The Apple Of God's Eye

March 2, 2011

Wat Does The Bible Say About Suicide?

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The Bible gives no specific command regarding suicide, nor does the word itself appear in the Bible. There are, however, references to seven people who killed themselves: Samson (Judges 16); Abimelech ( Judges 9); Saul (I Samuel 31); Saul’s armorbearer (I Samuel 31); Zimri (I Kings 16:18); Ahithophel (II Samuel 17:23); and Judas (Matthew 27:5). The earlier conduct of all seven was morally corrupt, and except for Samson their suicides were simply attempts to escape their well-deserved fates.

Suicide means self-murder and murder is forbidden by the Sixth Commandment: “Thou shalt do no murder.”

God has not given an individual — even one who could rightly judge himself deserving of the death penalty (as could most of the above) — the right to pass such a sentence. Suicide is not an acceptable way of escaping punishment, dishonor or the like.

In a different case, however, Samson died a hero, because his suicide was in fact a dedication of his life, at long last, wholly to the service of God in the liberation of Israel from the Philistines. His motive was not just to kill himself to escape. Christ Himself similarly gave His life for others.

Since a suicide experiencing quick death or unconsciousness has no opportunity to repent of his murder in this life, some have wondered if suicide is what the Bible terms the unpardonable sin. The answer is no, because the unpardonable sin is only unpardonable because it is something a person refuses to repent of.

God is merciful, not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9), but He simply has not called most people to repentance in this life. They will have their chance in a resurrected life after the millennium in the period known as the White Throne Judgment.

Source: The Good News, January 1979

May 6, 2010

Freedom Without God's Law Is Enslavement!

Man has searched diligently for the most sought after ideal in history – freedom – yet has never attained it. Why after violent protests, revolutions, struggles, civil and world wars can this elusive quality not be found? They continue to fight for it, but do they really understand it?

Biblically, this is also a major issue. The Apostle Peter talked about freedom to those whose idea of it was in error:

“They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved (II Pet. 2:19).

That may be a strange verse to some, but it makes perfect sense when examined through the lens of God’s wisdom. Take alcohol or drug abuse. Both have staggering price tags, socially and economically. Billions are spent each year to cover health care and welfare services for these problems.  Work productivity plummets, divorce rates climb and crime, automobile accidents injuries, depression and suicide skyrocket. (more…)

May 31, 2009

Is Suicide The "Unpardonable Sin?"

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incredimazing.com

The Bible gives no specific command regarding suicide, nor does the word itself appear in the Bible. There are, however, references to seven people who killed themselves: Samson (Judges 16); Abimelech ( Judges 9); Saul (I Samuel 31); Saul’s armorbearer (I Samuel 31); Zimri (I Kings 16:18); Ahithophel (II Samuel 17:23); and Judas (Matthew 27:5). The earlier conduct of all seven was morally corrupt, and except for Samson their suicides were simply attempts to escape their well-deserved fates.

“Suicide means self-murder and murder is forbidden by the Sixth Commandment: “Thou shalt do no murder.”  God has not given an individual — even one who could rightly judge himself deserving of the death penalty (as could most of the above) — the right to pass such a sentence. Suicide is not an acceptable way of escaping punishment, dishonor or the like.”

In a different case, however, Samson died a hero, because his suicide was in fact a dedication of his life, at long last, wholly to the service of God in the liberation of Israel from the Philistines. His motive was not just to kill himself to escape. Christ Himself similarly gave His life for others.

Since a suicide experiencing quick death or unconsciousness has no opportunity to repent of his murder in this life, some have wondered if suicide is the unpardonable sin. The answer is no, because the unpardonable sin is only unpardonable because it is something a person refuses to repent of.

God is merciful, not willing that any should perish (II Peter 3:9), but He simply has not called most people to repentance in this life. They will have their chance in a resurrected life after the millennium in the period known as the White Throne Judgment.

