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What Happens To People Who Commit Suicide?

There isn’t a single verse that says those who commit suicide make it to Heaven. On the other hand, there isn’t a single verse that explicitly states suicide is a one way ticket to Hell either. The argument that suicide = automatic damnation is that suicide is murder (in this case of one’s self) murder is a sin (“Thou shalt not kill” – Exodus 20:13), and while a person can repent if they committed a homicide, they can’t repent of the sin of suicide. Because in the case of homicide, the killer is still alive. In the case of suicide, the killer is dead. And they can’t repent after death. Since they can’t repent, they can’t be forgiven. So they’re condemned for that sin. The Bible says that God is the giver of life. He gives, and He takes away (Job 1:21). Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life. Now, I do find that to be a compelling argument, but some have protested that this makes salvation too easy to lose. How is that, you may ask? Well, imagine if you stub your toe and the sidewalk and say take the Lord’s name in vein. You then immediately get hit by a fast moving bus and die. Does one go to Hell because they didn’t have any opportunity to repent of the sin of cursing? I think that’s a good point. Even a born again Christian will stumble from time to time. If one dies immediately without having the opportunity to confess that sin, what happens to them? This would seem to make losing one’s salvation far too easy.

The issue of suicide is a very tricky issue, if for no other reason than that scripture nowhere addresses suicide. There are instances of recorded suicides (e.g King Saul, Judas Iscariot), but no record of what happens to a person who commits suicide. Of course, if one has lived a life of immorality and has rejected Christ as their Savior, we can be sure they go to Hell. But what if one is a genuine Christian, who, perhaps loses their sanity. And in their state of mental instability, they take their own life? Perhaps we could argue that God has actualized a possible world where no regenerate Christian will ever fall into such a state of mental instability. But why make that assumption? God allows true Christians to have other mind warping things happen to them (Alzheimer’s for instance), so would God really not allow a Christian to “lose their mind” by other means?

Now, some people might say that God would have mercy on that person if he or she wasn’t aware of what they were doing because they had lost their sanity or had schizophrenia or something, …as opposed to a person who was in his right mind who took his life who knew full well what he was doing. Normally, in human courtrooms, if a person couldn’t help what they did, or was not in their right mind, they’re not held responsible for their actions or at least the sentence isn’t as severe as it would have been. I should think God would be far more merciful than any human judge so if they really were not in the right mind to consider their actions, He would have mercy on them and let them into Heaven…since if they did have the capacity, they may have chosen otherwise.

Of course this is referring to CHRISTIANS who go off the edge and commit suicide. Of course the non-Christian who rejected Christ all of his life wouldn’t be allowed into Heaven even if the above scenarios (insanity, schizophrenia,etc.) were the case, but that wouldn’t be because of the suicide, that would be because of all of the other numerous sins they committed in life and their rejection of the only means of having those sins absolved (i.e receiving Christ as their God and Savior).

Here’s my assessment to those reading this who may be contemplating suicide; DON’T RISK IT! DO NOT RISK YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY! It may be the case that suicide is not a one way ticket to Hell. But what if it is? What if those who argue that suicide is a sin that cannot be forgiven are correct? I say; do you really want to take that risk? Hell is a horrible place! I don’t care what the odds are, when it comes to one’s eternal destiny, any gamble is too great when it comes to eternity. Better safe than sorry.

No one should ever commit suicide. No matter how much pain you may be in, no matter how hard things are, everything passes eventually. Think of your problems like Kidney Stones. They’re extremely painful, but they pass eventually. And when they pass, you will feel relief. You will no longer be in pain.

Moreover, I find that Jesus is a source of great strength. I’m convinced that without Him, I wouldn’t have been able to overcome the trials that have come towards me in my life. Jesus said “All who are weary and heavy burdened, come to me and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 God the Father has said “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” – Jeremiah 31:25

Jesus said “All who are weary and heavy burdened, come to me and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28. God the Father has said “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” – Jeremiah 31:25

God will give rest to your soul. He will give you the strength to carry on through your trials. Jesus said “In this world you will have many sorrows, but be confident because I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

In Christ, you will still have struggles, but you will now have hope. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).God’s Word tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1), that “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”(Psalm 9:9), A “hiding place” who will “surround you with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7). Lean on Him for strength.

He will give you eternal life. You have sinned (Romans 3:23, Psalm 14:1-4). God must someday punish you for your sins in Hell. But God doesn’t want that. God is “not willing that any should perish, but for all to come to repentance” – 2 Peter 3:9. God wants “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). If you place your trust in Jesus Christ and accept Him into your heart, He will forgive you of your sins and you will have eternal life (John 3:16). That means that you won’t go to Hell. God will let you into Heaven (His Kingdom) because His holy blood will have washed away your sins. God forgives everybody who throws themselves on the mercy of Christ and who believes that they are saved for one reason: two thousand years ago the human version of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) was crushed by the Father (Isaiah 53:10). He died on the cross for our sins, paid our fine In full (1 John 2:2). Now you have to repent and trust alone in him for salvation (Mark 1:15) . The minute you do that, God will grant you the gift of eternal life immediately (John 3:16), forgiving every sin, past present and future (Colossians 1:14, Acts 10:43) and you will strive to do his will every day by the empowering of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17, Hebrews 12:8-9). This issue will be settled once and for all and you’ll never again have to wonder if you’re doing enough good works for your sins to be forgiven (Isaiah 64:6).

