Victory over suicidal thoughts begins with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The question is do you have a personal relationship with Him? To know for sure, please answer this simple question honestly:
If you were to die right now, are you 100% sure you would go to Heaven? If you hesitated or answered no, then this is where we need to begin. Please read the following very carefully and re-read the verses. Then ask God to confirm that what you are reading is the truth. The process is this:
- Acknowledge that you are a sinner. Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23
- Realize that you cannot do anything to save yourself and without a Savior you will be separated from God forever! Romans 6:23
- Know that God did not just say “I love you” He proved it by dying on the cross for you. Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23
- Repent of the sins in your life. (Repent means to agree with God about how awful your sin is and turn to God desiring to have a relationship with Him) Acts 17:30
- Believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for your sin and accept His sacrifice on the cross for you. Acts 16:31
- Turn over control of your life to Jesus Christ and live only for Him. Romans 10:9-10
You can bow your head right where you are and say this prayer (but only if you really mean it!) Dear Jesus, I know I am a sinner and that there is nothing I can do to save myself. I believe you died on the cross for my sins and that you want me to have a personal relationship with you. I accept the sacrifice of your blood to cover all the sin I have and will ever do. I ask you to come into my heart and be my Savior and Lord. I turn over control of the rest of my life to you to do whatever you want through me. Thank you for dying for me and for saving me. In Jesus Name, Amen!
If you did this, praise God you are now a child of God! You now have the Holy Spirit (GOD) living within you! (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) As a new believer, there are several things that will help you grow in your new relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Please find a church in your area that teaches and preaches about Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:25) (if you are not sure about a specific place, let me know and I will assist you in finding a church home).
- Jesus commanded all believers to be baptized by immersion (Romans 6:3) (going completely under the water) as a testimony that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
- Start reading the Bible every day (Acts 17:11) (I recommend reading the Gospel of John first – it tells you more about Jesus who saved you from your sins!).
- Begin praying to God every day – whenever you want to share what is going on in your life whether good or bad!(Psalms 88:9)
- Begin telling others about Jesus. (Matthew 28:19-20) Use what I shared with you! I praise God for what has happened in your life! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, issues, or anything you want me to pray for with you! I look forward to hearing what God is going to do through you!
Do you have a personal relationship with God but issues are impossible and you are at a loss about what to do?
The overwhelming feelings you have at this time was experienced by the Apostle Peter who was also faced with an impossible situation. (Matthew 14:23-33). Peter was in a storm beyond his ability to control (sound familiar?!) His only safety was being taken from him (like your problem) Jesus looked like a ghost and an illusion (interesting how our weakness makes reality appear like an illusion?!) Jesus asks for Peter to do the impossible; get out of a sinking boat and walk on water (Peter had to go beyond what God is asking you to do!) Peter actually obeyed Jesus and stepped out of the boat – but only with his entire focus and concentration on Jesus only! (He didn’t see the storm, didn’t hear the other disciples saying he was crazy and get back into the sinking boat, didn’t feel the wind tearing at him, didn’t feel the waves/water splashing over him…He only heard, saw, felt, TRUSTED Jesus!) Peter did the impossible without even realizing it! It wasn’t until Peter took his concentrated focus off Jesus and heard, saw, felt, the storm and thought about the impossibility of what he was doing that he began to sink! (Again, sound familiar?!) Peter had time for only a very short prayer, LORD SAVE ME! Jesus grabbed him, pulled him on top of the water and with Peter only focusing on Jesus again, they walked together through the storm to the sinking boat, climbed aboard and only then did Jesus look at the storm and say, “Peace, be still” and the storm immediately ceased! Why didn’t Jesus do this before the boat started to sink? Because if He had, Peter never would have done the impossible and it was this lesson that Jesus was teaching.
