How Do We Know That Suicide Doesn’t Work

How we know suicide does not work? Because there is a God, and we are a spirit-driven being, and that never-dying spirit was placed into us at conception.  When we die it returns back to God who gave it, fully conscious, and the body returns back to the dust from which it came, where “it” knows and feels nothing (fully unconscious) until the resurrection.

There are a lot of miserable people that think they will go to a “better place” when they kill themselves – and that would be the “good news” if it were true. The bad news is that there is a God, and He has rules of behavior found in the Bible, which among other things, discourage suicide as a means of attaining a better life in another place.

By the same token, there are a lot of people that think when they kill themselves, that’s it, lights out, it’s over, and that too would be the good news if it were true. Even if true, it would still be sad that people were in such a physical or mental state that would drive them to want to “end it all”. Life can be worth living if we don’t complicate it.

And besides all that, if you are not happy here, and are using suicide for an escape to happiness elsewhere, what makes you think you would be happy there, not knowing anything about the afterlife, and if there is even a consciousness in that afterlife? And if there is, is it based on eastern religions or the Bible’s perspective? What is it that makes you think there is a better life elsewhere or a state of complete unconsciousness? Considering that the Bible has been proven to be true and accurate through archaeology, science and history, and says what it says about the afterlife, I’d say suicide is a pretty big gamble.

Happiness may be all Shangri-La and Nirvana to other religions, but to the Bible, it will only bring regret, because there is only one true God, and to be happy, you have to live life God’s way. It’s either God’s way or the wide-way, and that way leads to destruction.

If the God of the Bible has rules of behavior here on earth, then it only seems logical that He would have them in heaven as well, and considering that Satan gets kicked out of heaven (Rev 12:7-12), that would be a true statement and promote the necessity of following the rules if repentance is required to be successfully happy in either place.

So just repent here and now and get right with God and avoid all the trauma.  Enjoy life until your natural death, which is not to be feared if you’re on board with God and Christ.

We are warned and encouraged in Matt 10:28: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Notice that this does not say anything about the spirit directly, because I believe they (the spirit and the soul) become one, and both go back to God after death, while the body goes into the grave (Eccl 12:7), until the resurrection, where the body will be raised from the grave/dead and put together, and where they will face the judgment seat of God (Rev 20). The living soul is like a recording device that records everything we think, say and do, and all God has to do on judgement day is push – play.

Do you know what Job, Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah and Jonah all (and I’m sure, others) had in common? They either wanted God to kill them, and/or wished they had never been born so they could escape their misery. The prophets knew suicide was a “forbidden fruit.” They knew that it would have been wrong before God to do so, so they didn’t do it. Some even asked for death, but He refused. They wanted to escape the task or the situation that God ordained them to do and/or allowed them to go through, and it’s the same with us today, to whatever degree.

Jeremiah is a good case in point. Jer 1:5: “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came out of the womb I sanctified you and ordained you a prophet unto the nations.” A reading of the whole book will set up Jeremiah’s particular situation, about how he loved his people and how they didn’t like what God told him to say to them, so he was persecuted, which drove him to his despair. It was the same way with Elijah.

Just as with the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 1:5), God knew each one of us before we were in our mother’s womb and only He knows what we should be doing with our lives. And, if our version of life doesn’t line up with His will, that’s when our troubles begin.

Whatever bad situation we are in which we want to escape, we are most likely responsible for – for the most part. If we were Bible reading and believing people, we would know what we were doing wrong in this life and hopefully stop; but we aren’t reading and don’t therefore know, and/or even seem to care in most cases. The Bible is our roadmap to life, only if we follow it.

Don’t get me wrong – even so-called Bible believing Christians can succumb to suicide, but they should have known better. Their sinning ways put up a hard shell around them, so they fell because God couldn’t get through to them. For believers success in this life, it requires heavy usage of 1 John 1:9, because we are all sinners and come short of the glory of God (See the Roman Road) and need daily forgiveness from those sins.

I remember watching the news where a thirty-or-so-year-old drug addicted woman was sitting in a rehab clinic somewhere, saying (in tears and sorrow) “I’m not a bad person, I’ve just made some mistakes.” You can be sure that she knew better while she was doing it, but she was all into “self” and “pleasure seeking” and her being a girl, just wanted to have fu-un. That kind of fu-un is like a barbed fish hook. It goes in easy and comes out hard. Nancy Reagan was right, “just say no!” But that’s not the answer we want to hear.

