God's grace,  Life,  Questions,  Salvation,  Suicide

What does the Bible say about suicide?

I was asked this question:

Cecil, what is your belief on whether or not a Christian would go to heaven if he or she commits suicide?

Here was my response:

I believe we are saved by grace, not by works (Eph. 2:8-9). Even though it appears we “choose” to accept Christ, it is clear in John 3:3-8 that we are born again and our salvation is actually the work of God. We were once “dead” but made “alive” (Eph. 2:4-6). The Bible also says that Jesus holds the believer in His hand and nothing / no one can snatch him away (John 10:27-30). Romans 8:38 also says that “nothing” can separate us from the love of God which is based in Jesus Christ. Based on these scriptures and others, I believe in the eternal security of the believer. How can we become “un-born again” or made “dead” again? Why would a “choice” we make (even to end our life) determine our eternal salvation and nullify the salvation that had been given to us by the grace of God? Why would the suicide choice change our salvation from “grace” to “works”?

Suicide is a terrible thing. The person who takes his/her life is in such a darkened state of mind, they often feel that suicide was their only option. They often see no hope in the future. Anyone contemplating suicide or feeling that ending their life is their only option for coping, needs to reach out for help immediately. God offers a future and a hope. There is nothing that God cannot do when it comes to helping a person rise out of their darkness and face the future.  God offers everyone something to live for.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV

The Bible says the only unforgivable sin is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32).  I interpret this as speaking about the person who is an unbeliever who continues to reject Christ and dies as an unbeliever. See John 3:18, 36 on the fact that unbelievers (who have not been born again yet) are condemned. I do believe taking an innocent life is sin (whether it’s someone else’s life or your own life) but again, we live under grace. I’m sure when I die, there will probably be sins in my life that I have not sought forgiveness for but will that keep me from heaven? No, because I’m saved by grace. … and thank God for that… my salvation is based on God not me.


  • Milton Bost

    Well spoken, Cecil. Several years ago Jack Hayford did a sermon on this very subject to his congregation. He presented a very similar viewpoint. I remember, though, him making a statement that I will never forget. “Suicide is one of the most selfish acts a person can commit.” At first hearing, this sounds harsh, until you consider the peripheral impact of a suicide. Even in a case where a person thinks that their ‘controlled’ death would be better for their family financially and/or emotionally due to a terminal illness or long-term terminal illness, this statement would prove true. For the rest of their lives, family and friends must wrestle with the unnatural process by which their loved one died for the sake of their loved one’s own perception of convenience. Suicide is an escape from one’s own perception of their circumstances. It is clearly focused on self. Death as a process is difficult enough. Sudden death is always a shock. Death by suicide is devastating.

  • Bruce Hays

    God Bless you! I have been struggling with this for the last few days. I too believe our God is a loving God of Grace and Mercy. He will not abandon us even though we might abandon ourselves. Thank you for your leadership on this topic and your love and concern for others.

  • B Welch

    Cecil………….thank you so much for these words of hope. I will share it with our daughter and her friends who were coming to us with questions that I wasn’t sure how to answer

  • Janet Scharf

    Thank you Cecil for putting into words what I believe in my heart. Also, could you please pray for the son of a friend of mine. They found out this week that he has been talking about having nothing to live for. Thankfully they found out in time to get him help, but he needs to be covered in prayer. He is only 16.

  • Susan R

    Cecil –
    Praise God for your teaching on His Word. I agree with your blog and would add Romans 8:28, “For in all things God works for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Yes, “all things” even when we don’t understand. God’s strength is always available, even in the very darkest of times.

  • Debbie Yates

    Wow! How I needed to hear that….Collin has been asking me about this all week. I answered the best I could but now I can back it up. This past week has been terrible on all accounts. Thanks for putting it in perspective.
    Love and Prayers

  • Crescent Burke

    Cecil –

    Thanks for your words of wisdom on this. We have had this very question come up over the past few days in our house. This confirmed our answers to our kids. Great to have you as a resource to provide guidance and to help answer these questions!