have trusted Christ, there is no stain so deep that the blood of Jesus is not greater still.
Do we not read in Romans 8:38-39:
38 For I am convinced that neither death (any type, including suicide) nor life,
neither angels nor demons, 39 neither the present nor the future, nor any
powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be
able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To me, the shame and tragedy of suicide in the life of the believer is the failure to see God bigger than his/her circumstances, and the confusion it leaves for loved ones. Usually, people take their lives because they are in a situation where they see no way out or have lost their purpose for living. As believers, our purpose for living is Christ." (Philippians 1:21) Hence, when a Christian takes his/her life, it does not speak accurately of the God who can see His children through anything life brings their way. Lay hold of God's promises and suicide is not an option, regardless of how difficult and despairing life may appear:
1 John 4:4
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in
you is greater than he who is in the world.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
So, does suicide send a believer to hell? No. Should suicide be an option for a believer? No. Why? Because God has a plan for every believer that should be lived out to the fullest, and only God should decide when it is time to enter Glory.
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