Is the Bible silent on suicide? The Bible does speak of suicide and those who wanted to commit this act. What can we learn about it from the Scriptures?
Judas Hanged Himself
In Matthew 27:3-5 is says that
“when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.”
Judas was never saved as he was called the son of perdition (John 17:12) which means destruction and so when Judas committed suicide, he guaranteed his destination to be hell. If an unsaved person commits suicide, there is no doubt that this person will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15). If you are not born again (John 3:3) don’t even think about stepping out of this life without Christ.
Elijah’s Desire to End His Life
Elijah, right after a great victory or miracle of God where all the priests of Baal were destroyed and the sacrifice on the altar was burned up with fire, fled for his life after Jezebel wanted him killed. When Elijah misjudged Jezebel’s anger and he resolved to run for his life to Beersheba in the southern part of Judah, a land which was land not under Ahab’s control, he eventually be became exhausted and afraid and so often when this happens, people want to just give up and end their life. Elijah was ready to die (1 Kings 19:1-4) but this was when the Lord came to his aid through one of His angels (1 Kings 19:5-8).
Moses’ Death Wish
Make no mistake about it, Moses had carried a heavy burden with a complaining, grumbling nation where He finally said “Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness” (Numb 11:13-15). Moses must have felt like he was carrying the nation of Israel on his back and he finally had enough and asked God to “kill me at once” and not only that, he said “if I find favor in your sight.” This could be translated as him saying to God, “God, since you find favor in me, kill me”, however Moses was strengthened in his time of need, just like Elijah was, when God gave him the advice to find some help among the elders of Israel to help him deal with the millions of people.
Jonah Seeks His Own Death
Once again we see the trend of a man of God wanting to end his life. The first time when a storm came he asked the crew to thrown him off the ship and the storm would be calmed (Jonah 1:5-15). The sailors were reluctant to do this but finally did as Jonah asked and they threw him overboard into the ocean. Jonah must have realized that this would be the end of his life but God was not done with him yet and appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and ultimately save him (Jonah 1:17). Even after Nineveh repented at God’s warning, Jonah still said “O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live” (Jonah 4:3). Ultimately, Jonah lived for the Lord God never answers the prayer for someone wanting to commit suicide.
Job Seeks Death as Comfort
Who has ever suffered, next to Christ, more than Job? He lost his health, his home, his family, his livestock, his friends (since they began to accuse him of being the cause of his trials), and his wealth. Job had lost everything except his wife, who ironically thought that he should just curse and die (Job 2:9). Job even said that “May the day perish on which I was born” (Job 3:3) and questioned the purpose of his living (Job 3:20) and asked why he didn’t die on that day of his birth (Job 3:11). He was sure that he was going to die (Job 7:21). Eventually, he gave up and started questioning God before seeing that his life was about to expire (Job 10:20-22). It was made ever worse when his friends insinuated that he is receiving what he deserved, even though they were completely wrong (Job 11; 15; 22). This proves that some friends can actually push people over the edge of despair and it is even made worse when they are your own friends! He asks God to just put him in the grave and get it over with (Job 14:13; 16). It is only when Job defends himself, when he becomes somewhat self-righteous (Job 29) that God finally answers Job and rebukes him (Job 38-41) and Job repents (Job 42). We see the pattern where a believer reaches the end of their rope only to find that God had been waiting there for them all the time.
If you are a believer and are seriously thinking about suicide, let me say that the Bible nowhere gives you assurance that if you commit suicide, you’ll go to heaven. You need to seek counsel immediately. There could be medical reasons for feeling this way. For one thing, all believers have trials and Christians who have the Holy Spirit living in them do not, in their right mind commit suicide. Many will contemplate it but never carry it through. I have read of the accounts of some Christians who experienced severe illnesses that were excruciatingly painful and they had no hope of a cure that did commit suicide, but when a person commits suicide, they are putting a period where God intends to put a comma.
You are committing spiritual, eternal suicide, if you are not saved. You will end up in a place, like in the account of the Rich Man and Lazarus that Jesus spoke of, where there will be a great chasm where no one can go from one side to the other (Luke 16). Either you will be in a place of torment forever or a place of indescribable joy for all time. No one is going to try to persuade you but I will ask you to consider trusting in Christ. If you trust in your own good works, see what that comes to in Revelation 20:11-15 but on the other hand, if you repent and place your trust in Christ, then you will be saved…not by your own effort or works but by grace which is the gift of God (Eph 2:8-9). In the strongest sense that I can, that is what I suggest you do and don’t wait because if Christ returns or if you die before you make this decision, your fate is sealed and you have sealed it yourself.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon