Here is an email question that I received with the response to follow:

Good Afternoon:
I am writing to you under emotional pangs, as I wrestle with the Scriptures, and what I hear from certain others who are Christian.

The husband of a friend of mine committed suicide. My friend, I know well, and her love and defense of the Scriptures. But I only know of her husband’s belief by what she tell me, and his attendance to church. She said he prayed a lot and loved God, her and their children.

But he yielded to suicide. And from what I understand, this was a long term fight to avoid that. He subsequently said he was going for walk, and he was found in a park, after shooting himself.

Here is a man who “claimed” to love Jesus, but his actions to me, deny his having made Jesus Lord and Master over his life. Rather, he must have had Satan as master.

I used to believe in “free will” but after a long study of the Sovereignty of God, I changed my mind. That study took several years. So I can’t say this man had free will unless he remains outside of God’s Lordship, where he does what the flesh does…. denies the power, promises, and love that God has living within us.

The pastor at the services said what my friend said, he is in heaven, due to the Grace of God.

But how can a person be tempted to kill himself then actually follow through with it, if he has Life in him? And Hope? These reign over Death and Hell.

My Response

Thanks for the questions. These are very good questions, and necessary to struggle with.

You said: “But how can a person be tempted to kill himself then actually follow through with it, if he has Life in him?”

How could David have killed Uriah? How could Peter have denied Christ? How could John have fallen down and worshiped an angel? How could Paul struggle with sin the way he does in Roman 7? Why would Paul exhort Christians to “walk in the spirit and therefore not carry out the deeds of the flesh” if it was a foregone conclusion that Christians cannot walk in the flesh? How could the Galatians (whom Paul considers “brethren”) have turned back toward the law after knowing Christ? How could the Corinthians live as spiritual babes, living in strife, jealously, and envy?

The answer: we are all sinners.

My sister committed suicide. She had been with me at seminary and was one of my primary means of encouragement throughout my early ministry years. She was a prayer warrior, an aspiring evangelist, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. She fell into depression—terrible depression. Depression is a powerful result of the Fall that ends up taking a lot of people’s lives. What she did was sin. Yes, it was premeditated as well.

What sins, in actuality, are not premeditated? There are not many . . . They are mainly personality and spirituality characteristics such as outbursts of anger, jealousy, and faithlessness. But most other sins are premeditated. If God does not forgive premeditated sins—if somehow these are the sins that are not covered by the cross—we are all in trouble.

I don’t know whether the gentleman who went on a walk in the park was a Christian or not (my heart hurts just thinking of his walk), but I do know that the cross of Christ redeems us from all sin, no matter how severe, no matter how much premeditation. Were suicide less traumatic, were it just a push of the button, I doubt that there is any who would escape its fate (we probably would not make it through our teen years!). Have mercy on this man. What he did was sin. What he did will have terrible and lasting consequences (just like any murder), but to think that this necessarily means he was not a Christian is unbiblical and well beyond our ability to judge.

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses (present tense; 1 John 1:7) us from all sin, not just some sins.

Some may say that all sins have to be confessed before death. I disagree. To say that we cannot have unconfessed sin when we die is problematic both biblically and practically. Biblically, Paul is clear that once we have faith in Christ, we have been saved. This salvation is primarily from the ultimate penalty of our sin—eternal death. If we cannot truly be saved until we die with all sins confessed, then we cannot ever say that we are saved as Paul does. The best we can do is say we might be saved (i.e. if I die without any unconfessed sin). Salvation would always have to be spoken of as a contingent possibility, not a present reality. Yet Paul says to the Ephesians, “By grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:8). Christ says in John 6:24, “Whoever believes in me has eternal life.” There is no contingency here. The question then becomes: Do you really believe?

The practical problem is this: If you do have to die without any unconfessed sin, how are you to be spiritually aware enough to remember all your sins? What if you forget one? What about the time you sped through the school zone? What about the time you pridefully thought about your promotion at work? What about the time you envied your neighbor’s new sprinkler system? What about the time you said you were sick, to avoid something, and you really weren’t? From a practical stand point, everyone will die with unconfessed sin. Most of these will include serious sins such as greed, pride, and envy. Therefore, are we all bound for hell? This trivializes the cross, forgiveness, and sin.

Christ’s death is a once for all remedy to our damnation. Because of this grace and forgiveness, we should live a life that is pleasing to Him, but some of us won’t do so well. That is what makes grace so wonderful and radical—indeed, beyond belief.

Hope that is helpful.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    123 replies to "Do People Who Commit Suicide Go to Hell?"

    • Sallyanne

      People commit suicide for various and numerous reasons; depression being the most common. If we abide in Christ and are being lead by the Holy Spirit then suicide will not become the answer to our ailments but if we leave an opening then Satan comes in and suicide takes place. Spurgeon suffered with ongoing depression but he kept holding onto Christ. My friend suffers from deep deep, depression most of her life but she hangs onto the cross, even when she’s really manic and cannot see the wood for the trees. We are made in the image of God and therefore we are not allowed to destroy that image. Jesus did not commit suicide as some write; no, He was commanded by the Father to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for the world. Of all the testimonies that I have read and seen on youtube it is without doubt that people who commit suicide go to hell. We are commanded to eat from the tree of life until we die and if we did that then only goodness will prevail in our lives and depression can be beared.

    • J.R.


      Visualize hand to face!!

      First off I pray you don’t get your Holy Spirit drawn wisdom from “testimonies and youtube” to inform your theology.

      Secondly, if one goes to Scripture, there is only one sin which is not forgiven and it comes from the lips of our Savior.
      Mark 3:28-30 “I tell you the truth, people will be forgiven for all sins, even all the blasphemies they utter. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (because they said, “He has an unclean spirit”).”

      In your theology, if a Christian leaves an opening in their depressed state of mind, satan can come in which could possibly result in suicide and as you stated, “it is without doubt that people who commit suicide go to hell?”

      I’m reminded of the book of Romans and of Mark again

      Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      And Our Lord says,
      Mark 3:27 “But no one is able to enter a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can thoroughly plunder his house.”

      So I assume, in your testimonial youtube inspired theology, satan is stronger than Christ fore he has bound our Lord and plundered his house in the case of a Christian who commits suicide and the apostle Paul is misinformed or a liar. Is that a fair assessment?

      I’m sorry, I choose scripture over youtube. I pray you will as well.

    • Sallyanne

      J.R…….name suits you. First of all if you had cared to spend more time on the main body of my comment you wouldn’t have had to add your nasty remark to the one liner I made. But, be that as it may, here is part of the content of my friend who shot herself testimony. “I was sinking into unbelievable blackness and in front of me looked like an entrance to an even blacker place. A young man stood at the entrance to this hellish place and he was wearing a white robe; he had a look of anguish on his face and I asked who he was. He replied immediatly, without any hesitation, as though he read my mind which indeed he did, as I later found out and said Jesus. Years later I understood that having tried to take my own life because of free choice, hell would have been my eternity; Christ could not save me but thanks be to God I managed to survive my suicide”. That is the true testimony of my friend who believed in Jesus. So J.R. I wouldn’t spread the word around that suicide is ok with God because you will be answerable to the thousands who believe you, decide take their lives and end up languishing in hell. As for the folk who go onto sites like ‘’ and ‘’ don’t knock them but instead the sites yourself and learn from them. I prefer to believe the survivors testimonies; it makes my life easier. This is my last comment to you.

    • Sallyanne


      Attempted Suicide

      Posted on October 10, 2012 by Eternal Life Blog

      [Personal Testimony] Hello I was reading about suicide. Whoever commits suicide they go to hell. 6 years ago I committed suicide. I hung myself in my room. God told my mum go see what your son is doing. She saw me and I kick the chair. Thank God my uncle was here. My mum was screaming for help. He came in my room. To be honest when he was holding my hand satan was killing me, the string [rope] was still in my neck. I remember I was lying in my bed. My life was going. I saw my room turning into fire. I got scared. I never believed in hell…. Judas committed suicide. He is in hell. He walked with Jesus, stayed with him and he is in hell.

      [Bible Answer] God was VERY MERCIFUL to you! Now that you know suicide is not the answer, if the devil tempts you with suicide again, you know the vital importance of resisting his thoughts. Remember Rev. 21:8 and 1 John 3:15.

      Suicide is NEVER the answer. People commit suicide because they wrongly think the grave is the end OR they will go to heaven. Neither is true! Instead of such people escaping their pain and misery, they intensify it. Make your life count for God. Be an honor to Jesus, who died for your sins. A PARADISE heavenly home FOREVER can be yours, but you must come to Jesus, according to his terms!

    • Joshua

      I find it interesting that people always say there is hope. How do you know? What if you were hated by everyone not for who you are but for what society has labeled you as. I am 34 and a virgin I am also a sex offender. How many people just read that and thought okay this guy can kill himself. For anyone else I will continue. I have never had any self confidence and I made a mistake. I touched my nieces breast. This occurred over three years ago. For this I have been arrested tried convicted estranged from my sister under strict probation which will continue into lifetime supervision and therapy. Despite the crippling pain and depression that comes with committing the act and suffering the consequences I press on. I get a job pay my bills and try to live a normal life however if I had problems talking to a woman before it just increased a thousand times. All I have is my job and now there is a bill in the legislature called the Adam Walsh act that would further label me a high risk to reoffend. When it’s adopted I will lose my job go into debt and become a plight on my mother. I am a Christian and I believe Christ died for my sins and He will forgive me but man cannot. My death will only make people feel safer. The irony is that I’m no threat I’m a coward. If I see young girls walking on the street I cross to the other side look at my feet and keep walking. I never think of doing them any harm. Should I kill myself when I can no longer work and support myself or should I become a burden on my mom?

