Can a person who commits suicide be forgiven?

by Jeannie
(Denver, CO)

Sampson's suicide, Judges 16:28ff.

Sampson's suicide, Judges 16:28ff.

My heart grieves over the loss of your beloved son. I know the pain a family experiences when a loved one commits suicide. It is gut-wrenching and feels like the sadness will never end. God our heavenly Father also knows the heartache of losing His beloved Son. Although Jesus didn't commit suicide, He did voluntarily lay down His life as the sacrifice for our sins. God our heavenly Father knows the grief, the sense of loss you feel because His loving heart experienced the loss of His only begotten Son.

In the New Testament, salvation is always by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. No works of ours are involved in getting saved or staying saved. Every saved person is kept by the power of God until we get home to heaven with Jesus. It works like this.

God wants us to be disciples of Jesus but all of humanity is under the wrath of God because of our sin and rebellion against God. The good news is, God made a way for us to escape the wrath of God, to escape going to hell. That way is the cross of Calvary.

The best preparation for being a disciple of Jesus is to know for sure we are saved. Everyone needs to be saved from sin and hell and the wrath of God. Here is what Jesus taught about hell and God's wrath.

What is the wrath of God?

Jesus teaches Hell 101

Getting saved and becoming a disciple of Jesus means not trusting our good works, baptism, sacraments, confirmation, being a cultural Christian or grace allegedly flowing from a church and instead, trusting by grace alone through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ alone to save us.

What must I do to be saved?

Once we know for sure we are saved, it helps to understand what happened when we got saved.

What happens when you get saved?

Once we understand what happened when we got saved, it helps to understand how long we are saved for. According to the Bible, when God saves us, He gives us eternal salvation.

Is eternal security in the Bible?

The next thing for us to understand is justification by faith. When God saves us, a great exchange takes place. When Jesus died on the cross, God put all our sins upon HIm. Jesus suffered and died for our sins, as our substitute, dying as us for us, taking upon Himself the wrath of God that we deserved. God accepted the penalty Jesus paid for our sins. We know that for sure because God raised Jesus from the dead to prove that He accepted Jesus' payment for all our sins. When we ask Jesus to save us, the Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ on the cross to us.

In plainer words, that is the great exchange. When a sinner repents of his sin and receives God's salvation, God gives the sinner the righteousness of Christ as a free gift. The great exchange is: Jesus took our sins, 1 Peter 2:24, and we get the righteousness of Christ in exchange for our sins.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

In a practical sense, that means that when God looks at us, He sees the perfection of Jesus, not our sins. My five part series on justification by faith is worth reading and putting notes in the margin of your Bible so you learn this important doctrine.

What is justification by faith?

The truths I've linked to help us answer your question about suicide. Any Christian who commits suicide is still saved and goes to heaven, based on the teaching of scripture that we cannot lose our eternal salvation.

My younger brother David, a born again Christian, took his own life on January 19, 2000, a day seared in my memory. The answer to your question is, Yes, one who commits suicide can be forgiven and Yes, Christians who commit suicide do go to heaven.

I've learned by personal experience, some things to remember about suicide.

  1. I know that God's comfort is real.
  2. I know that a measure of understanding does eventually come.
  3. I know that broken hearts do eventually heal.

Based on the promises of God in the Bible, I also know my brother David is with the Lord now. The Bible does not have an exception clause for suicide, which says, If you commit suicide you can't go to heaven. Some churches teach that but that is not what the Bible says.

Eleven days before he took his own life, I spoke with my brother by phone. He was in a happy mood and talked about heaven and how great it would be to go there. I had no clue that he was then planning to take his own life.

There are seven suicides
in the Bible.

  1. Abimelech - Judges 9:52-54

  2. Samson - Judges 16:25-30 - The way we know that Sampson's suicide did not send him to Hell is that he is mentioned positively in Hebrews 11:32 as one of the heroes of the faith, not as someone who is in hell.

