After a pastor committed suicide, the discussion about this subject started on different fora, and even some saw suicide as a shortcut to heaven, and prevent problems that may occur.
I was asked to say something about this.
Well, what I have to say about this doesn’t have that much influence or authority, so let us see what we find in the Bible about suicide.
We find six situations in the Bible where people take their own lives.
⁵³But a certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. ⁵⁴Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, ‘A woman slew him.'” So the young man pierced him through, and he died. ⁵⁵When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, each departed to his home.
1 Samuel 31:4
Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and pierce me through with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and pierce me through and make sport of me.” But his armor bearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. So Saul took his sword and fell on it.
● Saul’s armor-bearer
1 Samuel 31:5
When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword and died with him.
2 Samuel 17:23
Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.
1 Kings 16:18
When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died,
And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.
We know nothing about the character of king Saul’s armor-bearer, but of the other five we know that they lived in different kinds of sin.
Some see Samson’s death as a suicide as well, as he knew his action would lead to his death, but Samson’s goal was not to kill himself, but the Philistines, so there is a difference.
²⁶Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.” ²⁷Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them. ²⁸Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once be avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” ²⁹Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. ³⁰And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life.
The Bible sees suicide in a similar way as murder. And in fact it is. The only difference is that the victim is not an other, but the murderer himself.
The decision of how and when a person should die, is only to be taken by God. So actually we should say with the psalmist, “My times are in Your hands” (Psalms 31:15).
As far as you may not know it:
Suicide, taking your own life,
▪︎ goes against God, because it rejects God’s gift of life,
▪︎ and goes against God’s law.
You shall not murder.
No man or woman should ever presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life.
Some people in Scripture felt deep despair in life. And I want you to know that whatever your problem is, your problem is not greater than God’s ability to help you out.
But let us look at some people in the Bible who reached their lowest point in life. Maybe some of whom you would never have thought so.
● King Solomon, in his pursuit of pleasure, reached the point where he “hated life”.
So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.
● The prophet Elijah was fearful, and depressed, and yearned for death.
1 Kings 19:4
But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”
● The prophet Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die.
When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah’s head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, “Death is better to me than life.”
● And even the apostle Paul and his missionary companions at one point despaired of life itself.
2 Corinthians 1:8
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life
But still, none of these men committed suicide.
● Solomon learned to fear God and keep his commandments.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.
● Elijah was comforted by an angel, allowed to rest, and given a new commission.
● Jonah received admonition and rebuke from God.
● Paul learned that, though the pressure he faced was too much for him, the Lord is bigger than any problem.
And he came to the conclusion that it happened so that he would not rely on himself but only on God, who raises the dead.
2 Corinthians 1:9-10
⁹indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; ¹⁰who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us,
So, according to the Bible, suicide is clearly a sin.
Now some will say that it is not the “greatest” sin, that it is not worse than any other evils, and that it does not determine a person’s eternal destiny.
But those are sugarcoating, and watering down the truth, and mix that with a flat out lie.
The terms of great sins and small sins is an invention of man.
For God, sin is sin, and the one who commits sin is a sinner, and the sinner is doing iniquity, and God hates those who do iniquity.
The boastful shall not stand before Your (God’s) eyes; You (God) hate all who do iniquity.
When someone sins, he can repent of that, and pray for forgiveness, but the one who commits suicide, did work out the sinful deed, that he planned, and worked out beforehand, and doing so he also took away for himself the possibility to repent later, or ask for forgiveness.
Saying that suicide can be seen as a shortcut to heaven, is a flat out lie, which has its roots in hell, trying to lure you to that awful place as well.
Besides that, suicide also has a deep and lasting impact on those who are left behind. All who had to do with it know that the painful scars left by a suicide, do not heal easily.
¹God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us. ²That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.
When you are facing trials, then lean on God, and don’t take the wrong way out, it is a way, you may be eternally sorry for.
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