    • Daniel

      Joshua, please don’t kill yourself. I’m not implying that it will send You to hell, but Jesus has a much greater intent for Your life. Your life can be a radical testimony that noone is beyond forgiveness, not even for sins for which many humans may despise one. Find a church that really lovingly accepts You for who You are, a forgiven sinner

    • sallyanne

      Joshua, if you believe in Jesus and know that He died for your sins then you must ask Him for forgiveness, from a sincere and contrite heart, for all your sins. You won’t remember them all if you are like all of us who have approached the Lord for forgiveness but God will forgive you because you have humbled yourself to ask Him to forgive you. Then find a bible teaching church (ask God to show you) and start your amazing journey with Christ by becoming baptized and receiving His Holy Spirit who will teach you how to live obediently to God. If you commit suicide you are killing the image of God; you are committing self-murder and all this is a sin and you will never ever see heaven. BUT if you do what I have told you then you will have a wonderful life as you put Christ in front of you and you follow Him along the narrow road to Heaven. May our Blessed Saviour draw you to him; God bless you my friend.

    • Sylvia

      I like !!!! Is there anything higher then LOVE ? And God IS love- as we all are sinners. This for, Jesus has died-
      I strongly believe that all people accepting this will have the chance of resurrection to life – and after this it will be their decision if they want to worship our only God or not. Only then it will show if they are worthy of a blessed life in the holy kingdom, that Jesus told about. Thanks a lot for your words !!!!

    • Joshua Bariova

      The Spirit and Soul of the Christian are perpetual and never are extinguished. The body dies and goes through stages of decomposition where the energy of life is dissipated as heat. The spirit of the natural human is his or her intellectual power. It is enhanced by reception of the divine Spirit/intellectual power. Without a body, the living power of the soul is negated, resulting in its decomposition. Without a soul, the spirit/intellectual power of the individual is consumed in intellectual suicide/self-immolation. The individual is destroyed, and the energy that was his life and soul and spirit is dissipated as small clusters of heat in the space of the universe. Read “The Fresh Agreement” to know all the truth with the certainty of the original languages.

    • christian

      God is enough!

      God is bigger than all our problems,
      But when any person commits suicide, it shows they are overcome by their problems. Instead of turning to God, they went the opposite direction, and eventually to hell.

      Do you think Judas Iscariot is in heaven???

    • JR

      I’m sorry but turning towards God is not enough. That’s basically Old Testament theology (repent of your dead works or evil deeds and turn towards God) see Heb. 9:13-14. It’s not enough to turn towards God, James says, “even the demons believe that God is one and tremble with fear.” Acts 20:21 says, “Testifying to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus” (New Testament theology). After all Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Eph. 2:8.

      With that being said, whoever it is, no matter their sin, if they have true faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, faith which saves; there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus….Rom. 8:1-4. The apostle Paul goes on further in chapter 8 starting in verse 31 declaring the security of the believer. But I guess some here don’t hold or believe in this security. Some seem excited or proud of the fact that they can proclaim that person to eternal hell and damnation who commits suicide.

      I have read many of the responses to Michael’s blog here and I truly appreciate everyone’s concern with suicide and concern for those who may be contemplating it. Yes, I even believe it is sin to commit suicide. But it’s not something Christ didn’t atone for on the cross.

      I have lived through two family members who have taken their own lives and I have endured the pain and suffering both pre and post to those events. But I also try to relay the message of our Lord Jesus Christ as best as I can and I don’t rely on dreams, personal testimonies, or emotions; All of which are subordinate to the word of God and must be weighed against His word. I try to speak the truth in season and out of season and if I am ridiculed for what I believe to be the true word of God I count it as a blessing.


    • JR

      For those who try to use the I John 3:15 verse to prove that murder or suicide leads to hell for a believer they are dead wrong. The person John is speaking of here is not a believer. I encourage all of us to exegete God’s word to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. And may God forgive all of us who sin in ignorance to His word.

      BTW, Please study up on Judas. You might find some things in the Old Testament (Psalm 41, Zechariah 11, and John 17:12 come to mind) that will enlighten you to the story of Judas and Gods sovereignty. Maybe then you’ll understand why he is where he is.

