How does the Bible regard suicide?

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How does the Bible regard suicide?

Post by Admin on Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:02 am

There are several instances of suicide in the Bible, among them—(1) Samson, who killed himself in an act which simultaneously killed thousands of Philistines (Judges 16:23-30), (2) King Saul, when he was wounded and surrounded by Philistine forces during battle (I Samuel 31:4), (3) Ahithophel, a former adviser to King David, who hung himself after he had supported David’s son Absalom in rebellion against his father, a rebellion that was defeated (II Samuel 17:23) and, perhaps the most well-known of all, (4) Judas Iscariot, in the shame that followed Jesus’ arrest by the Sanhedrin (Matthew 27:3-10; Acts 1:18). Defined as “self-murder,” and although the Bible reports it, as a word, “suicide” is not found in the Bible. Over time, largely because of Catholic influence, suicide has been viewed as an “unpardonable” sin, largely because the victim was unavailable for the last rites of the Church. However, as we understand the Biblical view of forgiveness experienced by those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, we have been declared sin-free by God. As Paul said, Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God—Paul, Romans 5:1-2a. By being justified by God’s salvation, we are declared to be “not guilty”—not for a moment, but for all our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows; that is how all-encompassing forgiveness is. And because we have been declared “not guilty” by God Himself, as Paul reminds, Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us—Paul, Romans 8:1-4a. Now certainly we believe God is sovereign over all things, including human life and that, therefore, as God said in His original commandments, You shall not murder—God speaking, Exodus 20:13. Disobeying that commandment, like disobedience of any other of His commandments, is sin. Yet Christians live in a state of forgiven sin. We are forgiven all the sins we commit because Christ’s death washed us clean from all our sins. Therefore, suicide, while a sin, no more disqualifies us from eternity with the Father than would, for instance, my getting drunk and dying in a car crash. Had I sinned? Yes. But was I living forgiven, with Christ in me? Yes. If death came in the middle of sins potentially unforgiven, very few people would ever reach heaven. That is the great gift of God’s forgiveness: ALL our sins are gone. Finally, one of the symptoms of life in the world in which we live today is mental illness. Many suicides come out of the dysfunction caused by mental illness. God is a merciful God, and also a perfectly just God, absolutely always able to judge correctly both a person’s heart and a person’s capacity for understanding and fully-capable mental capacity.

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