Is suicide a sin?

Published 9:01 am Friday, December 21, 2018

This past week a questioner asked if suicide was a sin. In Ecclesiastes the preacher wrote, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die …” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2) The Psalmist wrote, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15). There is no doubt that the Bible and thus God, view suicide as murder. We draw this conclusion because suicide is ending one’s own life. This is done when a person decides that their life for whatever reason should come to an end.
There is little or no difference in ending one’s own life than deciding to end another’s life. In both cases murder is the conclusion. Yet, we learn in Exodus 20:13 that killing is unlawful. The killing in question in Exodus is unlawful killing. There is a difference in unlawful killing/murder and the government putting one to death lawfully (Romans 13:4). Governments have the responsibility to execute justice upon the ungodly. To the contrary, the one committing suicide does not have this authority. We learn in 1 John 3:15 that murderers have no eternal life with God.
There is no doubt that humans often find themselves in despair. Consider Job, the situation of his life led him to declare that he wished he had never been born, yet he never committed suicide. While depression may be a part of the lives of humanity self-murder is a sin and not a proper answer to the problem of depression and despair.
In her despair Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. Job responded that she spoke as a foolish woman (Job 2:9-10). According to Job 3:3-4, Job was in deep depression yet he did not take his own life. We simply do not have the right to control when we will die. When we make that decision we have taken from God His authority and made it our own. We must never allow ourselves to reach such a state that we give up hope; this is the reason most people of a right mind take such actions.
When the Philippian jailer in Acts 16 was about to commit suicide Paul spoke to prevent his murder. Paul took a man who had lost all hope and showed him a better way. He showed him that his life had purpose beyond his own understanding.
When one commits suicide, they by their actions nullify the power of God, Jesus and Christ’s blood. This is exactly what Judas did in Matt. 27. Judas found himself in deep despair. His solution was suicide; the correct response would have been to truly repent of his sins and turn to God for salvation.
I would encourage anyone who is contemplating such a course of action to remember that suicide holds no solution to the problems of our lives. Suicide merely adds to our problems as we must all stand before God and answer for the actions of our lives (Rom. 14:10). I would encourage all to know that suicide fixes no problems but it takes control away from a person to save themselves. It is not heroic as some would believe but is a coward’s way of dealing with the problems of life. Suicide brings wrath upon the one who commits the act. Contrary to some beliefs, suicide brings upon the perpetrator no comfort for their troubled soul. Rather than suicide, those in despair should seek Jesus and salvation.
I encourage all people contemplating suicide to remember the Ethiopian jailer. Consider the greatest need in your life as the jailer did (Acts 16:31). Jesus came into this world to seek and save the lost. He came as a healer to those who were in spiritual despair. Jesus and Jesus alone is the answer to the problems of our lives.
(Questions and Answers is provided by Tony Hoss, minister of Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox