Is Suicide Ever an Option?

There is a great deal of words that have been written about the suicide of a recent celebrity. This blog does not intend to readdress this sad loss for his family and friends. The fact is that depression has seen another life go out into eternity. However, before I address the question at hand, I do want to make a few preliminary comments.

1) Eternity is real and each one of us will face that reality. The Scriptures remind us that “as it is appointed unto man once to die and after this will come the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). This means that no matter when we die or how we die, we will stand before God. He alone is the Judge of man.

While we can make judgment calls against another, the truth is that the Bible does give us the answer to what will happen next after death. It is our responsibility to tell others the dangers of what will come. There are only two choices. If our salvation is placed by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, then His Holy Spirit will have brought us to the point of repentance and we become a new creation in Christ Jesus. If not, then the price that will be paid is eternal damnation apart from Christ.

the end

2) It is a sad day when people get angry when a subject matter like suicide is spoken about. People tend to follow their emotions rather than the dictates of a clear conscience. What is worse is when Christians become so divisive that the world cannot clearly see Jesus Christ working in and through us. He alone is our hope and our guide, and it is to His Word that we must seek to find our answers.

3) This post is not intended to denigrate the reality of suicide, nor the causes of what brings a person to suicide. Further, it is not meant to belittle the pain of what a family goes through when suicide has been committed. Death is a tragic part of life but it is because of the fall in the Garden of Eden that death is a reality.

4) Suicide is a reality in just about every culture around the world. The church should be stepping up with help instead of hiding behind rocks and pretending it does not happen. Sadly, pastors are not prepared to offer help, guidance, and counsel because many do not have a solid view of Biblical principles. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that the Scriptures are good for all that pertains to life and godliness. Therefore, we must correctly believe that depression and suicide can be addressed from a biblical perspective.

Now, let me address suicide and it is our desire to do so from a Biblical perspective. Tragically, there is a great deal of misunderstanding among true believers about the matter of suicide. While I do not expect our readers to totally agree with me, it is my prayer that you will give my thoughts prayerful consideration. I do not want needless rants, but you are welcome to comment or share your thoughts. As always, we ask that if you do so that you follow our rules of engagement.

no hope

1) Suicide is mentioned in the Bible. We are told of seven different people who took their own lives (Judges 9:54; 16:29-31; 1 Sam. 31:3-6; 2 Sam. 17:23; 1 Kings 16:18; and Matt. 27:5). Of course, the two most famous were King Saul in the Old Testament and then Judas Iscariot in the New Testament. The why and how is not relevant to this blog post.

2) Any time that we act in a manner that is contrary to what God desires, it is sin. Therefore, we must conclude that suicide is sin. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin, and suicide is not a step of faith.

3) Because suicide is a sin, we must address what the Bible says about sin. Sin is a reality of the Fall. We are fallen creatures and our hearts and minds are totally set in contradiction to the holiness of God, unless we have been made a new creation in Christ.

4) Sadly, in the church, we have become very adept at classifying our sin according to our own perspectives instead of how God sees sin. It has become far too fashionable in Christendom to categorize sin into certain tiers. Lying on your tax return is not as bad as adultery. Lying to your kids about Santa Claus is not as bad as the couple who got divorced and remarried. Hating somebody who writes a blog is not as bad as the person who actually took their own life.

The biblical answer to life is that we must turn to Jesus Christ. We must see sin as He does and the penalty that must be endured for that sin. If He paid it all, then it is all to Him I owe because sin had left a crimson stain, but He washed it white as snow. The sobering alternative is that those who reject Christ will pay the ultimate penalty in everlasting punishment.


5) Thus we must address another question. Can a murderer become a true believer in Christ? Further, can a true believer who takes his or her eyes off Christ respond in anger in such a way that murder is the result? Let’s go further. Christ said that if we even have hatred in our hearts, it is the same as murder.

If we had the opportunity to speak to somebody on death row, do we share with them the truth of God’s Word and His grace and forgiveness offered freely to all who will believe, or do we ask them first what type of murder they perpetrated and how they did it? Of course, any true bearer of good news would share the reality of grace and what Christ paid so we would not have to suffer the wrath of God the Father.

So, in order to share this truth we must ask another question. Is the sin of murder one of the sins that nailed Christ to the cross? The answer is unquestionably yes it was. Although, suicide is considered by many to be self-murder, it is still sin and it was still a sin nailed to the cross of Christ for all who believe.

