- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Christian Life
- Published on Sunday, 13 March 2011 15:40
If a Christian commits suicide, will he / she still go to heaven? The brief answer is "yes". A person who is saved will be in heaven when he dies regardless of what kind of sin he has committed, including suicide. But there are several objections and misunderstandings about the nature of salvation that need to be explained in order to clarify the matter.
Salvation is not a result of any work that one might do to counteract sin or gain favor with God. Neither is salvation the result of avoiding sin. The Bible says that salvation is not by works (Ephesians 2:8-9) and that nobody, except Christ Himself, has ever avoided sinning (Romans 3:1-23). The only action God expects from us is that we acknowledge our guilt from doing wrong and trust Christ Jesus for what he did on the cross (John 1:12-13). Once a person is saved, "there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
The idea of suicide being unforgivable comes from Catholic teachings dating back to the earliest days of the Roman Church. Saint Augustine taught that suicide is tantamount to self murder and therefore leads to an eternity in hell. The Catholic doctrine states that confession leads to forgiveness of sins. An unconfessed sin is an unforgiven sin and therefore a person who kills himself dies in an unforgiven state since he has no opportunity to confess his crime.
The problem with his view is that it represents a misunderstanding of the nature of salvation and eternal security.
First, a person who trusts in Christ's death for the fogiveness of his/her sins is saved. All sins are forgiven including those from childhood to old age, from small seemingly trivial mis-spoken words to grave violations of the law.
Second, the person who is saved did nothing to neither earn forgiveness nor pay for his salvation. Christ the Savior made himself answerable to God for every crime ever committed by human kind including the crime of murder. He finished the work to save completely and with finality at the cross.
Third, the saved person is secure in having eternal life. God doesn't revoke salvation based on our behavior.