Suicide – Forgiven?

I received quite a few emails today after I wrote a post that questioned whether one who commits suicide goes to heaven.

First, I am not a theologian and can only go by what I have read and where my heart leads.

Second, If you found this post out of more than just curiosity and are contemplating suicide; I urge you to reach out to your family, friends or professional. Regardless of what trials you are facing, there is hope and a future designed for you. Death is not an answer. Being willing to live is the solution.

Third, the following is a personal account by what I witnessed and not to be confused with what was actually being felt by the person.

For many years Dan battled a mental illness and because of his desire to show he was mentally strong; we never knew how deep he was truly hurting or the depth of his illness. There were speculations, but not much was carved in stone.

As a young child he had professed his life and faith in Christ. Although he struggled in his walk (like all of us) he never once denied God as his savior. Even in his last week on Earth, I attended a church service with him and he was visibly moved by what the preacher taught that day. Yet, for many years he was filled with rage and depression. As his wife and mother to our children; I could no longer sit idly by and allow his behavior to affect us. Since he continued to refuse help; I had to realize that I could not help him either. I had to step away from the cycle of violence.

Although there had been many warning signs of suicidal behavior through the years, I believed that he would prove to be stronger than that and ultimately his faith in God would save him from his crisis. The day he chose to die, it was irrational and unpredictable. After finding many Rx bottles, pulling up his pharmacy records and finding a receipt of alcohol purchases for the day of his death; I’ve concluded it to be highly possible that there was a severe drug interaction coupled with his mental illness.

That being the case; I have searched and searched for a definitive answer on where his soul might be.

Many use the 6th commandment as a basis – “Thou shalt not commit murder” Suicide is the murder of one’s self. Yet many theologians have concluded that the last 6 commandments are directly related to our behavior with others and the 1st 4 are the commandments related to our behavior with ourself. So that’s not real helpful in finding the answer.

Many passages describe our bodies as a temple and that God resides in us who were created in His image. So what could that mean? Even Job and King David have writings about where they contemplated dying, yet they were some of God’s strongest.

Here is what it boils down to for me. Suicide is rarely committed where the person is not in mental anguish and despair beyond their comprehension. (With exception to people who see suicide as a ultimate sacrifice to their country or their god in religious practices) The Bible talks about how the only unforgivable sin is denying Christ. All other sins are forgivable and covered under the blood of Christ as he died for our sins. God knows all that we have done and are going to do. When Christ died on the cross it was for the sins of all. Sins that had not yet been committed, yet He knew were going to happen. He died so that we were forgiven of those sins. He dwells in the hearts of His believers and they are guaranteed eternal life. (Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.)

At the very moment of the suicide the victim’s only thought is of what they can’t endure any long. A typical theme in suicide notes is that those around them will be better off if they were dead. Killing themselves is not an act against God, but rather an act to end the pain that is in their mind. I believe that those who have previously accepted Christ in their hearts will find themselves before Christ after their death. I am sure that God’s heart is broken as they stand before him and have to be held accountable for their suicide, but I believe that God’s mercy for his children cover suicide. It is a death of their mental struggle, not a death of their soul. They are not denying Christ, but rather denying their ability to carry on another day.

I dare to believe that Dan is in Heaven, because I believe that God’s love and forgiveness for us is beyond mortal comprehension. His love is all encompassing and without flaw. His forgiveness is complete and without reserve.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of suicide, I hope this provides a little comfort. I am just a human with little comprehension of the power of an awesome God. As always, if you have questions or want to talk to me further on this subject; you can leave me a comment or email me following the link in the sidebar.



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12 replies

  1. “I believe that those who have previously accepted Christ in their hearts will find themselves before Christ after their death. ” I agree!! Salvation cannot be taken from you! Period! Sin is sin. I am a believer in Christ. I am forgiven day after day. I do not believe Suicide is any different. Great post.

  2. I love that your faith shouts loud and clear through this post. I am confident that God will use your words to comfort and to lead those who don’t know Him to question more about this God who loves unconditionally. Thank you for your transparnency and confident words.