I bring the gospel message into this so that you can come to accept Christ into your heart if you haven’t already. If you’re down at your lowest point that you’re seriously considering killing yourself, God may be your only hope. God may be the only chance you have at getting the strength to carry on. You may be wondering why God would allow you to suffer in the first place. “God is all loving and all powerful, right? If God loves me so much, why is He allowing me to suffer so much that killing myself would even cross my mind?” To that question, I must say that I don’t know. I know that there are good reasons to believe that God can bring a greater good out of suffering, I don’t think that would help you any. Speculating about why God is allowing a particular bad thing to happen to you while it is happening to you will most likely only hurt you more. In the book of Job, Job’s friends tried to rationalize Job’s suffering. They only made him feel worse! If you’re hurting, me trying to come up with some possible reason why God is letting you hurt isn’t going to make you feel any better. It isn’t going to solve your problem. Moreover, even if the answer is plausible, that won’t make it any easier. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve had the attitude that “I don’t care that God has good reasons for permitting suffering! I want him to stop it right now!” attitude.

If you are considering suicide, please seek help now!!! Call 1-800-273-8255, the national hotline, get yourself to a hospital if you can, call 9-1-1, go alert someone in your home, apartment, or workplace, or wherever you are, and do whatever it takes to get help!

National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

To Write Love on Her Arms:

Suicide hotlines available in most countries:

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This Post Has 5 Comments

    1. Evan Minton

      The article seems to conflate suicidal TENDENCIES, thoughts, feelings, etc., and the circumstances that induce those with the ACT of suicide itself. I don’t any rational person would think that people choose to be in such immense despair that they become suicidal. However, the ACT of suicide – be it hanging oneself, shooting oneself, jumping off a building, et. al – is definitely a choice. A person struggling with suicidal thoughts and feelings can either choose to seek help or they can choose to kill themselves. They can make sure they’re under suicide watch so that they don’t give into the temptation to kill themselves or they can go ahead and kill themselves. It’s up to them.
      And I’ve heard of some people who have sought help because alarm bells went off in their heads and they were like “I’m thinking of ending it all!? This isn’t right! This isn’t good! I need to contact someone so they can prevent me from carrying this out.”
      Based on the wording of the article, I suspect that this article is written from a presupposition that people don’t have libertarian free will; that we are causally determined by factors outside of our control. The logic seems to be that since the factors that cause a person to BE suiciDAL are outside of their control, therefore the ACT of suicide itself is out of their control. But that is a non-sequitor.

  1. Sam Burke

    I don’t think the article is pressupposing that people don’t have any Libertarian Free Will. If it did, it would sound very different. It would probably say something about how we are really just controlled by our genetics and our environment, or subconscious factors, etc. What it is pressupposing is that the environmental influences and pressures can overwhelm a person’s free will, a position which you agree with. (Limited Libertarian Free Will).

    1. Evan Minton

      While it’s correct that I don’t think every circumstance is freedom permitting, and that our character and circumstances can limit the range of options we’re able to choose from, I don’t think that applies here. And I also don’t think the author of the article really thought about the issue this deeply. The non-philosophically minded usually tend to have very black and white thinking when it comes to free will; i.e we can either choose anything at any time and there are no restricting factors whatsoever or forces outside our control determine us. When the reality is more complicated than that and hard libertarians and soft determinists both have a slice of the truth. That it one reason I said the article presupposed we don’t have LFW, but another reason is that the wording of the article sounds like something someone with a deterministic mindset would write. But aside from contacting the author and having them clarify, I can only make a probability judgment as to the authorial intent based on the chosen words.
      Would I think people at the point of suicide are in a place where the PAP is absent? I don’t think so, for the reasons I said above. I think the choice not to kill oneself is certainly a difficult one to make, but it isn’t impossible if one puts some willpower into it. This is especially the case if one believes suicide is a sin as it would fall under 1 Corinthians 10:13. But we don’t even need to factor that. The fact that there are people who were suicidal yet chose not to go through with it proves that it’s least *sometimes* a choice, even if there are some cases in which it isn’t.

  2. Sam Burke

    In my experience a lot of non-philosophically minded people tend to think that “outside factors may influence our choices, but ultimately what we choose is up to us.” And many people say that specific things are: “to tempting.” Honestly, Limited Libertarian Free Will is common sense in my opinion. Do the non-philosophically minded necessarily have an explicit theory of this? Probably not. Most of the people I know who believe in absolute free will tend to be religious, or the “no excuses” type of people. People don’t necessarily try to consistently apply a theory, but I think the basic idea is presupposed.

    People have very different ideas about how much control (free will) over our minds. The claim this article is making is that suicidal thoughts can interfere with our ability to make decisions, and with our mental capacity to function. It’s also important to note that to the average person, free will doesn’t just mean the mental capacity to choose between A and -A. Many people seem to think that “undue influence” in particular from a person violates free will, even if the person technically has the mental ability to resist. Free Will to average people often requires sufficient knowledge, (the feminist idea of “rape by deception”) reasonable options, (wage slavery) lack of influence from other people, etc. But then again, people clearly have an extremely wide variety of opinions on it.

    That said, I would agree that there are some cases where suicide is a choice.

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