Do People Who Commit Suicide Go To Hell?

If you are having suicidal thoughts we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 right now to get help. Your life is important and there are other options besides suicide.

It has been said that suicide is a permanent reaction to a temporary problem. Yet, many people struggle with this issue. Suicide SEEMS like a viable option only because they see no other way out. I say seems, because most suicidal people have never really looked at all the options. And one option that is often overlooked is God. God has the ability to change any life when a person comes to Him on His terms,

Suicide is a common topic with our Talk to a Pastor visitors. Some people writing to us are thinking about suicide, yet are concerned about the moral issues from a Biblical perspective. In other words, will a person go to hell is they kill themselves?  Others have had a friend or family member commit suicide and are wondering if they will go to heaven. Either way, it is am important subject. Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

There is a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is there is no scripture that says specifically one way or the other. Because of this, we are left to search for answers in passages of scripture that talk about what it means to be saved or lost.

The short answer is there is no one-size-fits-all answer. People who commit suicide do not automatically go to heaven or hell. The issue is not about the act of suicide but rather about the relationship an individual has with God through Jesus Christ. Is a person saved or lost, to begin with.  If a person who does not know Jesus as their personal savior will go to hell whether or not they commit suicide. On the other hand, a person who does know Jesus as savior may or may not go to heaven. You see the issue isn’t just the act of suicide, it is a matter of faith in Christ as savior. Here are two scripture to help you understand how a person is saved.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-8

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

In the first scripture, we are told we (you) are saved by faith in Jesus. It isn’t what we do or don’t do. This is what grace is. You will also notice that both scriptures (and a number of others) use the word GIFT when speaking of salvation. You cannot earn, merit, or otherwise deserve a gift. the nature of a gift is something that is given and received. You can not earn salvation and thus heaven, by anything you do or don’t so. You must receive salvation as a free gift from God, through faith in Jesus Christ.

In Romans, the apostle Paul contrasts two words: wages and gifts. A wage is earned and a gift is received. You can not earn heaven by NOT committing suicide, neither will you immediately go to hell for committing suicide. the issue is about faith.

The problem with people considering suicide is that they don’t really have a lot of hope that things will ever change. They don’t see any way out. We cannot be saved without faith in Jesus Christ and hope in the goodness and power of God. Religion is not just a philosophical lifestyle, it is a living relationship with God.

This does create a problem for genuine Christians. If we are saved by faith it is possible to lose our salvation if we lose our faith. So, it is possible for a genuine Christian to lose their faith, commit suicide and end up in hell.

The exception to this are those people who are genuinely Christian, but are overcome by depression or overwhelming circumstances who act irrationally. They may still maintain their faith in Jesus as their savior, but for once reason or another act in an opposite manner. I would dare say that every Christian (if they were honest) did things they knew were wrong and didn’t really want to do, yet did them anyway. This power that resides in us is called the sin nature.

Suicide does not automatically send a person to hell. The only thing that sends a person to hell is not accepting Jesus as their personal savior. To better understand this and see some Bible verses that explain how to be born again and go to heaven please read another post here titled Don’t Go to Hell for Something You Didn’t Do!

Suicide is a dangerous proposition. It is really hard to know if a person goes to heaven or hell. Only God can judge the state of a person’s heart at that moment. Therefore, suicide is ALWAYS a terrible decision. Things can change. You may need help seeing the future from a different point of view. You may need help making the changes that will change your life significantly. However, lives can and do change and they change better and faster with God’s help.

As stated at the beginning of this post, suicide is a permanent reaction to a temporary problem. It is never the best choice.


If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide and still want personal contact with one of our web pastors, please feel free to start to conversation by clicking here. Please note that you may not get an immediate response, because we do not have an office, someone will contact you as soon as possible. If you are having thoughts of suicide right now we urge you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for immediate help. Don’t make a mistake you can’t fix.


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About the author

Dr. Steve Highlander has been a dedicated Christian for forty-three years and has over forty years of ministry experience, including pastoral ministry, church planting, world missions, prison and jail ministry, and work with at-risk youth. He is a published author and has been involved with radio, publishing, and Internet Ministries. Currently, Steve is an ordained minister with the International Chruch of the Foursquare Gospel. He holds a doctorate in Pastoral Theology and is a Certified Christian Counselor with the Association of Scriptural Psychology therapists (ASPT). He serves as the national missionary in the South Pacific Country of Papua New Guinea for Foursquare Missions International and as Senior Pastor of Community Foursquare Church in Ottawa, Kansas. Steve founded Talk to a Pastor in 2002.

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