Severe depression, often compounded by other problems and disappointments, can drive a person to suicide. But this is not the answer, for it is not the end of the story. Those who die will live again.
The Sixth Commandment says “You shall not murder.” This, of course, includes the murder of oneself. God alone gives life, and it is His alone to take. While we sympathise with those who are hurting and despondent, no scripture in the Bible condones suicide.
Jesus Christ is the One who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalms 147:3).
While there can be no doubt that taking one’s life is wrong, suicide is often a complex matter. Perhaps others are quick to judge and condemn people who take their own lives. But we should avoid the tendency to oversimplify this tragic type of death. Individuals who commit suicide often have been struggling with serious problems, such as depression, alcoholism or other forms of drug abuse. Taking one’s life isn’t the right way to deal with any trial, but the people who do are not thinking clearly.
Some wonder if the victims of suicide will be consigned to hellﬁre, to continue on in an agony worse than what they suffered in life. Will this happen? Would that be the action of a loving, merciful God?
The Bible reveals that the dead are just that—dead. They neither go consciously to heaven at death nor suffer torment in a burning hell. At death, there are no more thoughts. “For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5; compare Ecclesiastes 9:10). Because the dead have no consciousness, the Bible frequently compares death with sleep (John 11:11-14). That is wonderfully comforting because God’s Word teaches that the dead will one day wake up! Many people have wondered about what exists on “the other side,” and if you’re one of them, read our free study guide What Happens After Death?
The reality is that severe depression, often compounded by other problems and disappointments, can drive a person to suicide. The mental agony that accompanies clinical depression, or a bout of unending discouragement, can make suicide seem attractive because the sufferer expects his suffering to end at death. But this is not the answer, for it is not the end of the story. Those who die will live again.
The Bible reveals that all (including suicide victims) who never were converted to Christ’s way of life will still have their opportunity for salvation. God is the God of justice and great mercy. He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Those who aren’t in the ﬁrst resurrection to eternal life will be resurrected in the second resurrection to a physical life, so they can learn God’s truth and have their opportunity for eternal life (Revelation 20:5; see also Revelation 20:11-13).
For more on all this, be sure to read “Suicide: Escape, Road to Hell or Neither?”.
Suicide is not the ﬁnal end of a person’s life. Those who choose to end their lives will live again. This will be after Jesus Christ has returned to earth and is ruling the world!
Everyone will have the opportunity to repent and receive Christ’s healing of their minds and hearts. He is the One who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalms 147:3). Knowing this should be very comforting to the loved ones of a person who has died in such a manner.
Every person will have the opportunity to live a peaceful and happy physical life, free of mental pain, as each one prepares for eternal life with God as part of His family!
And ﬁnally, when new heavens and a new earth are established, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying . . . There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1; Revelation 21:4).
Let us all look forward to that time of awesome healing and restoration. For those who are suffering now, whether in depression and contemplating suicide or coping with the loss of a loved one to this horrible tragedy, there is light up ahead—the brightest day ever is coming. And the light of God can be found even today.
There is a way out of the dark right now—a way of hope and healing. May we all follow what God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Bible Study Guide - Suicide: Understanding and Preventing It