In regards to teen suicide, the bible promises that God will never
offer us trials and tribulations that are more than we can handle.
(1Cor 10:13) yet with kids who commit suicide it seems that sin has
beaten them, and satan has ultimately won. How can God let his
beloved children destroy themselves? I have heard a story (through
word of mouth) about a young man walking with the Lord who had
Schizophrenia. He committed suicide by jumping off of an overpass.
How can this be answered biblically?
Thanks for your note. This is question is close to my heart. I was a
teacher for a number of years and have raised my own six. Teen suicides are
on the increase and they are heartbreaking.
First of all, though, please look at 1 Corinthians 10:13 again. It does NOT
say the Lord will not take us through trials and tribulations that are more
than we can bear. I can guarantee to you that He will take us through
them -- and they will be far more than we can bear without Him. The verse
says we will not be presented with *temptations* beyond what we can bear,
and that God will also always provide a way out so we can stand up under the
But what you are talking about with teen suicide is NOT temptation. It is
desperation, and that is altogether different. I personally am convinced
that a great many teen suicides are actually going to be seen by God as
murder. Murder by folks who don't take the time for these kids -- parents,
teachers, ministers. Murder by the education establishment who has told us
all through 12 + years of school that we are nothing more than evolved
animals, thus robbing life of meaning, purpose, and even individuality.
Murder by the entertainment industry which pushes violence, sex, perfect
bodies, perfect personalities, and happy endings in 60 minutes with time out
for commercial breaks.
Life just isn't like that. And sometimes, when that kind of reality hits
kids who have no tools with which to cope with it, it is just too much.
Yes, there are some who commit suicide for other reasons. All I can tell
you in the long run is that God judges the heart.
But what WE need to do, as living people who love God, is to let those kids
know there is a God. They are uniquely and lovingly created. There is a
plan and purpose for their lives. We need to be friends -- sometimes even
almost surrogate parents. We are gloves with God's hand in us and we
cannot allow ourselves to be afraid to reach out and touch the "unlovlies"
or even the kids who seem like they have it all together. One of my
youngest daughter's best friends had a boyfriend who shot his brains out
last November. He seemed one of the happiest kids on campus -- always had a
"Hi!" for everyone. Inside he was hurting so badly he finally had no way
out that he could see.
Let's make sure they see a way out. Let's be there. We can't stop them
all, but we can sure give them an attractive option.
In the long run suicide, like any other death, is a matter only the Lord
really knows all about. Samson, who commited suicide, is listed with the
saints in Hebrews 11. Hold on to that knowledge. It will help. The Lord
knows the heart. The Lord judges. And please know that Satan has NOT
But maybe we can help a little; love a little; be there a little. Walk with
God, friend. The whole world is hurting and dying now.
But we can show them why we can joyfully celebrate our precious Lord's
resurrection and love for us. I wish you many blessings on this special
Thank you for writing the Paraclete Forum. Since we are a loose knit
team of 18 men and women, you may hear from more than one of us.
God has a special love for children. This is very evident in the life
of our Lord Jesus.
Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them;
and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called
them to him, saying, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder
them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not
enter it." (Luke 18:15-17)
For adults to cause children to lose sight of God is a criminal
offense as far as God is concerned. Children are naturally open to
God when they are young--before the influence of the world presses in
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And calling to him a child, he
put him in the midst of them, and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless
you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom
of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever receives one such child
in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones
who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great
millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of
the sea. "Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is
necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the
temptation comes!" (Matthew 18:1-7)
I believe that many children who die early, before they have really
made a choice to turn against God, do go to heaven. There seem to be
special angels who guard children.
If a child knows God and seeks the Lord, God will protect that
child's eternal destiny even in the worst of circumstances. But
decadent, collapsing civilizations like ours have a terrible way of
destroying their young in many different ways.
All those chosen by God are saved--we have that assurance from John
17. The devil never wins any real victory. He reaches for what he
thinks will be success and gets only a mouthful of dust.
I expect we will see many many young people in heaven whose lives
were cut short for one reason or another. God is never defeated.
Also, regardless of how old a person is, God never allows temptation
beyond one's ability to handle it, as you pointed out,
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is
faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength,
but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you
may be able to endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13).
God weeps with a broken heart over our human tragedies. He feels each
of them much more keenly than any of us do. We have a loving,
compassionate, and merciful God who watches over His own.
Your note caught my eye so I'd like to offer my observations about
this, if I may.