  3. You are such a strong woman that I admire.

  4. I believe that as long as we have breath in our bodies, if we call out to our Lord in our final moments, we will be saved.

    God knows and loves Dan better than anyone. Dan’s actions were not a surprise to Him. While I am sure God grieved at his choice, He was not surprised.

    In my heart I believe he is healthy and whole and in the presence of our mighty God.

    He sees you all dancing in the sunlight. He sees. Dance on, friend.

    xoxo

  5. Romans 8:37-39
    New International Version (NIV)

    37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 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.

  6. As I read your post I was reminded of a broken world…and a God who uses broken things. Thank you for offering the hope of Jesus in your post and reminding us of just how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father. He has coverd His children in His blood and by His stripes we have been healed. I’m so thankful that it’s not my actions that save me…but His blood. Thank you for reminding me of the hope that is in Christ Jesus!

    Tom

  7. Well, those are some apples to chew on. Biblically, we are told not to judge and Jesus died for every sin as you said. Society has added it’s two cents and the Catholic church has broadcasted it’s views. When ANYONE ceases to be on this Earth and dies, my only desire is for them to be in Heaven. We can only assume that we’ll meet there one day. Suicide is no exception. We all must learn to love ourselves enough to value our own lives. It’s one of the greatest challenges in life. After all how can we show love if we don’t love ourselves? How can anyone else love us if we can’t show them how? The sin is covered in the Blood but we pay consequences or the after effects of consequences. You and the girls paid them for Dan’s actions. But God still had a plan. I like that your girls are free to feel happy and full of hope. I’m glad they don’t have to live in fear of violence. All you can assume is that Dan has seen Jesus and has relief from his ilnesses. What else would you tell a child whose heart is full of blind faith in a savior who loves us so much? I hope you find the closure you are searching for. The next four months will be full of 1 year anniversaries connected to him. I’m glad you can see the positivity in your children’s smiles.

  8. I agree. I have had 4 suicides in my family. Each involved severe pain, mental illness an medication to end the pain. No letters. I don’t think the intent was to die. I think it was to battle the pain, of cancer, of amputation, of severe reaction to new meds that drove them over the edge. They were not in their right mind in anny of the cases. I believe in a loving God who saw beyond their pain and welcomed them with sadness but welcomed them. None of them appeared to be premeditated. I choose to believe they are with God.

  9. Like you, I believe in a loving, merciful heavenly Father. I also believe your words bring comfort and peace to people who are called to you. Thank you!

  10. While my belief in where we are after death differs from yours, I do agree wholeheartedly that God is loving and forgiving. He understands we are imperfect – and that some consider suicide the only way out from their pain – and He forgives that because He can read the hearts and minds of all of us and knows us better than we even know ourselves. He is loving. Therefore, He must forgive when it is right to do so.

  11. max lucado wrote:

    What does God think of the suicide victim? What does that mean for their salvation? For our memories? For our peace of mind? Suicide victims battled life’s rawest contests. They often faced a mental illness or illnesses and felt the peril of mental fatigue. What you and I take for granted, they coveted. Optimism. Hope. Confidence that all would be well. Their clouds had no silver linings; their storms had no rainbows. Didn’t we wonder, Why couldn’t he snap out of this slump . . . shrug off this case of the blues . . . buck up and move forward? Of course, had the struggle been a physical one, we wouldn’t have asked those questions. Of cancer patients we don’t ask, “Why didn’t they get rid of that melanoma?” We understand the power of cancer. We may not understand the mystery of mental illness. I certainly don’t. But this much I have observed. Depression causes good people to make the wrong choice. Let’s be clear: suicide is the wrong choice. The date of our death is God’s to choose, not ours. He gives life, and he takes it. When people orchestrate their own death, they make the wrong choice. But is the mistake a spiritually fatal one? Do we despair of any hope of their eternal salvation? Are we left with the nightmarish conclusion that heaven holds no place for them? By no means. For while suicide is the wrong choice, have not we all made wrong choices? And did Christ not come for people like us? Frame their lives rightly. Remember good decisions. Catalog blue-ribbon days. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 nkjv). God does not measure a person by one decision, nor should we. 2010 Max On Life, p.208)

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