Chains small


the bad news and the good news

Side notes

All Bible references are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

[1] 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[2] Hebrews 9:27
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment..

[3] Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

[4] John 3:16
“For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

[5] Hebrews 4:15
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

[6] Romans 5:8
..but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

[7] Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

[8] John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

[9] Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

[10] Judges 9:54-55
Then he called quickly to the young man his armor-bearer and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, lest they say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’” And his young man thrust him through, and he died. And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, everyone departed to his home.

[11] Judges 16:29-30
And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he had killed during his life.

[12] 1 Samuel 31:4
Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me.” But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it.

[13] 1 Samuel 31:5
And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him.

[14] 2 Samuel 17:23
When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

[15] 1 Kings 16:18
And when Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king's house and burned the king's house over him with fire and died..

[16] Matthew 27:3-5
Then 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.

[17] 1 Samuel 3:11-14
Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

[18] Isaiah 22:12-14
In that day the Lord God of hosts called for weeping and mourning, for baldness and wearing sackcloth; and behold, joy and gladness, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: “Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,” says the Lord God of hosts.

[19] Matthew 12:31-32
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

[20] Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

[21] Ecclesiastes 9:4
 But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

[22] Ezekiel 18:32
 “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

[23] Ezekiel 33:11
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

[24] John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

[25] 1 Peter 1:4 an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you..

[26] Ecclesiastes 9:4
But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

[27] 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

[28] Exodus 20:13
“You shall not murder.”

{29] Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

[30] 1 Corinthians 6:15
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!

[31] 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

[32] John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

[33] Hebrews 9:27
And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment..

[34] Revelation 1:1
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John..

[35] Romans 14:4
Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

To the suicidal

Dear precious person, there is bad news and good news for you.

The bad news, should you succeed in killing yourself, is this: You continue to live!

How is this possible, you ask?

The answer is simple. You are a three part being made up of spirit, soul and body. 1 Thessalonians 5:23[1]

When you suicide, only your body ceases to exist. Your soul and spirit remain alive, because they are eternal, and cannot cease to exist.

After death, you get to meet God and are judged according to choices you have made while alive. Now, it doesn’t seem very smart to front up to God unprepared and in the middle of committing the sin of murder, does it? Hebrews 9:27[2]

Your eternal destiny is decided by God, and there are only two choices, Heaven or Hell. In the New Living Translation of the Bible, part of Daniel 5:23 reads: You have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny.

Sadly, there is no second chance. It’s too late to come back.

There’s good news though, worth looking at before you kill yourself.

  1. God exists. Hebrews 11:6[3]
  2. He loves you. John 3:16[4]
  3. He knows how much you hurt. Hebrews 4:15[5]
  4. He has already done something about it your pain. Romans 5:8[6]
  5. He has a solution for you, if you want it. Romans 6:23[7], John 10:10[8]
  6. He has a future for you, if you want it. Jeremiah 29:11[9]

Ephesians 1tlb reads, in part: 4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love.
5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!
7 So overflowing is his kindness towards us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved.
11 Moreover, because of what Christ has done we have become gifts to God that he delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be his, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.
14 The Holy Spirit’s presence within us is God’s guarantee that he really will give us all that he promised; and the Spirit’s seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that he guarantees to bring us to himself.

Isn’t this worth living and aiming for?


To the friend

Suicide is a very emotive subject.

Many people feel that a wall of silence is the best way to cope with suicide – to even talk about suicide is wrong because such talk may cause someone to think more about it and ultimately ‘do it’. This is the old ‘if I ignore it, it will go away’ philosophy and is not how the Bible works. God has never covered up the weaknesses and sins of people in this world and so he reveals at least seven incidents of suicide within the pages of Scripture.

