Last month, beloved pastor Jarrid Wilson took his own life. It’s an absolute tragedy and my heart is sorrowful for his family and those who loved him. But to make a horrible situation even more tragic, believers are now asking themselves: do Christians who commit suicide go to hell?

Several well-known people within the Christian community are taking a stand on the issue of suicide, some proclaiming that Christians go to heaven regardless of taking their own lives, and others preaching that suicide is an unpardonable sin that sends a Christian straight to hell.

After hearing such conflicting and erroneous messages flying around online, I had to say something.

And I want to be very clear.

There’s no “well, it’s up for debate” with this issue. Either a Christian is secure eternally, or certain sins are unforgivable and will send them to hell.

But here’s the thing. Once you’re saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, you’re forgiven once for all. Nothing can separate you from God’s love and forgiveness, and nothing can take away the eternal life Jesus has already given you.

So… what is the straight, honest answer?

DISCLAIMER: This post contains a sensitive topic that might be triggering to some people who are dealing with thoughts of suicide. If you’re dealing with depression, feelings of worthlessness, or thoughts of self-harm, please seek out a professional or a trusted loved one in whom to confide. I’ve personally dealt with my own variety of self-harm in the past, and I can tell you this: there is hope. Please reach out.

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Do Christians who commit suicide go to hell?

Absolutely not.

It grieves my heart to see authoritative, godly leaders such as the Activist Mommy speaking up while utterly deceived on this issue.

Here’s part of what she had to say in her blog post about Christians who commit suicide:

Doesn’t scripture say that “no murderer will enter the kingdom of God”? Isn’t suicide murder of one’s self? Doesn’t the Bible say that “murderers will have their part in the lake of fire”? Isn’t the last act of a person committing suicide, self-murder?

…As I scroll down the social media posts of the “who’s who” in Christian ministry with verified check marks by their social media handles, why does it appear that so many are assuming a man whose last act was murdering himself, is now a redeemed child of God in the arms of Jesus?

…we must not twist Scripture to make murderers heaven bound.

According to the plethora of comments on the Activist Mommy’s social media posts, many self-proclaimed Christians are applauding her for her supposed insight and wisdom on the issue.

But in all honesty, her viewpoint is sad at best and disturbing at worst. To know that she’s actively influencing people to believe that they have no assurance of salvation is heartbreaking.

Let’s look at some of the questions she asks. Because you know what? The word of God has the answers.

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell? | suicide | Christian suicide | hell | hard questions | hot topics | life after death | #Christianity #death #suicide #afterlife #hell #ChristianSuicide

Answers for the Activist Mommy

It’s always, always, always important to consider the context of scripture, the author, the intended audience, the culture of the time, historical events, and how all of those things impact the message and the way in which it’s conveyed.

We must be so careful to guard against interpreting the Bible by our own standards. Here’s one of the most wonderful, amazing things I’ve learned over the past few years: scripture interprets scripture.

So what about this whole “murderers have their part in the lake of fire” thing, and her comparison of suicide to murder?

Let’s look at Paul. When he was Saul, before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he described himself as the chief of sinners. He oversaw persecutions, murders, stonings, and imprisonments.

What about David? He sent Uriah into the thick of battle and had his men withdraw so that he would be killed. Uriah’s blood was on David’s hands.

Are these men of God condemned to hell because of these murderous, sinful acts? They are surely not!

Think about this: when Jesus died on the cross, paying for all your sins–is His blood only efficacious in your life up unto the point at which you became saved–and then for the remainder of your life ineffective?

Jesus’ blood is more powerful than any sin, and nothing could put His work to naught!

Once you’ve placed your faith in Jesus personally, nothing can take away your forgiveness and your eternal life.

The Activist Mommy is right about many things, but she’s wrong on this.

Trust God’s word above all

The fact that the Activist Mommy can be right about many things but wrong on this important issue brings home such an important point.

Don’t believe everything someone with power, authority, or leadership says.

Just because a pastor says it, don’t believe it until you find it supported in scripture.

Just because The Activist Mommy is dead-on when it comes to drag queen story hours doesn’t mean she’s right on everything.

Just because I share things on this blog that you agree with doesn’t mean you should blindly accept everything I say without question.

We’re all gifted by God and we’re all called to serve Him in different ways, and Christian leaders who have platforms can be anointed with understanding and have the gift of teaching on some issues, but not others.

We’re all human, we can all be mistaken, and all of us are wrong sometimes. It’s my hope that we would all have a spirit that’s willing to accept correction through the Holy Spirit.

And regardless of the source, I beg of you, test every teaching before you receive it.

Go to the word of God.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. | Hebrews 4:12, NKJV

I truly believe that the Activist Mommy is anointed by God to speak out His truth regarding sexual immorality and perversion, and I support her in being bold in that arena.

But again, she’s wrong about this. Because Christians who commit suicide do not go to hell.

