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What does the BIBLE say about Suicide
Writer: Betty Miller | bibleresources.org/suicide/
Do not be a fool--why die before your time? Ecclesiastes 7:17b (NIV)Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?Ecclesiastes 7 (KJV) verse 17
Almost everyone would agree that life is the most precious gift that human beings have been given. Just the chance to be alive on this earth and play a part in the grand scheme of God's eternal plan is a privilege indeed. Yet, despite this, there are times when life becomes so difficult or unbearable that many have, at one time or another, wished they were dead or had never been born. For some, these feelings linger--and if they linger long enough, suicide seems to be the only escape. In fact, in the United States (and stats are similar in countries around the world) the suicide rate has tripled among teen and young adults in the past 40 years.
What does the Bible say about suicide? How does God view it? Do all those who kill themselves go to Hell?
Very few would argue with the fact that suicide is a direct breaking of the Sixth Commandment which is, "You shall not murder." We are not to murder each other or ourselves.
God created human beings in His image and each of us carries within us the potential to overcome the evil in this world, and to rule and reign with Christ in heavenly places. If we are Christians, we no longer belong to ourselves, but to God. We are overseers of our bodies and our lives (which belong to Him), and we are responsible to guard that which has been entrusted to us.
Suicide is a grievous sin that seriously hurts both the heart of God, and those who loved the deceased. The pain of losing a loved one who took their own life is not easily healed, and often isn't fully healed until Heaven. Whether you are contemplating suicide or know someone who killed themselves, God wants you to know there is hope and life for you. He is the great Healer and Restorer of what has been lost or stolen.
Many of the greatest saints and heroes of the Bible faced overwhelming depression and sometimes wrote that they wished they had never even been born. King David, (Psalm 13:2-4(verse 2) How long shall I take counsel in my soul, [having] sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
(verse 3) Consider [and] hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the [sleep of] death;
(verse 4) Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; [and] those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.Psalm 13 verses 2-4), the prophet Jeremiah, (Jeremiah 20:14-18(verse 14) Cursed [be] the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed.
(verse 15) Cursed [be] the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad.
(verse 16) And let that man be as the cities which the LORD overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide;
(verse 17) Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb [to be] always great [with me].
(verse 18) Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?Jeremiah 20 verses 14-18), and Job, (Job 7:15-16(verse 15) So that my soul chooseth strangling, [and] death rather than my life.
(verse 16) I loathe [it]; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days [are] vanity.Job 7 verses 15-16) among others, all reached low points where they despaired of their very lives. Job says,
So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity. Job 7:15-16
Yet, each one of these men were blessed of God, and persevered through their trials as an example to us. Though they faced great suffering and injustice, they kept their faith in God and His goodness, and in so doing, were sustained and led into abundant life.
Though we may get depressed from time to time, we believe that the act of suicide never takes place apart from demonic influences driving one to take their own life. Suicide is directly counter to the power of life that God has put so strongly into His creation. Everywhere we look we see life growing, even in the most hostile environments. This "survival instinct" is a gift from God. In fact, if He didn't bestow this gift upon His creation there probably wouldn't be any life on this planet at all! Suicide, then, is directly contrary to the will of God, and originated in the realm of the demonic host, who come only to "steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.John 10 verse 10) Though demons may try to tempt us to kill ourselves, as Christians we have power over the devil and he cannot push us to do this if we sincerely call on the name of the Lord!
We are all in a spiritual battle. The problem is, many of us are not aware of it, and do not know how to protect ourselves against attack.
Do all those who kill themselves go to Hell?
Murder and suicide are not unpardonable sins. The only unforgivable sins are rejecting Christ (Mark 16:16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.Mark 16 verse 16) and blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
Some people believe that all who commit suicide go immediately to Hell. However, the Bible never says if this is the case. The Bible is silent on this issue. God probably did not address it in black and white for a good reason. If we knew that we would still go to Heaven if we killed ourselves, there would probably be a lot more suicides taking place than there already are. However, if we knew that all who killed themselves were automatically banished to Hell, no matter what their situation, it may be too much for the grief-stricken family and friends to bear.
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Mark 3:28-29
All other sins can be forgiven. However, anyone contemplating suicide may be in danger of going to Hell, as their relationship with the Lord is not intact at that point. Those who would consider suicide may have a severed relationship with Christ and therefore they would enter the real Hell--which is worse than the hellish feelings they are experiencing at the moment.
It is so important to remember that God judges each of us individually, weighing all the factors of our lives, our beliefs and our motives. Each one of us is so intricate and complex, only God could really judge us in total truth, wisdom, and without favoritism. The most important truth of all, is that each one of us will stand before His throne and give account of our lives. If we lived intimately with this sobering truth, much of the sin in the church and the world, would immediately be stopped.
If you are contemplating suicide and are relying on God's grace to get you to heaven, PLEASE stop for a moment....
God's grace never means that we have a free license to sin!
Those who willfully sin after knowing God's grace, are in far greater danger than those who know less. Though you may feel that God is far from you right now, He is much nearer than you think. He may even be speaking to you through these words! Please open your ears and hear Him tell you how valuable your life is. You are needed on this earth and the purpose for your life has not yet been fulfilled. God loves you, and so do many people around you! God would not be God if He could not work this situation (no matter how unbearable it may seem) for His glory and for the good in your own life.