Are you ready to do the impossible? Jesus is waiting for you in your storm!!! Please, I beg of you, stop looking at the storm, the sinking boat, the waves, the wind, the impossibility of the whole situation! Jesus is waiting in the middle of the storm for you! Will you completely surrender to Him and let Him say, “Peace Be Still” IN HIS TIMING?! I pray you are at that point! If not, Jesus, who is in complete control of this entire situation, will increase the storm until you are. He knows just how much it will take for you to surrender all to Him! Please remember, “God does not make us do anything against our will, He just makes us willing!”
I can related to where you are at this time and want to share with you something God shared with me that I believe will help you in your current situation. It is called, “Capturing Thoughts” from 2 Corinthians 10:5. (I know it is long but please read all of it carefully and prayerfully!) Here is how it works:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) This is the goal in capturing thoughts. The question is how.
Your brain is an amazing creation from God. We often confuse the terms brain and mind. The brain is the physical organ that makes possible the ability to reason which we define as our “mind”. It is this ability to reason that separates human beings from animals. This is very important for you to understand in your current situation. God actually appeals to your reasoning capabilities when interacting with Him. “Come now; let us reason together,” Says the LORD…” (Isaiah 1:18) This tells us it is possible for every human being to “reason” – debate; take thoughts and arrange them in an orderly fashion, presenting them in such a manner as to persuade the other person of the accuracy of their position. This tells me that you have the capability within you to control your thoughts. Here is how that can happen:
All of us have thoughts; good and bad. Thoughts will enter our brain from outside sources (our senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell) and inside sources (attitude, motive, feelings etc.) The question is what we do with each thought. If you think about the thought (meditate) then it will affect you in three ways: physically (your brain produces chemicals: positive thoughts – well-being chemicals. Negative thoughts – harmful chemicals), mentally (focus enhances: positive – see more positive. Negative – see more negative) and spiritually (positive – peace of God guarding you! Philippians 4:7-8. Negative – produces all kinds of evil (Matthew 15:18-20) every single thought has the potential for great good or evil. It is your choice to determine whether it is positive or negative! This is where 2 Corinthians 10:5 comes in.
According to this verse, there are 3 requirement is to “demolish arguments”.
- The word for argument from Greek means: “computation, reasoning, judgment, or decision” You must determine immediately when you become aware of the thought whether it brings you closer to God or drives you further from God. If it drives you from God or has the potential to do this, push it out of your mind without thinking about it (demolish it!). This takes time and practice! If it brings you closer to God or has the potential to do this (like God’s Word) then meditate (chew thoroughly) on it (Psalms 1:2 – this also takes time and practice!). Summary: Any thought, idea, argument, concept, criticism, etc… that forces your focus to it or you instead of God demolish!
- The original word is, “elevated structure, barrier, or rampart (tower).” There are things that would appear greater than even God Himself. These are re-enforced by words and circumstances. They are built specifically to create and overwhelm through fear and despair. They drive the mind to impossibility and futility and ultimately hopelessness. These also are to be demolished through the process explained above!
- To “take captive every thought”. This means, “subjugate or bring under control”. Here is the foundation for our thoughts. You must control them rather than they controlling you! They are thoughts. They have no power that you do not give them. The strength to “master” them comes from God. “I can do all things (including controlling each thought) through Christ, who gives me the strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Take a thought and go through the process: Thought – Decide good or bad – Throw away or meditate – Repeat for every thought!
Meditate upon this, “…Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2)
Suicide Questions and Answers
If a Christian Commits Suicide, Is He/She Still Saved?
It is a sad fact that some Christians have committed suicide. Adding to the tragedy is the false teaching that committing suicide automatically consigns one to hell. Many believe that a Christian who commits suicide will not be saved. This teaching is not supported in the Bible.
Scripture teaches that, from the moment we truly believe in Christ, we are guaranteed eternal life (John 3:16). According to the Bible, Christians can know beyond any doubt that they possess eternal life (1 John 5:13). Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:38–39). No “created thing” can separate a Christian from God’s love, and even a Christian who commits suicide is a “created thing”; therefore, not even suicide can separate a Christian from God’s love. Jesus died for all of our sins, and if a true Christian, in a time of spiritual attack and weakness, commits suicide, his sin is still covered by the blood of Christ.
