Whenever a person, young or old, takes his or her life, it is such a tragedy. A void is left in the lives of those who knew and loved the person. And we know that the families and friends of people who “succeed” in committing suicide often suffer terribly, as they live with the loss and struggle to understand why their loved one died in this way. Questions remain about whether more could have been done to help pull a person back from the brink of self destruction. The survivors need a great deal of understanding and comfort as well.
And what of those who commit suicide? Have they really escaped their problems? Or are they damned to an eternity in hell? This is a major question among Christians dealing with this tragic subject. The real question is whether or not people’s suffering continues after death in an ever-burning hell. The answer is no. They are no longer suffering, and they are not damned for eternity.
Scripture shows that at death one’s thoughts end and there is no conscious awareness: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
The mental agony that leads a person to commit suicide ceases while a person is dead. God, in His mercy, designed life so that at death the physical mind does not function. The hopes and dreams and fears of life end. So the suffering that leads one to take his life also ceases.
But suicide is not an escape or quick solution to one’s problems. When resurrected those who’ve taken their own lives will still likely have psychological issues to work out. They will still have to deal with their problems, and now with the addition of having to face up to a terrible wrong, the murder of self and the torment inflicted on others by that.
Thankfully, God’s desire is for them to turn to Him and be saved. But the things people do in this life will still have consequences in the sense of having to come to terms with them. This could be quite hard, so no one should think of suicide as some kind of golden ticket to the good life of the future. It is not.
Nevertheless, suicide victims are not eternally damned. They will live again in a better world with a revived opportunity for happiness and success.
Revelation 20:4-5 tells us that after the resurrection of the faithful followers of Jesus Christ at His return, “the rest of the dead” will be resurrected a thousand years later. Those who never had opportunity for salvation will at last have it. Jesus Christ came to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18), but this was not fulfilled completely at His first coming. It will be fulfilled at His second coming.
God the Father, we are told, judges from the Mercy Seat. He dearly desires that all people who have lived, or will live, be in His family. Jesus Christ knows our frailty and therefore is our advocate at the right hand of our Father who is sitting on that throne of mercy. This includes all those who have suffered personally and taken their own lives.
The Father and Jesus Christ have not forgotten anyone. The brokenhearted, including those who committed suicide or even contemplated it, will ultimately be healed.