  1. Abimelech asked his armour bearer to run him through with the sword because he feared the humiliation of being killed by a woman. Judges 9:54-55[10]
  2. Samson, blinded and humiliated by his enemies, collapsed the temple upon himself, killing thousands of others in the process. Judges 16:29-30[11]
  3. Saul fell on his sword during battle because he feared the abuse he would receive at the hands of the enemy. 1 Samuel 31:4[12]
  4. Saul’s armour bearer immediately followed his lead and did the same. 1 Samuel 31:5[13]
  5. Ahithophel hung himself after experiencing public humiliation when his advice was rejected. 2 Samuel 17:23[14]
  6. Zimri set fire to the tower he was in because he feared falling into enemy hands. 1 Kings 16:18[15]
  7. Judas hung himself after betraying Jesus. Matthew 27:3-5[16]

In reading these accounts, we find that all of the decisions made to suicide were escape mechanisms in reaction to a personal crisis and all were made in reaction to negative issues being faced.

In none of these incidents does the Bible seem to make judgement as to whether the suicidal act was right or wrong. It simply makes no comment at all. However, we must not therefore be fooled into thinking that the Bible has nothing to say on the subject in general.

As an option in society, suicide is increasingly coming to the fore today.

It can occur when life in a physically healthy person’s mind may be perceived to have become too difficult and too sad to continue.

The medical profession is being forced to consider the option of suicide (we give it the more ‘respectable’ name of euthanasia) where a patient has been diagnosed to die, and natural death may be painful or humiliating.

What about those who choose to rescue another person knowing that it would cause their own deaths? Some may even question as to whether Jesus committed suicide. Knowing that no one could take his life he gave up his own life didn’t he?

To help us answer these questions we need to define what we mean by suicide.


How do we define suicide?

Suicide is an action taken that successfully destroys one’s own life – self murder – the intentional killing of oneself.

To give up one’s life for the sake of another, as Jesus did, at the hands of another, cannot therefore be classified as suicide.


Does suicide send a person to Hell?

Many Christians feel that committing suicide will automatically send a person to Hell. The Bible however does not say so. It doesn’t even really address the issue directly.

Although we must not use this apparent silence to advocate that suicide is acceptable to God, neither must we use it to build any doctrine suggesting an automatic Hell for those who have killed themselves.

There are a few Scriptures that raise the issue of unforgivable sin, but suicide is not listed in those Scriptures. 1 Samuel 3:11-14[17], Isaiah 22:12-14[18], Matthew 12:31-32[19]

We should not therefore make judgements as to whether or not people can lose their standing with God if they commit suicide.


Is suicide wrong?

Yes of course it is. All human beings are made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27[20]
The sacredness of life is therefore directly tied to the nature of God. He created man and placed within man his own image, in order that man would enjoy relationship with both God and fellow humanity.

The Bible very clearly shows that God prefers life for humans, not death. Ecclesiastes 9:4[21], Ezekiel 18:32[22], Ezekiel 33:11[23]

It is also very clear that death is not the end of existence, death is simply the doorway through which eternal existence, having begun here on earth, continues. John 3:16[24], 1 Peter 1:4[25]

The huge consequence of suicide is the eternal closing of the door on any further opportunity to alter eternal destiny. Where there is life, there is hope Ecclesiastes 9:4[26]. Where there is life, changes can be made. Life is superior to death. God is well aware of these truths and will always provide a way out of perceived hopelessness or despair. 1 Corinthians 10:13[27]


Why is suicide wrong?

As has been already stated, suicide is murder of self and the Bible clearly states “Do not murder.” Exodus 20:13[28]

Suicide attacks and seeks to destroy the image of God. Genesis 1:27[29]

Suicide attacks Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:15[30]

Suicide denies that life has value and assumes that man is solely in charge of his own life. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20[31]

Suicide is the direct intentional killing of the human life given as a gift by God in order to prepare for eternity, and it is the act of ultimate rejection of that life and the world.

Suicide removes any further hope for God to call out to a person.

Suicide removes any further hope for a person to call out to God.

Suicide declares final rejection of Gods’ will and authority in a person’s life.

Suicide is intensely demonic. Even non-Christians testify to the evilness of suicide.

Suicide is a very effective tool of Satan, to remove people from fulfilling God’s identity and destiny for them. When we think about it, this is Satan’s scheme for all of us, isn’t it? John 10:10[32]

We all have emotions that can lead to suicide. The potential is certainly within us all. We all have hard times and we all suffer disappointments. However, we all need to learn healthy ways, not destructive ways, of coming through these emotional down times.