6) Logically, we must then ask two more questions. 1) Can a person who is a Christian commit suicide? 2) Will a person who commits suicide go to heaven when they die?

The answer to both of these lay in what Christ did and not in what we have done, nor in what we deserve. Christ died for our sins almost 2,000 years ago and that means that all of our sins were in His future. Further, from before the foundations of the world, God set His love upon all who would believe and who would be brought to repent and confess their sin. This means that if you have ever truly come to Christ, every sin you have ever committed was PAID IN FULL on the cross of Calvary.

depresssed man

We have biblical injunction to assume that we can ever undo the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When He cried, “It is finished”, he meant that it was finished for all time. There would never be the need for another sacrifice for all who come by grace through faith alone to Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” This is important to correctly understand. A person who is TRULY a new creation in Christ cannot uncreate what God has created.

While I believe in eternal security of the believer, I do NOT believe that a person can do what they want, when they want, and remain in that sin if they are a true believer. If they are a brand new creation, they will be changed into the image of Jesus Christ. However, this does not mean that we cannot succumb to a particular sin with the exception of unbelief. I do not find any leeway in Scripture that shows a person who belongs to Christ can truly come to the point of unbelief in the saving work of Christ. This means that a person can be discouraged or in complete despair of their situation, but that never negates what Christ accomplished on Calvary.

7) The only sin that will ever take a person to hell is the sin of unbelief. God will not bring down the hammer of condemnation because a person is a drunkard, or a cheater, or a liar, or an adulterer, or even a murderer. Nobody will ever be able to say that God is unfair and He does not judge rightly, and the ultimate sin that brings that condemnation will be the rejection of Jesus Christ. Suicide is not a rejection of Jesus Christ, but a rejection of the life and circumstances that God has sovereignly placed in my path. Thus, if a person chooses to end their life, they have sinned but not a sin that I believe brings damnation to hell.

Let us consider a few more thoughts about suicide.

1) More times than not, suicide is the end result of depression. While we could address depression at length, let it be sufficient to say that one of the results of the fall is that our mind is not what God originally designed and created. DNA does not grow better, but it decreases with each person that is born.

This means there is a Biblical reason for mental illnesses no matter what kind it is. Our understanding of mental illness can often be skewed because we (the church) too often looks to worldly psychology instead of to the Word of God for appropriate answers.

2) Suicide is never to be an option. It is the ultimate act of selfishness against God and against those we love. Speak to a family who has gone through this and you will see the pain, grief, and shame that never goes away. Speak to the police officers, EMT workers, and funeral workers that grieve alone after the work of dealing with a suicide has been finished. Speak to the pastors and church members who struggle to know how to help a family pick up the pieces of the puzzle that have been irreversibly shattered.

3) The two greatest commandments given by Jesus Christ reiterate all that is found in the law and the prophets. First, we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Second, we must love our neighbor as ourselves. There is not a third command that we must learn to love ourselves. It is automatically assumed and we do that very well.

By this simple understanding of the law, it is easy to follow that doing anything in our life that does not reflect these two commands must be sin and the result of sin. Therefore, because it does not reflect a love for God or for our neighbor, suicide is sin no matter why it is done.

So, what is the answer we can present to others or how do we help those who are weak in mind and body?

1) Suicidal thoughts can inhabit the mind, but Romans 12 reminds us that we are to renew our minds by being transformed. To be transformed, we cannot conform to the standards and precepts of the world. Further, in order to keep from conforming to the world, we must present our bodies a living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to Jesus Christ.

2) The church needs to wake up to the reality that people’s mind are not being renewed. Thus, the church and pastors are failing to help provide care and love to those who are depressed or suffering from ailments that are the end result of the Fall. We must love those who are in our midst and recognize that it is not drugs that will give them freedom. It is not self-help or self-awareness classes that will bring ultimate relief. It is Jesus Christ. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith and it is to Him that we must point others who are helpless and hopeless.

3) When tragedy strikes within the ranks of true believers, the true Church must be willing to render prayer and loving support. We must follow the dictates of Galatians 6 and help to bear one another’s burdens, for in so doing, we fulfill the law of Christ.

4) It is not up to us to second-guess what the state of a person’s mind may or may not have been when they took their own life. Only God knows both their heart and their mind. While we do not condone this or any other sin, we must use this to reinforce the reality of Christ and what He has done so that we will ultimately be free from the ravages of all sin.

