Monday, March 7, 2016

Is Suicide a mortal sin?

When I was a teenager, I saw a movie in church that really impacted me. It was about a teenage girl who was contemplating suicide and who actually did kill herself in the movie. I remember it so clearly because it showed the demons coming to collect her soul and take it to hell.  I honestly think the pastors were trying to scare us to death!  I had nightmares for weeks. I discovered soon after that many Christians believe that if you take your own life, you forfeit your salvation and end up in hell.

Did you know that more Americans now die from suicide than are killed in car crashes each year?  According to the CDC, death from suicide has risen significantly in the United States in recent years.  9.3 million Americans admit to having suicidal thoughts, and approximately 2.7 million Americans each year actually make a plan for how they would commit suicide. This is not only Americans, but according to the World Health Organization, suicide is the third highest cause of death in the world. Suicide rates have skyrocketed by 60 percent over the past 45 years

This isn't just limited to a certain age group either. Old as well as young people are deciding that life is not worth living. People who are reaching retirement age often find themselves with health issues and huge financial debts with little hope for their future. What is even more alarming is that according to Fox News, the suicide rate for young people ages 10-24 has gone up every year.

I know. Depressing topic, isn't it?  Makes me wonder how things could possibly get so bad that anyone would want to end their life? I've been through some very rough times in my life, and in all honesty, I've had fleeting thoughts of ending it all. But they were fleeting and not taken seriously. Why? Because I guess deep down I always had hope.

Hope is the key. Hope is so very powerful that even if a speck of it exists, it is enough to keep a person going through horrendous situations and circumstances. Think about that. Just a speck, a tiny molecule of hope is all that is needed to endure incredible affliction. But when that speck of hope is gone, there is nothing left. I believe that's why people kill themselves. They have lost all hope. (I'm not talking here about those people who are mentally ill who take their life)

The Bible has much to say about Hope. When I did a search on Hope in the New Testament, I got so many Scriptures I couldn't read them all.  Apparently Hope is a very important thing to God.  Here's just a few of the verses

and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:23-25

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 2 Cor 1:10

So why the rise in suicides? I believe it's because the world is turning against God. People are rejecting their Creator and worshiping the creation and themselves. And when all you have hope in is this world system and yourself, that's pretty darn depressing!  Yes, there are good things about the world and this life, but most of it is hard work, disappointment, heartache, and fear. It is struggle and pain. And if this is all there is, why stick around for that? Especially if your life is a mess and you have no hope for a future.

But we who follow Jesus, who have given our lives to him, are filled with hope. We know that this life is not all there is. We know that this is only a blip on the eternal radar. This is only the training ground for eternity. We have a future, a grand future that will be so wonderful, we can't imagine it!  And while we are here on earth, we are here to glorify God and help bring others to Him so more and more people can have the Hope we do. 

Is Suicide a mortal sin that will send you to hell?  I've read through the entire Bible multiple times and I can honestly say I have not found one place where it says that. Murder is a sin, yes, so murdering yourself is a sin, yes. But if you're a Christ follower, your sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. I'm sure God is displeased if one of His children takes their own life. It breaks His heart that they drifted so far from Him that they lost all hope. But it is my opinion that they do not end up in hell.  If anyone has a Scripture to disprove me, I'm open to hearing it.

I hope that those of us who know Jesus and have His hope living inside of us will go out and happily share that hope with others. Who knows, you could be preventing someone from taking their own life someday.



  1. Monday, March 7th ....
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    How "timely" your word to us today !!! When I tell you "what" happened yesterday .... you won't believe the timing !!!
    Son Jeff, estranged from the family. I had not heard from him since November 2014 !
    Yesterday, he sent me a "friend request" on FB. As it turned out, and believe me the timing was a God-send ... he had just finished writing me a "good-bye and apology letter". Saying -- what a terrible person he was, that the world would be better off without him, that he hated himself for continually hurting people he loves, etc. In that letter, he also 'thanked me' ... for sticking by him all through the years, and loving him ... even when NO one else did. He apologized for being dishonouring to me and his brothers, etc.
    I was able to get right on-line with him (he has no phone) ... and for almost the next three hours (yesterday afternoon) ... we talked back and forth ... as I tried to "help him" once again. Giving him encouragement, and trying to give him "hope" to cling on to. And, that he needs to see his family doctor,to get help.
    Had God not sent me on-line right when I did ... it "could have been, too late".
    He just kept saying -- that he "wanted to go and see his Dad" (who died 27 years ago now). And I told him: "God does not condone suicide, Jeff. Are "you" "right with God" ? Then, don't be so convinced that you are going to end up seeing your Dad in heaven. No guarantees."
    Now ... could I have been wrong to say that to him ? Maybe. But I did NOT want him "thinking" that this was "an okay thing to do" ! (And believe me ... this is not the first time he has contemplated suicide.)
    Very draining afternoon and evening yesterday .... I was exhausted emotionally and mentally !!! I was praying even more so in the last few days for him ... and now ... well, yes ! He is still NOT 'out of the woods'. His 'mind' is filled with ALL the negative thoughts and feelings a person can have. (We don't even live in the same City.)
    Anyway .... just sharing this with you all, which I might not have 'normally' done. Could hardly believe the timing ... of yet, another excellent word, MaryLu.
    Thank-you, and, God Bless you ! In Him, Brenda