What is in us that drives us to having fun and seeking pleasure over and above common sense and sensible living? Why do we need to be drunk, or high or even on an adrenaline high?

It’s the same way with smokers. They spend good money and many years frying all the little Alveoli (air sacks) in their lungs, until they suffocate themselves to death. Does or will suicide by morphine (in states where legal) really deliver one from that which they tried so hard and spent so much money trying to attain? Somehow an easy escape doesn’t seem fair, but that’s up to God, and if Proverbs 1:22-33 is any indication, you may have to go through His wrath and mocking to get to His grace and mercy.

Suffering past physical death, is only possible because our eternal spirit is that which defines the pain which our bodies and minds are going through. The rich man (of Luke 16) was fully conscious and aware of His surroundings.  We tend to think we can escape that pain by killing the body, not realizing it is the spirit that gives and defines all aspects of life and lives on after death. The spirit in us, gives us every breath of life we breathe and every heartbeat. It’s kind of like the battery is to the car.

All the things going on in Luke 16:19-31, pertaining to the rich man and Lazarus was when the rich man was dead and interacting with Abraham, and the rich man was in a state of ongoing misery.

There are many reasons that cause a person to take his or her own life. There are too many interconnecting reasons to be able to list or even know them all – only God knows. The bottom line is that anyone even thinking of doing such a thing is exhibiting a desire to escape some type of problem they may have brought upon themselves, in and by rebellious and wasteful living. And if no rebellious living is in evidence, then read about the prophet Job so you can get some perspective and understanding as to why you may be suffering, without an obvious cause. He was a righteous man highly respected by God, but God sent him tribulation at the hands of Satan, for God’s own purposes and reasons, and for sins we just don’t recognize. What we sow is what we reap.

If those “many reasons” are part of God’s judgment, He expects us to tribulate and this is why we can’t escape, even through death. This could be an example of Rev. 9:6, where death fled from people seeking it. And, if I’m wrong about immediate regret (after death), God’s judgment after the second resurrection will be enough to make people regret their God-rejecting-lifestyles in the here and now.

I would like you to notice in the following scriptures, the anguish and pain the subjects were in. Each one (pertaining to the prophets) could have killed themselves but didn’t. We should follow their lead.

OLD TESTAMENT

Genesis 4:13-15. 13. “And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. 15. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”

Cain could have killed himself but I think he knew what would have happened, because his connection to God via his parents (Adam and Eve) was not too many years back. I find myself wondering in light of the fact that blood must be shed, if God didn’t excuse Cain because “his type” through procreation must be on the earth to work out God’s dark side, that being judgment in those cases when He uses man for that task. See: Why Do The Wicked Prosper?

Numbers 11:14-15. 14. “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favor in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”

The first thing we have to ask is – why couldn’t Moses have killed himself? Why did he need to ask God to do it for him? Why didn’t he just do it?

1 Samuel 24:12-14. 12. “The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. 13. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. 14. After whom is the king of Israel come out? After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea?”

This may be a little off the subject but Vss. 12 and 13 are the reason why I couldn’t have assassinated Hitler even if I had been there with the chance to do it. He was anointed by God for a certain task. David was running from Saul and would not even raise his hand to protect himself by killing Saul to save himself, because David recognized the importance of respecting God’s anointed.

1 Samuel 26:9. “And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?”

This is similar to the previous scripture given above. A person could call these anti-assassination scriptures. Deut. 27:25 is another: “Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person…” A person does have a right to protect himself in a case like David’s. There may be room for political assassinations if God is the one who directs that a person deserves to be killed. Even so, anyone in that line of work could carry a curse to some degree.

2 Samuel 1:9,14-15. 9. “He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. 14. And David said unto him, How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed? 15. And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.”

Maybe Saul deserved to be abused. He had no right to take his own life and deny God what was coming. Paul Harvey once quoted Robert Orbin, “If God sends you tribulation, He expects you to tribulate.”

1 Kings 19:4. “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, it is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”

Elijah sounds a lot like Moses. Why didn’t he just end it himself?

Neh 9:6. “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.”

The word, “preservest,” means to keep alive. And God will do so until we have reached the number of our appointed days, unless of course we do something stupid like suicide or some dare-devil activity that ends it for us – before our time is up.

Job

3:3,11,13,20-22,25. 3. “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. 11. Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the Ghost when I came out of the belly? 13. For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, 20. Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; 21. Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; 22. Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave? 25. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”

Job 6:9. “Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!”