According to the Bible, suicide is not what determines whether a person gains entrance into heaven. If an unsaved person commits suicide, he has done nothing but “expedite” his journey to hell. However, that person who committed suicide will ultimately be in hell for rejecting salvation through Christ, not because he committed suicide (see John 3:18). We should also point out, however, that no one truly knows what was happening in a person’s heart the moment he or she died. Some people have “deathbed conversions” and accept Christ in the moments before death. It is possible that a suicide could have a last-second change of heart and cry out for God’s mercy. We leave such judgments to God (1 Samuel 16:7).
The suicide of a believer is evidence that anyone can struggle with despair and that our enemy, Satan, is “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Suicide is still a serious sin against God. According to the Bible, suicide is murder; it is always wrong. Christians are called to live their lives for God, and the decision of when to die is God’s and God’s alone.
May God grant grace and the psalmist’s perspective to each one who is facing trials today: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 43:5).
What Is the Christian View of Suicide? What Does the Bible Say about Suicide?
The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). Five of these men were noted for their wickedness (the exception is Saul’s armor-bearer—nothing is said of his character). Some consider Samson’s death an instance of suicide, because he knew his actions would lead to his death (Judges 16:26–31), but Samson’s goal was to kill Philistines, not himself.
The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the psalmist, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15).
God is the giver of life. He gives, and He takes away (Job 1:21). Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life.
Some people in Scripture felt deep despair in life. Solomon, in his pursuit of pleasure, reached the point where he “hated life” (Ecclesiastes 2:17). Elijah was fearful and depressed and yearned for death (1 Kings 19:4). Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die (Jonah 4:8). Even the apostle Paul and his missionary companions at one point “were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8).
However, none of these men committed suicide. Solomon learned to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Elijah was comforted by an angel, allowed to rest, and given a new commission. Jonah received admonition and rebuke from God. Paul learned that, although the pressure he faced was beyond his ability to endure, the Lord can bear all things: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).
So, according to the Bible, suicide is a sin. It is not the “greatest” sin—it is no worse than other evils, in terms of how God sees it, and it does not determine whether or not a person goes to hell. However, suicide definitely has a deep and lasting impact on those left behind. The painful scars left by a suicide do not heal easily. May God grant His grace to each one who is facing trials today (Psalm 67:1). And may each of us take hope in the promise, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Do We Have an Appointed Time of Death?
The Bible tells us that “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16). So, yes, God knows exactly when, where, and how we will die. God knows absolutely everything about us (Psalm 139:1–6). So does this mean our fate is sealed? Does this mean we have absolutely no control over when we will die? The answer is both yes and no, depending on the perspective.
The answer is “yes” from God’s perspective because God is omniscient—He knows everything and knows exactly when, where and how we will die. Nothing we can do will change what God already knows will happen. The answer is “no” from our perspective because we do have an impact on when, where, and how we die. Obviously, a person who commits suicide causes his own death. A person who commits suicide would have lived longer had he not committed suicide. Similarly, a person who dies because of a foolish decision (e.g., drug use) “expedites” his own death. A person who dies of lung cancer from smoking would not have died in the same way or at the same time if he had not smoked. A person who dies of a heart attack due to a lifetime of extremely unhealthy eating and little exercise would not have died in the same way or at the same time if he had eaten healthier foods and exercised more. Yes, our own decisions have an undeniable impact on the manner, timing, and place of our death.
How does this affect our lives practically? We are to live each day for God. James 4:13–15 teaches us, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ ” We are to make wise decisions about how we live our lives and how we take care of ourselves. And ultimately, we trust God that He is sovereign and in control of all things.
Why should I not commit suicide?
Our hearts go out to those who have thoughts of ending their own lives through suicide. If that is you right now, it may speak of many emotions, such as feelings of hopelessness and despair. You may feel like you are in the deepest pit, and you doubt there is any hope of things getting better. No one seems to care or understand where you are coming from. Life just is not worth living … or is it?
