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What does the Bible say about someone who commits suicide?

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The Bible records some examples of people committing suicide. While we find no commentary with these incidences, it’s covered in principle in the Sixth Commandment . Suicide is an act of murder. (We recommend that you read the section on this commandment in our booklet The Ten Commandments  .)

While there can be no doubt that taking one’s life is wrong, suicide is often a complex matter. Perhaps others are quick to judge and condemn people who take their own lives. But we should avoid the tendency to oversimplify this tragic type of death. Individuals who commit suicide often have been struggling with serious problems, such as depression, alcoholism or other forms of drug abuse. Taking one’s life isn’t the right way to deal with any trial, but the people who do are likely not thinking clearly.

Is there hope for them to live again? God says He will resurrect all the dead (John 5:28-29 John 5:28-29 28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.
American King James Version×
), and we know that God wants everyone to have a full chance to repent and be forgiven and to be saved (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
American King James Version×
; 1 Timothy 2:4 1 Timothy 2:4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
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). The Bible shows that those who did not understand God’s spiritual truth during their lifetimes will have another chance at life, a chance to deal with their problems better. By resurrecting them, God isn’t giving them a second chance at salvation, but rather their only chance. See our Frequently Asked Question, “Will everyone have a chance for salvation? ” for more information about this needful and little understood truth—the second resurrection.

We know that the families and friends of people who “succeed” in committing suicide often suffer terribly, as they struggle to understand why their loved one died in this way. The survivors need a great deal of understanding and comfort.

If we can be of further help, please let us know .

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    Comments

  • kathysanny

    When I was a teenager I asked in a Bible study if suicide was the unpardonable sin. I understood that it was murder, and how could you repent of it once you were dead? He was unable to answer the question.

  • Cindy Phelps

    Hi, Kathy. I have heard your question before and also understood suicide to be the unpardonable sin. However, when we look at the scriptures that talk about this dreaded sin we will see that it is not just one transgression that God chose out of the many sins that man commits, but actually it is the choice to sin as a way of life. We are told not to grieve the Spirit and warned against “quenching” or effectively dissolving the Spirit that God has gifted to us. It is that decision or series of decisions which are unpardonable because there is no other sacrifice but Christ through which a man can be saved. Once that sacrifice has been applied to you it cannot be applied again. We are not permitted by His Father to trample on that sacrifice and then once again be renewed to Them. So, in light of that thinking, is suicide THE unpardonable sin? The simple answer would be “no” in and of itself. However, it begs the question, is the choice to commit suicide the final decision ending a series of choices leading a person away from God? If so, they have chosen to depart from Him and THAT is unpardonable. In the end, God is the only one who knows the heart and has the ability to judge. We have not been given that authority or even the basis for completely understanding how those judgments are made. What we can take comfort in knowing is that God is good and just and He wills that none should perish. He does all that is in His power to help us get to the Kingdom…but the choice is ours.

  • Cindy Phelps

    Here are the scriptures associated with my comments above (sorry it took me awhile to pull them together!):

    Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    1Th 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit.

    Act 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
    Heb 10:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
    Heb 10:28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
    Heb 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
    Heb 10:30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
    Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

  • WildFlower

    My late husband decided to hang himself n i found him,this happned a year ago july 23,2011.I have asked everyone for the answer if he was unforgivn!Nobody would really answer me this like you have n I thank u.I’m still in agony daily n taking meds to help but the Lord n I are workn on strenth to over come this horrible thing.It’s a struggle n the hardest thing i had too go through,He was 46 n was not a drug or alcohol person,however we had issues i thought we had got past but It eats me like cancer.I had never experieced death or someone that close doing such a selfish thing.God bless.

  • Scott Hoefker

    Hi Wildflower.

    I’m comforted to see that this answer was helpful to you. However, the fact that you continue to struggle as you state “in agony daily”, permits me to offer prayer for you, and if you would like I am more than willing to talk with you at any time if I may be of help.