First of all, I've had no first hand experience with suicide in my
family or with my friends, but I can certainly relate to a situation
such as this; one that seems so unfair and scary, full of pain, and
that God appears to have his "all knowing and loving" hands removed.
Indeed, there are some times where life pain in general hits us all
and there seems to be no God behind it, backing us up.
Suicide as I imagine you know, is an immensely complicated issue.
Certainly there are many many factors behind the scenes of any
suicide victims life that go untold or unresolved for a long time.
Regardless of the circumstances, the pain this person experiences
is beyond what they feel they can handle here on earth and they end
their own lives. Observing that the 1Cor 10:13 verse appears to
have failed, or as you point out, God appears to not live up to His
word. So, I can under stand your thinking when you say that "sin
has beaten them, and Satan has ultimately won". Why didn't God
swoop in and save the day, just fix it? Why didn't God just fix the
pain that cause these people to end their lives? Here's some
thoughts on that:
I take it by your response that you have some Bible knowledge and
understanding of the character and nature of God as portrayed by the
Bible. Yes, 1Cor 10:13 does imply freedom from life's overwhelming
trials, when taken by itself. However, when taken in context of the
whole passage, it should be noted that Paul is advising the
Corinthians about the effect of turning away from God, of idol
worship, reliance upon self, and the results of repeatedly
disobeying and willfully removing themselves from the grace, love,
and protection (spiritual, emotional, and physical) that God
provides when we are relying upon Him as the Lord of all areas of
our lives. The key to this promise is that it is conditional upon
putting God first. Here's the whole passage for reference:
[1Cor 10:1-14] I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were
all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were
baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the
same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink.
For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and
the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless with most of them God was not
pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these
things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. Do not
be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat
down to eat and drink and rose up to dance." We must not indulge in
immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a
single day. We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them
did and were destroyed by serpents; nor grumble, as some of them did
and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to
them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction,
upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let any one who
thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has
overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he
will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the
temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able
to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.
We also know that the picture the Bible paints of who God is (His
character, His desires for us, etc.) is deeper and more wonderful
than we can imagine. If this verse in Corinthians were the only
verse that we used upon which to summarize God's character or
actions in our life, we would be observing only the smallest
fraction of the whole picture of God. Consequently this verse would
fail every time we have slightest bump or scrape throughout our
lifetime. I think it is important to try and remember all of the
characteristics of God, all of His promises, and all of His commands
when asking why He does or does not act in a certain way, or why he
allows some things to happen and other not.
It would be to simplistic for me to say that all suicide victims
just needed to turn their lives over to Christ and everything would
magically be OK. In reality that is what we all need to do, yet the
Bible never promises a quick fix. All of our lives are complicated,
and asking God to come in and take over starts a process that at
first is intrusive, foreign and strange, but slowly gets easier, and
continues for the rest of our lives. As God rebuilds this
relationship He starts to unravel and remove the pain, and the hurt.
He starts fixing the places we are broken buy sin, and replaces it
with Himself. God does this through friends and family, through
church members and pastors, through good circumstance and bad. This
process takes time, a lifetime to be exact, and mostly this is done
quietly, invisibly, in the deep corners of our hearts, where only
God and ourselves can see. Our day to day actions and behaviors as
Christians rarely reflect the full amount of God love and grace that
we know we have received. This is an unfortunate truth I've
observed in myself many times. I have meet Christians that are much
better than I in showing Gods character and love and grace present
in their lives in such a way as to not doubt that God is with them.
This is usually observed after spending lots of time with them and
developing a relationship with them.
It is impossible to tell at what level God was really Lord of this
persons' life who jumped off the overpass, or at what level God was
present in the hearts and lives of anyone who commits suicide, just
by looking at a snapshot in time of their outward actions. And it
is unfair of us to judge God, based upon what we see in a particular
instance, without remembering everything else that God also is and
does and promises for those who believe in Him. In the instances
you mentioned, we just don't know enough. However...
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth should change, though
the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar
and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a
river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation
of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be
moved; God will help her right early. The nations rage, the
kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The LORD of
hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the
works of the LORD, how he has wrought desolations in the earth. He
makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and
shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire! "Be still, and
know that I am God. I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in
the earth!"The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our
This is a big topic. I can't possibly answer your question fully on
my own, but perhaps this helps? C. S. Lewis has a great book on the
subject of pain called "The Problem of Pain". Also, here's some of
Ray Stedman's sermons from the PBC web site that touch on the
subject of suicide. I hope these will help answer some of your
--Where Hope Begins
--The Pressure of Pain