What Does the Bible Say About the End of Life?

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me. …"

Question #1: 'Is There An Example Of Assisted Suicide In The Bible?'

There is an account of reported voluntary euthanasia (in which one person asks another to kill them, ostensibly in order to alleviate the first person's suffering) involving King Saul and an Amalekite (2 Samuel 1:1-16). The unnamed Amalekite tells King David that he killed Saul at Saul's request, as Saul was wounded in battle. David's response is to kill the Amalekite for touching God's anointed. If euthanasia were a beneficial practice, David would have rewarded the Amalekite, not sentenced him to death.

Question #2: 'How Should Christians Respond To The Fear (Or Reality) of Pain And Suffering?'

Deuteronomy 31:6,8: "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble…, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you…. And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you…. Do not fear, or be dismayed."

Romans 8:32, 35,37: "He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us."

Psalm 23:4: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me …"

Question #3: 'How Should Christians Respond To Personal Challenges, Disabilities And Infirmities?'

Luke 1:38: "… Behold the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word."

2 Corinthians 12:9: "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.'"

Philippians 4:11,13,19: "… for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me…. And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."

Question #4: 'Job Experienced Physical, Spiritual And Psychological Suffering. How Did He Respond?'

Job 1:20-21, 2:10: "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.' Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God." "… Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?"


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Question #5: 'Does Suffering Have Spiritual Value? Can God Be Glorified In How We Respond To Suffering?'

Philippians 3:10: "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."

2 Corinthians 4:7: "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18: "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Question #6:'But, It's My Body. Don't I Have A Right To Choose When I Die?'

1 Corinthians 3:16,17: "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."

1 Corinthians 6:19,20: "Or 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."

Question #7: 'Is It Acceptable For A Christian, Who Is Terminally Ill, To Refuse Available Technology, In Order To Let Nature Take Its Course And Bring About A Natural Death?'

Ecclesiastes 3:1,2: "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — a time to give birth, and a time to die."

Psalm 116:15: "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones."

Psalm 139:16: "And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me."

Question #8: 'Do The Acts Of Assisted Suicide And Euthanasia Deny God The Opportunity To Demonstrate His Healing Power?'

Matthew 8:16: "And when evening had come, they brought to Him (Jesus) many who were demon-possessed; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill."

James 5:16: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."

Other Online Resources On This Topic:

Advance Medical Directives

Discussing Your Medical Wishes: A Patient's Guide

Making Medical Decisions for a Loved One: A Caregiver's Guide

Hospice Care