It is popular in some churches to teach that suicide is the unforgivable sin. There is, however, no Bible verse in Scripture to support this view. So why is this view so popular?
The reason people feel that suicide is the unforgivable sin is because there is no opportunity to repent from this sin after a person commits it.
Many people wrongly believe that if you die with unrepented and unconfessed sin in your life, God will not let you into heaven. Obviously, when someone commits suicide, their last living action was the sin of self-murder, and since they are unable to repent of this sin afterwards, some people feel that suicide will keep a person out of heaven.
Tragically, due to this idea, many surviving families of suicide victims not only have to deal with the terrible loss of losing a loved one in such a horrible way, but also have to deal with the pain, fear, and incredible sorrow of thinking that their loved one is now in hell, even though they may have been a wonderful Christian for most of their life.
The pain of losing a family member to suicide is hard enough. The pain of losing a family member eternally to the fires of hell because of suicide is too much to bear for most families, and it often destroys the rest of their lives.
This should not be, especially since it is not true.
Suicide is forgivable
How do we know that suicide is forgivable?
First of all, as with every sinful action we can possibly commit—including suicide—Scripture is clear that God forgives all such sins. I have discussed this in other posts, as well as why confession and repentance are not required to receive divine forgiveness of sins.
But specifically regarding the sin of suicide, Scripture records several examples of men who committed suicide, but who will be in heaven with God for eternity.
For example, Samson committed suicide (Judg 16:29-30) but Hebrews 11:32 lists Samson as a great example of a man of faith. Would God include someone in a list of people of great faith who actually ended up in hell? Of course not. What kind of example would that be?
King Saul also committed suicide, but various Scriptures by King David indicate that King Saul also will be in heaven. (The explanation is rather long, and so I am not including it here. It can be found in my book on The Unforgivable Sin.)
Anyway, have you ever been told that suicide is the unforgivable sin? Why do you think people teach this? Provide your input below.
Do you fear that you have committed the Unforgivable Sin?
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Jonathan Grubbs on Facebook says
I’ve heard some teach that it’s suicide and I’ve heard others teach that it’s divorce. I believe that it’s a sin to be out of the will of God, but that only one sin will guarantee eternity in hell, and I believe that is the sin to be out of the will of God in relation to 1 Timothy 2:4, where it states that it’s God’s will for all to be saved. I believe all other sins are forgiven, and anyone who gets saved by putting their faith in Christ and what He did on the cross in their place has ALL of their sins forgiven and is guaranteed a home in heaven after this life is over.
Romeo Moti says
The only unforgivable sin that is spelled out in the Bible is “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost”.
After the Pharisees explained away the miracles of Jesus as the “work of the Devil”, Jesus said to them “Now look, you can blaspheme against God the Father and that’ll be forgiven, you can blaspheme God the Son and that’ll be forgiven, but when you attribute the power that wrought these miracles to the power of Satan, you are now blaspheming against the Holy Spirit and that will never be forgiven in this age and in the age to come.”
It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was able to perform these miracles. Remember when Jesus said “I, myself, can do what? Nothing”. Yet he was filled with the Holy Spirit that he was able to perform miracles.
Jesus couldn’t walk on water anymore than we can walk on water, AS A MAN. But it is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus was able to walk on water.
So, Jesus was saying in the passage that if someone genuinely attributes the miracles of Christ to the power of Satan and that Jesus himself was Demon-possessed, that person has now committed a sin that can never be forgiven.
Thou shalt not kill, a commandment to keep. That includes killing yourself. To feel like you have no hope is a slap in God’s face, when He is so willing to help. It is also unbelief that things/ you will not get better. When one is brain-damaged or not too bright to begin with, taking drugs for diseases, has a disease, I don’t think they can be held accountable for being depressed and committing suicide. When one screws up their lives, body & brain willingly with drugs, paint & glue fumes, alcohol, etc,, they don’t think right, but brought it on themselves and may not be forgiven. My Bible says we must forgive to be forgiven and also must repent to be saved. You can’t say God forgive me & then do it. If you start to do it, ask forgiveness, knowing you shouldn’t but it’s too late, I believe you may have forgiveness.
