This is a tough assignment. It is based on many concepts that must be redirected to meet like rivers meet in a confluence. It is also based on a concept that erupts different responses from people—heaven and suicide. Whereas suicide is an undeniable reality that has and keeps wreaking havoc in our society, Heaven is viewed differently by different people.
I will not waste any time gathering all the stories on offer and inspect everything in the dustbin of knowledge. Instead, I will briefly expound on the sound Biblical doctrine as far as heaven and its qualification is concerned. Have you ever imagined how things could have been if Adam never fell? The fall of Adam made a necessity for redemption. God’s original design was probation before eternal security could be granted to humanity. However, sin interposed before the man could prove himself worthy of permanent employment in God’s enterprise of repopulating heaven. The probationary period has been made even harder because we are struggling to desist from the forbidden fruits, but we have to do this in sinful nature. We have been corrupted, But God’s ideal is still the same.
Initially, God planned to have human beings staying on the earth but with access to heaven and the very presence of God, but in the experience of sin, heaven must be inaccessible. This is because of two reasons:
No sinner can see God and live. Sin is combustible in the presence of the holiness of God, and secondly, anything touched with sin must come to an end. Heaven instead is for those things that will endure forever. Therefore fallen humanity must still regain through conflict and courage the fidelity lost through carelessness and conformity. All these culminate at the second coming of Christ when the saints( those who obey the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus) from all ages will be taken to heaven for a thousand years, and after these years, the final destruction and its consequences will be done, and the saints will inherit the earth.
All the years that we have had in this world since the fall of Adam is simply God’s patience to let Satan be exposed. Adam loyal and true was to remain faithful to God, and God did not change this requirement to harmonize with Adam fallen and disobedient. The goal is still repopulating the heavens. The condition before and after sin is still the same. It is not coincidental but deliberated that these sentiments are still emboldened in the last book of the Bible.
KJV Revelation 22:14
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Access to the tree of life was forfeited by disobedience, and it will be regained by obedience.
With this background, we can now safely ponder the discussion of the day: Will those who commit suicide go to heaven?
Suicide is defined as an intentional killing of oneself (Oxford Dictionary). This can be instantly or ultimately. ‘Thou shall not commit murder’ is one of those statements in the Bible that God had to write himself. It is the sixth commandment in the decalogue. Will murderers go to heaven? Not in any way easier than the adulterers and those disobedient to parents. This is not because of discrimination but because they cannot enjoy what God has prepared for those who love HIM. They will perpetuate their unsanctified schemes there, and God does not want to jeopardize the eternal security of Stephen and Paul who faced martyrdom for truth, by allowing in another murderer. Those who commit suicide do not have time to repent; they die in their sins and animosity. To be bolder, they head straight to the second resurrection:
KJV Revelation 20:5-6
But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.
But let’s get back to people guilty of suicide.
Categories of People who Commit Suicide?
1. Instantaneous Suicide
This is what everyone knows. When life has been so tough, the earth hard and out of control, people resort to those crude methods like breaking their necks, hanging on a rope, locking themselves in a house of poisonous gas etc. The global statistics of this category is disturbing. I will spare you the pain of bad news, but just appreciate technology and have the facts on your fingertips if you have the guts. This category is eternally lost. Don’t tell me about purgatory. It is just a trick of making you delay your preparation for eternity.
2. Slow and Ultimate
Here is a very dangerous group because, in most cases, they don’t even know that they are committing suicide. It borders all behaviors and lifestyles that slowly withers the currents of life. Smokers are murders; adulterers are enlisting themselves for death. When you are killed in a robbery, you have committed suicide by deliberate placement in danger. Any practice that plants seeds of death in the human body is not a lesser sin before God than instantaneous suicide
To take one’s life instantly is no greater sin in the sight of heaven than to destroy it gradually, but surely. Persons who bring upon themselves sure decay, by wrongdoing, will suffer the penalty here, and without a thorough repentance, will not be admitted into heaven hereafter any sooner than the one who destroys life instantly. The will of God establishes the connection between cause and its effects.—Child Guidance, P. 444
3. Persistent in Sin
KJV Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
God’s mercy made Him give His son to die for the fallen race as an atonement for all the lawlessness that has ever been committed. On the same note, His justice must ensure the safety of those who have accepted the offer. Sinners can only win if they face Jehovah’s awful throne hidden in Christ. The danger of insisting on sin is that we find ourselves on the edge of eternity with unrepented sins. We eventually make the terrible mistake of facing the judgment of God on our own without an advocate.
All who will be lost because of unrepented sins will be guilty of self-murder!