What Does The Bible Teach About Euthanasia?

What Does The Bible Teach About Euthanasia? December 28, 2015

Does the Bible say anything about euthanasia or assisted suicide or is the Bible silent on this subject?

Suicidal Thoughts

I believe that all of us go through periods of our life when we feel utterly depressed. It is actually normal to pass through these so-called “dark nights of the soul” when we feel so despondent that we might even contemplate suicide. It has at least passed through the minds of many people, even among Christians. Depression and thoughts of suicide is an equal opportunity occurrence. It cuts through the social strata of society and there were even those in the Bible who wanted God to take their life. Elijah once just gave up and sought for God to just kill him but God never did and told him to rest, eat and recuperate. When we get tired, hungry, and stressed, we are more vulnerable to thoughts of harming ourselves and for some, even worse, we contemplate or entertain thoughts about suicide. Even the Apostle Paul despaired of life at times, although I don’t believe he meant to end his own life. Paul was not going to ever do that.

Suffering’s Never Wasted

Many Christians may not realize that we are actually called to suffer for Jesus’ sake. The Holy “Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16-17) and few suffered like Paul did but he considered “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18) so as much as is possible, “rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1st Pet 4:13).

For-I-am-sure-that

You Shall Not Murder

The Sixth Commandment is “You shall not murder” (Ex 20:13) and this includes what is called mercy-killing or physician assisted-suicide. The person being killed is innocent, thereby making it murder. Yes, it is a mercy killing and in some severe cases, this might be the best, but euthanasia should be absolutely the very last option. Some people are so ravaged by their disease and pain and there is no medical hope at all and all that they face is exceedingly intense suffering for the rest of their life and feel that they just can’t take it anymore. For these beleaguered souls who put their faith in Christ, how can we think that they’ll be cast into hell if they go through euthanasia? The Bible teaches that “neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). The question is; do we believe it?

When you Suffering

I know that the Word of God has real power (Isaiah 55:11; Rom 1:16) so why not use it? The Bible says that we all have an appointed day of death, after which comes the judgment (Heb 9:27), but it should be God’s decision and not ours. The psalmist wrote, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16) so call out to Him and He will deliver you (Psalm 50:15), either in this life or the next. Isaiah the Prophet wrote a prophecy a few thousand years ago about the Messiah or Jesus Christ and wrote “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1) and “to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit” (Isaiah 61:3). Does that not sound comforting? Read the Book of Psalms for strength in your time of suffering and just pour your heart out to God and He can help you endure your present circumstance.

Conclusion

The Bible is silent on euthanasia but we can understand how God sees life because we’re all made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). There are a few rare examples of people in the Bible wanting to take their own life but they never tried to do it themselves? Judas was the only exception but he was never saved in the first place, so why did everyone else who thought of ending their life never try taking their life? Was this because they knew it was sin? It could be. It is sin to take one’s own life, even if it’s your own, but thankfully, not anything in life or death can separate the believer from the love of God (Rom 8:38-39), even if it includes euthanasia for those in special circumstances.

Article by Jack Wellman

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 Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • pud

    Your “god” killed about 30 million. This is a high estimate and others estimate a much lower figure of 2.8 million. How many people did Satan kill in the bible? It appears that Satan only killed 10 people: the seven sons and three daughters of Job. And he only does this because god allowed it as part of a bet!

