Question: "What is the Christian view of suicide? What does the Bible say about suicide?"
Answer: According to the Bible, whether a person commits suicide is not what determines whether he or she gains entrance into heaven. If an unsaved person commits suicide, he or she has done nothing but “expedite” his or her journey to the lake of fire. However, the person who committed suicide will ultimately be in hell for rejecting salvation through Christ, not because he or she committed suicide. The Bible mentions five specific people who committed suicide: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul's armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4-6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). All of them were wicked, evil, sinful men (not enough is said regarding Saul's armor-bearer to make a judgment as to his character). Some consider Samson an instance of suicide (Judges 16:26-31), but Samson's goal was to kill the Philistines, not himself. The Bible views suicide as equal to murder – that’s what it is – self-murder. God is the One who is to decide when and how a person should die. To take that power into your own hands, according to the Bible, is blasphemy to God.
What does the Bible say about a Christian who commits suicide? I do not believe that a Christian who commits suicide will lose salvation and go to hell. The Bible teaches that from the moment a person truly believes in Christ, he or she is eternally secure (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life no matter what happens. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love! “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). If no “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing,” then not even suicide can separate him from God’s love. Jesus died for all of our sins...and if a true Christian were to, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commit suicide - that would be a sin that Jesus died for.
This is not to say that suicide is not a serious sin against God. According to the Bible, suicide is murder; it is always wrong. I would have serious doubts about the genuineness of faith of anyone who claimed to be a Christian yet committed suicide. There is no circumstance that can justify someone, especially a Christian, taking his or her own life. Christians are called to live their lives for God – the decision on when to die is God’s and God’s alone. Perhaps a good way to illustrate suicide for a Christian would be from the Book of Esther. The Persians had a law that anyone who came before the king uninvited could be put to death unless the king extended his scepter towards the person - indicating mercy. Suicide for a Christian would be forcing your way in to see the King instead of waiting for Him to summon you. He will point His scepter towards you, sparing your eternal life, but that does not mean He is happy with you. Although it is not describing suicide, the Bible verse 1 Corinthians 3:15 is probably a good description of what happens to a Christian who commits suicide: “He himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”