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.