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Tom Johns, Austin, TX

I am reasonably sure that at some point in time some of us were in such a desperate situation when we felt ‘it is better for me to die now.’ This thought may or may not have reached the point of seriously considering some means to achieve that.  Also, there may be someone reading this article who has a family member or close friend who had committed suicide. You may have some questions about whether such a person could be a Christian, even though you may have felt that he / she had shown evidence of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You could be grieving over his / her death considering these uncertainties. There might be someone facing extremely hard circumstances and he or she is contemplating suicide. My prayer is that this article would minister to the hearts of all of us.

Isaiah 42:3 “A bruised reed he will not break, smoking flax He will not quench” [quoted in Matthew 12:20] is the mission of Jesus Christ. A reed that is used to make a musical instrument, once cracked is no longer useful; and in the same way, a smoldering wax candlestick is no longer useful to give out light. In the eyes of the world, those are simply useless but in God’s miraculous plans they can be brought to good use. 

Often, when we see such ‘bruised reed and smoldering wick,’ we are eager to walk away and discard and forget the fact that God could be at work.  Our mission is to work hand in hand with God’s plans and when we are willing to do that we become less and less judgmental and dogmatic.

Suicide is self-murder. Exodus 20:13 – “You shall not murder.” But just like any other sin, suicide can be forgiven. Colossians 2:13-14 states very clearly that those redeemed by God have been forgiven for all their sins – past, present, and future. In Romans 8:38-39 Paul states emphatically that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. This is not our love for God, but God’s love for us concerning the redemption. In verse 39, it says – “nor any other created thing.” Suicide is to be considered as one of the ‘created things.’

Even though suicide is equal to murder and the person will not get a chance to confess the sin and reestablish fellowship with God, if the person is saved, he / she will be in heaven.  Once we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, we no longer carry the burden of delivering us to God as faultless and sinless, but it is by Jesus Christ. Jude 24 –“Now to Him who can keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty.”  It is the joy of Jesus Christ to present us faultless before God the Father. It is not because we are ‘faultless’ but Jesus Christ is faultless.

Six specific people committed suicide. Abimelech {Judges 9:54}, Saul & Saul’s armor-bearer {1st Samuel 31,} Ahithophel {2 Samuel 17:23}, Zimri {1st Kings 16:18} and Judas in the NT. Samson caused his death, but it was in the act of killing the enemies, hence it is not considered suicide. Except for the armor-bearer, about who we do not know, all the rest were known to be wicked and sinful. So, the biblical precedence is against any Christian committing suicide. But this does not rule out the possibility of a genuine Christian, in a moment of desperation ending his/ her life.

Isaiah 61:1-3 “The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” God truly wants us to be happy because God had offered provisions for us to be happy.

Our circumstances cannot be any worse than what our Lord had faced. Job lost everything in life and had lost his health. His boils were very painful, and his wife became even more painful to him. Yet Job had a potsherd that he could hold and scratch his body which gave him some relief. When our Savior was hung on the cross, His hands were nailed to the beams and the Creator of the universe could not swat the flies that may have attacked the wounded body in His strength or by His own hands!  Our Lord knows it all.

Even when our faith is weak and our strength is feeble, God provides strength in miraculous ways. If you are in such desperation, contemplate the life of Jonah. We hardly consider this book as a depiction of God’s love for one individual. While executing God’s purposes for a city, God showed how merciful and compassionate He is to one disobedient prophet.

Jonah volunteered to be thrown overboard. He was unwilling to repent and pray to God to send him back to Nineveh. Instead, he wanted to die. Jonah never expected a Whale to be there to swallow him. He expected to die he made that clear while debating with God regarding the plant that provided shade for a day. We see Jonah as a candidate for suicide who wants to end his life but hoping it would be by someone else’s hand. The motive is the same.

But God ordered a Whale to swallow him. God preserved him in the belly of a fish, whether he died there and then made alive, we do not know. God ordered the fish to go and vomit this man on to the shore! Miracles after miracles to preserve a man who God loved, even when the man was bitter and disobedient and wanted to end his life! This is the God we have. No circumstance can justify someone especially a Christian taking his / her own life.  We are called to live our lives for God and the decision on when to die is God’s and God’s alone.

If you know someone who is suffering from mental illness that could lead to suicidal thoughts, such people must be given medical care. Also, read the warning labels and side effects of some medicines that enhance such thoughts. Many medications in today’s market would push someone with a suicidal propensity to the edge and commit it.

Let us be sympathetic to someone who may have ended life in any such tragic way and make sure their family members are well supported and lavishly loved fulfilling our Lord’s mission for His people. He will not ‘break the bruised reed or quench the smoking flax.’  Let us also ‘strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.’ [Isaiah 35:3]

Your brother in Christ, Tom Johns  Tomj3162000@gmail.com



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Prepared by Bro. Tom Jones, Texas as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium, provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and reference to this website. Please feel free to write to the author for details. Or contact    gracepeaceu AT gmail.com

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