    Finding a loved one, after they have taken their own life leaves a indelible mark and memory that takes a long time to work through.

    Our loving God knows all, and sees all, and know that your husband will have the opportunity to clearly understand that relationship again in the future…that he can have with God, and with you.

    God promises strength and help to those who suffer, and He will provide those to you as you seek Him.

  • Cindy Phelps

    Wildflower, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss and the suffering that you feel because of it. That is a terrible reality to face and my heart goes out to you. I just finished watching this program of Beyond Today called “Moving Beyond Tragedy” http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-program/christian-living/moving-beyond-tragedy

    I hope you will take the time to watch it too. I think you will find the words of this family who has suffered loss to be a great encouragement.

    Here is another short clip about suicide specifically that you will find helpful http://www.ucg.org/beyond-today-daily/death/fathers-question-about-suicide

    God has a future planned for all people both dead and alive to know Him and to have the potential to be in His eternal family. This includes your late husband. God speed that day.

  • WildFlower

    Thanks for the responces,I will look up the websites and thanks for the prayers.I do know things will take time n our father makes things easier,all Praises to him with Thanksgiving.I’ll go back too my email for info on the call Mr.Scott Hoefker.I just had an opperation 6 days ago n moving slowly.I have church here shortly n so I’ll probably do so tomorrow.My heart goes out too all that is or has been dealing with this terrible thing”suicide”along with all the other devistating issues many of us face & pray daily for all that the Holy Spirit innercedes.

  • Swanepoel

    Sorry for commenting a year later…

    God judges our life and works, not just one single action. Let me compare life to a book. If a book is well written but has a bad ending, it does not make the whole book bad.

    My friend commited suicide. He had a good heart and changed a lot of people’s lifes. I do not believe that, after all the good, he will be judged for one “mistake”.

  • Ivan Veller

    Swanepoel,

    My heart goes out to you.

    May I offer the following articles in the hope that they may provide some support, comfort, and solace: http://breakingfree.ucg.org/category/topics/emotional-stresses

