What Is the Christian Perspective on Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide?

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What Is the Christian Perspective on Euthanasia or Assisted Suicide?

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The debate surrounding euthanasia or assisted suicide has the potential to branch off in a variety of different directions. Variables debated include:

Is the act voluntary or involuntary? For example, consider the scenario of a person in a permanent coma who has not created a living will.

Is the act passive or active? For example, a person may simply want to make a choice not to receive life-preserving care.

Who’s decision is it? Is it a matter of personal choice, is it in the hands of medical professionals, or is it up to the state to decide?

To keep this answer manageable we will limit our perspective on euthanasia or assisted suicide to a scenario where a physician administers a lethal injection to a person who wishes to end their life because they are suffering from an incurable sickness.

We advise against it

If you are a believer who has repented, been baptized, received the Holy Spirit and are considering proactively ending your life with the assistance of a physician, the action of taking your own life (either by yourself or with assistance) is not the godly solution to a chronic health condition. With today’s medical help, a person with a life-threatening disease can live out his or her last days without undue pain, and die in relative peace—letting the body naturally cease to live without actually causing death.

God promises He works all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28 Romans 8:28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
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). He promises that one day, suffering and trials will cease (Revelation 21:4 Revelation 21:4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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). Until that time, in the broken world we live in now, God brings about good even from the suffering that believers experience. He allows it and uses it to build their faith. Our trials may be physical affliction, emotional pain, intellectual doubt or daily temptation. His desire is that we persevere and endure to the very end. In all this God shapes us in ways that may be painful at the time but develop His holiness in us. His goal is to bring us to completeness so we might be declared to be His children and have a place in His eternal family.

If we can find some means to escape a painful, dangerous or abusive situation we should take it. But does this logic apply to taking one’s own life?

Your life is not your own. Everything you have and are belongs to God. To take your own life, or have someone assist you take your life violates the Sixth Commandment of “do not murder.” Anyone who takes a human life, even their “own,” without His authority, will be held responsible by God.

God can forgive. But to deliberately violate His command expecting or assuming He will forgive is very risky business. Jesus told us we are not to tempt or test God (Matthew 4:7 Matthew 4:7Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.
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).

What about non-believers?

If you are a non-believer and are seeking to proactively end your life with the assistance of a physician we still advise against it. God has left you to make your own choices and has been very patient with you. It may be possible that your life has reached this low ebb so that you will at long last turn to Him with what time you have.

Should this practice be made legal?

If the government in your nation declares the practice of euthanasia or assisted suicide legal, such a declaration does not change any of the points made above. For an allotted time God is allowing humanity the freedom to govern themselves, create their own laws, governments, and philosophies. That time will come to and end with the return of Christ. Until then believers should remember the words of Jesus: “My kingdom is not of this world” and that you are already a citizen in the Kingdom He will establish when He returns (John 18:36 John 18:36Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
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; Philippians 3:20 Philippians 3:20For our conversation is in heaven; from where also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
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).

If you are concerned about God’s judgment and the fate of those who take their own lives you might want to read What Happens After Death?

If you are interested in learning more about the Kingdom and rule Jesus will establish when He returns you might want to read The Gospel of the Kingdom.