    Killing Event Reference Bible’s Number Estimate
    1 The Flood of Noah Gen 7:23 20,000,000
    2 Abraham’s war to rescue Lot Gen 14:17-19 1,000
    3 Sodom and Gomorrah Gen 19:24 2,000
    4 Lot’s wife Gen 19:26 1 1
    5 While they were sore, Dinah’s brethren slew all the males Gen 34:1-31, Judith 9:2-3 2 1,000
    6 Er for being wicked in the sight of the Lord Gen 38:7 1 1
    7 Onan for spilling his seed Gen 38:10 1 1
    8 A seven year worldwide famine Gen 41:25-54 70,000
    9 There will be blood: The first plague of Egypt Ex 7:15-27 , Wis 11:7-8 10,000
    10 The seventh plague: hail Ex 9:25 300,000
    11 Firstborn Egyptian children Ex 12:29-30 500,000
    12 The Lord took off their chariot wheels Ex 14:8-26 600 5,000
    13 Amalekites Ex 17:13 1,000
    14 Who is on the Lord’s side?: Forcing friends and family to kill each other Ex 32:27-28 3,000 3,000
    15 Aaron’s golden calf Ex 32:35 1,000
    16 God burns Aaron’s sons to death for offering “strange fire” Lev 10:1-3 2 2
    17 A blasphemer is stoned to death Lev 24:10-23 1 1
    18 When the people complained, God burned them to death Num 11:1 100
    19 While the flesh was still between their teeth, the Lord smote them will a very great plague Num 11:33 10,000
    20 Ten scouts are killed for their honest report Num 14:35-45 10 110
    21 A man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day is stoned to death Num 15:32-35 1 1
    22 Korah, his companions, and their families are buried alive Num 16:27 3 9
    23 God burns 250 people to death for burning incense Num 16:35 250 250
    24 God kills 14,700 for complaining about God’s killings Num 16:49 14,700 14,700
    25 The massacre of the Aradies Num 21:1-2 3,000
    26 God sent serpents to bite people for complaining about the lack of food and water Num 21:6 100
    27 Phineas’s double murder: A killing to end God’s killing Num 25:1-11 24,002 24,002
    28 The Midianite massacre: Have ye saved all the women alive? Num 31:1-35 6 200,000
    29 God slowly killed the Israelite army Dt 2:14-16 500,000
    30 God the giant killer Dt 2:21-22 5,000
    31 God hardens King Sihon’s heart so all his people can be killed Dt 2:33-34 1 5,000
    32 Og and all the men women, and children in 60 cities Dt 3:6 1 60,000
    33 The Jericho massacre Jos 6:21 1,000
    34 Achan and his family Jos 7:10-26 1 5
    35 The Ai massacre Jos 8:1-25 12,000 12,000
    36 God stops the sun so Joshua can get his killing done in the daylight Jos 10:10-11 5,000
    37 Five kings killed and hung on trees Jos 10:26 5 10,000
    38 Joshua utterly destroyed all that breathed as the Lord commanded Jos 10:28-42 7 7,000
    39 The genocide of twenty cities: There was not any left to breathe Jos 11:8-12 2 20,000
    40 The Anakim: some more giant killing Jos 11:20-21 5,000
    41 The Lord delivered the Canaanites and Perizzites Jg 1:4 10,000 10,000
    42 The Jerusalem massacre Jg 1:8 1,000
    43 Five massacres, a wedding, and God-proof iron chariots Jg 1:9-25 5,000
    44 The Lord delivered Chushanrishathaim Jg 3:7-10 1 1,000
    45 Ehud delivers a message from God Jg 3:15-22 1 1
    46 God delivers 10,000 lusty Moabites Jg 3:28-29 10,000 10,000
    47 Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad Jg 3:31 600 600
    48 Barak and God massacre the Canaanites Jg 4:15-16 1,000
    49 Jael pounds a tent stake through a sleeping man’s skull Jg 4:18-22 1 1
    50 Gideon’s story: The Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow Jg 7:22 120,000 120,000
    51 A city is massacred and 1000 burn to death because of God’s evil spirit Jg 9:23-27 1,001 2,000
    52 The Ammonite massacre Jg 11:32-33 20,000
    53 Jephthah’s daughter Jg 11:39 1 1
    54 42,000 die for failing the “shibboleth” test Jg 12:4-7 42,000 42,000
    55 Samson murdered 30 men for their clothes Jg 14:19 30 30