Suicide is rooted in a lie. Satan will use hardships in life to fill our minds with lies. The mind that refuses to hold on to truths such as “I am loved”, “I have a unique purpose in this world”, “I may feel lonely but I am not alone”, submits easily to the lie of suicide. Suicide takes the feelings of rejection another huge step downwards. Suicide is the final and ultimate rejection of self, God, family and friends. Death is very final.

Death by suicide is one of the most painful and fruitless grieving experiences a family and friends can go through. Fruitless because in every case, others are painfully reminded of the waste and hopelessness of that death, and such pain will most likely never go away.

Many people who attempt suicide do not intend to be successful. They just want their pain to stop. In a few cases death is seen as a way out of that pain. It may be seen as a place of safety from the troubles of this world, but the Scriptures very clearly point out that after death every person will face their Creator and will have to give an account of how they have lived their life. Hebrews 9:27[33]


What are some signs that someone may be considering suicide?

The open talking about death, wondering about it, even wishing to die.

Statements or attitudes that no one would care if they are not there or even that people would be better off without them.

Depression – sometimes followed be cheerfulness and apparent peace.

The giving away of possessions and apologising for things past and present.

The consumption of drugs and/or alcohol. These habits can play an important part. They quench the natural God-given desire to battle for life and the natural fear of dying.

The losing of interest in personal hygiene or looks.

The putting down of self. The withdrawing from social activities, family, friends and normal life activities.

Previous attempts at suicide and self-harming.


How can the suicidal be helped?

Never enter into an agreement to keep suicide a secret, or enter into a pact of suicide.

Listen. Don’t feel you have to always give answers or advice or solutions. Often a suicidal person needs someone who first of all will simply listen.

Listen carefully. It is never just one incident that triggers off desires for suicide, so don’t rush into prejudging the reason for a person’s thoughts or feelings. Proverbs 18:1NIV reads – What a shame, what folly, to give advice before listening to the facts!

Believe what is being said. Every person reacts differently to emotional or physical pain, so don’t assess according to your ability to handle emotional pain. Never trivialise what is being said or felt.

Have a heart that cares, and let the person know that you care, that he or she is not alone. Especially tell of the Saviour who knows exactly the internal feelings and can help. There are also lots of people who want to and will help if allowed, so give these messages loud and clear.

Don’t use emotional arguments, such as “Please don’t do it”, “I’ll be really upset if you kill yourself”. The reason a person is considering suicide at all is because of internal emotional chaos. More emotional argument will most likely not even get through, let alone make sense. Such arguments can make the suicidal person emotionally dependent upon you for security and support, or even worse, open doors for you to be emotional manipulated or blackmailed. You are not capable of handling such a responsibility nor is it your right to do so. The issues of life and death are between God and the suicidal, not you and the suicidal. Revelation 1:1[34] So don’t ever promise what you can’t deliver.

Speak truth about destiny – about what really happens after death.

Speak truth about value – everyone has a place in this world, everyone has someone who values him/her.

Speak truth about purpose – everyone has a purpose in this world, a reason for being alive. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Be willing to enter into spiritual warfare. Because suicide is intensely demonic, you may need to take up warfare on behalf of someone too oppressed to stand on his or her own behalf.

All people have a need to be loved and needed and Christians have a responsibility to help those who struggle. Please remember however that you can only help a person as much as that person is willing to let you. It is very rare for anyone to commit suicide without revealing to others a need for help, often many times over. You must however remember that every human is ultimately responsible to God for his or her own decisions, and if help offered is refused, then the one who suicides will be held accountable by God for that action – not you. Romans 14:4[35]
Recommended Reading:

  • Good Grief by Granger E. Westberg
  • Leaving Early by Bronwyn Donaghy
  • Silent Grief by Christopher Lucas & Henry Seiden
  • Helping People Through Grief by Delores Keunning

This paper seeks to accurately represent the teachings of Holy Scriptures. You are free to copy or alter all or any part of this paper PROVIDED that the Holy Scriptures are not misrepresented as a result.