Jesus died, so our sins are forgiven. Our acts are not the key. We merely have to accept the gift.
If you think we need to repent our sinful acts, then you don’t accept Grace or think Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient. It is done – our sins are forgiven through Christ’s work. It is not our works or repentance.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 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.
John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Regina Brassil says
If I got in a fight with someone, was mean and said terrible things, then turned to walk away and was hit by a bus, do I go to heaven?
As a blood bought Christian whom Jesus has forgiven, YES I DO. Having no chance to repent is not the qualification. Dying before repenting cannot be the reason we are kept out of His presence, otherwise we would repent all day. Remember, the severity of sin is not the issue. Sin … is sin. Divorce the unforgivable sin? Lord help us, these preachers.
Jeremy, I need to read more. I have a hunch what the unforgivable sin must be… Blessings all.
J. D. Myers says
You are absolutely correct! Repentance, while important, is not a condition for receiving forgiveness. For, as you say, if that were the case, we would need to repent all day long, and even then, could not be certain we had properly repented of every sin.
Matthew Richardson says
I can’t accept the example of Samson. He gave his life to take down an enemy. Equating this with suicide is like saying the a soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save others is committing suicide. Yes, he is intentionally ending his own life, but there is a difference between sacrificing your life for others (or for a cause) and fleeing, or giving up on, life. Jesus could have saved Himself as He hung on the cross, but He willingly gave His life for the greatest cause in history, the redeption of humanity. He did it out of love, not despair. This was not ‘suicide’. I am not failliar with David’s beliefs about Saul. I’ll have to read up on it.
I think you might be missing something from your example. I went through a horrific year and a half in a suicidal depression. Everyday I sat on the kitchen floor after my wife went to work with a knife and worked up the courage to end my life. My thoughts were that of my wife having the opportunity to start with someone else, that I was a curse to her, that being rid of me would be a blessing to her, doing it in the kitchen would be easier to clean up, etc. There were lots of lies Satan planted trying to lead me to end my life and they all had to do with benefiting others if I just had to courage to just end my life.
The sad thing is many who are suicidal usually are thinking of others and how beneficial it would be for others if they were dead. If you have never experienced this level of depression and despair, you can’t comprehend why people would think that in a convoluted way it is a considerate action in their thought process towards loved ones.
You said that better than anyone has ever said it before. You are exactly right. Right now, I am sitting here on the bedroom floor, tears flowing, etc. I have been in a horrible depression, probably the worst ever of my entire 48 years. I have struggled with severe depression and suicidal tendencies my entire life. I feel that I am now at a point where I am more ready than ever to spend eternity with my savior, Jesus Christ. Surely, He would forgive me of this sin knowing just how much pain that I have suffered throughout my lifetime. This is exactly what led me here to this article. I have always believed that suicide is the ultimate sin, and that I would certainly be cast to hell. I have been saved and baptized I do have faith in my Lord. I do accept Jesus Christ as my savior.
Before anyone attempts to judge me, don’t forget that judgment upon others is also a sin and should only be left to our Holy Father. As the person above me stated, no one can possibly understand if you haven’t lived through it. It’s not a selfish act, either. As we are relieving our loved one’s of the burden of our lives and problems.
Good night and God bless you all!
I’m praying for you right now. It’s important for you to know the truth and it will set you free. The truth is the enemy prowls around roaring like a lion looking for someone to devour but the good news is that neither you or I are on the menu!!!
We have been born of a spirit of power and love, not of fear and we have been given a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)!!! Read that verse, memorize it and repeat it out loud as often as necessary. The enemy will lie to you and try to make you believe you are doing something noble and considerate, but the truth is God is not done with you yet… and you still have a calling and a purpose to fulfill!!!
One of the best ways to combat depression is to get up, clean up, get dressed and go out to help someone less fortunate. Find a soup kitchen, youth group, YMCA, etc. to volunteer. You have been bought at a price and the enemy can not touch you in the mighty name of Jesus!!!
