Many people have heard, and believed, this sentiment. During the middle ages, someone who committed suicide would not even be buried in the church grave yard (where only people going to heaven were buried). The line of reasoning goes something like this: A person who kills themselves has evidently despaired of all hope, including hope in Christ. They have, therefore, rejected God, Christ, salvation, etc. Such people go to hell. The second point is that there are evidently only two suicides in the Bible, King Saul and Judas. Judas was certainly hell-bound and it is easy to believe the same about King Saul. So our only two examples of self-murder are people who have rejected God’s mercy.
Weighing against this are a few other considerations. First, murder, even self-murder, is never described as unforgivable in the Bible. Indeed, some murders have become great saints, like Saul/Paul. Second, Christians live in what is called a “state of grace.” Just because a person sins, and dies in that sin, does not mean they have lost their faith. Consider it this way, let us say you are speeding in your car, and therefore breaking the law. We are told in the Bible that we should obey governing authorities unless they command something contrary to Scripture. Obeying the speed limit is not contrary to Scripture, so speeding is a sin. Sadly, in this illustration, you lose control of your car, have a terrible accident, and die. Do you go to hell because you were sinning at the moment of your death, not having time to repent, or do you go to heaven because you still have faith? The answer, I believe, is that your faith in Christ trumps your sin and you enter heaven.
Now there is no doubt that a person who kills themselves is struggling, depressed, and so on. But, have they lost all faith in Christ? Could it be that they feel their life is so miserable that going to be with Jesus is their only way out? I’ve known a lot of suicidal people over the years. Not all of them were non-Christians. No one knows what the state of the heart of a person killing themselves is and so no one, in my opinion, can say for certain where they are heading based solely on the fact that they killed themselves.
I do know that God is faithful in Christ Jesus, even when we are not. We can depend on his promises. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). In the end, whether a person goes to heaven or not is determined by faith in Jesus, a faith that is given to us by God’s grace and mercy.
Please do not construe this reply to mean that suicide is okay. It is not. It is a sin. It is turning your back on God’s good gift of life. He knows when to call us home and he doesn’t need us trying to muck things up.