Posts Tagged ‘Suicide and Hell’


The other day a person told me that if you commit suicide you are going straight to hell.  Of course I asked him to show me that in the Bible, and he said that is what he was told.  I know that bible does not say that, but I dd some research on my own.

In the ancient world, suicide was sometimes accepted as an appropriate response to escape evil, avoid shame, express grief over a tragic death, or avoid capture or dishonor in battle. Overall, however, suicide was condemned. In the Old Testament, there are 6 examples of suicide:

  • Abimelech (Judges 9:54) – to avoid the shame of death at the hands of a woman
  • Samson (Judges 16:28-31) – to defeat those who imprisoned him
  • Saul (1Samuel 31:1-4) – to avoid the dishonor of being captured after he was wounded
  • Saul’s armor-bearer (1Samuel 31:5) – to atone for killing a king
  • Ahitophel (2Samuel 17:23) – in despair over deception being perpetrated around him
  • Zimri (1Kings 16:18) – to avoid capture by the army

The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the psalmist, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15).

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.

Some people in Scripture felt deep despair in life. Solomon, in his pursuit of pleasure, reached the point where he “hated life” (Ecclesiastes 2:17). Elijah was fearful and depressed and yearned for death (1 Kings 19:4). Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die (Jonah 4:8). Even the apostle Paul and his missionary companions at one point “were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8).

However, none of these men committed suicide. Solomon learned to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Elijah was comforted by an angel, allowed to rest, and given a new commission. Jonah received admonition and rebuke from God. Paul learned that, although the pressure he faced was beyond his ability to endure, the Lord can bear all things: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).

So, according to the Bible, suicide is a sin. It is not the “greatest” sin—it is no worse than other evils, in terms of how God sees it, and it does not determine a person’s eternal destiny. However, suicide definitely has a deep and lasting impact on those left behind. The painful scars left by a suicide do not heal easily. May God grant His grace to each one who is facing trials today (Psalm 67:1). And may each of us take hope in the promise,“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).