We are totally in God’s hands and Job knew it. Even under the advice of his wife to “curse God and die,” he refused to do it.

7:5,11,15-16. 5. “My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome. 11. Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. 15. So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. 16. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.”

Here, Job knows he could have hung himself but didn’t. What did they know then that we don’t know today?

9:18, 21. 18. “He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness. 21.Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.”

When God sends you tribulation, He expects you to tribulate. (Robert Orbin) There are no quick escapes.

10:18-19. 18. “Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! 19. I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.”

Here we have Job in great physical pain and he still doesn’t take his own life. Is there something he and the others know that we don’t? I think it is that even the death of our bodies cannot escape our physical circumstance because they are carried on through the “living soul” that we became at conception. Let’s remember Matt 10:28: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Our spirits are eternal as well as our soul, and only God can change that. We are powerless to control our final destination after death.

Job 27:3. “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;”

This is just how close God is to every one of us. When we kill ourselves, we remove Him from our physical body. That is something only He should do.

Job 34:22. “There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”

This one is easily understood, even the King James Version. Corrie ten Boom said of the holocaust: “no matter how deep the pit, God is deeper still.” No matter how miserable you are – wherever you go to escape – even death, you cannot get away from God, and I fear, even your particular situation until the allotted time has passed. God’s judgment surpasses death.

Ecclesiastes

7:1. “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

This, in no way gives one permission to hasten the day.

Eccl 8:8. “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.”

Everything is in God’s hand and there is no escape from the life you may have chosen for yourself. Take the smoker, please! He or she is not only asking for an early death, but is paying good money for that privilege. And when a slow, suffocating finally comes, they think they can escape that agony by taking advantage of euthanasia laws. Those laws do not supersede God’s laws. If you grew it, you must chew it.

9:10. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

This of course, is speaking of the body. Notice that the words in the last half of this verse do not include consciousness. What we do on this earth for our eternal rewards is all that can be done. There are no physical works in the grave but we will have consciousness (of what should have been done) just like Jonah did when he was in the belly of the fish (Jon. 2:1-10) and the rich man did after he died and was in the grave, yet talking to Father Abraham (Lk. 16:19-31). (See: Second Chance). This ties in with Hebrews 9:27, (“once to die and then the judgment”).

9:12. “For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.”

It sounds to me like our death is suppose to be a surprise, and not something we plan, as in to carry out.

12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

Jeremiah

20:14-18. 14. “Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. 15. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad. 16. And let that man be as the cities which the Lord overthrew, and repented not: and let him hear the cry in the morning, and the shouting at noontide; 17. Because he slew me not from the womb; or that my mother might have been my grave, and her womb to be always great with me. 18. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?”

Here we find Jeremiah in bitter anguish, regretting that he was ever born, yet he didn’t take his own life.

Jeremiah 21:9. “He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey.”

I am not going to say that no one killed themselves to escape but it seems to me that people of those days knew that it was not the thing to do and probably knew it was more dangerous than dying of famine or going into captivity. The bottom line here is that it was God’s will for most of the people to go into captivity and not die, either by sword, famine or self. They were to live out their judgment, and when that time was over they were released.

The modern equivalent would be the 70 years Russia dominated their neighbors.

Even though Jeremiah had a dim view on his life, it was one that God chose for him from before he was in his mother’s womb. Jer 1:5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Daniel 2:18. “That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.”

I think this points to the fact that no normal person, and even the ones that know God, really wants to die. Life is to be lived. When things aren’t going right, it is usually us out of control.

Hosea 13:14. “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”

I believe this is a “second chance” scripture but it really shows that God is everywhere and has power over everything. If you kill yourself to escape the misery you deserve, you’d better believe He will be there to rebuke you at least, and condemn you at most.

Joel 2:8. “Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.”

Nobody seems to be able to explain this scripture so they change it (in other versions) or explain it away in various commentaries. Any other time in scripture (like with King Saul) when someone fell on their sword – they died – but not here, if you listen to different scholars. This is obviously dealing with a miracle – in judgment. See: Rev. 9:6. If this is not literal death but has a spiritual application, then it proves beyond any doubt that our spirit does not die upon the death of the body, but goes to a place of God’s choosing, for however long, until the resurrection.

Jonah 4:3, 8. 3. “Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 8. And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.”

Jonah was in some physical discomfort but he was also mad at God for saving Nineveh. He thought they should have been destroyed.

