This is a touchy subject, but I believe it needs to be addressed. My mom told me a pastor had said he firmly believed someone he knew, who committed suicide, was beyond a doubt in heaven. I challenged this notion, pointing to scriptures that talk about the hope we have as believers. If we are so hopeless in this life, do we really believe the bible? Do we trust God’s word which says He never leaves us, nor forsakes us, and that we can come to Him with our burdens and anxieties and He will gives us rest, peace, and joy?
If one does not believe Christ is stronger than our depression, we do not have true faith. There’s a verse that says our bodies are His temple and if anyone destroys this temple, God will destroy him. I happened to read this passage in 1 Peter, which I believe strongly goes against the idea that suicide is forgivable and you’re able to instantly be free from the trials of this life and enter into the joys of heaven while the rest of your brethren on earth continue suffering. This is an extremely dangerous false doctrine that encourages Christians to kill themselves because if they do, they’ll be with Christ. Not so:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a *living hope* through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are *kept by the power of God through faith* for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you *greatly rejoice*, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that *the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ*, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, *you rejoice with joy inexpressible* and full of glory, receiving the *end of your faith*—the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:3-9 NKJV)
“And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are *if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end*.” (Hebrews 3:5-6)
Notice that true Christians have joy inexpressible; even during various grievous trials they don’t give up. In fact, the trials are actually testing the genuineness of their faith! But if one gives up during these trials, they do not have true faith and thus, they cannot please God and enter heaven after committing suicide. But if through the suffering, they continue rejoicing, trusting their Redeemer is going to resurrect them one day, then they receive the end of their faith; the salvation of their souls.
If you have a loved one who committed suicide, I feel for you. But that was his or her decision, and know that God in His mercy and love reaches out to all mankind and accepts anyone who will genuinely believe the drastic measures He went through to save them: sending His only Son to die on a cross in their place. Everyone has a chance to receive Christ. He is not exclusive to any people group or caste system. He loves us all, but we have free will. If one chooses to reject His love, it is unfortunate, but that is on them. We can only pray, preach the gospel, and share Christ’s love with others and hope they turn to Him. We all want our loved ones in heaven, but unfortunately, many people reject Christ until their last breath, and rejecting Him means no access to heaven. This is why we must take our walk with Christ so seriously: souls are perishing all around us: our parents, our siblings, our cousins, aunts and uncles, friends. We have to speak the truth in love and keep praying for their eyes to be opened to the love we have experienced that they might turn from their sins and accept the only One who can cleanse and save them.
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.” (I Peter 4:1-2, 12-13, 16-19 NKJV)
“For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (I Peter 2:20-25 NKJV)
“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”(Hebrews 6:11-12 NKJV)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” (I Peter 5:8-10 NKJV)