5) In almost 8 years in the funeral industry, I also served as a chaplain in four different funeral homes. I conducted 272 funerals. I only knew two of these individuals. It was not my responsibility to preach people into hell who did not belong there, nor did I preach anybody into heaven who had not been forgiven for their sins. That was the responsibility of the Judge of the Universe. However, in times of grief, I was able to share the truths that I did here in this post. There is room at the cross for all who will but come and plead to God for mercy.

A passage to consider is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” On the surface, this paints a very bad picture for anybody who has practiced or indulged in such sins.

But Paul gives hope to the reader in the very next verse 11, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” This is worth rejoicing over. Such people who committed such sins have been washed, sanctified, and justified. The power of salvation is not based on us or our reactions to emotions, feelings, or circumstances. As Jonah stated, Salvation belongs unto God. It is of Him, through Him, and because of Him alone.


We want to make one thing abundantly clear. This blog post, nor my beliefs, are to be construed in any way that a person is free to take their own lives when God allows them to go through turmoil and discouragement. I am NOT, nor would I ever say that. Suicide is ALWAYS wrong and is always sin. The power of life and death must be left in the hands of God alone. Despair can bring a person to make decisions that are regrettable.

While I do believe a true believer may come to the point where they despair completely of life and choose to end that life, I also believe that such an action would bring loss of reward when standing before God. Ultimately, we must see our lives as Job did when his world crashed down around him in Job 23:10, “When he has tried me, I will come forth as gold.”

Suicide happens and will continue to happen because we are fallen creatures in a fallen world. Until Satan is completely destroyed and all things are made right, sin will reign in the hearts and lives of individuals all around the world. However, we are assured that by His death, burial, and resurrection that Christ is the ultimate victor over death, hell, sin, and the grave.

May our hearts be filled with love and understanding toward those who are hurting. May we not make assumptions about what the Scriptures give us no leeway to make. May we show Christ to a world that is in utter darkness. May we be a light to that dark world so that those in the world will see God in our lives and will ultimately glorify our Father who is in heaven.

May we have compassion and grace toward what we do not, may not, or cannot comprehend. And finally, may we be ever thankful for the forgiveness that is offered by Christ to all who will come by faith and realize that if it was not for grace – many of us would find ourselves doomed and lost in hell.

I want to conclude with one final thought. If you are considering taking your life, seek out somebody who knows and loves Christ. Don’t look to somebody who has no answers or wants to fill your head with the Oprah Winfrey or Joel Osteen type of drivel that sends people to hell. Let them share with you the joy that comes from being found in Christ alone. There is life after despair. There is hope after discouragement. There is love where you may only know hate.

The answer is found in Christ alone!

20 thoughts on “Is Suicide Ever an Option?

  1. Well done Mark. Thanks!
    This past month I have had the honor of sharing Christ with 2 men who were so despondent that they confessed they consider suicide. One is a Gulf War Vet. who has addictions and also a wonderful wife and 2 small children. The other a man called of God to shepherd and teach. By the grace of our Lord, both are doing better, thanks to the Lord opening their eyes to His Truth. Both men have lost their jobs, and this seems to be how we men measure our lives as of value. I will be sharing your work here with each of them at the appropriate time. Again thank you. It also would appear that many who have a form of godliness, when being reduced to Christ, and experiencing our decrease as He increases, want to so hold on to our flesh lives, that when we see the cross, rather than initially embracing our cross, tend to first want to handle the flesh ourselves. Yet, we cannot commit suicide on our cross. We merely must embrace our cross and allow the crucifixion of our flesh to occur through our circumstances and His Work there in. Our surrender to Him, has no negotiation. It is unconditional. That for many of us is difficult to accept. Yet in due time He raises us up a new creation in the spirit. Our sanctification is the process by which He deals with the separation of the flesh man from the spirit man.
    Hope these thoughts lift some up as they read them.


  2. Mickey, I appreciate your words brother. This topic has been on my mind for a long time and with all that has been in the news of late, I thought it would be appropriate to answer from a Christian perspective and try to do so with love and grace instead of throwing people under the proverbial bus.

    For the Christian and unbeliever alike, the hope will only be found in the cross.


  3. Very well done, my brother. Man wants the easy way out, not knowing that man’s wisdom is foolishness. As was pointed out on the radio recently, commenting about Robin Williams’ suicide, suicide is cowardly. We have a refuge and strong tower in Christ Jesus. Though this world – not self – slay us, we have a surety that cannot be taken away.