    56 Samson killed 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass Jg 15:14-15 1,000 1,000
    57 Samson killed 3000 in a suicide terrorist attack Jg 16:27-30 3,000 3,000
    58 A holy civil war (it had something to do with rotting concubine body part messages) Jg 20:35-37 65,100 65,100
    59 The end of Judges: two genocides and 200 stolen virgins Jg 21:10-14 4,000
    60 God killed Eli’s sons and 34,000 Israelite soldiers 1 Sam 2:25, 4:11 34,002 34,002
    61 God smote them with hemorrhoids in their secret parts 1 Sam 5:1-12 3,000
    62 50,070 killed for looking into the ark of the Lord 1 Sam 6:19 50,070 50,070
    63 The Lord thundered a great thunder upon the Philistines 1 Sam 7:10-11 1,000
    64 Another Ammonite massacre (and another God-inspired body part message) 1 Sam 11:6-13 1,000
    65 Jonathan’s first slaughter 1 Sam 14:12-14 20 20
    66 God forces the Philistines to kill each other 1 Sam 14:20 1,000
    67 The Amalekite genocide 1 Sam 15:2-3 10,000
    68 Samuel hacks Agag to death before the Lord 1 Sam 15:32-33 1 1
    69 In the valley of Elah: Goliath 1 Sam 17:51, 2 Sam 21:19 1 1
    70 David buys a wife with 200 Philistine foreskins 1 Sam 18:27 200 200
    71 The Lord said to David, Go and smite the Philistines 1 Sam 23:2-5 10,000
    72 God killed Nabal (and David got his wife and other stuff) 1 Sam 25:38 1 1
    73 David commits random acts of genocide for the Philistines 1 Sam 27:8-11 60,000
    74 David spends the day killing Amalekites 1 Sam 30:17 1,000
    75 God kills Saul, his sons, and his soldiers (because Saul didn’t kill all the Amalekites) 1 Sam 31:2, 2 Chr 10:6 4 100
    76 David kills the messenger 2 Sam 1:15 1 1
    77 David killed, mutilated, and hung Rechab and Baanah 2 Sam 4:12 2 2
    78 God helps David smite the Philistines from the front and the rear 2 Sam 5:19-25 2,000
    79 God killed Uzzah for trying to keep the ark from falling 2 Sam 6:6-7, 1 Chr 13:9-10 1 1
    80 David killed two-thirds of the Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest 2 Sam 8:2 667
    81 And the Lord gave David victory wherever he went 2 Sam 8 – 10 65,850 66,850
    82 David killed every male in Edom 2 Sam 8:13-14, 1 Kg 11:15-16, 1 Chr 18:12, Ps 60:1 15,000 25,000
    83 Thus did David do to all the children of Ammon 2 Sam 11:1, 1 Chr 20:1 1,000
    84 God slowly kills a baby 2 Sam 12:14-18 1 1
    85 Seven sons of Saul are hung up before the Lord 2 Sam 21:1-9 7 3,000
    86 David’s mighty men and their amazing killings 2 Sam 23, 1 Chr 11 1,403 3,400
    87 God killed 70,000 because of David had a census that God (or Satan) told him to do 2 Sam 24:15, 1 Chr 21:14 70,000 200,000
    88 Solomon murdered Job and Shimei (per David’s deathbed wish) 1 Kg 2:29-46 2 2
    89 A tale of two prophets 1 Kg 13:11-24 1 1
    90 Jeroboam’s son: God kills another child 1 Kg 14:17 1 1
    91 Jeroboam’s family 1 Kg 15:29 10
    92 Baasha’s family and friends 1 Kg 16:11-12 20
    93 Zimri burns to death 1 Kg 16:18-19 1 1
    94 The drought of Elijah 1 Kg 17:1, Luke 4:25, James 5:17-18 3,000
    95 Elijah kills 450 religious leaders in a prayer contest 1 Kg 18:22-40 450 450
    96 The first God-assisted slaughter of the Syrians 1 Kg 20:20-21 10,000
    97 God killed 100,000 Syrians for calling him a god of the hills 1 Kg 20:28-29 100,000 100,000
    98 God killed 27,000 Syrians by making a wall fall on them 1 Kg 20:30 27,000 27,000
    99 God sent a lion to kill a man for not smiting a prophet 1 Kg 20:35-36 1 1
    100 God killed Ahab for not killing a captured king 1 Kg 20:42, 22:35 1 1
    101 God burned 102 men to death for asking Elijah to come down from his hill 2 Kg 1:10-12 102 102
    102 God killed Ahaziah for asking the wrong God 2 Kg 1:16-17, 2 Chr 22:7-9 1 1
    103 God sent bears to kill 42 boys for making fun of a prophet’s bald head 2 Kg 2:23-24 42 42
