Photo of flames of fire against a black background with text overlay of do Christians who commit suicide go to hell?

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?

Image of flames, with text of do Christians who commit suicide go to hell?

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.

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.

from ActivistMommy.com

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.

Answers for the Activist Mommy regarding Christians going to hell

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 the reference to “murderers have their part in the lake of fire”, 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.

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For the issue of hell and suicide, 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.

Likewise, 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 gifted 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 true born-again believers who commit suicide do not go to hell.

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.

from Harvest.org

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 the 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. Religion cannot save you. And the Christian faith is not a religion—it’s about a transformative, irrevocable relationship with God Almighty through Christ Jesus. You must know Him personally 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 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!

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 punishing you with sickness or harm. Because those are lies from the pit of hell.

Those things happen because of our sin and its effect on this world, and sometimes because of the consequences of our own (or others’) poor choices—it is not a punishment from God.

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

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 against the enemy

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

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 and trust in Jesus is what keeps people from entering the Kingdom of God, because sin sends people to hell. But not once they’re trusted in Christ as Lord. Once they’ve done that, they have been pardoned, once for all.

A born-again believer 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.

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2 Comments

  1. Christina Kinsey says:

    I disagree that the only unpardonable sin is to refuse to accept Jesus as Lord..
    My own views are we are not sinners that needed saving but people who are good but flawed . We make mistakes , we fail but we can find forgiveness and healing with God , however we understand God to be . I lost my son this way , he was agnostic but had a heart that was good and loving . I said to him he was a better Christian than me though he didn’t believe. Now if anyone says to me that someone like that is in hell for not being the right kind of Christian, they had better learn to duck or at least cover their ears as l won’t mince words
    So , that’s my point. And mental illness is not the work of the devil . Environment , physical illness , bad relationships, an unjust system , poverty…..a lot of things we could fix if there was the will to .
    Heaven may be our destination but , we will l believe be judged not on what we believed but what we did . And that includes everyone wether you follow Jesus or the flying spaghetti monster

    1. Hi Christina, it’s good to hear from you. I’m so very sorry to hear that you lost your son in this way. My heart goes out to you.💛 There are a couple of things you said that have me a bit confused.

      You seem to identify as a Christian, yet you said you don’t believe we are sinners and that we’re all good people. I also noticed how you mentioned that we can find forgiveness with God however we understand Him to be, and that we’ll all be judged the same whether we follow Jesus or not.

      When I read that, it was like a red flag, because the Bible tells us that no one is good, not even one of us. Of course we always like to think we’re good people—I thought I was a good person before I saw my sins in light of God’s holiness. But God’s standard is much higher than yours or mine. He is holy and takes sin so seriously that He even looks at our thought life, and all our sins are laid bare in front of Holy God.

      It would be nice if we could create a god in our own image who is okay with our sins. If we could decide that God is going to be any way we want to see Him or understand Him to be, that would salve our consciences and make us feel better about our sins—what a relief that would be! But that doesn’t line up with who God has revealed Himself to be, and facing that uncomfortable truth stings our pride and our conscience. It sure did mine before I finally came before God in sorrow for my sins.

      That’s why being a Christian isn’t subscribing to a religion. It’s realizing that you’ve broken God’s law and stand guilty in your sins. It’s turning from those sins and placing your trust in Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross to save you, transferring your trust for salvation from yourself to the Savior.

      I ask you this because I genuinely care and want you to be sure you’re on the right path: Have you been born again?

      Many people believe themselves “Christian” as if it’s a religious practice, but that’s a false religion. “Christianity” is simply a term to describe people who repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus and His death on the cross for forgiveness and eternal salvation.

      Tragically, many mistakenly think that simply believing Jesus is God’s Son and that He died on the cross is enough to save them. The Bible tells us that even the demons believe that, and it can’t save. It’s called false conversion and is a huge problem in the church today. Asking Jesus into your heart, or identifying as “Christian” doesn’t save you. It’s heartbreaking that many of these people believe they’re “Christian” but are still lost in their sins, having never repented and been born again.

      Your belief must be more than knowledge or understanding—it must become something you believe that Jesus did for you personally, and you must place your faith in Him and nothing else to save you. Not attending church, being raised in a Christian home, being a good person, etc. Those can be good things, but if you rely on anything but the blood of Jesus to save you, you must be born again.

