This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Question and Answer

A friend committed suicide. One of my business partners says people who commit suicide go straight to hell. Is that what the Bible teaches? I need to know.

Your partner’s conviction is an assumption, not a certainty based on the Bible. Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels but, of course, it can and does accommodate many lost human beings. See Matthew 25:41; John 3:36; Revelation 20:11–15. Judgment ending in eternal damnation is a major theme in Scripture. The good news is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15–16). God alone knows how many millions or billions of sinners have escaped hell by believing in Jesus. They are saved, not by unfailing adherence to Christian standards of conduct, but by faith.

Suicide, viewed abstractly, is a terrible sin. It is repudiation of the grace of life. It is murder of self. But it is no more unforgivable than the last-minute doubting the goodness of God that some dying believers engage in. Many believers struggle terribly at the last hour. They are guilt-ridden and have no peace. Some are emotionally distraught to the point where they hasten their death by suicide. If they were genuine believers, they wake up in heaven.

Those who think that suicides go straight to hell misunderstand the basis of salvation. It does not depend on confession and the last rites, which are precluded by suicide; it depends on God’s honoring the promise made to penitents—that those who come to Him He will never cast out.

BY C. Donald Cole

C. DONALD COLE hosted Moody Radio’s Open Line for 26 years before retiring in 2008. Before joining the team at the Moody Bible Institute in 1971, Pastor Cole and his wife, Naomi, served the Lord as missionaries in Angola from 1948 until 1966. Pastor Cole then served as a faculty member of Emmaus Bible College of Dubuque and as editor of Interest magazine.

Pastor Cole authored several books, and was married to his wife Naomi for 65 years before he went home to the Lord in 2012.

Find Questions and Answers by Month