    104 The Lord delivered the Moabites 2 Kg 3:18-25 5,000
    105 A skeptic is trampled to death 2 Kg 7:2-20 1 1
    106 God’s seven year famine 2 Kg 8:1 7,000
    107 Jehoram of Israel 2 Kg 9:24 1 1
    108 Jezebel 2 Kg 9:33-37 1 1
    109 Ahab’s sons: 70 heads in two baskets 2 Kg 10:6-10 70 70
    110 Ahab’s hometown family, friends, and priests 2 Kg 10:11 20
    111 Jehu killed Ahaziah’s family 2 Kg 10:12-13, 2 Chr 22:7-9 42 42
    112 Jehu and his partner kill the rest of Ahab’s family 2 Kg 10:17 20
    113 Jehu assembled the followers of Baal and then slaughtered them all 2 Kg 10:18-25 1,000
    114 Mattan the priest of Baal and Queen Athaliah 2 Kg 11:17-20 2 2
    115 God sent lions to eat those who didn’t fear him enough 2 Kg 17:25-26 10
    116 An angel killed 185,000 sleeping soldiers 2 Kg 19:34, 37:36 185,000 185,000
    117 God caused King Sennacherib to be killed by his sons 2 Kg 19:37, Tobit 1:21 1 1
    118 Josiah killed all the priests of the high places 2 Kg 23:20 100
    119 Just another holy war 1 Chr 5:18-22 50,000
    120 God killed a half million Israelite soldiers 2 Chr 13:17-18 500,000 500,000
    121 Jeroboam 2 Chr 13:20 1 1
    122 God killed a million Ethiopians 2 Chr 14:9-14 1,000,000 1,000,000
    123 Friendly fire: God forced “a great multitude” to kill each other 2 Chr 20:22-25 30,000
    124 God made Jehoram’s bowels fall out 2 Chr 21:14-19 1 1
    125 God killed Jehoram’s sons 2 Chr 22:1 3
    126 Ahaziah of Judah 2 Chr 22:7-8 1 1
    127 Joash, the princes, and army of Judah 2 Chr 24:20-25 1 10,000
    128 God destroyed Amaziah 2 Chr 25:15-27 1 1,000
    129 God smote Ahaz with the king of Syria 2 Chr 28:1-5 1 10,000
    130 God killed 120,000 valiant men for forsaking him 2 Chr 28:6 120,000 120,000
    131 The fall of Jerusalem 2 Chr 36:16-17 10,000
    132 The Purim killings: God hath done these things Esther 2 – 9, 10:4 75,813 75,813
    133 God and Satan kill Job’s children and slaves Job 1:18-19 10 60
    134 Hananiah Jer 28:15-16 1 1
    135 Ezekiel’s wife Ezek 24:15-18 1 1
    136 Oh! Susanna Dan 13:6-62 2 2
    137 Judith is blessed above all women (for cutting off a sleeping man’s head) Judith 13:6-10 1 1
    138 The Judith massacre: hang ye up this head upon our walls Judith 15:1-6 1,000
    139 Mathathias’s double murder 1 Mac 2:24-25 2 2
    140 Mathathias and his friends slay the wicked sinners 1 Mac 2:44 100
    141 God killed Andronicus, the sacrilegious wretch 2 Mac 4:38 1 1
    142 A Jewish mob killed Lysimachus, the sacrilegious fellow 2 Mac 4:42 1 1
    143 God helped Judas Machabeus destroy the wicked 1 Mac 3:1-26, 2 Mac 8:5-6 800 4,900
    144 Judas and his unarmed men kill 3000 of Gorgias’s soldiers 1 Mac 3:44-4:24 3,000 3,000
    145 The Hanukkah killings 1 Mac 4:34-5:7 5,000 17,000
    146 The Machabees brothers slaughter the heathens 1 Mac 5:21-51 11,000 37,000
    147 Nicanor’s army: The Almighty being their helper, they slew above nine thousand men 1 Mac 7:32-47, 2 Mac 8:24, 15:27 147,002 147,002
    148 Jonathan and Simon destroy the wicked out of Israel 1 Mac 9:46-49, 2 Mac 8:30-33, 10:61 1,000 1,200
    149 Five heavenly horsemen cast darts and fireballs at the enemy 2 Mac 8:32-10:38 21,103 21,400
    150 God killed Antiochus with an incurable bowel disease 2 Mac 9:5-28 1 1
    151 Idumeans, traitors, and Jews in two towers 2 Mac 10:16-17 40,000 40,100
    152 Nicanor’s head: A manifest sign of the help of God 1 Mac 7:33-48, 2 Mac 15:1-35 35,000 35,000
    153 Aliens at Cades 1 Mac 11:74 3,000 3,000
    154 John burns to death 2000 in the tower of Azotus 1 Mac 16:10 2,000 2,000
    155 God sent wasps to slowly destroy people Wisdom 12:8-9 1,000
    156 Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:5-10 2 2
    157 Herod Aggripa Acts 12:23 1 1
    158 Jesus Rom 8:32, 1 Pet 1:1820 1 1
    Totals 2,821,364 24,994,828

