This Christians View on Suicide
Ever since I committed my life to Christ about 9 years ago I have thought about the religious views on suicide. I once thought that it could be a sin that you can not be forgiven of and thus would be condemned to hell. As I matured as a christian I realized that with this logic, if I were to die after telling a lie without actively seeking forgiveness then I too would be condemned to hell.
I have recently had to deal with my father's suicide and the subject has been heavy on my heart. To say that a person is condemned to hell or died apart from God because they took their own life, or murdered themselves, is a dangerous view point to hold. Jesus stated in Matthew 7:1&2 1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." For us to look at one sin, or for that matter any number of sins, that a person committed and say that they will go to hell in death may mean setting ourselves up for a very harsh judgement. It is not our place to judge the hearts of any person, we do not even know the truth of our own hearts, this is for God and him alone. God knows the state of a mans heart not us.
I believe, it is possible to have a weak moment, take your own life, and still live with God in heaven. If not, how significant is the sacrifice that Christ made for us? Is believing in Christ and excepting his sacrifice not the only way into heaven? Can't it pardon a sin like suicide? Does it not allow forgiveness of murder and rape, why not suicide? I believe that suicide is not a hell sentence any more than any other sin. Everyone one of us would be sentenced to hell if not for Jesus. How could suicide be any worse than what sins some of us, who have received forgiveness, committed even during our life after coming to know Christ?
To hold these thought may also cause us to unintentionally offend a person that is suffering significant loss, a time when we christian should be providing comfort and love. It can be difficult not to say something while interacting with the mourning that may indicate that we think their loved one is apart from God. This is a time in the persons life when it can be easy for them to read into what people are telling them, and a time when they will be more easily affected by careless words. If this happens, not only are we hurting the opinion people hold towards us and the church, but we are hurting the hurting.
If you personally have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide and have faced this attitude by people around you, I hope that you know that there are a lot of us that are compassionate towards your loss. I know that my heart mourns with you.