Notice in chapter 1 verse 12, that he told the seamen to throw him into the sea. Why didn’t he just save them the trouble and jump in himself? That, in effect, would have been suicide. I think the people back then knew that they would have been in big trouble if they took their own lives. The further we get away from God the more we want to take our destiny into our own hands, and actually think it will work. We tend to live for the moment, and if something goes wrong we want immediate action to solve the problem.

As we have discovered earlier, we are a spiritual (driven) being, and that spiritual being lives forever. Just leaving the body will not get rid of the problem.

I think for the most part, people wanting to kill themselves are the ones responsible for the misery in their lives, except people like Jeremiah. This is supposing that there was no sexual, psychological or physical abuse that would cause someone to take their own life. That misery could end if they were to live life in accordance with God’s rules. Their rebellion and/or pride will not allow them to do that, so they must be drug over the coals. To avoid crying out for God to forgive them, they would rather die. This is supposing that they haven’t been cursed by God (where He wouldn’t even try to reach out to them) and that He would just turn His back on them, in which case they would be open to suicide, thinking that that would be the way out.

I know that it is easy for someone healthy to rebuke someone in pain for wanting to take their own life, but God has a plan in this also. The short but not-so-sweet of it is, that we get what we deserve and to try and end the pain of judgment by suicide is futile. I really don’t know if physical pain can be ended by killing oneself, but I suspect that if it can, it will be replaced by something of the psychological brand instead.

When we’re talking about God and judgment, we’re talking hardball. I know most people think that God is a God of love (which He is) but He is also a God of wrath. He does not put up with our sin forever. (See: God of Wrath).

NEW TESTAMENT

Matthew

10:28. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

If “them” aren’t able to kill the soul, then the person killing themselves aren’t able to either. That person will be fully awake and even more miserable than they were before killing themselves because they will see (at least) some portion of the next life and not be able to return to the life they just left, and make things right.

It’s like looking through the “glass darkly”. On the other side it will be clear.

Matthew 26:24. “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Judas was under the idea that he could end the pain (of betrayal) by killing himself. Or was it to prove to God that he was really sorry? At any rate, he did not follow the examples of those mentioned above. It stands to reason that he thought he could kill himself when you look at the fact that he could betray Jesus in the first place. I think it’s an understatement to say that he was not a very spiritual man. He lacked understanding of God and the scriptures.

If our spirit dies along with our body, this regret (v. 24) would not be possible. If you sin unto death and you don’t know you are dead, how could this (“it had been better for that man if he had not been born,”) be a problem, curse or whatever? I know, that come judgment day, there would be lots of regrets by those that rejected the Lord, but then after you are thrown into the lake of fire you are dead (body, soul and spirit). Right? Wrong! The spirit lives forever, fully conscious – in or out of the presence of God.

Luke 23:42-43. 42. “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

When the repenting malefactor said to Jesus, “Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,” he had no idea of the time frame. When Jesus said, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” there was no doubt that it would be soon and alive (in the spirit). And, three days and three nights later, as is taught in the Passover (not a day and a half) as taught in Easter (there being a huge difference between the two), Jesus was in His resurrection body and walking back on earth again – for a while.

Acts 17:27. “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”

He is as close as every heart beat.

1 Pet 3:19-20. 19. “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20. Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

The body of Jesus was dead but his spirit preached to those in prison. I trust if He was speaking to those who were formerly disobedient, their spirits were alive enough to hear Him.

Revelation

6:9-11. 9. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

I thought this passage was very interesting. When we die (at the hands of others), we carry that sense of indignation of our death into the afterlife. Who then, do we blame when we kill ourselves? One thing is clear, when we die we will see ourselves in the light of God and know what we should have been.

Verse 10 sounds so unchristian but it follows in the teaching of the prodigal son’s return, and the older brother’s hurt about the ring, the robe and the fatted calf being given to the prodigal. Even though Scofield labeled the older son a Pharisee, I feel, that after the Father’s explanation, the older son came into the feast and also welcomed his errant brother back home again.

Those who kill themselves, however, will not be in the above group. I believe they will have to wait out that period of time between what would have been their normal life – up to the resurrection, and in addition, wait out the thousand year reign of Christ. They will not enter the kingdom. I believe, according to the “second chance” theory, they could enter heaven if they repented of that which kept them out of the kingdom.

9:6. “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”

Note: It reminds me of the movie: Ground Hog Day, with Bill Murray.

Here we have another case where the Bible must not be saying what it is saying. I am one of those who think that God will not let them die because they must face the punishment of the fiery furnace of the tribulation.

20:12-14. 12. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”