    • Doug Barron

      Mr.PUD!
      How can a god that doesn’t exist kill anyone?
      The bible is “just a myth.” Right? You claim this yourself. The people you cite as killed could not have been so because the bible and all related histories are a myth. You have stated so as fact, and according to you, we must believe you, and all you state because, somehow, you just know! But, now we are in a conundrum. What do we believe? The numbers you cite as fact, or is it all myth?
      The numbers cited in your mythical rant are made up? Or not? Looks like you have fallen victim to the lies of a mythical document authored by a bunch of non- existent non-men. How can the numbers you cite even be considered? I’m worried about ya brother!

  • HematitePersuasion

    Embrace all the suffering you want, but to point to someone else and cheer that person’s suffering is the vilest kind of self-righteous sadism.

    Torture by omission is torture.

    To insist that others undergo torture of mind and body for your personal validation of holiness is to deny their existence and dignity, and objectify them at their weakest and most vulnerable.

    Cruel does not even begin to reflect the ineffable horror in this blog.

  • Doug Barron

    Pastor Wellman,
    Thank you for addressing this issue head on, as it is extremely divisive in our culture, but must be faced.
    In 1993, I witnessed the final days of my mom’s torturous affliction from malignant melanoma that mastasized in her brain, resulting in a very horrible last days of life. Her choice was to live until her Father took her home. Even till the end she chose to live. Through all the pain and periods of blind ravings. We certainly respected her wish.
    What would the kind Eugenicist have done? Put her down! Her life is obviously over, she is taking up bed space and costing the system thouaands of dollars each day. Let’s just solve this problem the most humane way; euthanize her.
    Except…this was not her wish. I am proud of my daddy for letting my mom go in the way of her own choosing.

    My bride of 22 years died October 4th. 2015 after a breif illness. She was ready to go home to be with Father as soon as we found out that the illness was terminal. Her only frustration was that she felt like Father was tarrying in taking her home! My bride knew that this life is only a blink in the scope of eternity, and both my mom and my bride saw that eternity and were glad to see the day of their passage.
    I love both of them deeply. If my bride asked my to hasten her death to end her suffering, I would have to say, in the given circumstances, to aleviate unbearable pain, yes I would have assisted her in that goal. But; my bride was not in great pain. Her brain was just dying. She quit eating or taking any fluids, with the expected results. We and her 6 doctors tried, to no avail to feed and hydrate her, but she refused all of it. The doctors finally gave up. I brought her home, where she spent her last days. Her body stopped from lack of nutrition. Did she do this conciously, unconciously, I don’t know. Did she end her own life? I don’t know. I know she had enough presence of mind while in the hospital to weigh all options, and determine her path. Was this suicide? A badly damaged brain? I don’t know. She determined her course and did not deviate from it. I stayed alongside her and carried out and defended her wishes until the end. I do know that all of her life my bride was a strong prayer warrior, and stayed in constant daily conversation with Father. Now she is home! What the accuser meant for destruction, Father turned for good. She is beyond the accusers grasp forever!

    I cannot say to one who wishes to end life here because of horrible pain, you must just suffer this through. I will do whatever I can to help them alleviate their pain. There is no way I can determine this decision for them. But I can endeavor to understand where they are at in their situation and be any help I can, within the bounds of moral and legal stricture.
    I can say that a persons desire to end their life due to an emotional reaction to a bad, but non lethal circumstance in life is a huge mistake, and always short circuits Father’s plans to work great good out of a bad situation. Suicide in such a situation is indeed a permanent solution to a temporary problem!
    I know this; been there. I’m Glad I let Father have the situation. Looking back and seeing how truly blessed I have been in the years since that night I let go of my hopelessness, I am so glad that I let Father take charge of my future!
    Oh, what I would have missed!
    Again, thank you Pastor Wellman for walking boldly where most theologians fear to tread!

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you Mr. Barron. You have been through so much sir, yet your faith remains strong. I thank God for you sir.

  • Tony Powell

    Hey, Jack! Why is Al Qaeda more compassionate than you?

    The 9/11 hijackers got to die instantly.