Ask Pastor Alex, Ep. 21
This is the Ask Pastor Alex podcast with your host, Pastor Alex.
All right, welcome back to the podcast, everyone.
We’re here with another episode and another question.
And the question for this episode is, do people who commit suicide go to heaven?
And that’s a good question, but I also understand that that’s a really sensitive topic.
You know, all of our questions are submitted anonymously, so I don’t know who submitted
this or what that person is going through personally.
I’m not sure if they’re just curious or if they or someone they know is struggling with
I don’t know the situation, but I do recognize that this is a sensitive issue, so we will
handle it with care.
And the full question is actually this.
What does the word say about suicide?
What is God’s stance on suicide?
Did those who commit suicide go to heaven or did they automatically go to hell?
And listen, since this is such a sensitive issue, you don’t need Alex’s opinion on this.
We need to know what the Bible says about this issue.
So let’s dive in and let’s see what the word of God says about suicide.
And as we open the Bible, we find that it actually doesn’t really address the issue
of suicide directly, at least in terms of those questions that were asked.
There are about six people in scripture who committed suicide.
You have Abimelech in Judges 9, 54, Saul in 1 Samuel 31, 4, Saul’s armor bearer in 1 Samuel
31, 4 through 6, Ahithfuel in 2 Samuel 17, 23, Zemri in 1 Kings 16, 18, and Judas in
Matthew 27, 5.
But in each of these cases, the Bible simply records the fact that these people took their
own lives and doesn’t really make any comments about the morality of the actions taken.
In other words, it’s more of just recording history that has happened rather than offering
some sort of statement about their decisions to do such a thing.
But just because scripture doesn’t really address suicide directly doesn’t mean that
it’s not addressed at all.
For instance, we need to make something clear here at the start, and that’s the fact that
suicide is a sin.
Suicide is a sin according to the Bible because it’s a form of murder.
It is self-murder.
And God says in Exodus chapter 20 and verse 16, you shall not murder.
So since suicide is the taking of a human life, it is a form of murder.
Again, it is self-murder.
And so in the eyes of God, it is a sin.
But that being said, let’s address and clear a few things up.
There’s nothing in scripture that indicates that suicide is a worse sin than any other
What I don’t want to happen is I don’t want people to hear me say suicide is a sin and
think that I’m automatically condemning someone to hell.
That’s not what I’m doing.
The Bible does not indicate that suicide is a worse sin than any other sin.
It just makes it clear that it is sin because it is a form of murder.
But for some reason, many people today seem to be unclear on that.
Suicide is such a complicated issue that we do have people wondering things like, well,
do people who commit suicide go straight to hell?
They’re not sure if the nature of the sin is greater than others and would therefore
necessitate harsher punishment.
I think this is one of the big issues that we have with suicide is we know that it is
a devastating sin.
We know that it is a tragedy and it affects so many different people.
And we know that it’s a serious sin.
And so we ask those type of questions like, well, does this mean that that person is automatically
going to hell because they’ve done such a thing?
But let’s just, again, be clear that there is no reason to believe that according to
We need to clear up a bit of confusion here and understand that suicide is not the determining
factor of where you spend eternity.
Let’s just say that again for anybody who’s really needing to hear that.
Suicide is not the determining factor for where someone spends eternity.
Even though suicide is a sin, it’s important to remember that it is not the determining
factor of whether or not someone goes to heaven or goes to hell because the Bible teaches
that the only way to go to heaven is to repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for
And the Bible also teaches that anyone who refuses to repent of their sins and trust
in Christ will go to hell.
So suicide, understand this folks, suicide is not what sends people to hell or keeps
people out of heaven.
Heaven in Christ is the sole determining factor of where you will spend eternity.
Now with that said, there is another important question that is asked here and that is would
true Christians ever commit suicide?
And I do think that’s entirely in the realm of possibility.
Countless Christians throughout history have struggled with depression.
Some of the greatest Christians who have ever lived have battled ongoing depression for
years and years and years.
Many of them for most of their lives battled depression.
I think of someone like the great prince of preachers Charles Spurgeon, you know the prophet
Jeremiah, you can see that he struggled with what looks like depression in the Bible.
Martin Luther also struggled with depression a great deal and I can list many others like
Adoniram Judson and just countless other Christians.
