Question

My question is one on suicide and on suffering. 

Answer

I assume that you mean (1) is suicide a sin?; and (2) Why does God permit suffering?

Corinthians 3:16–17 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” (NASB) The context of chapter 3 shows that Paul is speaking of the church as the temple of God, and that those who would tear it apart or destroy it by division or faction would themselves be destroyed by God. God does not take kindly to those who would seek to pervert, pollute or injure His church. In Ephesians 1:22–23 says that the church is Christ’s body. Notice that his argument is based upon the Sprit of God dwelling within. Though the “you” under consideration in 1Cor 3:16 is “plural,” 1 Cor. 6:19–20 uses the same argument in regard to individual Christians: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” The matter under consideration here is of own “polluting” his own body by sexual immorality. The reason it is wrong is that it is a pollution of the temple of God—the same argument used in chapter 3. Note that those who become Christians become the “personal property” as it were of God: “You are not your own…you were bought with a price…” implies a master/servant relationship. The Scripture uses the term “bond-servant” (Rom. 1:1, for example). Suicide is the exercise of one’s own will in a matter which God has not granted permission: It is sin to take a life, even your own, because our lives belong to God, not ourselves.

Naturally, anyone who dies without having become a Christian by faithful obedience to His gospel, dies without hope (2 Thess. 2:8), so when anyone dies outside of Christ, death seals his fate (Heb. 9:27). In the matter of “Doctor assisted suicide” or suicide by reason of suffering, the same principles apply. There is no Scripture I know of that permits the taking of life without God’s direction or permission. Taking a life to “end suffering” is not something God has authorized, and to assist someone in this matter makes one a “partner in sin.”

As to the matter of suffering in general, I would refer you to three articles that are posted on Gary Hunt’s Webster: http://www.biblesearch.com The articles are listed under the section “Something to think about–The Bible and current controversial questions.”

By Doug Focht

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