    Ivan

  • dave1959
    About 5 weeks ago i found my wife had committed suicide by hanging, but my views of suicide differ from many who believe its sinful. To start lets use a soldier at war, he falls on a gernade to save lives, now he has committed self murder? no he has not our lord Jesus said the greatest gift was to lie down your life for a friend, the soldier does this, why, to save others. Another fact which cannot be denied is that if suicide is sinful then mental illness, depression, anxiety, autism yes even autism, along with a host of many more would be sinful also, when Jesus spoke to the father and said father forgive them for they know not what they do he was not just speaking to those who crucified him he was speaking to the world. I do believe it can be sinful yes depending on the situation and reasoning,but due to mental illness no i do not believe it is sinful.In closing i want to say anyone who has had to witness suicide God bless you and i hope you peace, i myself have not gotten over it, i think of it daily, i am raising a son with autism and his twin who has adhd and speech delays. Jesus understands our believing in him has nothing to due with our pain and suffering, some go through there life morning yet love God unconditionally. All i know is what i believe to be true, to all God bless.
  • Sabrina Peabody
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss dave1959. I pray that God comforts you and your children. Sometimes we cannot explain everything that happens to us in life but only do our best to see what we can learn from it, and in turn, help others who come across our path with the same struggles. Often times, these kinds of things help us to learn mercy, understanding and build godly character—something so brilliant and glorious that we must make a continuous, daily journey pursuing it. Thank you for commenting and sharing your perspective.
  • Lena VanAusdle
    dave1959 and Wildflower, I am very sorry to hear of your losses and pray that you both find comfort and peace with the passing of time.
  • Mistydaz
    In October (2013), my Fiance committed suicide leaving me with a 2 year old son and a child on the way. My fiancé was not a horrible man. He was however a troubled man. A sick man. Does this mean that he is in hell? I would like to believe that our god is a forgiving god and that he takes mercy on us. I just cannot find the answers. PLease anyone—please feel free to five your input. I am looking for answers. Thank you.
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Mistydaz, I am so sorry to hear of your sudden and recent loss. But I can tell you with conviction that your fiance has NOT gone to the hell fire that mainstream “Christianity” believes in and teaches! It would take too long to explain why here, but UCG’s free booklet, “Heaven& Hell: What Does the Bible Really Teach?” explains it thoroughly. Your fiance is no longer alive or conscious (Eccl 9:5,10) but is in effect awaiting a future resurrection to life, when he will receive the healing he needs (Malachi 4:2 Malachi 4:2But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
    American King James Version×
    ), and the proper teaching of God’s ways (Isaiah 30:20-21 Isaiah 30:20-21 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not your teachers be removed into a corner any more, but your eyes shall see your teachers: 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left.
    American King James Version×
    )that will enrich his life and fill it with purpose YES, our God IS a loving, forgiving, and merciful God (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    American King James Version×
    ), who is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and salvation (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    American King James Version×
    ). It sounds as though your fiance was plagued with mental/emotional illness and was not able to comprehend God’s love for him or plan for his life. And therefore, he has not had his final chance at life. If God notices each sparrow that falls to the ground, He certainly cares about what happens to every one of His children or future children (Luke 12:6-7 Luke 12:6-7 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows.
    American King James Version×
    ). This is an incredibly hard time for you to be going through, but I hope that the truths found in God’s Word, aided by many free materials you can find on our website, will impart much-needed comfort and hope to you. I am praying for you!
  • Jarrods mom
    Mistydaz, I am so sorry for your loss and your want for answers. I myself, lost my son to suicide over 4 years ago. He was not a bad man either, but a very loving, caring man with anger issues. With him the anger was never even keeled. When he was angry or upset, he was an emotional wreaking ball. He and his new wife had just gotten married 9 months prior and it was not working out between them at all. Because of an overblown fight, he shot himself in front of her. There is more to the story, but it really doesn’t matter here, nor does it apply. Since that day, I’ve also been searching for the same answer as you, yourself have just asked. I still ask on a daily basis why and what happened to his soul. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one can actually answer that exact question. People can give you opinions but it’s their interpretation of the written bible. My opinion is that God is the only one that absolutely knows the answer. All we can do is trust in what the good Lord tells us thru the Bible and keep praying as we’ve prayed. As to the why and what questions, you’ll need to find an answer within yourself. Absolutely no one can answer it for you, as you can tell by the many different answers according to the internet. I pray that you find peace for yourself and children in this life. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
  • tbsstt.
    My brother hung himself in 1976. He was 14. He had been diagnosed as hyper active and put on riddalin in the second grade. We lived 13 miles out of town at that time and had plenty of room to run around and burn off extra energy. Then when he was almost 11 we moved to a city and our new pedatrition changed my brothers medication. The new medicine made my brother hear voices and have suicidal thoughts. This was before anyone knew about all of the side affects. I am sorry for anyone who has been left with unanswered questions. I still have a few of my own. I do have hope for his being redeemed because God, our Father, is Merciful.