    • Luanne

      We are told in scripture that our bodies are not our own; a HIGH price was paid for them. I was a victim of depression and suicide. I died after the gun shot and was shown the entrance to hell. Jesus saved me when I called out to Him. Suicide is not an option for anyone in this life otherwise we’d all be committing it just to get to heaven. I had a choice, whilst in my depression and I believed I would go to heaven when I died. Sadly this is not so, you will go to hell. This is the truth. I am sorry for every person who commits suicide because the demon inside them has deceived them Some have survived (you can read on youtube the ones that have) and have told about their entrance to hell for this act, others have not been able to.

    • Candy

      I heard from Evangelist Angelica Zambrano, that any person whom kills themselves before their time, is a murderer and is in Hell. That our lives are not our own to take. And not anyone is Saved, but only those who put in to practice God’s Commands, Repenting, accepting Christ, then bearing Good fruit (No sin) are the Saved ones.

    • Abigail

      If a pastor or anyone tells you that suicides go to heaven they are lying. This has caused some Christians to commit suicide so that they can be in heaven. John Macarthur said this and a young person committed suicide and his mother sued.
      I read an article about the act of suicide and in it the author said that at natural death the soul is separated by the body and taken by angels( if you are born again and have kept God’s commandments) to heaven. But if you commit suicide there is no angel to take you to heaven at the separation of body and soul; you will be taken by the demons to hell. Spurgeon suffered from awful depression but kept running the race.
      There are many instances on youtube where someone has suicide and found themselves in hell……no-one went to heaven after the act. Pastor’s have no right to tell folk that one goes to heaven after suicide. They should rather say that they don’t know. But I know because I tried it and saw hell; by God’s grace He pulled me out of hell.

    • JR

      @ Candy

      Seriously, I’m praying for you. Repent from this false prophetess.

    • Kim

      Romans 10 verses 5 through 15

    • RS

      I took a course once on the topic, and the current vernacular is not that people “commit suicide” but that they “die by suicide”. This puts the action and result in a different category from “murder”. This then removes the stigma of a mental health problem and the possible outcomes of leaving them untreated. Individuals should be more concerned about what might cause a person to fall into a depression deep enough that they would want to off themselves from this world. Falling on your sword might work in battle to acknowledge your failure as the leader of the defeated army, or the captain going down with the ship might sound honorable but completely unnecessary if they had planned ahead. In this day and age we have to recognize there are extremely terrible things happening to people, and this is becoming more and more evident. Rather than adding to them the judgement of God, let’s look at the person closely and discover what is going on around them. Better to take the log out of your own eye than to remove the speck out of the eye of the person who died by suicide. I have a feeling that God feels their pain, and that there is no judgement at all.

    • Roy Stennett

      You folks talk a lot about “salvation” but you never mention what salvation is FROM.
      What exactly are we saved FROM?

      The answer is that we are saved from THE WRATH OF GOD.
      The duly deserved wrath of God, which all of us deserve for our sin.
      Salvation is from the wrath of God. Either we will receive the wrath of God when our bodies die, or we will not receive the wrath which we deserve.

      The only way we can keep from getting that wrath, is by agreeing with God that we deserve it, (that is, ‘repenting’) and trusting in the finished work of Jesus which covers over our sin.

      It is of the utmost importance that we get this rightly understood.
      So many people talk about “salvation” while never knowing what the salvation is FROM.

      The reason so few know this is because the Wrath of God is never preached anymore. Many churches refuse to preach it. Romans 1:18 through the end of the chapter is practically banned from pulpits all across the world. Not just that book, chapter and verse, but they also refuse to preach the next part of John 3:16., where it also explicitly explains the wrath of God. That next part of John is forbidden to be preached by many churches, for fear of upsetting people.

      But the problem this causes is that so many people aren’t actually saved, because they don’t even know why they needed saved in the first place, or what they need saved from.

      You will never understand the good news until you first understand the bad news.

    • John Thomson

      Michael my comments yesterday seem to have disappeared. I’m not sure if this means they are unwelcome.

      This comment may be unwelcome. This is a delicate issue not least because of your sister. I’m glad you didn’t say all believers who commit suicide are in heaven because this would make committing suicide just that bit easier for the depressed believer. I speak as one who knows. Indeed it would be presumptuous for any of us to say that the person who has committed suicide is in heaven. Suicide is a catastrophic failure of faith. Only the lord knows the final state of mind of the person who takes their life. Only he can judge the soul. When Peter and David sinned they repented which signalled their faith was real. The person who commits suicide leaves no such evidence for us to judge.. It is he that continues to the end that is saved. In saying that, I again say, the Lord knows them that are his. He sifts the depressed mind. I trust you will be enabled to leave your sister in the Lord’s hand. Difficult I know when you were so close. Remember – the judge of all the earth will do right.

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