Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Commiting Suicide is still a serious sin

Suicide is still a serious sin against God. According to the Bible, suicide is murder; it is always wrong. Serious doubts could be raised about the genuineness of faith of anyone who claimed to be a Christian yet committed suicide. There is no circumstance that can justify someone, especially a Christian, taking his/her own life. Christians are called to live their lives for God, and the decision on when to die is God’s and God’s alone. Although it is not describing suicide, 1 Corinthians 3:15 is probably a good description of what happens to a Christian who commits suicide: “He himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
Christians are not immune to the despair that leads to suicide; the enemy is a great deceiver (John 8:44) who wants us to forget that victory is ours in Christ (John 16:33). 

Still, it is a very serious sin against the Creator. There is no circumstance which justifies a person, especially a Christian, to take his or her own life. We are supposed to die to ourselves, not kill ourselves. Sorrow over our sins or mistakes should lead us to repentance rather than self-harm so that we can be restored and not destroyed, for it is God’s heart to repair and restore that which is broken (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 42:3; Matthew 12:20). Even when things look incredibly bleak and hopeless, we must trust that what His word says is true: “Surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18).

The view of scripture on the topic is such that, once a person comes to faith in Jesus Christ, every sin they will ever commit is paid for if they continue to "walk in the light"(1 John 1:7), and "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" if they continue to walk according to the spirit (Romans 8:1). These Christians believe suicide to be a sin, but do not believe it is impossible to find salvation. (Romans 4:8). Judas, who committed suicide in despair, is generally believed to have been damned, for his suicide and/or for his actions which caused the death of another. Other interpretations, however, suggests Judas may have committed suicide as an act of repentance, along with returning the "blood money" (Matthew 27:3-5). Other Biblical examples of suicide (Saul and his armor-bearer in 1 Samuel 31:4-5, Samson in Judges 16:16:28-30, Ahitophel in 2 Samuel 17:23, and Zimri in 1 Kings 16:18) describe people who are considered failures in their life. The narratives, however, do not explicitly condemn them for the act of suicide.

Mental Illness and Suicide

Some have tried to excuse the sin of suicide (premeditated self-murder) with the following rationale: If one is mentally ill, he isn't responsible for his actions. To excuse any form of murder this way, including self-murder, is not Scriptural. There is absolutely no Biblical backing for such a statement! Besides, mental illness isn't the root of sin, the heart of man is. Jesus tells us where murder proceeds from:

What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men's hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean' (Mk. 7:20-23, NIV).

It is vitally important that suicide, like other satanic temptations, be steadfastly resisted. In other words, don't even for a moment entertain suicidal thoughts. Anyone who yields to this satanic temptation of murder, and becomes a suicide, will only be intensifying their own pain and misery in eternity, not escaping it! People in hell at this moment because of suicide would do anything to have the chance you have to reverse their actions but can't. It's too late forever for them.

We are told that every 17 minutes someone in America commits suicide. In North America, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people 15 to 25 years old, college students for the great part. And note this tragic feature of American life: among children between 5 and 14 years of age, suicide is the sixth most common cause of death.

But the answer is blowing in the wind. Young people kill themselves mainly for one reason: they cannot believe their lives are precious enough to make them worth living. Despair, depression, hopelessness, self-loathing-- these are the killers.

Suicide is, in effect, self-murder. The unfortunate thing about it is that the one who commits it cannot repent of it. The damage is permanently done. We can see in the Bible that murderers have been redeemed (Moses, David, etc.), but they had opportunities to confess their sins and repent. With suicide, the person does not.  But that does not mean the person is lost.  Jesus bore all that person's sins, including suicide. If Jesus bore that person's sins on the cross 2000 years ago, and if suicide was not covered, then the Christian was never saved in the first place and the one sin of suicide is able to undo the entire work of the cross of Christ. This cannot be. Jesus either saves completely or he does not.


Raj Kosaraju

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