    And we should have compassion on those who think suicide is not forgiven or who have been abandoned by one who has taken his own life.

    Warm greetings from an undeservong wretch, from the Pizza Hut in Wilburton, OK.


  4. Unless you have been in the pits of depression you will never understand the utter hopelessness, deep anxiety, sadness you battle with its like your in a huge pit with no relief you sleep you wake back up to reality-I was a Christian who battled depression and without God and medicine I would never would have found relief. It is important that those who give their opinions on people who commit suicide take a step back because it is impossible to know the utter misery of depression unless you have been there. Suicide is not the answer- Christ and medicine is the answer but it is not a simple cookie cutter remedy


  5. Jim, thank you for stopping by. I do know what it means to be at the bottom and to be in a place that seems black as the grave for long periods of time even in my time as a pastor and missionary. I know utter hopelessness, deep anxiety, and sadness.

    I do not rejoice in the death of people who commit suicide whether it is Robin Williams or anybody else. As a funeral director, I have picked up the remains and helped clean up the aftermath of a suicide. So to assume that I do not know what I am talking about is to second guess about a person you have never met.

    Christ alone is the answer, but there may be times that the Lord gives doctors wisdom to prescribe medication. Yes, I have had medication prescribed and chose not to take it. However, having said all of this, I agree that there is no simple cookie cutter remedy and for many of the reasons I have already mentioned in the post.


  6. I think there is a tension that is far tighter than that for which you appear to give credit. And, I must admit, perhaps it is slightly too tight on my end; but here is the dilemma for me:

    We both agree, unbelief is the only sin unto condemnation; all others sins can be forgiven. We would also surely acknowledge, suicide is a sinful act, and anyone who remains in an unrepentant state until death, will perish (Luke 13:3).

    So, the dilemma I see here, is that Jesus teaches us that “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” (Matt. 12:31-33)

    This deals with the sin of unbelief; but it also deals with the fruit that comes forth from unbelief.

    Therefore, it is difficult for me to reconcile the act of suicide with the good fruit of belief in Christ. I understand, we as Christians can sin in any other way, in a similar state of mind (e.g., despair, fear, depression, etc.), and still be covered by Christ’s blood. So why should suicide be any different?

    The difference is in the permanence of the sin. In other words, what kind of true believer could be so desperate to take his own life, knowing there is no reversing that choice? I struggle to accept that such a person could be so faithless, so hopeless–in spite of all that Christ has done for him to give him hope through His redeeming grace–to the point of loathing his own life so deeply, that he effectively rejects that forgiveness and hope that he received, and ends it all. It’s beyond me to understand this rationale; but it is far more a struggle, when I consider the words of Christ, who makes a plain statement about those who have unbelief, and what kind of fruit will be manifest by it. Is suicide–which is, in my opinion, the most hopeless sin there is–the fruit of a true believer? Or, just as a person living in unrepentant sin, is it convincing evidence that such a person is not born again?

    I would imagine you have considered this, at some point. But I don’t see a sufficient explanation in your article. Perhaps, I’ve overlooked it. I would like to hear your thoughts. Thank you, and grace to you.


  7. lifenotinvain, thank you for stopping by here at DefCon. You do raise some interesting questions, and I believe the answer is found in how a person looks at God and the work of salvation. I mention this in the article, but let me attempt to clarify a little bit more.

    1) When a person commits suicide, their lack of faith is not in the finished work of God, but in the set of circumstances in which they currently find themselves. It is not doubting the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but a lack of faith in the sovereign purposes which allow trials and difficulties to come into one’s life.

    2) While fruit does give evidence of a believer, there is not one single believer who maintains 100% perfection (or even close) to a sinless life and I have no doubt that the human brain does not compute every single instance of sin against a holy God and seek forgiveness for that. To say that suicide is an unconfessed sin because there is no time for repentance would mean we would have to say the same about a person who say commits some other sin and dies before forgiveness can be sought. This is contrary to the teachings of Scripture.

    3) When a person becomes a true believer in Christ, Ephesians 4 makes it clear that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. We cannot be unborn as a child of God.

