THE SIN OF SUICIDE

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We often hear in the news of cases of suicide, some due to failed businesses, some due to romances gone awry, others due to gambling losses and some attributed to terminal illnesses.  Is there any way one can justify taking one’s own life?

From the start, let me say that suicide is not only a sin but it is an ULTIMATE SIN AGAINST GOD. For when you take you own life, you do not only declare that there is no hope and no God but at the same time you deprive yourself of an only chance to repent. As always, let us turn to the Bible for some answers…..

There are two classical cases of suicide in the Bible and both as you know illustrate the darker side of human nature. I am referring, of course, to Saul and Judas Iscariot.

In the case of Saul, his basic sin was pride.

1 Sam 15:12-13

12 Early the next morning he went out to find Saul. Someone said that he had gone to Mount Carmel to erect a monument to himself and had then gone on to Gilgal.

TLB

<>Saul built a monument to honor himself. He put himself first before God.
Cutting a long story short, Saul continued in disobedience to God and eventually an evil spirit “possessed” him, so to speak….

1 Sam 16:14

14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

NIV

In the case of Judas Iscariot it was greed that caused him to fall…

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John 12:6

6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

NIV

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The New Testament did say that Money is the root of all kinds of evil and wandering from the faith is one great consequence….

1 Tim 6:10

0 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

NIV

Finally, of course, the Devil himself took hold of Judas…

Luke 22:3

 

3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.

NKJV

Their individual actions culminated in their respective suicides…

1 Chron 10:4-5

4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me."

But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

NIV

Matt 27:5

5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

NIV Notice that Judas threw the object of his own lust away i.e. money, in the final count.

The common denominator- The Devil ‘entered’ and controlled the lives of the two men Saul and Judas Iscariot and directed them to their own deaths. The final phase of a demon controlled life is the last stage of the journey to suicide.

Lastly, a strong word of Caution from the New Testament…..

1 Cor 3:17

If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

NIV

A Born Again Christian is God’s temple. A Non Christian is God’s Creation. We have a miracle working God who not only cares for us (Matt 6:33) but is able to divide the Red Sea (Ex 14:21) and turn a desert into pools of water (Isaiah 41:18). Nowhere in the Bible does God the Creator of Heaven and Earth allow Mankind to destroy himself or herself. And taking one’s life is the Greatest Sin that one can ever commit against God and himself. AMEN

 

APPENDIX: What about those who are mentally handicapped (or mentally deranged)?

 

Mental illness can take the form of an organic disturbance or a non organic disturbance. The former being related to pathological structural abnormalities e.g. malformations of the nervous systems and the latter with no definite anatomical correlation (these may be related to hormonal or other chemical issues). The third medically undefined category could be termed “demon possession” or “demon oppression” as illustrated in the case below…

Mark 5

The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man

 1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.[a] 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil[b] spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

 

 

That the demon possessed man in Mark 5 was mentally deranged appears to be an undisputable fact, viz, he lived in the tombs, cries out and cut himself with stones and lives in a state of nakedness (ff Luke 8:35).

 

However, the following passages showed that in spite of his mental status he could beg the Lord for mercy..

MARK 5

 6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

Here was a demon possessed man who though mentally deranged was still in control of his own will. As mentioned in the same episode, our Lord Jesus sent the legion of demons into the pigs and set the demon possessed man free. 

 

 

LUKE 8

 

 

38The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39"Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

 

In the parallel passage from Luke 8 above, you will notice that the demon possessed man was not only delivered but became a witness for Christ. Mentally deranged, demon possessed people therefore are not permanently handicapped and are able to revert to their normal status following spiritual deliverance. Like anyone of us, they are capable of repenting and coming to Christ in faith. Although ‘suicidal’ evil spirits are mentioned in the New Testament (Luke 9:39), a demon oppressed person can still be set free in the Name of Jesus…..

Luke 9:39 (New International Version)

39A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.

The Bible is silent about those who are structurally or biochemically mentally handicapped. Would God have more mercy on those mentally deranged with an IQ of a 4 year old child? We do not know as the Bible does not provide every answer for every situation. So the question of suicide in a mentally deranged but non demon possessed person has not been adequately addressed in the Scriptures and is best left in the hands of Deuteronomy 29:29 below…

 

Deuteronomy 29:29 (New International Version)

 29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

 

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