  3. Saul - 1 Samuel 31:4, 1 Chronicles 10:4

  4. Saul's armour-bearer - 1 Samuel 31:4

  5. Ahithophel - 2 Samuel 17:23

  6. Zimri - 1 Kings 16:15-20

  7. Judas - Matthew 27:3-5, Acts 1:18

If you are thinking about
committing suicide, DON'T!

God has something better than suicide for you and your family. Seek counseling help where you live, keep trusting God, pour out your heart to God in prayer and fill your heart with the promises of God. He will begin to heal your hurt and restore your joy.

Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Don't compound your family's problems by responding to suicide by taking your own life.
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19
Please memorize this verse.

What is God's grace?

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This page updated June 22, 2015

Comments for Can a person who commits suicide be forgiven?

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 02, 2013
What is the point?
by: Anonymous

I am so miserable that I want to die.

Rick's comment: You are resilient and you are much stronger than you imagine. I encourage you to trust God because He will bring light to the darkness of your present circumstances. Better times are coming for you. Everyone goes through difficulty in life, sometimes horrible difficulty. But tough times don't last. Things will get better.

Please download and print this free Bible study: How to KNOW you are saved. Jesus makes all the difference when you're feeling down because God does still love you.

May 18, 2013
by: Anonymous

My husband thinks im old - he watches porn n states at teenagers - i wanna die

Rick's comment: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Please do not do that. There is help and hope for you in Jesus Christ if you will receive His salvation.

I encourage you to read my answer in the previous comment.

Jul 01, 2013
temporary problem?
by: Mach1

What is the definition of temporary? I have been dealing with mental illness for over 20 years. So many medications I can no longer keep track. So many councelors. Am I to assume that this is temporary? I have no idea how long job suffered buy at 50 years old on disability unable to drive no friends for support, unless you have experienced the pain for 20 years 20 lost years. I just want to go home.

I do not want to die but it is better than living in a mental institution or taking any more of my family's limited funds to live. I suggest that you and those who think this Is temporary go visit a county mental hospital. It is worse than a dog pound. Not to mention the physical deterioration associated with mental illness.

Depression is one thing but when you have complicating mental illnesses it is living hell to watch your life slip through your hands. God does not want people to live like this, does he?

Sep 20, 2013
my niece committed suicide yesterday
by: Vickie

Thank you for your article - my niece committed suicide yesterday and the "old" school preachers did preach suicide was not pardonable. Thank you for your article it has helped me tonite ! ! I am so sad. For the loss of my niece ! !

Rick's comment: Hi Vickie - I am so sorry for your loss. In situations like this, the grace of God brings comfort and teaches us to rely on our loving Lord.

We may not understand the reason why God permits what He permits but it is always safe to trust God as He begins the healing process in our hearts.

Oct 10, 2016
My feelings
by: Blake

I have known Christ for a few years now, and I was mentally ill when I said the sinners prayer (with some help) and at first I didn't really feel anything. Because I was sick at the moment, but I decided to trust in Jesus and he saved me from my illness! I felt overjoyed!

I have come to know that he has loved me for who I am and not as I should be, even though I am dealing with so much internalized homophobia.
I'm going to keep praying and just dwell in my memories!

Rick's comment: Hi Blake - Thanks for sharing with us. I am so thankful the Lord saved you and has helped you feel better. God loves YOU with an everlasting love and He will watch over you with infinite love.

Jan 10, 2023
Great article Rick! Appreciate it!
by: Nils Weber

It should be very obvious. Works salvation cults like the RCC claim that suicide was a 'mortal' sin - of course something that ain't in the Bible.

If a Christian who commits suicide went to hell, he would bring the Holy Spirit with him - into hell.

Sad that now even professing 'Bible believers' are accepting this salvation loss nonsense.

Rick's comment: Hi Nils - Thanks for commenting. God bless as you walk the path of God's purpose for your life.

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