    4) Having studied the various reasons why people commit suicide, I do not believe we are in a position to comprehend the depths of despair that some people go to when taking their own life. For example, during war time, many women (not due to a lack of faith, but fear of what would happen when found by enemy forces) have ended their lives in a variety of manners rather than suffer the humiliation and degradation that comes with rape and assault. King Saul, as another example, took his life so that he would not suffer humiliation and torture at the hands of the Philistines. When the prophet Samuel appeared to him, Samuel told him that he would die that day, but nothing tells us that Saul went to hell because of suicide. He went to hell because of his lack of faith and rejection of God and the promised Messiah, and the fact that he desired and sought the counsel of the forces of the evil underworld.

    5) To clarify again, the work of Christ on the cross was a once-for-all-time finished work. All of my sins were in the future of Christ’s work. He is the One who forgives and it is not based on ANYTHING He sees in me. When a true believer stands before God the Father, I do not believe the Scripture shows one verse that indicates that person will be rejected as having one unconfessed sin that is not under the blood. Either Jesus paid it all, or He was able to pay for nothing.

    I hope that clarifies a little more. If you still have questions, you are welcome to continue the dialogue. Every blessing, Mark


  8. Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your detailed and insightful response. If you would, kindly indulge a counter-response.

    I generally agree with your five points. As a Reformed believer, myself, I strongly concur with the idea that no one is condemned on the basis of “unconfessed sin.” If it seems that I’ve implied that, I wish to make that clarification now. I do not believe that is a biblical idea. Nor do I believe that anyone who has been sealed by the Holy Spirit will ever see wrath.

    So, I am not presupposing that we are dealing with saved individuals who have lost salvation by committing suicide, but those who were never saved to begin with. Thus, I would probably take issue with one statement you made, when you said, “It is not doubting the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but a lack of faith in the sovereign purposes which allow trials and difficulties to come into one’s life.” My question is, how are these not integrally connected? If you’re saying, one can have a saving faith in Christ, while possessing no faith to trust Him with their circumstances (not unto perfection–let me state that upfront), to the point of hopelessness and death, I would sincerely ask, how can such a faith save that person?

    I cannot help but think of the distress of Judas Iscariot after he returned the bribe. If we didn’t already know his fate (since he was prophesied as being the betrayer of Christ), we could easily look at his last moments of life and death and qualitatively speculate the same spiritual potential, as one whose depths of despair we apparently cannot possibly comprehend. Then couldn’t we just as easily rationalize the living sinner’s murders and rapes as being too complex, to ever be qualified to evaluate their spiritual condition? Whose could we ever reasonably assess, then? The adulterous man in the church? The desperate prostitute on the street corner? The person who accepts the gospel, but denies the moral standard of Scripture? Does the Scripture offer any counsel to us, or must we resign ourselves to imperspicuity, when attempting to apply discernment to a situation where a man claims (or another claims on his behalf) he has believed in Christ, but his life has ended in sudden, premature and hopeless death? Can we not take an explicit principle from Christ’s words, that the fruit is a product of the tree?

    I’m just rather unfamiliar with anyone bifurcating saving faith from circumstantial faith.

    I cannot help but recall the words of James: “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” (James 2:18-20)

    It seems to me, either the spiritual condition of all who have committed suicide should be seriously questioned, or none should.

    Of course, now a Hollywood film critic (and supposed Christian) has just announced that Robin Williams had received Christ in rehab, according to Christianity Today

    We have no better input, it seems, than the world has, when someone claims Robin Williams (or one like him) is in heaven now, because our rationale seems no different than their deistic reasoning does. By being unable to speak to that with a biblical principle, we cannot speak at all, but must quietly agree.

    I would have to personally contend, then, that based on such a biblical principle, and conscience, a person who has died by suicide should not be presumed to be in heaven, as that would seem irresponsible to claim. Perhaps, you see it quite differently. I do respect your caution and concern.

    Grace and peace.


  9. In the 70’s I held a gun to my mouth and was about to pull the trigger. I felt surrounded by entities from the unseen fourth dimension. It was real and it was oppressive. But what made me release the trigger was I didn’t want my young daughter to find me dead.
    After giving my life to Jesus Christ, many, many years later. Today, after retiring, I serve Him as a Chaplain at Nursing Home Ministries, and find so much joy, love and satisfaction in bringing others to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m so thankful that God preserved the wretched, but repentant sinner so I can bring Him glory and honor and praise.
    Bottom line—there are better days ahead. Trust me on that!!!


