OceanSide church of Christ

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Dying With Dignity
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Introduction

A.   Brittany Maynard took her own life in Oregon on November 1, 2014

                                          i.    She drank medicine given by her physician legally

                                        ii.    She had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer

B.   Sadly, people are calling this ďdying with dignityĒ

                                          i.    There is nothing dignified about suicide

C.   Letís consider a few thoughts on suicide, euthanasia, and prolonging life

II.            Intro to Suicide

A.   There are several examples of suicide throughout scripture

                                          i.    None of these are given Godís stamp of approval

B.   For example, Ahithophel committed suicide when Absalom heeded to the counsel of Hushai instead of him (2 Sam 17:23)

C.   Zimri took his own life when he realized he was soon to be killed by Omriís forces (1 Kings 16:18-19)

D.   Judas is a more popular example from the New Testament (Matt 27:5)

                                          i.    He regretted his decision to repay Christ but followed with another poor one

E.   An example of someone who did not go through with it, is Job (2:9-10)

                                          i.    His wife told him to curse his God and die

                                        ii.    His response was negative to his wife as it would not be pleasing to God

III.           Scriptural Issues with Suicide

A.   Suicide suggests autonomy

                                          i.    If you create or buy something it belongs to you

1.    You can sell it, use it, or destroy it

                                        ii.    God created us and therefore we belong to Him (Psalm 100:3)

1.    All souls are His (Ez 18:4)

                                       iii.    God purchased us with His sonís blood (1 Cor 6:19-20)

1.    In both sense He owns us

2.    We are not free to destroy our bodies

                                       iv.    We have an appointment with death (Heb 9:27)

1.    We have no right to show up early to that appointment

2.    God knows when our appointment is set

a.    We should leave this world on His terms

B.   Suicide is murder

                                          i.    Whether you kill someone else or yourself it is still murder

1.    From the beginning this has been sinful (Gen 9:6)

2.    We know it is condemned to kill today as well (Rom 13:9)

                                        ii.    However, some argue it isnít wrong because they are not in their right mind

1.    Studies show 90% of suicides are done by sane individuals

2.    We are not discussing those who are not in their right mind

C.   Suicide violates the principle of self-value

                                          i.    We must love our neighbor as ourself (Matt 22:39)

1.    This implies a Christian love for self as well

                                        ii.    We must love our wives as our own bodies (Eph 5:28)

1.    Would you kill your wife?

                                       iii.    Our value is more than money can buy as Christ died for us (Rom 5:8)

1.    No greater love or price could reveal our value (John 15:13)

IV.          Euthanasia

A.   This is the same as suicide except that someone else kills you at your request instead of doing it yourself

                                          i.    Saul requested his armor bearer to take his life (1 Sam 31:1-5)

1.    He refuses to do so in fear

                                        ii.    Later an Amalekite comes to David claiming to have taken Saulís life (2 Sam 1:8-15)

1.    Instead of being rewarded, David has him killed

2.    Notice this was not acceptable even if Saul was dying

V.           Prolonged life

A.   Finally, do we have to keep someone alive who is only hanging on by a machine?

                                          i.    There is no Biblical evidence to say we must do such a thing

                                        ii.    In fact, you might be hindering the individual from making his/her appointment with God (Heb 9:27)

B.   There are times when we must let them go and be with their Maker

C.   There is quite a difference between suicide and keeping someone who is practically dead alive with a man made machine