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell? | suicide | Christian suicide | hell | hard questions | hot topics | life after death | #Christianity #death #suicide #afterlife #hell #ChristianSuicide

If your mom or dad or son or daughter or best friend or cousin or grandmother or whoever in your life that’s precious to you has committed suicide? That’s not the unpardonable sin.

There’s only one unpardonable sin, and that’s refusing to accept Jesus as Lord.

There’s only one thing we can do to get to heaven. And there’s only one thing we can do to go to hell.

Getting into heaven is as simple as admitting that you’re a sinner and believing on the Lord Jesus as your Savior.

Jesus took on all our sins at the cross. They’ve already been paid for. But that’s not an automatic “get out of hell” card. You have to accept his payment personally.

If you owe $200,000 and you cannot pay it back, you’ll be held responsible and you’ll have to pay with your life and go to prison.

But let’s say someone comes and writes a check to completely clear your debt. That’s amazing, you’re freed! But only if you use that money to make the payment.

See what I’m getting at? You have to accept Jesus’ salvation for yourself, personally.

And placing your trust in Jesus’ work is the only thing you can do to get into heaven.

Likewise, there’s only one thing you can do to end up in hell, and that is to reject Jesus Christ.

The earth is filled with the majesty of creation, and in our innermost beings, our spirits know well that there is a Creator. But choosing to reject that truth and the salvation offered by Jesus’ cleansing blood–that is indeed a ticket straight to hell.

But if Jarrid Wilson–the pastor who took his own life recently–had made the decision to put his trust in Jesus, he’s rejoicing in heaven this very moment.

And apparently, people who knew him well believe he is. Here’s what the senior pastor at Harvest Church, Greg Laurie, shared about the tragedy:

One dark moment in a Christian’s life cannot undo what Christ did for us on the cross.

Romans reminds us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39).

At times like this, we must remember that as Christians, we do not live on explanations but on promises. We fall back on what we do know, not on what we don’t know. We do know that Jarrid put his faith in Jesus Christ and we also know that he is in Heaven now.

People in the Bible who committed suicide

When I set out to search the scriptures on this topic, the only instance of suicide that I thought I’d find was Judas Iscariot.

I was so wrong. There are at least 7 instances where the Bible records suicides. Here are 6 of them with references in case you want to read more about each of them.

Did you notice something about all these accounts of suicide mentioned in the Bible? I did.

None of them were condemned any more harshly than other sins.

None of them were listed as unpardonable.

Not one of them was emblazoned as the act of all acts that could damn a person to hell regardless of them having a relationship with God.

In fact, not much attention was given to them at all.

And here’s something interesting. Unlike a soldier who may choose to throw himself on a grenade to save his fellow men–knowing full well he’s killing himself–most of the men listed above killed themselves out of shame, disgrace, and despair.

But what about the 7th instance? I love that this one is included in the scriptures for us because it gives us such assurance of the truth regarding suicide.

The suicide of Samson

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” Then Samson put his hands on the two center pillars that held up the temple. Pushing against them with both hands, he prayed, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And the temple crashed down on the Philistine rulers and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime. | Judges 16:28-30, NLT

…Is there much more that even needs to be said here?

Not only did Samson kill himself, but he was only able to do so because God granted him the strength for that specific act. He prayed for God to give him strength to bring down the whole house in vengeance, killing everyone inside, including himself.

Is God going to answer his prayer by saying, “Umm, yes. Yes, I’ll do that. But just know that afterward, you’re going to hell”? Ridiculous.

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Can a Christian commit suicide?

However, there is one way that a Christian could end up in hell, and that’s if he or she was never a true Christian to begin with.

It’s a sad reality that many people today who consider themselves Christians are going straight to hell from a front-row church pew.

They were raised in the church and attend services religiously every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, and basically any other time the church doors are open.

Nothing at all wrong with that!

But hear me: if that’s what they’re depending on to get them into heaven? They’ve got another think coming, and it’s a tragedy of the utmost degree.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. | Ephesians 2:8-9, NLT

If a person subscribes to Christianity as a religion, he or she has missed the truth. It’s about relationship; religion cannot save you. You must know Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

So when I hear of a Christian who has committed suicide, one of my first reactions is to wonder whether or not they were actually a Christian at all. Did they have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, or were they just ticking a box labeled “Christianity?”

Had they truly repented of their sins and claimed victory in Jesus? That would be my only concern.

Because suicide is obviously not godly behavior. To despair of life isn’t something that comes from God.

Is it okay for a Christian to commit suicide?

Just to be unmistakably clear here, the answer is no.

It’s not okay. Let’s look at the reasons why and how we can deal with suicidal thoughts in these last 3 sections.

Back to the Activist Mommy for a second. One point she did make was that we should be careful not to condone suicide.

And her view on that point, I whole-heartedly agree with.

She shared a story about a man whose wife committed suicide, and then his daughter, and then his granddaughter. A chain of grief unfolded, and because each one could look to the choice of the loved one who went before them, it became a contagion.

And that’s just what Satan wants.