  10. Hi Lifenotinvain,
    Was Job an unsaved person? After he had lost all (health, wealth, children, possessions, reputation), he lamented for his life and wished to die. His three friends accused him of hypocrisy and unbelief in God, yet God commended Job before Satan attacked him.

    Are there not truly saved people who are suffering depression, and becoming suicidal? I think we should not be too presumptuous to know the state of a person’s faith in Christ. It is not for us to conclude that a person must be unsaved; that is for God to determine, for God alone knows a person’s faith, and the quality of it.

    Instead of being like one of the friends of Job, we should encourage and pray for the sufferer as much as we can, imploring the mercy of God, and begging Christ for grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

    If we take the example of Job, he himself was carried along in his dark despair, not knowing that God disallowed Satan to take Job’s life; but Job was taken right to the edge. Can we say that God’s command to Satan to spare Job’s mortal life is the same for all of God’s people? I don’t know, do you? But for the grace of God, there go I!


  11. Thank you, Mark, for an excellent article, and thank you all for a good discussion.

    @lifenotinvain. I find the Corinthian example extremely helpful in such cases. In I Corinthians 5, Paul describes a man who is living in gross immorality, and tells the church to put him outside the assembly.

    Yet, he never tells them to judge whether or not the man is saved. They are to judge his behaviour as not fitting salvation, and thus put him outside — where God judges. The temporal question of fellowship belongs to the church, the eternal destiny question belongs to God.

    And it appears, from II Corinthians 2, that this man repented and was restored. So apparently, he really was regenerate.

    But if we put ourselves back in time, to the end of I Corinthians 5, when he wasn’t repentant, when perhaps he had even been put out by the church and wasn’t yet repentant, we would tend to think, “That man is not saved.”

    With a suicide, we are effectively at the end of I Corinthians 5. The person who has done this has committed a sin which is incompatible with belief, just like the man in I Corinthians 5 (and just like every other sin). He has not repented, and if he had survived his suicide attempt without repenting he should have been put out of the church. But, just like the man at the end of I Corinthians 5, we don’t actually know if he’s regenerate or not.

    We have no right to say that a person who has committed such a sin and is not repentant is saved. But we also have no right to say he is not saved. It’s not our place.

    I Corinthians 11:30 certainly appears to teach that those who really are believers can commit sins which lead to physical death. James 5:19-20 is addressed to “brethren” and so perhaps suggests the same thing. I John 5:16 also appears to suggest that it is brothers who can commit a “sin unto death.”

    From these passages, I conclude that an unrepentant sin leading unto death (or one that hasn’t yet led to death, for that matter) could certainly be an indicator that a person was not saved, but it is not conclusive. We, as believers, can get ourselves into horrible messes when we turn our eyes from the Lord. When we see this in the life of others, it should not cause us to proudly proclaim that we know their eternal destiny. Rather, it should cause us to humbly seek His face lest we also fall.


  12. Good day Mark,

    I am really, really glad that I read this today.

    The depth of God’s grace described in this article is what I needed.

    I pray that I will learn to be graceful and to let God help me to do it, cause on my own i’ve really messed it up. I’ve been far from graceful to so many people who absolutely needed it from me and I pray that God will forgive me and help me to do better.

    From a wretch inPretoria, South Africa, God bless you.


  13. LeaP, thank you for stopping by Defending Contending. I am thankful that God has chosen to use this article to help you. Each true believer can attest to being just a wretch saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

    You are correct that only God can help you with your life. If we were left to our own devices, we would all be in a mess.

    Every blessing,



  14. While there are many good points, I believe the writer is intimidated to call suicide what it actually is; it is sin, and sin will send a person to hell. Sin seperates us from salvation. Paul instructed to present our bodies a LIVING sacrifice, not a dead one, and there are too many scriptures pointing that there is no such thing as “once saved always saved”. I’m not being contentious at all, please understand that, but i believe in taking the whole counsel of God, and not just the parts we choose to take on, or the scriptures that make us feel good. God bless.


  15. J Stanford, you obviously did not read all the way through my blog post because I stated very clearly that suicide is sin. I stated it several times throughout the article. I also made it clear what I believe the teaches about suicide. We do take seriously, here at DefCon, the entire counsel of God, and nobody who reads our blog could state we only teach or share about parts that make us feel good. May I recommend that you go back and re-read what I shared.


  16. Thanks Mark, I am struggling with major depression after a significant job loss and thoughts have been very dark. I appreciate your thoughtful post.


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