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Is Suicide A Sin?

Suicide is a horrible personal tragedy. It should absolutely never happen.

To anyone who is of the opinion that it somehow "solves" anything, I have story of a family that I knew of. They were a happy, married couple in their late 40's, they had 2 fine children, an expensive new home. Everyone liked them. They even had a large "hobby farm" with a number of horses. They seemed to be a modern-day success.


Then one day, the wife lost her job due to corporate "down sizing." Ignoring all that she still had, one warm, sunny morning she went out and hanged herself in the horse barn. Did her death "solve" anything? No, absolutely not. It only caused more tragedy.

The husband, after grieving for his wife nearly a year, went to the local funeral home to make pre-arrangements for his own funeral - now a commonly accepted practice in many countries. After filling out all of the papers, and then giving a check for full payment to the unsuspecting funeral director, he went outside, took a 12-gauge shotgun out of his car, and killed himself in the funeral home parking lot. Did his death "solve" anything? No, absolutely not. The couple's 2 children, a son and daughter in their mid and early 20's are now left without both of their parents, and with the terrible knowledge of what happened to them. We can only hope and pray that tragic events for that family have now ended.

The taking of one's own life does not "solve" anything. It just creates more misery.

Suicide In The Bible

The Bible records 3 well-known incidents of suicide - King Saul in the Old Testament (some also regard Samson's death as a suicide, however he was actually a prisoner of war who died in the process of killing 3,000 pagan Philistines), Judas Iscariot in the New Testament, and another that we will get to in a moment. Although the circumstances of Saul and Judas were different, they did have something very much in common. Saul was under the influence of an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14), and Judas had been directly entered by Satan (John 13:27).

And what is the third incident? When Jesus Christ healed a man of demon possession at Gerasenes, He had the demons go out from the man and into a large herd pigs that were grazing nearby (Mark 5:1-12). And what did the pigs do after the demons had entered them? They ran down the bank, into the lake, and drowned themselves (Mark 5:13). With the demons in them, the pigs committed suicide.

This is not in any way to suggest that all suicide is demon inspired - it most certainly isn't. But some clearly are, and of all the rest, Satan and his demons are pleased to see it happen. They know that we have the potential to inherit all that they threw away, and their jealousy and rage toward humans is near limitless (see If You Could Create A World and Why Demons Are Afraid Of You).

One of the most ludicrous phenomena of modern times are the so-called "suicide cults" - religious groups, many claiming to be Christian, planning, or actually committing mass suicide. Such groups, or at least their leaders, are Satanic - God absolutely in no way would command or condone the killing of one's self. God is the Creator of life (Genesis 1:20-28), while Satan holds the power of death (Hebrews 2:14)

Suicide is wrong because it robs the victim of the time that was given to prepare for all the glory that comes after. There is no problem that is worth the taking of one's own life (see Why Does God Allow Suffering?). Often, all that is needed is time, and things will get much better.

Suicide is the deliberate and unlawful killing of one of God's own beloved children, whom He cares for very much. Always choose life.

A Clarification

Since the original edition of this study was written, I have heard from a few readers who felt that it was some sort of judgment or condemnation of people who have committed suicide. It most certainly is not.

This study was written in response to a young lady who was contemplating suicide. She wrote to me and asked, "Can you give me one good reason why I shouldn't do it?" The content and the tone of the text where directed at her (I am happy to report that it was successful, and at last report she was working out her problems in a positive way), and anyone else who is thinking of making such a tragic mistake.

Yes, suicide is a sin, one of the many thousands of kinds of sins that humans commit. But that's why we have a Savior, so that our sins may be forgiven. Only God is the Judge.

Fact Finder: What happens when people die? When will the dead come back to life again?
See What Happens When You Die?, Where Is Your Soul? and The Last Day

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