    1. ^ Wow, Brenda, that was quite a testimony!It was indeed God's doing that you were able to reach out to him before he went to the point of no return.You weren't wrong in telling me him that God doesn't condone suicide, it's the truth. Unless he's reconciled to God, then there is no chance for him to get to Heaven should he leave this earth, either by accident or by suicide or whatever.Keep on reaching out to him and pray constantly for his salvation. God hears the desperate cries of our hearts.:)

    2. Oh my, Brenda. God is so good, isn't He? I love it when He prompts me to write something that others need to hear. You know I'm praying for Jeff. I'm so sorry you have to go through this... I can't imagine how hard it is. You said everything right! I prayed for him this morning and will continue. God will reach him, don't worry!!! Love and hugs!

    3. "Thank-you" .... Rose, and, MaryLu, for your most kind thoughts and encouragement. What a timely word today ... I could hardly believe it !!!
      I appreciate your prayers for Jeff (and situation), MaryLu ... thank-you.
      Yes .. my prayers for Jeff will not stop. He needs all the prayers he can get !
      Bless you both, for the inspirational words to me ! Brenda

  2. Thank you for this great post, Marylu! Unfortunately, there seems to be an epidemic of suicide across the world and the cause of it is just like you said, people drifting further apart from God.:(Times get harder and harder and more and more just lose their way, they have no solid foundation upon which to base their existence.It's a very sad thing indeed.:( While I can understand why an unsaved person might reach this desperate level,it gets unsettling when I hear of believers who contemplate the same things.Yes, life is hard for unbelievers and Christians alike, but we as sons and daughters of the living God, we have eternal hope in Him. Do we experience grief and loss? Most definitely. But that should not be an excuse for any believer to succumb to depression.Here comes the devil's attack on our minds and this is where we have to be very careful not to give him a foothold in our life.
    For anyone who's interested, check out Neil T. Anderson's "Freedom In Christ" course designed to equip believers to live lives of victory in Christ instead of constant defeat. It's amazing how eye-opening it is!:) It's very practical and step-by-step explained.

    As to your question whether suicide is a mortal sin...well,for the unbelievers who take their own lives, the answer is a clear yes. They pass into a Christless eternity not being reconciled to God, therefore they miss eternal life.For a Christian, well this is where I'm puzzled.Anyone who has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, how come do they resort to this? To this point of desperation? I realy don't know what to think of this...

    1. Yes, I agree Rose.. for those who don't know Jesus, suicide is definitely a sin that leads them to hell. As far as Christians committing suicide, I believe that some do. It is my personal belief that if a Christian drifts far from God and does something which allows Satan a foothold in his or her life... which then allows demons to come in and torment that person, it is quite possible that those demons and prompt that person in a moment of weakness to kill themselves. They are still saved, but they have allowed the enemy to defeat them.

  3. I use to thing a Christian couldn't commit suicide...until two men that I know personally...did. They both had their wives leave them and take their child/children. After years of struggling to try to get to see their blessed children...and losing that battle due to lies etc....these two men took their lives. I can't imagine bring in their shoes. Never seeing my beautiful daughter again? Loving someone who left me and divorced me? I can no longer make that judgment. God knows, and that's what matters. It is so sad when people lose hope...or have never had any. I suffer from a neurological disorder that I got at 16, and it is degenerative...but God has given me the strength to face each new day with my wonderful hubby and precious daughter.

    1. Bless you, R Merr! What a wonderful testimony you are living with a disorder but still giving praise to God! I agree with you about Christians committing suicide. I'm so sorry for those 2 men. It breaks my heart. See my answer above to Rose. I believe demons can take over a Christians life if they drift so far from God and give them an entryway. The Devil wants to kill and destroy us and he will look for anyway to accomplish that. God Bless you and your family!

  4. Thank you for bringing up a topic that is a hard one. My youngest brother who loved Jesus and was a Christian committed suicide almost 5 years ago. He had battled depression for a couple of years and unfortunately felt like he wanted to go home to heaven. After he died I was so hurt that he had done it cause I knew that was absolutely not God's will for him but I also knew that I would see him again one day because like you said when someone is saved, you are forgiven of all sins, past, present and future. That assurance that I will see my brother again helped a lot with the healing process.