If you will take a few moments to consider letting God truly be God in your life right now, He will prove how big He really is, “for nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Perhaps scars from past hurts have resulted in an overwhelming sense of rejection or abandonment. That may lead to self-pity, anger, bitterness, vengeful thoughts, or unhealthy fears that have caused problems in some of your most important relationships.
Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, no matter how bad things are in your life, there is a God of love who is waiting for you to let Him guide you through your tunnel of despair and out into His marvelous light. He is your sure hope. His name is Jesus.
This Jesus, the sinless Son of God, identifies with you in your time of rejection and humiliation. The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him in Isaiah 53:2–6, describing Him as a man who was “despised and rejected” by everyone. His life was full of sorrow and suffering. But the sorrows He bore were not His own; they were ours. He was pierced, wounded, and crushed, all because of our sin. Because of His suffering, our lives can be redeemed and made whole.
Friend, Jesus Christ endured all this so that you might have all your sins forgiven. Whatever weight of guilt you carry, know that He will forgive you if you humbly receive Him as your Savior. “… call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you’ ” (Psalm 50:15). Nothing you have ever done is too bad for Jesus to forgive. Some of His choicest servants committed gross sins like murder (Moses), murder and adultery (King David), and physical and emotional abuse (the apostle Paul). Yet they found forgiveness and a new abundant life in the Lord. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, God stands ready to repair what is “broken,” namely, the life you have now, the life you want to end by suicide. In Isaiah 61:1–3, the prophet wrote, “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.”
Come to Jesus, and let Him restore your joy and usefulness as you trust Him to begin a new work in your life. He promises to restore the joy you have lost and give you a new spirit to sustain you. Your broken heart is precious to Him: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:12, 15–17).
Will you accept the Lord as your Savior and Shepherd? He will guide your thoughts and steps—one day at a time—through His Word, the Bible. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6). In Christ, you will still have struggles, but you will now have hope. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you in your hour of decision.
If you desire to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, speak these words in your heart to God: “God, I need you in my life. Please forgive me for all that I have done. I place my faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He is my Savior. Please cleanse me, heal me, and restore my joy in life. Thank You for Your love for me and for Jesus’ death on my behalf.”
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
 Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
How does my view of God affect my understanding of taking human life?
How do you view God? The answer is very important because the way a person views God and the quality of the relationship with God will be significant factors in how one deals with stress and crisis. Throughout the Psalms, we read of the human emotions that accompany the broad spectrum of circumstances in the psalmists’ and our own lives. There we find joy and sadness, fear and pain, exuberance and depression, victory and defeat, hope and despair. The emotions expressed in the Psalms are as diverse as the events that generated them. What sustained the writers throughout the course of these events was personal faith and a biblical worldview—the ability to view life in accordance with God’s divine perspective (see Pss. 102, 116, and 121). These same supports are available to us today.
When life’s inevitable traumas, catastrophes, and crises threaten to cast us violently upon destructive rocks and shoals, it is personal faith and our worldview (which includes our view of God) that chart the way to safety. Knowing God as the Who behind our circumstances enables us to move beyond the why of our circumstances. Such knowledge doesn’t deny the circumstances or the pain and suffering we may endure, but it does help give perspective to them. Our fears and tears are very real, but knowing God and understanding something of God’s nature can lead us from despair to hope.
The Bible teaches us that God is omniscient and omnipresent, that is, all-knowing and everywhere. God knows all actual and possible things. God knows the anguish and anxiety in each of our lives and is aware of every aspect of our daily existence. God is also present in the midst of our trials and temptations, which means we are never alone or helpless, even though our feelings would have us believe otherwise (see Ps. 139). Scripture also teaches that God is omnipotent or all powerful. God is able to deliver us from all of our trials and temptations, including suicide. The Bible also affirms the loving character of God. God’s love for each of us is so great that Jesus Christ died for us. There is a depth to God’s love that we will never be able to comprehend fully. God is greatly concerned for us, cares deeply for us, and loves us more than we will ever know. The intense self-focus of the suicidal individual and the limited human perspective of those who would assist in suicide ignore or underestimate God’s active love and concern. The difficulties we face in life are very real but so also is the loving God to whom we can take them. We are never alone.
