Why Suicide Doesn’t Always Lead To Hell

Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade are just two of the many people and/or celebrities who have committed suicide in the just the last year. It’s heartbreaking to say the least, and I believe our society and culture is in need of a great awakening in regards to priorities, mental health awareness, and the love of God. My heart breaks for the family of Anthony and Kate, and I’m praying God will cover them with nothing but peace and comfort.

While observing the many comments and articles related to suicide in response to the recent deaths of Anthony and Kate, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were quick to point out what many believe are their eternal destinies. “Anyone who commits suicide ends up in hell” said one Twitter user, while another said, “Suicide is an unforgivable sin.”

I’m writing this post because I want people to understand that these statements couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, they’re ill-thought and without proper biblical understanding. Did Anthony and Kate commit their lives to Christ, even in their last moments of pain and suffering? I hope so. But only God knows. And I’m not here to judge whether or not they did. No. I’m here to discuss something quite different.

Those who say suicide automatically leads to hell obviously don’t understand the totality of mental health issues in today’s world, let alone understand the basic theology behind compassion and God’s all-consuming grace. Heaven is a place for people who have a personal relationship with Jesus, not a just a place for people who didn’t commit suicide. We must do better at educating people on things they have a hard time wrapping their heads around. And mental health is definitely topic Christians around the world must yearn to better understand.

Mental Health Issues

As terrible as it sounds, mental health issues can lead many people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do if they didn’t struggle. If you don’t believe me, I’d encourage you to get to know someone with PTSD, Alzheimer’s, or OCD so that you can better understand where I’m coming from. As someone who’s struggled with severe depression throughout most of my life, and contemplated suicide on multiple occasions, I can assure you that what I’m saying is true.

The reality is, you wouldn’t dare say that someone who died of cancer is going to hell just because of their illness would you? I hope not. Then please don’t assume someone who died of suicide via severe depression is going to hell either. Both are illnesses. Both can lead to death. The deciding factor for someone entering heaven vs. hell in regards to Christianity is this: Knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and savior. And guess what? There are many who know Jesus as Lord yet still suffer with and illness such as severe depression and other mental health issues.

  • Does God approve of suicide? Nope!
  • Does God view suicide as a bad thing? Yup!
  • Is God’s grace sufficient even for those who have committed suicide? Yup!

Some Statistics

1. Over 80% of people who are clinically depressed are not receiving treatment.

2. The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 30% every year. 

3. An estimated 121 million people around the world suffer from depression.

4. In 2013 41,149 suicides were reported, making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans

5. In 2013 someone died by suicide every 12.8 minutes.

Suicide doesn’t lead people to hell. Not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior does. And while suicide is in fact a sin that will judged by God, so is stealing, cheating, and lying. And these are all sins that all Christians commit on a daily basis, yet they don’t necessarily keep someone out of eternity in heaven. But want know what will keep someone out of heaven? Not knowing Jesus as one’s personal Lord and Savior. Thats just Bible 101.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”—John 3:16

Stop telling people that suicide leads to hell. It’s bad theology and proof one doesn’t understand the basic psychology surrounding mental health issues. In closing, we must understand God hates suicide just as much as the next person. Why? Because it defies God’s yearning for the sanctity of life. But while suicide is not something God approves of, no mess is too messy for the grace of Jesus. This includes suicide.

If you or someone you know is thinking about harming yourself/themselves or attempting suicide, reach out to someone who can help right away. Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to be connected to a trained counselor at a suicide crisis center nearest you.

If you are looking for a licensed Christian counselor in your area, please visit our Anthem of Hope website.

—Jarrid Wilson

Published by Jarrid Wilson

Husband, Father, Pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship & Author of a few books.

24 comments on “Why Suicide Doesn’t Always Lead To Hell”

  1. I appreciate your article very much. However the problem with comparing suicide to “other sins” is that it brings it into the realm of the argument for eternal security. I personally don’t believe that that should be the case. God hates suicide like he hates cancer or hates heart attacks. Either suicide is a mental heath issue or it is a sin. This article makes me think that you mean it to be both. Do you believe that someone who dies by suicide is sinning? Or do you believe that their mind has succumb to the disease with which it wrestles daily?

  2. Problem is you have a distorted Christian view of grace. Grace is given to those trying to keep the law/Torah. Not to people who intentionally sin. Mercy is given to those who do not know the law but are trying to live “good” or lawful lives.

  3. Hey brother!
    I think you have to understand what mental illness is and where is it coming from first before posting anything about it.

    Here’s the link of the book that talks about it too
    http://ParableoftheSower.com

    Do not be deceived! We must be careful of our words because many people believes what they hear first.

  4. So the question remains, would a person who truly knows Christ commit suicide? Why would they? To have Christ is to have hope and faith (confidence and security) in God. Suicide would indicate someone who is apart from these things. Scripturally- one who is a murderer is not a child of God. What would you kill suicide? Those are my thoughts on it….

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