      Many believe themselves to be good people, so the idea of trusting in Jesus seems unnecessary. Let me ask you, are you a good person? Good enough to get into heaven?

      We like to hold ourselves to our own standard, but the standard of Almighty God is the only one that matters. Thankfully He’s given us a measuring stick in His moral law, The Ten Commandments. How do you measure up? Can you be honest with yourself? Bear with me and see how you do:

      Have you ever told a lie, even a small one?

      Ever stolen anything? (Even downloading music illegally, or being idle while on the job is the same as stealing money from your boss.)

      Had sex before marriage?

      Have you taken God’s name in vain, saying “Oh my G—” or using Jesus’ name in place of a filth word, not giving God’s name due honor?

      Many people will still believe they’re good even after admitting to being a liar, thief, fornicator, and blasphemer. They say, “It’s not like I’ve murdered anyone!” But the Bible teaches that God’s standard is even higher: Jesus said if you hate someone, you’ve committed murder in your heart. Have you ever hated someone?

      Jesus also said if you look with lust, you’ve committed adultery in your heart. Have you ever looked with lust?

      I ask you these questions not to judge you but so you can judge yourself. If you’ve been honest, you can’t help but be humbled in front of Almighty God and admit you’ve sinned and really aren’t a good person after all. You see, we’ve all fallen short of God’s standard. The Bible tells us that none are good, not even one.

      Many preachers talk of God being mercy and love—that’s true—but they leave out His justice and righteousness, because that’s uncomfortable. But I tell you the truth. We’re all guilty before God. The Bible says the wages of our sin is death, and only facing your sins, turning from them, and placing your faith in Jesus can save you.

      God loves us so much that He made a way for guilty sinners to be saved—He sent His sinless Son as the ultimate sacrifice to pay for our sins on the cross. Right before Jesus died, He cried, “It is finished!” That is, the debt has been paid. You see, we broke God’s law, but Jesus paid the fine! When we have sincere sorrow for our sins and turn from then, turning instead to trust in Christ, only then are we forgiven.

      It’s like being on a fiery plane careening toward the ground and knowing you have to jump to save your life. But instead of putting on a parachute, you’re gonna flap your arms to try to save yourself. I would say to you, “Don’t do that! Trust the parachute!” In much the same way, you must “put on” the Lord Jesus.

      That is the personal trust for your eternity and salvation that you must place in Jesus. If you’ve never done that, please do it this moment. It’s not something to think about or prepare for, it’s being genuinely sorrowful for your sins, turning away from them (don’t be a hypocrite saying you’re a Christian but still fornicate, lie, steal, etc.), and transferring your trust from yourself to the Savior.

      Don’t fall for a love-only false god who is okay with sin. That is a false religion. God is holy and takes sin so seriously that He even looks at our thought life, and there’s nothing we can hide from Him.

      When we continue to walk in sin, we store up God’s wrath for the day of judgment. On that day, we’ll have to give an answer for our sins, and only the name of Jesus Christ will save. But we’re warned that there will be those who called Him “Lord,” but if they’ve never been born again, He’ll say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” 💔

      This is why we can’t merely call ourselves a follower of Jesus or label ourselves as “Christian,” we must be born again by sorrowfully turning from our sins and placing our trust in Christ. It’s called being born again because the Lord will begin to change you into a new creation that loves righteousness and no longer finds pleasure in sin and disobedience. It will be God working in you your own personal miracle.

      The Holy Spirit will then dwell in you and empower you to live in obedience to God. It’s not a magical feeling, it’s a simple promise of God’s Word. Feelings aren’t necessarily truth, God’s word is truth. And He says if you confess your sins, repent, and place your faith in the Lord Jesus, you will be saved. The Bible tells us: He is the way, the truth, and the life—no one comes to God the Father but through Christ the Son.

      If you believe anything I’ve shared is untrue, please, test it against God’s word. Commit to spending time reading and studying the Bible to find out the truth for yourself. Ask God to help you and guide you as you read. Scripture tells us that if we seek Him with all our hearts, we will find Him.

      Thank you so much for reading this. I hope you can tell that I’ve shared this from a place of earnestness and care. It’s the most important thing in life. If you’re not sure if you’ve been born again, this will help 💛: https://LivByGrace.com/TheTruth

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