Suicide and Salvation
Can a true Christian commit suicide? If so, does that jeopardize their salvation?
Note: If you or a loved one are considering this horrific act of suicide, we plead with you to go for help. Please quickly consult with your local church leadership for assistance and ongoing support.
Before addressing the issue of suicide, we must distinguish it from acts of self-sacrifice. No doubt we are familiar with stories of men and women who have sacrificed themselves for the sake of another. For example, a soldier who falls on a grenade to save a civilian from death is not considered suicidal but heroic. John 15:13 upholds the morality of such behavior.
Suicide is self-murder. Though suicide is sometimes masked by words of good intention, it is selfishness (often mingled with convenience, unfaithfulness, depression, or impatience) that underlies the suicidal motive. It is no accident that Saul, with his proclivities toward selfishness and arrogance, chose suicide (1 Samuel 31). Biblically speaking, no example exists which could somehow legitimize suicide. As for those who argue that suicide ought to be considered as a medical avenue to offer dignity in death, let’s speak candidly: no dignity exists in death. Death is always ugly; it is the result of sin! Suicide is putting a period where God intended that there be a comma.
As for euthanasia, the right to die can very quickly become the responsibility to die. Certainly there are instances where medical procedures can be withdrawn in the case where immediate death is certain. But that is different than a deliberate choice to ends one’s life to avoid, pain, depression or future shame.
Is it possible for a believer to commit suicide? We believe the answer is yes. First, we know that the temptations which assail believers (from within or without) can be immense. We do not always take advantage of the way out of our burdens that God provides (1 Corinthians 10:13). Does a Christian who commits suicide lose his/her salvation? No, because as believers, nothing can sever us from the love of Christ.
Believers are “sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). A believer who commits suicide enters heaven on the coattails of failure and might deserve few rewards, for he/she has neglected the presence of the Spirit, the words of Christ, and the aid of the church which God has mercifully provided to every believer. However, all who have been justified by faith in Christ belong to Him, and He will take them to be with Him forever.