Is suicide a sin? And is it forgivable?
We've recently had a pastor and businessman attend one of our services for quite a while now and receive counseling and discipleship. He and his family had just come from a great loss after their eldest son committed suicide.
There are definitely many questions coming out from the family, but probably the hardest of all questions is the one a lot of people are asking today: "Will heaven's gates open wide for a believer who died at his or her own hands?"
While most hope to receive a simple "yes" or "no," the answer to a question such as this would only be an oversimplification if that's all that we are to offer especially to those loved ones of suicide victims who seek both solace and truth.
The hard truth is this: that there is a possibility that people who die committing suicide will not receive eternal life. But in the same light there is also hope for some who do. The Biblical basis? Romans 8:32-32 tells us, "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."
The most common misconception to this topic is that suicide victims can't possibly go to heaven because they died committing a sin (murder of the self) that they did not repent from. This argument holds no grounds as the Bible never tells us that it is the act of confession that saves us from sin but rather faith in the finished work of Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
The only way to eternal life is a heart fully surrendered to Christ and His goodness which we humans can never truly judge. A person who dies through sickness or the hands of the other who doesn't put his or her hope in Christ will meet the same fate as a suicidal who finds no hope in Christ either. And in the same way, anyone who dies in any possible way with a heart fully committed to Christ can and will spend eternity with God.
The argument that now exists is whether a person who commits suicide- who found no hope in life itself- could ever find hope in Christ. The only person who can know such a thing is God Himself. Only He can look into the deepest recesses of our hearts and know where our hope truly lies.
But if it is possible - and it probably is - that a suicide victim can still pass with a hope in Christ embedded deep in their soul, then there is no stopping God from saving any soul that is taken by one's own doing.