May 29, 2009

Capital Punishment, Mercy Killing, Self-Defense, Abortion: What's A Christian To Do?

The Bible reveals that God gives lawfully constituted civil authorities the right to carry out capital punishment in certain instances (Gen. 9:5, Ex. 21:12-17, Deut. 7:1-2, Acts 25:10-11). These “governing authorities” do not bear the “sword in vain” (Rom. 13:1-4).

But the New Testament teachings of Christ and His apostles make it clear that true Christian believers are not to be part of the secular governments of this world. Only those who don’t know the true God should be the executioners of the wicked.

Here, then, is the New Testament teaching for true Christians: We are not to bear arms or use swords or guns to enforce Caesar’s laws, avenge ourselves or punish evildoers. When the apostle Peter, with a sword, cut off the ear of a man, Christ rebuked him, saying, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt. 26:52, John 18:10-11).

To the Christian, Paul says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh” (II Cor. 10:3). Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you.”

The deceived billions on this earth “fight and war” but are unable to attain true peace (Jas. 4:1-2, KJV), because “the way of peace they have not known” (Rom. 3:17). But the true Christian “must not quarrel but be gentle to all” (II Tim. 2:24). He must set the proper example to the world.

“What about mercy killings (euthanasia), capital punishment, killing in self-defense, taking revenge, “just” wars, abortions (killing of unborn infants) and suicide?”

God, the giver of life (Gen. 2:7, Deut. 32:39), has the right to take any life if and when He chooses. But man does not have that power, unless God grants it to him. In numerous instances, God not only permitted His servants (prophets and civil leaders in the nation of Israel) to take life, but He actually commanded it under certain circumstances (I Sam. 15:3-33).

In New Testament times though, Christians are commanded never to avenge themselves, but let God do it in His own time and way (Rom. 12:19).

Mercy Killings or prolonging life

Are “mercy killings” permissible, since they are, supposedly, acts of mercy? No example in the Bible shows any people of God taking the life of another or their own, with God’s approval, either in acts of euthanasia or suicide.

God also does not say that we must give our loved ones drugs or oxygen or do all within our power, such as using various machines, to force them, contrary to nature, to live as long as possible, even when they are in great pain or totally unconscious.

Though God permits capital punishment to be carried out by those duly authorized, it is wrong for those in authority to abuse this power. They should not use this power to kill the just, as Herod did in the case of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29).

Abortions

What about abortions? Using abortion as an alternative form of birth control is tantamount to the practice of the ancient Canaanites and others, who slew their infants in sacrifice to pagan gods such as Baal in the mistaken belief that their gods would bless them for doing so. God gives us life, and only He can legitimately take it from us. Is it wrong to take a life, even that of an unborn. By doing so we  violate God’s Sixth Commandment?

April 17, 2009

Death of Judas Iscariot: Four Apparant Contradictions Solved!

127Is there a contradiction about the death of Judas Iscariot between Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18? Did Judas, after betraying Christ, hang himself or just swell up and burst open? Does it matter that history is completely silent on this issue?

First, to explain to the critics (though it will hardly satisfy), we should understand that God had His Word recorded in such a way that it could be misunderstood. Through one of the prophets we find that the Bible is written “here a little, and there a little” (Isa. 28:10). Each part is true, but the whole truth about a particular subject may not be found in any one verse or chapter. This is one reason Paul said that the Word of God must be rightly divided (II Tim. 2:15). 

By putting the two accounts of Judas’ death TOGETHER we get a clearer idea of what happened. Both events are true, yet there are some details which give critics a hard time, though we have only to apply some common sense. 

1) The first contradiction: Two separate deaths — Both events did not happen at the same time – simple. Matthew wrote that Judas “hanged himself” (Matt. 27:5), giving the means of death. He never denies that Judas fell and had his entrails gush out. Luke explained what happened later. He does not tell us that this is the means of Judas’ death, and he also does not deny that Judas hanged himself. He merely reports the end result. 