But that is to say that many Christians throughout their lives have struggled with their mental
health and they’ve struggled with depression.
And many Christians have not only struggled with depression but also suicidal thoughts.
Just to be completely open with you, myself included, this has been part of my story.
I mean for the better part of my life now, I have struggled with ongoing depression and
at many different points I have struggled with suicidal thoughts.
For those who know my testimony, you know that the Lord saved me when I was literally
about to kill myself.
I was in the process of taking my own life when the Lord intervened and saved me.
And if I’m honest with you, I’ve struggled with deep depression and suicidal thoughts
even since that time.
In other words, they didn’t just go away and never return simply because I was a Christian.
This has been an ongoing battle for me and it’s the same way for a lot of other Christians.
The other thing that we need to consider alongside the suicide issue is not just the reality
of declining mental health in our country and around the world.
It’s not even just the reality of depression amongst Christians and things like that.
But we always have to remember that we have an enemy.
We have an enemy who wants us to sin and would love nothing more than for us to usurp God’s
authority over our lives and fail to trust Him by taking our own lives.
We have to remember that God alone is the authority over our lives.
He brought us into this world and we will leave it when it’s His will for us to leave
We don’t have the right to end our lives, only God does.
And Satan wants us not to trust God, not to depend on God.
He wants us to take authority back over our own lives and determine for ourselves when
we can end our lives and what we can do with our lives and how we live our lives.
He wants nothing more than to get us to rebel against God.
And taking our own lives is an act of defiance against the authority of God and the authority
that God has over our lives.
We need to understand something folks, and you know this already.
Life is hard.
And not just for unbelievers, life is hard even and maybe especially for Christians.
There are times when it feels like we’re just barely making it.
Like we’re drowning and trying to stay afloat.
Like we’re suffocating and we’re unable to get a breath.
When we feel like we can’t possibly keep on living and you feel like you’ve lost all your
strength and you’re lost and you feel hopeless.
And we need to remember that in those times we are called to trust God.
That He is our rock, our fortress, our strength, our preserver.
That He alone upholds us and sustains us.
That we are to rely on Him and His power to keep us going rather than giving in to the
darkness and allowing it to overcome us.
And so while I think it is possible for a true Christian to end up taking his own life,
I also think that it would be incredibly rare for that to happen because number one, a true
Christian would not want to willingly sin against God and suicide is a sin.
I think number two, a true Christian would not want to usurp God’s authority over life
and death by taking his own life.
And then number three, I don’t think a true Christian would want to give in to the enemy
and believe the enemy over God and His ability to see us through every difficult time and
And so that’s what we need to know about suicide.
It is a sin, but please understand it’s not the thing that keeps a person out of heaven
or sends a person to hell.
Our eternal destinies are determined by salvation in Christ alone.
It is possible that a true Christian could commit suicide, but I do think it would be
And finally, suicidal thoughts and tendencies are a real struggle for many people today,
whether Christians or not.
I’m not trying to deny or downplay those struggles at all because I’m all too familiar with them.
They still hit me from time to time.
And so what I do want to do is I want to encourage you to surround yourself with people who will
love on you and invest in you.
One of the best things you can do is get plugged into a local church, join a small group, connect
with other Christians, and then listen to me, this is the most important part.
You’ve got to be willing to open up to them.
No one can help you if no one knows what’s going on.
And I know because again, I’ve struggled with this.
I still struggle with this.
It’s hard to take that first step and go to someone and tell them what you’re struggling
It’s hard to take that first step and go to someone and tell them how you’re feeling and
that you are having suicidal thoughts and you don’t really have the desire to keep on
I know what a struggle that is, but listen to me.
You have to open up to someone because no one can help you if no one knows what’s going
There’s a lot of stigma around mental health in the church today, but I’m a big proponent
of taking care of and prioritizing your mental health.
If you’re struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, you need to tell someone.
You need to open up to them and you need to let them help you.
Most of all folks, you need to take it to the Lord in prayer.
The Bible tells us to cast all our cares upon him because he cares for you.
And that applies to you too, Christian.
He cares for you.
So take your cares to him.
Thanks for the question.
I really hope that it’s helped in some way.
I look forward to answering more in the future.