You may have to dig deep and it won’t be easy, but healing is right in that room with you right now! You are on the verge of doing something great for the Kingdom of God and the enemy knows that as long as he can keep you down, he is winning. God will never waste the hurt in your life and you will minister with more compassion and authority for your pain. In the name of Jesus rise up and take possession of what God has for you and demand what has been taken to be restored!!!
I am someone that’s been Biopolar for the last 30 yrs. with clinical severe depression which is a proven gene which I inherited from my mother. Evidently u don’t know what it feels like to b depressed. I’ve had breast cancer, removal of some of my colon, I also have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis in every joint in my body and had both hands operated on by the time I was 40yrs. old, heart diease, IBS, born with a cleft palate which gave me lots of problems growing up, like I’m hard of hearing but Blessed enough to have hearing aids, and not any of these other sickness I have compare to my depression. I hate depression it hurts so bad until it hurts me to read comments like yours.. It Hurts!!! But God allowed it so I don’t question him why!! And yes I’ve tried suicide and when I get so depressed now I pray to die before my time sounding stupid or whatever. It’s like you’re in a hole, covered with dirt and can’t get out and no I don’t really know what that would feel like but that’s just sort of what I think or like maybe a chick trying to crack open the mothers egg to come out. And in that situation the case would b when I got out of the shell my depression would b gone for the time being or I would at least feel better. Let me ask u a question if u don’t mind. Mental Illness is REAL and yes there’s still a stigma out there and that’s so sad to me. Would u tell someone with cancer or that had heart diease or had COPD or anything to just get up, clean up, get dressed and go out and help someone less fortunate, I hope not because if u did u would need help!!! Think about. U r laying in the bed with the flu and a 103 degree temperature do u think that person is able to get up.. I hope not..I know a lot of what u were trying to tell Taylor was not to take his life but I’m writing this because of u saying the best way to combat depression was by and I’ve already written it and what I think and believe from my heart.. You don’t know what u would do cause you’ve not been in any of our shoes so I don’t think that it was very caring of u as a Christian to try and tell any of us that has a Mental Illness what we need to do because u dont know what u r talking about and I’m not trying to b rude or ugly to u it’s just when I read what u said about depression it is like a knife stabbed into my heart because depression hurts so bad!!! I would like at this time to mention the Fisher Wallace Machine and u can pull it on the Internet to anyone that may read this to pull it up and read about it. It’s for depression, insomnia, anxiety and pain and I have one and it has helped me so much. I thank God for it because he’s the one that created people, scientists and others to invent this little machine u can do at home and your ins. co. will reimburse every dime back. Mine did, I have BCBS but I think about all of them will. It’s been a miracle for me because my meds were just not doing what they were suppose to anymore and I stayed very sick for 3 months and my dr. wanting to add a med. which is common but I just didn’t want to go on anything else and then I heard about Fisher Wallace and said what the heck what am I going to lose because they give u time to try it out or u get your money back but u do have to get a note from your Dr. sent to them to b able to try it. Well I’m so so much better and when I go to my Dr. in September I’m asking her to let me try to get off of one of my meds. and I feel she’ll let me try.. But I can’t tell anyone it will help them not even a Dr. because they don’t know for sure all I can say I’m so thankful because it honestly has about saved my life.. Now don’t get me wrong I still have some down times but I can handle them so much easier.. Give it a try to anyone out there who reads this and has depression or any of the other things it can help. Good Luck to all and rtp99. Thank You
Jeremy Myers says
Matthew, yes, his was a noble, self-sacrificial “suicide” – more akin (as you say) to a soldier throwing himself on a grenade.
I was going to include the example of Judas, but thought that would be too extreme for some people… ha!
Matthew Richardson says
His was definately an act of despair.
