Question: God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond your strength. How does this passage help Christians to make decisions regarding euthanasia?
Answer: Really it seems like you started to answer your own question. We know that it is never God’s will that a person take their own life, anywhere someone did this in Scripture the individuals were unsaved. One of the Ten Commandments is that we are not to murder. “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13) Taking one’s own life would be murder. There are murderers in the Bible who repented and were saved, but a person who takes their own life has no chance to repent.
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life was to clean up after someone who had blown their brains out. There is nothing more devastating for the family than this. Of all the selfish things a person can do with their life, this has to be the worst! It does not matter if all of society says it is ok, the Bible makes it clear that one is not to murder. Whether it is the life of the unborn or an elderly infirmed person it is wrong to take the innocent life. God gave us life, and He alone should take it.
When we take our own life in our hands and kill it, it is not of God! It is not of faith! As you said in your question, God does not let us be tempted beyond our strength. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
I have seen many Christians die, and some of them with terminal diseases such as cancer. (Really all of us have a terminal disease, it is called sin, and we will all die of it short of Christ’s return!) As in the case of my mother-in-law who had terminal cancer. She suffered for a year and a half with it. Yes, there were times she wished she could die, but then there were other times that she rejoiced in the Lord and sang with the grand children, great songs of the faith.
A few hours before she went to heaven she was given extra strength from the Lord to sit up and greet the family. She was under hospice care. She had developed pneumonia which gave the need for oxygen. She had barely eaten or had anything to drink. After the family went home, my wife sat up with her singing and praying. Mom was kind of restless but breathing deeply. She wasn’t responsive to Marlene’s voice.
About 10:00 pm, she opened her eyes, lifted her arm toward the corner of the room away from where Marlene was sitting and said, “Ok, let’s go!” She closed her eyes, never said another word, and took her last breath at midnight. It was like Jesus was there and she was ready to go with Him.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” (Revelation 2:10-11)
I hope this answers your question,
Gary T. Panell
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