What does the Bible say about suicide – Part 2

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Wisdom4Today with Dr. Mike

Read Part 1 of this article here: What does the Bible say about suicide – Part 1

In addition to Saul and his armorbearer committing suicide, we see other instances where both saved and unsaved individuals committed suicide:

Samson (Judges 16): The twelfth judge of Israel, a strongman who after violating his Nazarite vows (Judges 14:8-9; Judges 14:10; Judge 16:19), found himself blinded and imprisoned by Philistines. During a pagan celebration, Samson was brought out for entertainment and after praying to God for strength to exact revenge on the pagans, he pulled down the pillars of the pagan temple, which resulted in thousands of Philistines perishing (Judges 16:22-31). Although some say Samson committed suicide, his act did not appear to be motivated out of an effort to end his life. Instead, it was an act the was designed to destroy the pagan temple and those worshiping in it. We know from Hebrews 11:32-34 that Samson was saved and did not go to Hell.

Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15-17): A close adviser to David who conspired with David’s wicked son Absalom to overthrow King David from the throne. Ahithophel advised Absalom to openly defile David’s concubines. Ahithophel also offered to go after David with 12,000 men to capture him. After giving bad advice to Absalom, Absalom stop taking Ahithophel’s advice so Ahithophel went home and hanged himself (2 Samuel 17:23). Ahithophel’s relationship with David was a type of Judas’ relationship with Jesus. David wrote about this in Psalms 41:9 and Psalms 55:12-14. Although these Psalms are typically considered to be prophesies about how Jesus would be betrayed, they were still written after similar events occurred in David’s life. Bible scholars call these types of writings, double reference prophesies. They describe a situation that is currently happening and they also serve as similar event that will happen in the future. An interesting fact in Ahithophel’s betrayal was that Ahithophel was also Bathsheba’s grandfather. Bathsheba was the woman with whom David had an affair with not long before (2 Samuel 11:3; 2 Samuel 23:24-39). We do not know if Ahithophel saw David’s affair with his granddaughter a betrayal by David or if it was Ahithophel’s motivation to turn against David. There is no indication that Ahithophel was saved.

Zimri (1 Kings 16): A 5th king of the northern Kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 16:6-14), which was made up of the northern tribes that had split away from the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, after the death of King Solomon (1 Kings 11). Zimri was a close military aid to King Elah, whom he killed and took over the throne. He had all of the family members of the previous kings slaughtered, which fulfilled a prophesy of the prophet Jehi (1 Kings 15:29). This caused the people to rebel and within a week of taking the throne, the commander of the military, Omri, rose up with the people and took the city. Zimri, realizing all was lost, went into the royal palace and set it on fire, killing himself (1 Kings 16:18). His sin, according to God, was that he was evil like King Jeroboam (1 Kings 11:26-14:20) and he caused Israel to sin (1 Kings 16:19). There is no indication Zimri was saved.

Judas (Matthew 27): Chosen by Jesus to be an Apostle, Judas was responsible for the betrayal of Jesus. Although he was chosen as an Apostle, served faithfully until his betrayal, and regretted what he had done, Judas ended up dying from suicide, when he hanged himself as seen Matthew 27:3-5.

(Matthew 27:3-5 KJV)  “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, (4) Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. (5) And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”

Some try to say that Judas “repented” and was saved. However, use of the word repentance does not mean he was saved. This is because repentance in its original meaning means a change of mind. In fact the Bible mentions the word repentance 30 times as it relates to God changing His mind. If repentance means “turning from sin” as some suggest today then God is a sinner! Examples: Genesis 6:6-7; Exodus 32:14; Deuteronomy 32:36; Judges 2:18; 1 Samuel 15: 11; 1 Samuel 15:29; 1 Samuel 15:35; Romans 11:29; Hebrews 7:21). See the Wisdom4Today article “What is repentance” for more on repentance.

Instead, what Matthew 27:3-5 shows us is that Judas “saw that he was condemned,” so he changed his mind and took the money back. However, it was too late because the chief priests and elders did not want it back. Judas changed his mind not because of Godly sorrow, but because he KNEW he was condemned. This is because as an Apostle, he knew that there were prophesies, which spoke of the condemnation he was now facing as the one who would betray the Messiah. Psalms 69:21-28 speaks to those involved in the death of Christ as follows:

(Psalms 69:21-28 KJV)  “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. (22) Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. (23) Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake. (24) Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them. (25) Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents. (26) For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. (27) Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. (28) Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

Likewise, in a prophesy more specific to Judas, his condemnation is described in Psalms 109:1-19 as follows:

(Psalms 109:1-20 KJV)  “To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; (2) For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. (3) They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. (4) For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. (5) And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. (6) Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. (7) When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. (8) Let his days be few; and let another take his office. (9) Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. (10) Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. (11) Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. (12) Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. (13) Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out. (14) Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. (15) Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. (16) Because that he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. (17) As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. (18) As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones. (19) Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually. (20) Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.”