How does human dignity relate to the taking of human life?
From a Christian perspective, humanity’s distinctiveness is found in one indisputable theological fact: Every individual is created in the image of God. Each and every human being has innate, intrinsic, and immeasurable significance precisely because each is a human being. Therefore, the taking of life and the conditions under which it is taken must be seriously and scrupulously considered. A Christian view of humanity recognizes the foundational dignity of all people.
For Christians, human dignity resides in the fact that a person is a creature of God and has value simply because he or she is a person and not because others attribute dignity to him or her. Human dignity, therefore, can never be lost, even when one is diminished in one’s own eyes or the eyes of others, even when one is shunned because of one’s appearance, incontinence, or pain. A human person is a creature for whom God chose to die. How can such a creature lose his or her God-given dignity?
Human dignity is not diminished by illness or circumstances, though such a thought is a common mistake when people are in the midst of extreme pain and illness. In particular, we must resist the temptation to relieve our own frustrations and bitterness over the prolonged deaths of others by pretending that we can kill them to sustain their dignity.
Recognizing that humanity is created in the image of God has far-reaching personal, theological, and cultural implications, including the rejection of euthanasia in all of its forms. To ignore the Creator God and His purpose for creating humanity in general, and every individual in particular, is to miss the fact that we exist for a purpose beyond ourselves and that we, therefore, do not have the right to abandon our own lives or the lives of others to premature death.
Are there any instances of suicide in the Bible?
Six suicides are recorded in the Bible, five in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. In none of the cases is there a moral approval of the act. Rather, there is merely a recording of the events. The Bible never denies historical events or belittles human emotions. It faithfully presents the good and bad experiences of life. Murder, adultery, theft, lying, anger, and suicide are all reported in the pages of the Bible. Such reports are part of the reason that Scripture is so meaningful and applicable to us today. Its accounts mirror the events and emotions of our own day.
The first instance of suicide in the Bible is that of Abimelech, the son of Gideon. When wounded in battle, Abimelech commanded his aide to hasten his death by killing him (Judg. 9:50–55). In 1 Samuel 31:1–6, we find the suicidal death of Saul, king of Israel. As was Abimelech, Saul also was wounded in battle and asked his armor bearer to kill him. When the man refused, Saul drew his own sword and fell on it. But Saul may well not have died from this self-inflicted wound. Scripture records an Amalekite’s claim to have killed Saul. He tells King David that he came upon Saul after Saul had mortally wounded himself with his sword. In his agony, Saul implored the Amalekite to have mercy on him and kill him. Knowing that Saul’s death was imminent, the Amalekite honored Saul’s request and killed him. David’s response is instructive. Reflecting the biblical perspective that human life is precious, he finds the Amalekite’s action not to be compassionate but offensive and worthy of severe punishment (2 Sam. 1:1–16). When Saul’s armor bearer sees that his king is dead, he commits suicide in his despair (1 Sam. 31:5).
The fourth instance of suicide is the death of Ahithophel, advisor to David and Absalom. His death is recorded in 2 Samuel 17:23, where we read that when his counsel was not received by Absalom, he “saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled [hanged] himself.” Old Testament scholar Dr. Eugene Merrill notes of this suicide, “Ahithophel’s suicide, triggered by his public humiliation, is no spur-of-the moment deed—he thinks through his options and concludes that self-destruction is his best.”
The final suicide recorded in the Old Testament is that of Zimri, who was king of Israel for seven days and who burned his palace, killing himself (and probably others) rather than be captured by his enemies (1 Kings 16:18). In these five instances, it is important to note that none of the suicides is viewed favorably or viewed as a legitimate option, even in the most difficult of times.
