Suicide and Christianity
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Suicide and the Christian: What Does the Bible Say?

Articles for Today's Christian featuring Suicide and Christianity
By Pastor Ken Birks, Sowing Seeds of Faith

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Suicide and the Christian

Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your Countenance - Psalm 89:15

There are many questions that come to mind concerning the Christian and Suicide.The most common question is: Can a Christian commit suicide and still go to heaven? In this study I will attempt to answer the question. There are no Scriptures that address the issue in a clear cut way that would make this an easy study with a concrete answer. We must look at it in relationship to God’s plan of Salvation of grace through Jesus Christ.

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About Ken Birks

Ken Birks is an ordained Pastor/Teacher in the Body of Christ and is one of the staff pastors at The Rock of Roseville in Roseville, California where he also functions as an elder.  Ken has been a part of The Rock of Roseville Church since its inception in 1997. Before becoming a part of The Rock of Roseville, Ken was the Sr. Pastor of Golden Valley Christian Center in Roseville, CA. He has been a born again Christian for over 35 years.

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Our salvation experience is based upon our belief in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished through His death, burial and resurrection. It is totally based upon His grace or unmerited favor in our lives, not upon our own works.

Romans 10:9 (NKJV) 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Ephesians 2:46-10 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

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Sadly, many who have come to believe on Jesus never become fully converted because of an unwillingness to totally die to self and lose their life for the sake of the gospel. Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”1 What God is looking for is a lifestyle of repentance and humility that is born out of our faith in what He accomplished through Jesus Christ. This is what it means to believe with all of our heart, keeping in mind that the word “believe” is a verb or an action word. Our heart must be totally engaged with what our mind believes.

Does sin keep any of us out of heaven? The Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.2 Does a Christian who commits adultery, fornication or other evils and dies before they ask forgiveness go to hell because they gave into their weakness? I don’t think so. Even though their sin will cause some serious consequences, they are still covered in the righteousness of Jesus. Why would self-murder or suicide be any different?

1. Matthew 18:3
2. Romans 3:23

Let’s keep in mind that we serve a faithful High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses and continually allows us to come boldly into His presence no matter what we have done.

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Hebrews 4:14-16 (NKJV) Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

As we see in the above passage of Scripture, Jesus was tempted in all points including suicide. Even though He never gave into the temptation, He understands the pain and agony that would lead one to committing suicide and is able to sympathize with them.

Even though God’s grace covers our sins, does this give us an excuse to sin? As it says in Romans 6:1-2, “God Forbid!”

Romans 6:1-2 (NKJV) 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Even though the events or the condition of one’s mind that lead up to one taking their own life by self-murder can be excruciating, God forbid that anyone would give into the temptation of killing themselves. When one commits suicide, they are simply passing their pain onto their loved ones, who now have to deal with the aftermath of what they have done.

Suicide is sin and what you are saying is, “I’ve had enough of this pain and turmoil and I just can’t take it anymore.” You are making a conscious choice to sin by taking your own life. And yes, it is a choice.

Even though the possibility of one going to heaven after committing suicide exists, it’s a big gamble with your life; and is like playing Russian roulette. Only God knows the true state of a person’s heart and is the ultimate judge Who will make the final determination. As stated earlier in this study, “There are no Scriptures that address the issue in a clear cut way that would make this an easy study with a concrete answer.”

The Bible does day that some will be saved so as by fire with all of their works being burned up. I’m not sure what that looks like in eternity, but I’m quite sure I don’t want to find out. I’m afraid the person who commits suicide will find out what that really means with their last act before death being an act that was not borne out of a heart of faith, but rather unbelief in a God who delights in deliverance.

1 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NKJV) Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.

Personally, I find verse 17 in the reference above very troubling when it comes to suicide. With suicide one is definitely destroying the temple of God where the Holy Spirit resides.

My conclusion in this whole matter is that the person who commits suicide is in the hands of God, whose mercy always triumphs over judgment.

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