It is very clear that this is speaking of Judas. In fact, Peter referred to this passage when he spoke to the disciples about choosing someone to replace Judas (Acts 1:15-20).  Notice the things specific to Judas’ condemnation:

  • Satan will stand at his right hand (Psalms 109:6)
  • He will be condemned in judgment (Psalms 109:7)
  • His prayer will become sin (Psalms 109:7)
  • His days will be few (Psalms 109:8)
  • Another will take his office (Apostle) (Psalms 109:8)
  • His children will be fatherless (Psalms 109:9)
  • His wife will be a widow (Psalms 109:9)
  • His children will be homeless, beggars, and hungry (Psalms 109:10)
  • His family will be robbed and cheated (Psalms 109:11)
  • No one will show mercy to him or his children (Psalms 109:12)
  • His family line will be cut off and forgotten (Psalms 109:13)
  • His father and mother will be cursed and their sins not forgiven (Psalms 109:14)
  • The memory of his family would be lost (Psalms 109:15)
  • He would be cursed (Psalms 109:17-18)
  • He would not receive any blessings (Psalms 109:18)

It is clear that Judas was not saved. Out of a last act of self destruction, he hung himself, rather than witness what was to going happen to his family.

So, what can we learn from all of these examples? First, both saved and unsaved people have committed suicide. Second, every person who commits suicide has reached a point where they are so far away from God in their thinking that they think the only way out is to kill themselves. This is because when our thinking is not in keeping with God’s thinking our minds are no longer protected by God. Read: “What does the Bible say about mental health” for more on this topic.

As believers, God guards our minds and gives us peace (2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:4-9) When we ignore what God tells us is good for us, He withdraws His protection from our minds. This happens when we allow our own lusts (1 John 2:15-16) to run wild and tempt us (James 1:14-15). As we succumb to our own lusts and temptations we start doing things that are not good for us (Romans 1:18-32). After awhile, we no longer listen to anything the Holy Spirit says (Ephesians 4:30) and our life becomes hard (Proverbs 13:15). As we spiral downward, we soon start believing that the only way to escape is death. When this happens, like Judas, Satan is standing at our right hand encouraging us to end it all. Before long, we believe Satan’s lies and want to follow his lead (James 1:16).

As non-believers, no one has a chance. Their minds are influenced by whatever anyone tells them and they are subject to the full assault of Satan. This is because as natural mortal humans, we are battling against supernatural supermortal powers and principalities (Ephesians 6:12). Without Christ, the only thing stopping someone from suicide is animalistic self-preservation. After awhile, even that falls by the wayside. With no one telling them what God says they should do in the situation, they are powerless to the deception of Satan; telling them that things will be so much better if they just end their life.

Finally, while it is clear that the act of suicide will not result in someone going to Hell, failure to trust Christ as your Saviour will result in going to Hell. Some may say that they do trust Christ, but want to go to Heaven as a motivation for their suicide. The danger in this thinking is that it is demonic in origin; it is not the kind of thinking that comes from the Holy Spirit. This makes one wonder, if someone who thinks they are a Christian wants to commit suicide, is that the kind of thinking that real Christians have? Likewise, if someone calls them self a “real Christian” and wants to commit suicide, it is very doubtful that they are saved. And if that is the case, if they go through with it, they will learn very quickly that the issues that brought them the point of ending their life will pale in comparison to the torment they will experience for eternity.

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Dr. Michael L. Williams

Dr. Michael Williams is a pastor, author, Christian educator and Biblical counselor who has served in ministry since March of 2000. Dr. Mike holds under-graduate through post graduate degrees in Christian Education. Dr. Mike is the Senior Pastor of Selah Mountain Ministries, which he founded in March of 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (selahmountain.org). In addition to counseling, he teaches how to overcome life issues Biblically on topics such as anger management, marriage, addictions, and other subjects typically referred to as mental illnesses. Dr. Mike lives with his wife Pamela Rose and adult daughter Hollie Rose. He and Pamela have other adult children and several grandchildren as well. Learn more about Dr. Mike at his personal ministry web site Wisdom4Today.