In a video shared on The Gospel Coalition, director of the Public Theology Project at Christianity Today Russell Moore answered the difficult but often asked question, “If Christians commit suicide, do they still go to heaven?”
Moore, who authored Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, explained that it pains him when a Christian asks him this question, because he often fears the person asking is contemplating taking their own life.
“Suicide is murder,” Moore said, adding, “Suicide is the attacking of the image of God. And suicide is horrible. Not only a sin but also a sin that leaves wreckage and devastation all over the place.”
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Before Moore answered the question, he pleaded with anyone who might be thinking about suicide to seek help, reassuring them that life is worth living.
Moore further expressed that this question isn’t just asked by people contemplating suicide, but also those whose loved one has died by suicide and who are worried that their loved one will be judged by their last act on Earth: murder.
Do you go to hell if you commit suicide?
Many Christians fear that when someone who loved Jesus commits suicide, they will go to hell, even if they had previously repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus. Moore states that this belief is not true.
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“This person is in Christ. That means the blood of Christ covers that person’s sins in the past, present, and future,” Moore explained. “We’re not saved on the basis of the last thing that we do being something that is acceptable to God. We’re saved by the grace and mercy of God. We’re saved by the grace and mercy of God.”
“And that’s also something that’s especially important when we’re thinking of issues of suicide, where often—almost always—those who are committing suicide are in a place of deep, deep anguish and distress of various sorts of mental illness or mental plagues or sense of hopelessness that’s coming upon them,” Moore continued.
Moore said that Christians should respond with compassion toward someone who has died by suicide. Don’t blame or be angry at that person, Moore counseled, telling Christians not to worry if that person is outside of the reach of God’s grace.
“God’s grace covers a multitude of sins, including those that are so hurtful that we hesitate to even talk of them,” Moore concluded.