The Christian and Suicide

1 million people a year commit suicide. It is the third leading cause of death.

  • Suicide was the twelfth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of over 45,900 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10-14 and 25-34, the third leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 15-24, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 44.
  • There were nearly two times as many suicides (45,979) in the United States as there were homicides (24,576).

Q. If a Christian as a soldier jumps on a grenade to save his buddies, is he committing suicide?

Q. Is a Christian who refuses treatment for a terminal cancer committing suicide?

Q. Does a Christian who commits suicide go to hell?

The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide:

Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5).

Five of these men were noted for their wickedness (the exception is Saul’s armor-bearer—nothing is said of his character).

Some consider Samson’s death an instance of suicide, because he knew his actions would lead to his death (Judges 16:26–31), but Samson’s goal was to kill Philistines, not himself.


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 (consider death a relief).

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).

Yes, according to the Bible, suicide is a sin. It is not the “greatest” sin—it is no damning than other evils, in terms of how God sees it, and it alone does not determine a person’s eternal destiny. That decision remains with Christ, the final Judge.

However, suicide definitely has a deep and lasting impact on those left behind.

Scripture teaches that, from the moment we truly believe in Christ, we are granted eternal life (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life (1 John 5:13)

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

and nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39).

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing”; therefore, not even suicide can separate a Christian from God’s love.

Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, his sin is still covered by the blood of Christ. We should also point out, however, that no one truly knows what was happening in a person’s heart the moment he or she died. Some people have “deathbed conversions” and accept Christ in the moments before death. It is possible that a person who commits suicide could have a last-second change of heart and cry out for God’s mercy. We leave such judgments to God (1 Samuel 16:7).

The suicide of a believer is evidence that anyone can struggle with despair and that our enemy, Satan, is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Suicide is still a serious sin against God. According to the Bible, suicide is murder; it is always wrong.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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