One suicide is recorded in the New Testament—that of Judas Iscariot, who hanged himself after betraying Jesus (Matt. 27:3–10; Acts 1:18–19). Some advocates of suicide have contended that Paul’s intense desire to be with the Lord, as recorded in Philippians 1:21–26, was a latent suicide desire. Such an interpretation misses Paul’s main point. Contemplating eternal life with God should lead to a greater desire to serve the Lord in this life (2 Cor. 5:9; Rom. 14:7–8). In Philippians 1:19–26, Paul does acknowledge that death can look very attractive. But Christians should resist that temptation, as he did, and find ways to love others and glorify God.
Do I have a “right to die”?
Much of the contemporary rhetoric in suicide debates involves either the affirmation or the denial of the right to die. How valid is the concept? The central ideas of the right-to-die philosophy come from the concepts of the primacy of autonomy and the self-determination of the individual: “My life is my own and I alone have the right to determine how it is (or is not ) lived.” Over the past three decades, the right to die has come to mean not only that the patient should be allowed to die (by withdrawing treatment) but that he or she has the right to be dead. Advocates of this right “claim not only a right to attempt suicide but a right to succeed, and this means, in practice, a right to the deadly assistance of others. It is thus certainly proper to understand the ‘right to die’ in its most radical sense, namely, as a right to become or be made dead, by whatever means.”
Yet, the very concept of a right to die is contrary to the entire history of rights in the last three centuries. Both philosophically (especially in terms of political theory) and legally, a right to die is nonexistent. As one scholar observes, “If we start at the beginning, with the great philosophical teachers of natural rights, the very notion of a right to die would be nonsensical.” All rights, he explains, presuppose our self-interested attachment to our own lives. All natural rights are rooted in the primary right to life, or more specifically, the right to self-preservation.
Three of the major dangers of accepting a right-to-die attitude mirror broader problems with the increasing openness to euthanasia:
First, the right to die, especially as it comes to embrace a right to “aid-in-dying,” or assisted suicide, or euthanasia, will translate into an obligation on the part of others to kill or help kill.
Second, there can be no way to confine the practice to those who knowingly and freely request death. The vast majority of persons who are candidates for assisted death are, and will increasingly be, incapable of choosing and effecting such a course of action for themselves.
Third, the medical profession’s devotion to healing and refusal to kill—its ethical center—will be permanently destroyed, and with it, patient trust and physician self-restraint.
The slogan, “the right to die,” contains the subtle suggestion of “the obligation to die.” We as individuals and a culture must draw a line in the sand and say no. Rather than a right to die, we have an obligation to live. If we truly care for ourselves and others as people and patients, then we must reject the right-to-die euphemism and its false promise that we can aid the person by eliminating the person.
Is it wrong for me to want to die?
This is a very serious question that touches on many issues. The circumstances under which the question is asked are different for the relatively healthy person who is contemplating suicide and for the person who is terminally ill or has an extremely painful and debilitating condition. The answer is not simply yes or no. The answer must be given in extended conversation with the individual who is asking the question. The desire for death may be understandable but should not dictate our actions.
Death does not terminate our personal existence. We are more than flesh and blood, and the deterioration of the body does not mean we cease to be persons. According to the Bible, death will entail, for the unbeliever, a far more painful conscious separation from God than any end-of-life suffering that is involved (Dan. 12:2; Matt. 25:41–46; Luke 16:19–31; Rev. 20:11–15). Love for unbelievers should motivate us to be sure that they do not naïvely seek death without knowing what it will entail. Albeit, a Christian knows that to be physically dead is to be in heaven with Christ—an existence far better than anything this world has to offer. That’s why Paul could say “to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). But he attaches to that thought the recognition that “to live is Christ,” i.e., to live under the lordship of Christ in the service of others. As Paul goes on explicitly to conclude that what comes after death for the believer is something to look forward to, the decision to die is not for us to make. We are to leave the timing of our deaths in God’s hands.