2) Second Contradiction: Why does Acts say the body of Judas burst open after a fall? — “Consider the following. When a person dies, the body begins to decompose. If left to itself (and not acted upon by the attempt to preserve the body), bacteria soon begin to break down various tissues. As a result, gases are released within the body, which in turn cause it to swell. A few years ago, the news media reported how a 50-ton sperm whale had beached itself on the shores of Taiwan and died. While on its way to being transported through a Taiwanese city to a particular research center, the swollen whale literally exploded and soaked pedestrians and motorists in blood and entrails. According to one Taiwanese scientist, “Because of the natural decomposing process, a lot of gases accumulated, and when the pressure build-up was too great, the whale’s belly exploded” (“Whale Explodes…,” 2004). In light of such events, it certainly is not difficult to imagine that a dead human body, which may have been swelling for a number of days, could have fallen a short distance (from wherever it was hanging), and easily burst open when striking the ground.” (Apologeticspress.org)

This idea has promise for several reasons: 

a) Judas hanged himself on Passover and before a Sabbath, and no Jew was going to touch the hanging corpse (touching a dead body caused defilement; it would have been work to take it down on the Sabbath; added to that, death by hanging was especially a disgrace; and hoisting a dead body isn’t an attractive vocation if it isn’t on your property). So it may be assumed that Judas hanged himself, his body was heated by the Palestinian sun, blew up, broke or slid through the knot of the rope, and fell down bursting open because of decomposition.

b) Another point to consider why the rope around Judas’ neck broke. Approximately six to nine hours had elapsed, and it was during this time that Judas hanged himself. The Bible relates that when Jesus died, there was an earthquake so mighty that rocks were broken and graves were opened. One may assuredly presume that an earthquake strong enough to rend a rock might also be powerful enough to break a rope or cord, specifically the rope from which Judas was hanging. Consequently, it follows, that while Judas did in fact hang himself, the cord from which he was suspended broke. 

3) Third ContradictionJudas did not really die? — Those who say the narrative is not literal but figurative need to consider Acts chapter 1.  Peter says that he fell headlong, burst asunder in the middle and his bowles gushed out, making it fairly clear that he is talking about someone who died. Luke, who was part of the early church, had no problem believing that Judas Iscariot died.  Also, if Judas Iscariot had not died, he would not have needed to be replaced.  

4) Fourth ContradictionHow could the body of Judas fall headlong if tied by the neck? — Can a body fall headlong from hanging? Would not he legs crash to the ground first? I’m not sure why this particular issue is such a stumbling block to people. The word here rendered “headlong” – πρηνής  prēnēs means properly “bent forward, head-foremost.” So there is little denial this happened. But how did his body rotate 180 degrees upon the rope breaking?

14First, we don’t know the height of the tree. Judas could have used a high branch to hang himself and his body hit another branch as the rope loosed, causing his body to flip? This is possible, but would it not make more sense for Judas to simply choose the lowest branch that he could find; one that was sufficiently high? Probably, since a branch with a branch underneath it may have only gotten in the way. But then again, the lower branch may have caused doubt and since the state of mind of someone bent on suicide is not the most stable, this scenario cannot be fully discounted.

Another scenario would simply state that Judas chose a branch suitably higher than himself and used a nearby rock to climb up to it – perhaps it was right underneath the branch. Once the rope broke, the body would have crashed down feet first into the rock (which could have been of a suitable size) and as such, the body simply pitched forward and fell headlong the rest of the way. It certainly is not an impossible circumstance!

Conclusion

I hope people stop making a huge deal out of nothing at all. The amount of information on the internet about this subject is tremendous, yet most is erroneous and proves a huge lack of faith. The Bible does not always give every detail, yet this does not mean the incident is fictitional. It simply means we have to look deeper into the matter, use faith and common sense. We also have to under stand that critics approach the Bible from the angle that God is lying, which contradicts what the scriptures say, “that God cannot lie” (Tit 1:2).

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