Is suicide an unforgivable sin?

The bridge was closed off at both ends because of a jumper standing on the north side parapet. “So, why don’t you jump?” a voice in the jumper’s head whispered. “Because suicide’s an unforgivable sin,” the jumper replied.

“So Christ died to forgive every sin but suicide, did he?” the voice responded. “Yes,” the jumper shouted, “because killing yourself is premeditated murder.”

“Oh, so murder’s an unforgivable sin, is it?” the voice asked. “Yes,” the jumper replied, “no murderer has eternal life in him, 1 John 3:15.”

“But adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, drunks and cheats don’t have eternal life in them either, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, so why should murder be any different?” “Because if you kill yourself, you can’t confess your sin after you’re dead, can you?” the jumper replied.

“Oh, so it’s not confessing that’s an unpardonable sin now, is it?” the voice asked. “Yes,” the jumper fired back, “you have to confess before you can be saved, Romans 10:10.”

“But in verses 8, 9 and 11 it isn’t confessing one’s sins that saves a person, it’s confessing their faith in Christ, right?” the voice asked. “Well, yes,” the jumper admitted, “but I still say suicide is different because if I deliberately destroy my body, God will destroy me, 1 Corinthians 3:17.”

“But that verse isn’t talking about taking your life by suicide, it’s about wrecking your life by living by the world’s standards, not God’s.” “Well, killing myself isn’t exactly living by God’s standards either, is it?” the jumper sniffed. “I’m deliberately destroying what belongs to him. My body isn’t my own; it’s God’s. He decides what happens to my body, not me, 1 Corinthians 6:19.”

“So, why are you taking medication?” the voice asked, “Isn’t that interfering with God’s plan for your life by using human means to keep yourself alive?” “But without medication, my life would be hell,” the jumper protested.

“Yes, and that’s what you’re really afraid of, isn’t it?” the voice replied. “It’s not all this stuff about going to an eternal hell, it’s having to live another day in this hell right here, isn’t it?” “Yes,” the jumper sighed, “it’s my life now that’s killing me. I hate it. I’m useless to my family and I feel so guilty. For their sake and mine, I’m better off dead.”

“Well, you may think that,” the voice replied, “but Christ came for people just like you.” “So I’ve been told,” the jumper sighed again, “but the pain gets so bad at times it’s all I can think of. I can’t even think about Christ.”

“And is that an unforgivable sin?” the voice asked. “No,” the jumper cried, “nothing separates us from Christ’s love.”

“Need I say more?” the voice replied.

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Is suicide forgivable?

Why would Christ die to forgive every sin but suicide? Because, some say, suicide is premeditated murder, and no murderer has eternal life in him (1 John 3:15).

But adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, drunks and cheats don’t have eternal life in them either (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), so why should murder be any different? Because, some say, a person who kills himself cannot confess his sin, and if he doesn’t publicly confess his sin he cannot be saved (Romans 10:10). Therefore, he goes straight to hell.

But what about verses 8, 9 and 11 in the same chapter that show, in context, that it isn’t confessing one’s sins that saves a person, it’s confessing their faith in Christ? Ah, yes, some argue, but doesn’t the Bible say that if we deliberately destroy our bodies, God will destroy us (1 Corinthians 3:17)?

Well, yes, that would be true if that verse is talking about suicide, but it isn’t. In context it’s talking about a person wrecking his life because he insists on living by the world’s standards, not God’s.

But, some argue back, our bodies are not our own, they belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19), so if we take what belongs to him and deliberately destroy it by suicide that’s not living by God’s standards either, is it? No, it isn’t, but the context in 1 Corinthians 6 has nothing whatsoever to do with suicide, it’s talking about the misuse of our bodies by sexual immorality.

Yes, but, some also argue, God decides the length of our lives, not us. But if that’s the case why does any Christian take medication? Isn’t that interfering with God’s plan for his life by using human means to keep himself alive? And what if the medication has side effects that damage his body, yet he still deliberately takes the medication knowing that?

Yes, but, without medication our lives would be hell; the pain would be too much to bear. And that’s true too, just like it is for people who kill themselves. Their pain is too much to bear as well, but for them there is no help in medication. So every day is hell, and suicide is the only way out of it. They only want to end the pain. And why would God not forgive them for not being able to bear pain? Well, some say, they should trust God to help them through it, not take things into their own hands. Oh really? And when have you always perfectly done that when you were in excruciating, unceasing mental and physical agony?

Fortunately, there is nothing that separates us from the love of God, even when our pain drives us to suicide and not to him (Romans 8:31-35).