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Dear tbsstt, I’m so sorry to hear what happened to your brother. I hope it will help you to know that he hasn’t yet had his chance at redemption (1 Corinthians 15:19-26 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
    American King James Version×
    ; 2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    American King James Version×
    ). United Church of God teaches that while God’s Holy Spirit can work with children, they need to be adults, or close to it, to have the ability to be properly converted and receive God’s Spirit in their minds. So even if your brother already had some knowledge of God’s way, his chance to be redeemed lies yet ahead, when he is resurrected back to physical life, healed of his infirmities – physical, mental, and emotional (Malachi 4:2 Malachi 4:2But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
    American King James Version×
    ), and given the teaching and empowerment he needs to be happy and successful in life. God’s Spirit isn’t the Spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:6-7 2 Timothy 1:6-7 6 Why I put you in remembrance that you stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
    American King James Version×
    ). Your brother’s future can be so much brighter than what he experienced in this life! I’m sorry you’ve suffered through all of this. UCG has many resources available on the topics of life after death, Christian living, and much more. We also have friendly and loving church congregations around the USA and the world, with caring pastors whom you can feel free to contact if you need help with those “unanswered questions.” For info. on congregations or their local pastors, click on this link: http://www.ucg.org/congregations/all You might also find it helpful to read my earlier comment in the discussion thread on this topic, posted Dec 9, in which I talked about the future hope of those who have died.
  • debbiemois
    I’m very sorry for all the losses and stories from many- but I know it is true that from the sixth commandment that murder is a sin and killing yourself is included. When you become a Christian you are forgiven of all your previous sins when you repent and you try to follow all of Gods expectations and be in obedience to Him. But sin in us makes us dirty and God will not allow us in heaven if we didn’t have a sacrifice to forgive our sins and Jesus is our sacrifice- one comment wrote that - even if the book has a bad ending it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book.- from Matthew 20 it’s is about the parable of the vineyard workers- go and read it- the point is that it doesn’t matter when you become Christian and work for The Lord, it’s that by the end of your life that is most important- this is why we must “watch out” (Matthew 24:42 Matthew 24:42Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come.
    American King James Version×
    ) so that we do not sin. Because all who work for God, no matter at which point in their life, they all get the same reward which is heaven. Also from Matthew 7:21 Matthew 7:21Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    American King James Version×
    it says “Not everyone who calls out to me ‘Lord, Lord!’ Will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who actually do the will is my Father in heaven will enter.” So according to this verse, do you think it is Gods will for anyone to end their life short- it would be stealing the keys to death from God- “I Am the living one, I died but now I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and Hades” (Revelation 1:18 Revelation 1:18I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
    American King James Version×
    )
  • mary1970
    My father was a very religious man. He was a preacher for many years and made us read and discuss the bible every night at home. I am not sure what happened but him and the other preachers at church had a falling out and he never took us to church again and eventually stopped teaching us at home. He suffered from health issues and became very depressed. One day 10 years ago some members of my family heard my dad on the back porch praying and asking God for forgiveness. Then they heard a gunshot. When they went out there they found he had committed suicide. They often discuss now whether he is in Heaven or not. They wonder could he be since he asked forgiveness before it happened? Or do you first have to commit the sin than ask forgiveness? Could you give me your views on this?
  • LightSharer
    Wildflower, I found my husband dead in the basement in 2009. He had no obvious illness; in retrospect he was “stashing” morphine I wasn’t taking, (after 5 back surgeries and one neck surgery) and used them to terminate his life. My first thought was, “You poor Dear! What hurt you so much that you couldn’t share it with your wife?” I never condemned him. (by the way the coroner would not allow an autopsy—other signs point to suicide—that’s not the issue) We should remember our Savior’s words, “Do not judge, or you will be judged!” (NOT KJV) How can you say he did a selfish act? How can YOU declare HIM selfish? Do you know his mental torments? I empathize the grief you carry, but not for one second did I think of “me”; that “he” was selfish. I am not judging you, though it appears as such; I am reminding you that only Our Lord knows his heart, and can judge—any of us! Blessings, LightSharer
  • Dianamariee
    Hello, My sister commited suicide 10 years ago. She ran her car into a tree. She was a suicidal person. We were always trying to stop her. My uncle took an overdose in 1995. Then Monday March 16th, 2015, our friend across the hall hung himself. All these people I believe went to heaven. God knows the mental problems they had. All of them had given their life to Jesus. I know God forgave them. That is not the unpardonable sin. Pray for the man’s girlfriend across the hall as she is in pieces. Also pray for me and my husband as this really hurt me and him. Satan is behind all of this. People have choices, yes, but the Devil will push you to the point of suicide. I have dealt with it. I pray and am married to a Christian man who helps me. I fight anxiety issues and am on medication. Jesus has been and always will be my Rock. People, turn to Jesus, he will help you.

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