Tonight I feel convicted to discuss a certain topic. Suicide. Now don’t see that word and shy away from this post. It may not be what you think. I’m not sure if the conviction comes in lieu of the Robin Williams tragedy or a recent discussion I had with my dad or the sermon preached this past Sunday. Either way, here goes.
Suicide by definition is taking one’s own life. Whether this is by accident or intentional, the end result is the same. Permanent separation from your earthly body.
First off let me say that feeling complete loneliness has to be the absolute worst feeling in the world. You see, as humans we are made to need a relationship with others. In Genesis, Adam and God walked together in the Garden. However, even though Adam had a perfect environment, all the resources at his disposal, and adequate power; the Lord himself said that it was not good for man to be alone and therefore made him a companion (Gen. 2:18). Humans need interaction with one another. It’s how we were made. That being said, when a person feels alone, of course depression will set in. And when a person feels that way for so long, I can understand how it would be hard to see your way out of that dark hole.
In the Bible, Paul is a perfect example of someone who had every opportunity to give up on his life. Having endured trial after trial and prison sentence after prison sentence; I would understand it. If I were Paul, I would be TIRED of the fight. The struggle. The race.
However, looking in 2 Timothy 4:6, when Paul is nearing the end of his life he doesn’t give up. Paul NEVER stopped living. He knew his fate. He said, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come” (2 Tim. 4:6). Even then, he kept going. He kept the faith up until the very end. He fought a good fight, kept the faith, and finished the course (2 Tim. 4:7)!
When writing to Timothy, Paul begged him to come visit him in prison. He details the whereabouts of all his friends to Timothy, and out of 4 of them, only 1 remains by his side. The other three have left him. Took off to other countries, following their worldly desires while their mentor in Christ sits in a jail cell awaiting his beheading. Paul pleaded with Timothy. Paul needed his friend. He needed that human contact in order to survive in his grim circumstances.
Paul, when previously writing to the people of Philippi said some of the strongest words in the whole book. He said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). When Paul wrote these words, he was already imprisoned for his Christian preaching. Another version says, “Everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose” (Phil. 1:20-21, Message).
You see folks, if you keep this conviction in your heart, you will NEVER have to question what is the reason to live. If you do this, your world will be in focus. If not, you may very well begin to worry and debate what’s the purpose of life. The answer is Christ. CHRIST is the reason to live. The Great Commission was given to us all, not just a select few. We are all put on this earth to make disciples of the Lord. To cultivate another’s spirituality and inform them of the works of God and Jesus Christ.
In the second part of this post, I want to address my thoughts on a suicide victim in Heaven. Now I will say, this is merely my informed opinion. I am in no way in authority to say such things. There is an ultimate judge that will do this.
Historically, the church has preached that a person who takes their own life can not be granted access into Heaven. This is because it is a sin that has been committed that they have not repented for. Since you can’t ask forgiveness for an act before you commit it, and once you commit it, it’s too late to ask forgiveness; you blew your chances.
Personally, I believe that a Christian who commits suicide can still be found in Heaven despite all that. You see, the Bible teaches that all sins are equal in the eyes of the Lord. Equal in severity? No. Equal in punishment? Yes. Equal in forgiveability? Yes.
This being said, that means there is really no real difference in a Christian dying before repenting of stealing and committing suicide. For both acts, the Christian was not able to repent before their death. Yet for some reason our society believes that suicide is the ultimate sin. These two are equal. Suicide is equal to murder, adultery, coveting, gluttony….in the eyes of God, they are all equal to the same punishment and same forgiveness if the person is saved. You see, once you are saved, that’s forever. It is by grace through FAITH that you are saved. God never moves people. He is always in the same spot. If you feel you are getting further away from God, it’s not him moving. It’s you. And once you recognize this, it’s your job to get back in line where you belong. But distance from God doesn’t mean you won’t go to Heaven. The only way I believe you truly won’t be in Heaven once you are saved is if your heart changes and you no longer believe Jesus is God’s son and he died for your sins. Then, you got yourself a problem.
This has all been written to bring awareness to the sore topic of suicide. This has meant to put a positive biblical light on it and provide some hope to those who have experienced this in their lives. This is in no way condoning suicide or excusing it. Just trying to make you aware.
If you don’t take anything else away from this, remember that people need people. You need people. They need people. Be kind to people. Everyone is struggling with something. Reach out and extend a hand to those people in your life.