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A friend that I grew up with, took his own life this past week. My heart hurts for him, his family, and friends. I’m praying for you. If his trust was in Christ for his salvation, he’s in heaven today (Rom. 5:1-10; Rom. 10:9-13).
1. God loves you (John 3:16). If you are alive, God has supplied you with the life that you possess (Job 1:21). The love of God is better than life (Psalm 63:3). If you know this reality, you shouldn’t desire to take your own life.
2. Jesus died to bring you back into a right relationship with God (Rom. 5:8). You were created to enjoy God (Gen. 1-2). The overarching reason why you are considering suicide is because you refuse to enjoy God through Christ in this life. You must call God a liar in order to take your own life: sin. Instead of enjoying God through life, you have said, “I will not enjoy this life unless ___________.” God however promises us nothing on earth; but, we have a hope beyond this world (1 Thess. 1:3). This is the reason why the apostle Paul could say, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Phil. 4:11-13).” You too can do all things through Christ who strengthens you; however, you must come to and depend on Christ.
3. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to reconcile you to Himself (John 14:6), pouring out His wrath on His Son on the cross instead of pouring out His wrath on you (1 John 4:10), if you repent and trust in Christ alone (Mark 1:15), He will declare you righteous before His Father (Rom. 5:1-10). Maybe the reason why you are considering suicide is because you have never come to God the Father through Jesus Christ? Or, if you have come to God the Father through Jesus Christ alone, you are not living out your position in Christ? In other words, it is impossible to take your own life if you are enjoying God through Jesus Christ. You have added a stipulation to enjoying God; you are saying, “God, I will not enjoy you unless _________.” God has already crucified His only Son for you… and you want more? We are boisterous sinners, aren’t we?
4. God made you to bring glory to Himself. It is impossible to bring glory to God through the sin of suicide; or any other sin. God alone has the right to give and to take life since He is the giver and sustainer of life (Col. 1:16-17; Job 1:21). Just because you have the ability to take your own life, doesn’t mean that you have the right to take your own life. We live in God’s world; and He formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
5. You don’t know the future. Who hasn’t considered suicide at some point in his or her life? I thought about it often as a teenager. If I had ended my life then, I wouldn’t have 1) enjoyed God through Christ for the past 11+ years, 2) enjoyed God through my wife, 3) enjoyed God through my children, 4) enjoyed God through pastoral ministry, 5) enjoyed God through the local church, 6) enjoyed God through growing in grace and knowledge, 7) enjoyed God through His gifting of others: sports, art, music, literature, pop culture, etc.
6. If you are coming to God through Christ, you have a hope of salvation (1 Pet. 1:3-5). There is coming a day when you will no longer feel or know the effects of sin. Sin, either your own or someone else’s, or both, is why you want to commit suicide. You will be with Christ forever in heaven, if your trust is in Christ. If you are trusting in Him, then you can rejoice in your future and your present life (1 Thess. 5:16; Phil. 4:4). In other words, Jesus is always worth living for; and you can enjoy Him continually regardless what effects of sin you’re experiencing. The abundant life is found in Jesus alone (John 10:10); it cannot be found in this wicked world. Should you be surprised that this wicked world cannot provide you with what you desperately long for: a relationship with God?
7. Once you take your life, you cannot change your mind. If your definition of happiness is different than “coming to God through Christ,” your definition will change from one moment to the next. Up to this point, you didn’t want to commit suicide; or, at the very least, you haven’t always wanted to end your life. How do you not know that you will feel better in a few days, weeks, or years? How do you not know that your illness will be cured, or your lover will come back to you, or a new friend will encourage you, or you will get a better job, etc.? I realize that you’re pursuing happiness by taking your own life, but your definition may change in a few days. If you take your own life today, you will not experience the joys that may be just around the corner.
8. Your suicide will hurt others. Think of all your family and friends that will miss you. Think about how you’re feeling right now at this moment; and now think about your family and friends feeling exactly like you feel… because they miss and love you. If you take your life, you will make your family and friends feel awful for many years to come. You may say, “I don’t have any family or friends that care.” Well, I care. You are more valuable than you realize. God cares for you, for He has given you life so that you will enjoy Him (Col. 1:16-17). If you value human life as much as God does, you wouldn’t even consider suicide. Every time I hear of someone that has taken his or her life, I always think “How sad! There’s another human being that did not realize his or her value!”
9. What about those who want to live, but have no choice? My former teacher in high school and former pastor Mr. Harding had a son that grew up with me. He however gradually succumbed to a terminal disease. Every time I see him or his wife, I know they think of their son. Whenever I was in high school, Mr. Harding told me that it amazed him how those who have healthy lives want to end them, and those who have terminal diseases often want to continue living. He wished they could switch positions. I agree. In other words, please consider the blessing of simply living. Please, wake up.
10. Have you counted the cost of taking your own life? Have you considered that suicide will not make you happy? I know what is on the other side of life: either heaven or hell (Luke 16:19-31). You will go to one or the other. Are you sure about where you’re going? If you are going to heaven, then you realize that you have no right to take your own life. Only God has this right since He is the One who gave you life (Gen. 1:1; Psalm 139:13; Job 1:21). However, if you’re going to hell, why are you in a hurry to get there (Matt. 8:12; Luke 12:5; etc.)? There’s no possible way that your life on earth is worse than what your life will be like in hell forevermore.
*It must be noted that suicide does not automatically guarantee someone goes to hell. Suicide cannot be repented of. Is it possible for a Christian to commit suicide? Yes; just like it’s possible for a Christian to commit any other sin. The difference with suicide is that Christians cannot repent since they are dead. If you are a Christian, and you are considering suicide, then you do need to question your trust in Christ. Are you really living by faith in Him (Rom. 1:17)? However, also remember that we are not justified based on our good works, but based on the finished work of Christ (Eph. 2:8-9). Just like I wouldn’t say that a faithful Christian who was speeding in a car, had a wreck, and died, automatically went to hell; I will not say that a faithful Christian who committed a stupid sin in a moment of weakness–suicide–automatically went to hell. The blood of Christ cleanses Christians of ALL sin (Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5).
What are your thoughts?