Jason Flint says
The bible clearly states that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven… Since Jesus said the Holy Spirit is our comforter until his return, then committing suicide because of pain so great that you won’t allow the Holy Spirit to be your comfort is clearly blasphemy!!! This is NOT the same as Samson who died while riding the world of a pure evil people not the same as an American soldier dying in the name of freedom which is a biblical principal especially under the blood covenant. The Bible even states that someone who gives up his own life to save that of another truly saves his own, so helping someone survive even though you know that you will most likely die in the process is not suicide either.
Jesus became the author of eternal salvation to them that obeys him. Two people come to mind that committed suicide and had their own place in hell. Judas and Saul. When you kill yourself you are stating that you do not believe God was able to deliver you. And Hebrews 3 chapter tell you how the Holy Ghost warned you about an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. 1st Corinthians tenth chapter there is no temptation taken you that is not common to man but God is faithful, he would not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able, and with the temptations he’ll make a way for you to escape then you may be able to bear it. Suicide come from unbelief, and it will send you straight to hell.
No human action will save a person. Confessing sins to God, not doing certain things while making an effort to do other things, making a verbal confession of faith… None of these lead to salvation, but are rather a result of salvation and come forth from the indwelling Holy Spirit as fruit. If you’re constantly making a human effort to perform actions like this with the fear of hell hanging over your head, you are probably not saved and no amount of effort will open the gates of heaven for you. If you’re scouring the Bible to find out what you need to do or not do in order to be saved, you may not truly know the Lord. Salvation is an irrevocable gift from God given to those He saves, and when you obtain it, questions about how you can be saved dissolve.
It’s not clear at all that suicide is blasphemy against the Spirit when you read Jesus’ teaching on the subject (blasphemy, not suicide). There’s nothing even implied that the two are linked, and it takes some very creative thinking to put two and two together. It doesn’t jibe.
Remember, there is hell for sinners, and that does not mean there is no grace. Christ died so that our weak nature may be strengthened, but when we refuse to believe in that strength, then how do we expect His grace to have effect on our lives? Suicide is a sign of hopelessness, yet He came that we may have hope and wait upon his deliverance.
Homicide is the taking of a life. Suicide is the taking of a life. Should homicide be forgiven but not suicide? I think not. All of us are sinners. As a parent, my child is forgiven of anything, even before they ask, because my love for them is greater than anything else. God is a parent to us all. His undeserving love, also known as grace, looks past our sin and continues to love us unconditionally. Now, will I , as a parent, turn my child away forever due to their sin? No way, and neither will God turn us away. With that being said, the only thing that is unforgiven, according to the word of God, is blasphemy. Blasphemy is the intentional degradation of who God is, what He stands for, and everything about His character. At one time, sin kept us seperated from God, but God wanted us back. He loves us so much that He gave His son, Jesus, as a living sacrifice. A sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin. In the case of blasphemy, a person is not only denying who God says He is, but mocking His character and attributes, such as unconditional love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and justice. In order to blaspheme, you have to not only believe God is who he says He is, but object to everything God stands for.
Elda Del Real says
What about a person who feels worthless & a load upon others. It is an uncontrollable feeling. Does that make him/her a sinner? Would taking their life take them to hell?
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends”.
During war, there are many acts of heroism like soldiers jumping on grenades to save their friends or volunteers remaining behind on a suicide mission to fight the enemy just so their fellow co-patriots have time to escape. They know they will die, but still they do it.
Just my humble opinion but it seems like if just one of these suicide acts was for love of others then it can’t also be an unforgivable sin otherwise it’s a major contradiction.
Mathew 12 Jesus says the only unforgivable sin was to speak blasmine.against the Holy spirit
Great to know suicide doesn’t neccesary equate an eternity in doom.
Jeffrey S. says
The “Unpardonable Sin” (only applies to the living, and then only unto Christians) it is the denial of the Holy Spirit. The sin of suicide is unforgivable, because all sin can only be forgiven after confessing them unto the Lord with our mouths as we live and breathe. The dead can not be forgiven, that is why the Lord teaches us to be fervent in our prayers and our confession of sins unto Him through His son. He does not promise us our next breath. The wicked and unsaved will not inherit Gods kingdom. Suicide committed by one who knows right from wrong is unforgivable by God. God calls suicide murder. For the one who committed the act of suicide, premeditated before carrying out the act of murder. Only God has the authority to declare who lives and who dies. (MODERATOR: Refer to the Comment Policy before submitting future comments. Future comments that include personal attacks and the other types of things that were edited and deleted in this comment will be deleted instead of edited.)
