If Someone Commits Suicide, Can They Still Go To Heaven?
(What the Bible Says About Suicide)
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.
The last six Commandments specify our behavior towards other people:
5. Honor your father and your mother. . . .
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:
Further, for those of us who have gotten right with God, several guidelines apply to suicide:
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:
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.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.108224