Is suicide an unforgivable sin?

Is suicide an unforgivable sin? May 3, 2024

Quick Answer: Is suicide an unforgivable sin? Scripture only lists one unforgivable sin: the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit or the sin that “leads to death” (1 John 5:16; Matthew 12:31-32). This sin is simply unbelief in the Gospel and has nothing to do with suicide. The false idea that suicide is an unforgivable sin stems from Catholicism which holds that a last confession is necessary in order to be forgiven (and someone who dies by suicide cannot have that last confession). But here, it is important to note that we believers are forgiven and cleansed once and for all time (Hebrews 10:14), not by any ongoing confession ritual. 

Diving Deeper: In some Christian circles, especially Roman Catholicism, suicide is viewed as an unforgivable sin. We may go through our entire life believing in Jesus, but then in a moment of weakness we take our own life. What happens at that moment? Do we go to Hell or Heaven?

While some Christian traditions emphasize suicide as the unforgivable sin, this simply isn’t Biblical. The only unforgivable sin is unbelief in Jesus. This rejection of the Gospel is what Scripture calls the “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 12:31-32) and the “sin that leads to death” (1 John 5:16). Why is this unforgivable? Because forgiveness is only found in Christ, not in Adam. Therefore, if we remain in Adam (rejecting the Gospel), then we remain unforgiven and dead in our sins.

Some have pointed to 1 Corinthians 3:17 as evidence that suicide is unforgivable: “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” Does this mean God will destroy a believer who takes their own life? Is God kicking us when we’re down? No, here Paul is talking about persecution against the church in Corinth. This passage is essentially saying, “Please know that revenge is in God’s hands. If anyone harms you, they will have to answer to God for it.” Paul is certainly not saying that suicide is an unforgivable sin.

As tragic as suicide is, God does not see it as unforgivable. If you’ve lost a loved one to suicide, you can know that it was not an unforgivable sin. (Note: If you are feeling suicidal, please reach out to a counselor or healthcare professional. God cares for you and wants you to find hope and health in Him.)

Let’s Make It a Conversation!
1. Had you ever heard that suicide was unforgivable? Did you believe it?
2. Have you ever lost someone to suicide? Does the discussion above serve as an encouragement to you? Why or why not?
3. How do our convictions about suicide reveal a deeper belief concerning whether our forgiveness is total or not?
4. What does it mean to you to be forgiven by God without any exceptions?

 

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