What I have always understood is we are saved through our faith in Christ, and suicide is committed through a lack of faith
Jesus said that to hate someone in your heart is the same as murder. So if a person hates himself and his own life, is that not then suicide? Why not? And does God forgive the person who hates his own life?
Jeremy Myers says
I think that Jesus was saying that hatred is the attitude that leads to murder. Regardless, once we see ourselves as God sees us, we will not hate ourselves either. God feels nothing but love for us. It is important for people to begin to see this.
In the end though, yes, all sins are forgiven. Even hatred. Even murder. Even self-hatred and self-murder. It is not at all what God wants for us, but He does forgive us for such things.
Clearly, every case will be judged differently. As written by others above, some suicides are indeed altruistic, people acting out of love to save others from harm or death. In 2004 A Vancouver police man was killed after he placed his cruiser into the path of a racing car heading for a sitting duck woman. History may be replete with examples of such heroism. We can hardly imagine their judgement to be equal to those wishing their own demise.
I can relate a sobering case:
A elderly man who had been a Christian for many years. ound himself unemployed, imminently to lose his house and with only a few friends. After several months battle depression – loneliness, condemnation about his life and feelings of hopelessness, he believed the lie that he was so close to hell he might as well get on with it himself.
He decided one night to do just that. He slipped into frigid ocean waters treading water for a long time and ultimately drifting to an embankment where a brave men jumped in and dragged him to shore where he was revived. Doctors said that his oxygen levels had been very low, blood count low and seriously hypothermic. Nevertheless, within a few hours all systems were returned to normality.
Physically, all was well. However,… spiritually things were not.
The condemning voices had stopped. Secondly and alarmingly for the first time since he first read the Bible in his teens, nothing jumped out. The bible had become like any other book The text was flat – uninspired. How to explain these two phenominae?
The answer would seem to be that the battle was over. Satan had one and was no longer attacked. The man’s explanation was that he had committed the unpardonable sin and the Holy Spirit had left him. His body had been revived but God was no longer with him.
This is one example only. Every case is different and there is no reason to believe that this man’s plight this is the case for every suicide.
Jeremy Myers says
There are many other possible explanations for what happened to this poor man other than the idea that he lost his eternal life and satan had won. Suicide is not the unforgivable sin. It is a horrible tragedy, but even it is forgivable by God.
Nelson Banuchi says
Your thoughts on suicide:
(a) gives one who may be unstable emotionally and mentally the very excuse to commit suicide and may possibly be influential – the spark that lights the fuse – in their decision to commit suicide.
(b) suggesting that confession/repentance in unnecessary to obtain forgiveness of sin not only goes against the reading of the Bible in many places, lessens the weight of responsibility for sin and appreciation for the Cross.
I’ll only make one objection. You say that, “There is…no Bible verse in Scripture to support” the view that suicide is unforgivable, but neither is there any prohibition anywhere in the Bible for abortion.
1. I am not suggesting that suicides, for one reason or another because of the many variables involved, cannot be forgiven and the person who commits it actually find himself in grace before the Presence of God. I am suggesting that one suicide, however you want to look at it, is a sin against God that since it appears as rebellion against the life He has given.
2. In one of your replies to a comment made, you say, “Repentance, while important, is not a condition for receiving forgiveness.” That seems to me to be (a) contrary to the Biblical text, thereby, lessening it’s authority, and (b) terribly lightens the weight of both conscience and responsibility for sin towards God (and all sin is sin towards God).
Repentance for known sin is essential. It is the first demand of the Gospel given to us in the New Testament.
Respectfully, in my opinion, this article is the most disturbing one you have yet written.