The desire for death can be very strong in some people, and that desire should be addressed. We should ask those who express a desire to die, “Why do you desire death?” Is it because of humiliation, discouragement, intractable pain, fear, or a host of other catalysts? Once we understand the desire, we can address it appropriately
For the terminally ill individual, there is an important difference between the desire to die and the recognition and acceptance that death is unavoidably imminent. People have no obligation to endure treatment that will not benefit them. Care for the terminally ill always falls on a continuum, with the possibility of overtreatment being at one end and the possibility of undertreatment at the opposite end. Neither is desirable and thus careful decisions must be made by the patient, family, and caregivers. There is a crucial difference between accepting death and intending death. The former is permissible, the latter is not. We cannot avoid some evils in this world, death being but one of them. We are to accept death when we can no longer forestall it, rejoicing in the knowledge that God will bring us a greater good through it. But if circumstances give us the opportunity to continue to live, then we are not to choose (i.e., intend) death, either by medically causing it or fostering it by forgoing available treatment.45
In the case of the suicidal individual, for whom death is not imminent due to illness, acting upon a desire for death is wrong for many of the same reasons that apply in the case of one who is terminally ill. Life is a gift from God, and our lives are not truly our own (1 Cor. 6:19–20). Even though death can look very attractive, it must not be pursued. We are given life as a stewardship, and we are to use life to serve others rather than self. Suicide does not make life better for others. It produces long-lasting hurt and other consequences that affect family and friends for many years and even generations. A suicidal desire for death is a cry for help. If you hear the cry, respond; if the cry is your own, please seek help.
What should I do if I feel suicidal or desire physician-assisted suicide?
If you are suicidal, talk with someone about your feelings and get appropriate medical and pastoral care immediately. Don’t isolate yourself even though the tendency to do so will be strong. Find a friend, a family member, your pastor, your family physician, or a suicide hotline and talk. Feelings of loneliness, discouragement, depression, and hopelessness can be resolved. They are not permanent. There is hope. There is help. Your life is too important to God, to family members, and to friends for you to commit suicide.
Furthermore, avoid accepting belittling thoughts about yourself that can come to you when you are depressed or during times when you have experienced a setback. Negative thoughts should only serve as an impetus to change something about us for the better; they should motivate us to grow. Never should they be accepted as a commentary on what we will always be. Such destructive thoughts are the product of our fallen nature or the Devil (1 Peter 5:8). When we instead focus on God—who he is and what he can do—the possibilities for our future brighten considerably.
Ultimately, suicide is not about death but about living. The crises that push people toward suicide and physician-assisted suicide are real and should never be demeaned or diminished. But just as real are the solutions—medical, spiritual, and emotional.
We need to study the Scriptures and think very carefully about the nature of human life and the meaning of death. We need to think about the goodness of God, the sovereignty of God, and what it means to be created by God. Our lives are not our own but rather are a loan from God to manage wisely. We need to understand human suffering and how God uses it in our lives.
Throughout the pages of the Bible, the dignity and worth of every human life are emphasized repeatedly. So are the fallenness of the world and the reality of suffering. It is in enduring the latter without denying the former that we give glory to God.
The issues that we face as individuals and as a society are critical, and our responses have eternal as well as temporal ramifications. In all of our actions, we are to choose life, for regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves we can have the assurance of God’s presence and love. For Christians, there is the promise and certainty that one day God “shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4). With God’s grace and strength, may we choose life in every circumstance until that day arrives.
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
So choose life in order that you may live,
you and your descendants,
by loving the Lord your God,
by obeying His voice,
and by holding fast to Him;
for this is your life and the length of your days.
(Deut. 30:19–20, emphasis added)
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 32–34). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 34–35). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 35–37). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 37–38). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 38–40). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 67–68). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.
 Stewart, G. (1998). Basic questions on suicide and euthanasia: are they ever right? (pp. 72–74). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.