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If Someone Commits Suicide, Can They Still Go To Heaven?

(What the Bible Says About Suicide)

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Some people may be reading this page with “more than casual interest.” Therefore, we must remind you that we are not Christian counselors and each person must seek one for help with a serious issue like this. When choosing to work with a Christian counselor, it is each person’s responsibility to ask pertinent questions before beginning to confirm their qualities and abilities.

The Key Issue

That said, the first thing to consider with this question is, did the person get right with God and live right for God before they died? People do not make it to heaven, regardless of how they died, if they had not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. That is, suicide is not the issue regarding whether a person goes to heaven. Getting right with God is the issue. You can learn how people get right with God by clicking on this sentence.

Is Suicide Murdering Yourself?

You are probably aware that the Bible strictly forbids murdering anyone. Therefore, some people have stated that people who commit suicide will be judged as murderers (of themselves) and therefore could not reasonably expect to go to heaven. However, the Bible reveals that people can not “murder” themselves. As one example, look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20, verses 1-17 (Exodus 20:1-17). The first four Commandments specify our behavior towards God:

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image. . . .
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. . . .
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

The last six Commandments specify our behavior towards other people:

5. Honor your father and your mother. . . .
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor’s.

Notice that with the exception of the sixth commandment, you can not do them to yourself. This makes sense when you realize that the book of Exodus is one of the books of “The Law.” That is, it primarily defines civil laws—the type of laws that would be tried in a court today. Therefore, applying such laws “against yourself” makes no sense. You would find the same concept in other areas of the Bible—murder applies to killing other people, not yourself.

Suicide is not OK

That does not mean that suicide is OK. It only means that it is not specifically forbidden. However, other guidelines lead us to believe that suicide is wrong in God’s eyes. For example, suicide generally is a result of depression, and the Bible does teach us something about that:

  1. God uses all sorts of people in the Bible, but He never uses anyone who is depressed or discouraged. You might find reading 1 Kings chapter 19 instructive.
  2. Satan does not care what non-Christians do with their lives. However, once people become Christians, they have “entered the ball game” and can expect more opposition than when they were “warming the bench.” New Christians often report being depressed, because depression and discouragement are two of Satan’s most powerful tools against them.

Further, for those of us who have gotten right with God, several guidelines apply to suicide:

  1. 1 Corinthians 10:31 reveal that the Holy Spirit dwells in those who are saved. It is our responsibility to treat Him with respect, and suicide is not appropriate.
  2. Genesis 1:26,27 (and similar verses) reveal that we are made in the image of God. This is one of the reasons we are not allowed to murder (see Genesis 9:6,7), so again suicide would be a bad thing.
  3. The Bible teaches us to trust, depend on, and believe in God throughout its length. (Romans 8:28 is one example.) To take your own life would show no faith in God. Notice that although the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Christ were persecuted, tortured, and put to death; they did not commit suicide for an “easy out.” They “fought the good fight” to the end (see 2 Timothy 4:6-8).
  4. Be aware of how suicide affects other people’s opinion of the person who died. It is common for people to wonder if someone who commits suicide went to heaven. (That is the reason for this page—get it?) That is a poor testimony for a “Christian warrior.”

A Clarifying Comment

1 Corinthians chapter 6, verses 19-20 is one of those “all purpose” passages that many churches use to forbid behavior that they do not approve. Since this passage states that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, such churches claim that that damaging this temple in any way is a sin. This interpretation is applied to smoking, drinking, and suicide—all of which “damage the temple.” Therefore, to understand the meaning of the passage, lets look at it in context by including the verses that precede it.

1 Corinthians chapter 6
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

We doubt that anyone who just read this passage does not now realize that it deals with sexual morality. Further, it is obvious that verses 19 and 20 are a continuation of verses 15-18. Therefore, this passage applies to sexual conduct, not to other types of behavior. Although we are not in any way condoning suicide, we do not want anyone misled into following a twisted or distorted interpretation of the Bible text. That is, we must not imply that the Bible states something that it does not state—even if our intentions are good.

Please understand that this is a brief discussion for such a serious subject. Still, it should be clear that although suicide is wrong, the essential issue regarding going to heaven is getting right with God before you die.

Incidentally, this does not mean that someone who wants to end the pain in their lives can get “fire insurance” by getting right with God before killing themselves. In such a case, it is obvious that the person’s real reason for getting right with God is not establishing a relationship with Him, but rather going through a procedure to “get the best deal.” Such a phony “acceptance” of God will not count. The following passage is relevant:

Galatians chapter 6
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Remember, the concept of “getting right with God” is to be adopted (through Jesus) into God’s family. How would you feel if you adopted someone who then committed suicide, leaving a note stating, “thanks for adopting me, I wanted to commit suicide and I am glad that I found someone who would pay for my funeral?” The reality is that you would then know that the person you adopted was only an opportunist—not someone interested in being part of your family. The point is that people who honestly want to get right with God are safe in His Hands. Those who have an ulterior motive to “have a relationship” with Him do not have that advantage.

If you have any questions, contact us: address

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