Guest Blog post written by Paul F. Arnhold:
In the News – Assisted suicide
I saw it on the national news this morning. A woman diagnosed with cancer decides to move to a state where assisted suicide is legal. Her plan is to end her own life before the cancer does. You hear the acclamations of bravery from the newscasters. They may also hope the selfless act that this woman might carry out would further the cause by setting an example that could evoke a change to allow nationwide acceptance. Or is secular humanism simply playing the god it really is? What does God’s Word have to say?
Isaiah 55 in part says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” This conflicts with human reason and our natural condition doesn’t it? Yet the Christian through faith in God’s Word reflects what the psalmist declares “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands…”
Quote from wels.net Q&A:
“The Bible reports six cases of suicide: Abimelech (Judges 9:52-54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:5), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:15-20), and Judas Iscariot (Matthew 27:3-5). Some would include Samson (Judges 16:25-30) in the list, yet his death was not a selfish act of self-destruction but a self-sacrificing act similar to that of a soldier who sacrifices himself for his fellow soldiers. His final act did not reflect despair and hopelessness but a prayerful trust in the true God. For this reason he is mentioned among the people of faith in Hebrews 11:32. However, this was not the case with the other six that were mentioned above. They acted in despair and unbelief and forfeited any hope of heaven.
But even though the examples of suicide mentioned in the Bible are all negative, this does not mean that every person who takes his or her own life is eternally lost. Perhaps a person is suffering from a psychological disorder. Like other organs and parts of the body, the brain can also malfunction. Or perhaps someone in a moment of emotion crisis acts rashly and takes his or her own life. We cannot say in each of these cases that the person acted in unbelief. And finally it is unbelief that condemns us to eternal punishment, not any particular sin per se. Likewise it is trust in the crucified and risen Savior that saves us—not because we lived a good life, and not because we died a good death, but because he lived and died in our place.”
It is not our nature, to let the God who gives life be the center of our lives, because we are born with sin. In Psalm 51:5 the writer David says “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” It is our nature as sinful people to want to control our own destiny, to control those around us and to do as we please. Sinful people will often do what is natural – that is, sin. Suicide is sin. Assisted suicide is murder. It is taking life from a person when only God is the one in charge of life! There is no government legislation, court ruling or medical advancement that can change that fact. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it in full.” God created the perfect life, and then restored it again through Jesus.
In Jesus we find hope for this life and for the life to come. Only through Jesus is there forgiveness of our sins and relief for our guilt. Only in Jesus do we have peace to face the difficulties of each day with confidence. Only by Jesus are we able to have life today and eternal life in the future.
© Paul F. Arnhold 2014