The Apple Of God's Eye

March 30, 2009

Does God Allow Mercy Killing?

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In recent times, the issue of “mercy killing” or “euthanasia” as it is called in medical circles, has been brought to the forefront of public awareness, largely because of the actions of Jack Kevorkian.

The definition of euthanasia, according to the “Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia,” is defined as “easy or painless death brought on to end a lingering, hopeless, painful disease.”

Now it may seem kind and merciful to relieve a loved one of their suffering from a debilitating illness. However, that decision is not yours to make. Neither is it up to the person who is suffering – life belongs to God. Only the Almighty God – the Giver of life – can decide when life is given and when it is taken (Ps. 36:9, John 6:35). When it is time for a person to die, God will allow it to happen.

Few, it seems though look to the Bible to see what God says. When we do, we find that from the beginning God intended that each human being live out a productive and fulfilling life in preparation for eternal life with Him in His Kingdom.

While God has authorized man’s governments to end the lives of those who have committed murder and the like (see Romans 13), there is no support in Scripture for ending the life of an innocent person simply because of sickness, old age, or disease. In fact, God’s Word shows that the weak are to be cared for, not murdered. See I Thessalonians 5:14.

On the other hand, the idea that heroic measures must be taken to keep a terminally ill person alive as long as possible is not biblical either. There is no sense prolonging a person’s dying. Many righteous people in the Bible knew when they were dying, got their affairs in order, gathered their families to say good-bye, and simply died. It is not wrong to ask God in His mercy to allow a suffering person to peacefully die. But in the end, it is God who decides.

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