Killing oneself because of feelings and thoughts of desperation is NEVER the will of God.

I’ve heard it said many times that God won’t give us anything we can’t handle.

That’s a lie.

Because He will. The thing is that it’s our responsibility to place whatever that bigger-than-we-can-handle thing might be into His almighty hands.

Here’s another lie that needs debunking while we’re on the subject: “If (insert a tragedy here) happens, it’s because it was God’s will.”

No.

My mom died an excruciating death from cancer.

My grandma lingered after a horrendous stroke for 10 years without being able to walk, talk, or use her dominant hand.

I deal with endometriosis and its discomforts, pains, emotions, illnesses, and surgeries.

Did God smite us?

Has He smitten you?

No!

God is love. All the people in need of healing who came to Jesus in faith were HEALED.

We live in a fallen world, and Satan roams about seeking whom he can devour, disguising himself as an angel of light.

Be wary of the devil’s schemes, my friend, and of any falsehoods he might suggest to your mind about God and His will for you to be sick or harmed. Because that’s a lie from the pit of hell.

Keep reading, I’ve got resources below to help you prepare for battle!

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell? | suicide | Christian suicide | hell | hard questions | hot topics | life after death | #Christianity #death #suicide #afterlife #hell #ChristianSuicide

Why do people have suicidal thoughts?

Contrary to the world’s popular belief, thoughts of self-harm or suicide aren’t merely mental illness; they’re an attack of Satan on the mind. And we must fight back.

Now please don’t misunderstand. I believe we can be in need of mental and emotional treatment just as we can be in need physically, but don’t let yourself be fooled into complacency. We’re called to stand against the attacks of the enemy on our minds!

I believe that some people are more prone toward certain fleshly behaviors than others, while other people have their own differing, particular temptations as well.

Me? I starved myself for years. At age 23 I was 5’4” and weighed 80-some pounds.

The devil put thoughts of worthlessness, depression, hopelessness, and self-loathing into my mind.

But here’s the thing: I chose to accept those thoughts.

I dwelt on them. I didn’t go to war against Satan in that arena until years later.

I didn’t kick the devil out of my thoughts and surrender my mind and body to Jesus until I’d become incredibly ill.

Other people? Maybe they have the same feelings and thoughts, but they choose to manifest them by gorging themselves on fast food or Hershey bars.

Maybe then they throw it all up.

Or maybe for other people, it’s cutting.

Maybe others exercise to the point that it consumes their life and body.

Maybe another person lies.

Another person has a critical heart toward others.

Perhaps someone else has a judgmental tongue.

Maybe another insists that they can’t forgive wrongs done against them.

Another person harbors such anger that they lash out physically and harm others.

It could be that someone else shows no sympathy for other people.

Maybe another person thinks only of himself or herself.

The one thing all these people have in common? Their thought life.

Giving ourselves permission to think on whatever thoughts fall into our heads is extremely dangerous.

That’s why we’re told to suit up.

Our battle plan

Put on our armor

Sitting complacently by isn’t an option. Falling into our feelings and dwelling there isn’t an option. Satan is defeated, and we need to remind him of it by putting on the full armor of God and walking in it daily!

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. | Ephesians 6:13-17, NLT

Do Christians Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell? | suicide | Christian suicide | hell | hard questions | hot topics | life after death | #Christianity #death #suicide #afterlife #hell #ChristianSuicide

Renew our minds

That’s why we must continually renew our minds and think on things that are lovely.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. | Romans 12:2, NKJV

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. | Philippians 4:8-9, NLT

Pray continually

It’s not just “one and done” either. We’re to continually do these things to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). | Ephesians 6:18, AMPC

Final thoughts: Can a Christian go to hell?

In one word: no.

Regardless of what he or she has done in this life–or not done–if that person has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, they will go to heaven.

And there is no doubt about it.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;

We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. | Romans 8:35-39, NKJV

Assurance of salvation

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. | Romans 10:9, NLT

Eternal life, once for all

And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. | John 10:28, AMPC

Test teachings against God’s word

To say that someone who has trusted in Jesus as their Lord and Savior can go to hell is a false teaching.

The word of God is plain and we have assurance–even with the commission of our sinful actions before and since we’ve been saved–we’ve been cleansed and forgiven through the blood of Jesus.

Suicide is not the unpardonable sin. Refusing to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus is what sends people to hell.

A Christian who has committed suicide made a wrong choice, no question, but they’re not burning in hell. Not according to God’s word.

⚠️ IMPORTANT ⚠️

If you’re dealing with thoughts of suicide, depression, feelings of worthlessness, or thoughts of self-harm, please seek out a professional or a trusted loved one in whom to confide. I’ve personally dealt with my own variety of self-harm in the past, and I can tell you this: there is hope. Please reach out.

Free Prayer Board printable

Ever commit to pray for someone and forget to follow through? I’ve got the solution! Get the password for the library with the free Prayer Board printable here by filling out this form:

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