    1. Ingrid, I'm so so very sorry. I can't imagine how heart-breaking that was for you. Yes, you will see him again! I believe that. And what a grand reunion that will be. :-)

  5. Just as Brenda said above, this was an unbelievably timely word, MaryLu. My husband and I just had a dear family friend take his life a little over a month ago, and it absolutely shocked us all, because he was a Christian who had never intimated to anyone other than his wife that he was struggling, and even then, he had barely mentioned it to her. It sent his family into a tailspin, and while they are desperately clinging to Jesus as the only solution to the chaos it has brought to their lives, both emotional and physical, they are suffering and struggling. Hubby and I were talking last night about this very question: Is suicide a mortal sin for the believer in Jesus? It used to be that we never knew any Christians who took their own lives, but since that has changed, we now have to face this difficult issue. The truth is that we do have an enemy who is desperately trying to keep us from fulfilling our destiny any way he can, including ending our lives prematurely. It's a battle we all have to face, to various degrees, and I'm so heartbroken for the dear people who have become overwhelmed by the pain of life and lost sight of that beautiful hope Jesus offers. I am extremely comforted by your thoughts on the topic, and I also appreciate the point that Brenda brought up--being absolutely sure of one's salvation before life has concluded. I dread the thought of how many people are deceived into believing that they are "good to go" for eternity, only to realize that they never truly had a relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I'm incredibly grateful that God set up that divine assignment for Brenda to be where she was at that exact moment in time to save Jeff's life, and I will be praying for complete healing for his mind and heart and for him to embrace the incredible destiny God has for him.

    1. Just a month ago? Oh my. How utterly horrible. I think the devil is attacking Christians even more than non.. like you said, he wants to stop them from completing their God-given mission. He's on the rampage now because his time is short. I will lift up a prayer for your friends. To them, I'm sure it feels like they've been abandoned, but now this man is in heaven (perhaps shaking his head at being so deceived by the devil) and he is at peace and happy, awaiting his family's reunion. Many many people in this world think they are "good to go" like you said, some just believing they go to sleep and never wake up, some thinking they are good enough to get into heaven. The devil is good at his job. But the Holy Spirit is better. We never know the people around us at work, in stores, theaters, restaurants, or even at church, who are suffering so much they would consider such an action. May God grand us discernment so we can approach them and offer them the hope and love they need. Thank you for praying for Jeff. I know Brenda really appreciates it. God Bless!

  6. I don't know if a person who has a mental illness or a chemical imbalance that causes extreme depression will go to hell if they take their own lives. God is the judge over that. But what about those who are mentally disturbed and go in a church, school, etc., and kill innocent people? Is there any difference in that and killing one's own self? I just don't think so...both are murder. The Bible says faith is the substance of things HOPED for -- the evidence of things not seen. In Romans 14:23 it says "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." So if you lose your hope, you lose your faith and the Bible says it is sin. So if you commit suicide b/c you have no hope nor faith in Christ and what He can do for you to make things better it IS sin... and you're going to Heaven? Think about it. Going through what I have the past few years have often brought me to a low, dark place. Sometimes it has felt like all my hope is gone, but with faith as tiny as a grain of mustard seed, I reach out to God and ask Him to help me. Sometimes all I can say is "Help me!" And He shows me His grace is sufficient and blesses my socks off! The problem is still there, but I have peace and hope that things will get better. It isn't my place to take my own life -- but that decision belongs to the One who has breathed life into me. Sometimes I had rather not be here than to suffer like I have, but there are people who need me in spite of my limitations right now. My husband, kids, my grandkids, and maybe even MaryLu! lol Committing suicide is a selfish act caused by people who take their eyes off of God and put their trust in themselves and others. I have a right to say that because satan has put those thoughts in my mind and I have had to resist him and remember that Jesus said He would not put any more on us then we can bear. And I remind Him of that many times when things get unbearable. And He always comes on the scene! Sorry, never meant to say all of this! :/

    1. Diana, I would VERY MUCH miss you, so please stick around for a long while. OR at least till Jesus comes, K? We can fly up together. It breaks my heart to hear of your suffering. I'm so sorry. I, too, in the past, have had fleeting suicidal thoughts. I imagine most have. But God sustains.. God brings hope. I don't believe he faults those with mental illness or chemical imbalances, no. No more than he can fault a cancer patient for dying. But for those Christians who kill themselves... yes, you are right, it is a sin, but how many of us will die with unrepentant sin on our records? Jesus covered all our sins on the cross. I'm not one of those once-saved always saved people. I do believe you can lose your salvation by purposely rejecting Jesus and turning away from God. (Hebrews 6) but it gets murky otherwise and I leave that up to God. All I know is He is merciful and loving and good. :-)

    2. I'll stick around as long as the Lord allows bc I have a lot more MaryLu books to read and review! lol Thank you for your love and compassion.