Sunday, September 15, 2019

Suicide - Fast Track to God or One Way Ticket to Hell?

*** NOTICE: If you are easily saddened and prone to cry and can't emotionally deal with facts and the truth, please skip reading this.  If however you are tired of people sugar-coating things and essentially lying to you, then please read on! ***

1 Corinthians 1:19,21,25 - For it is written: " I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

So this week my inbox lit up like a Christmas tree.
Usually this makes me happy, but the topic makes me shake my head in disgust.

Allow me to paraphrase the abundance of the same question into one homogeneous question:

Question: Pastor Keith, as I'm sure you've already heard, this week a Pastor out in California by the name of Jarrid Wilson killed himself.  The media is writing this up as if he was the greatest person in the world, yet by his own admission he was suffering from severe depression for many years.  So the 2 questions I would like answered are these:

1. Should a person suffering from severe mental illness BE a Pastor?

2. Should we as Christians learn from his example and all kill ourselves so that we can get the fast track to Heaven and leave this miserable existence behind?

Answer: Whew...

Now anyone who's been following me for a while knows that I don't shy away from the hard questions.  As a matter of fact, I'm probably one of only very few who will actually ANSWER the really controversial questions.  Fact is, I'm not here to make the majority of the secular world happy, my Ministry is to preach the word, regardless of the cost.

Ok, so with that out of the way, let me start off with the 1st question.

NO.  Anyone "suffering" from mental health issues SHOULD NOT BE A PASTOR.  PERIOD.

NO.  Suffering from a mental health issue DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT give you "street cred".

If your pastor is dealing with mental health issues, DO YOU REALLY WANT HIM COUNSELING YOU?  What about your lawyer?  Pharmacist?  Accountant?  Babysitter?

If ANY Pastor is dealing with mental health issues, THEY SHOULD QUIT, THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO LEAD ANYONE.  They are a DANGER to YOUR mental health and that of your children.

Luke 6:39 - And He spoke a parable to them: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?"

With that said, I would of course want them to get professional help, and perhaps one day if they feel lead by the Holy Spirit to do so, resume their ministry.  Short of that, they do not belong in ANY WORKING CAPACITY within ANY church.

So, onto the 2nd question.  Is suicide really our Fast Track to Heaven and the reward?
The fact that I have to answer this question makes my stomach hurt.

I did read a few articles regarding this Pastor and him killing himself.  To be honest, my heart aches for the wife and 2 beautiful children he's left behind.  His wife Juli actually believes that Jarrid "went to go be with Jesus".  Even his own Pastor says Jarrid went to "Go be with the Lord"

So what does the bible say about killing yourself?
First some commentary, then the bible verses.

Suicide as a word has only been around for a couple of hundred years.  Before it was given a "name", it was generally referred to as "self-killing" or "self-murder".  How interesting, inasmuch as one of the 10 Commandments is "Thou shalt not kill".  Ask just about anyone to list off the 10 Commandments and that's probably one of the very few that they know!

Now, it may be difficult for you to wrap your mind around this, but suicide is an act of PRIDE.

Consider for a moment some recent notable suicides:

Robin Williams - Suffering from Lewy body dementia decided to hang himself in order to avoid the humiliation of becoming a public spectacle due to him losing the ability to control the debilitating effects of the disease.

Jeffrey Epstein - Supposedly killed himself in jail, rather than be publicly humiliated by answering for the many decades of disgusting debauchery that he was finally going to be held accountable for.  He supposedly hung himself.

Ariel Castro - This man kidnapped and raped at least 3 women we know of and held them captive for years, raping them repeatedly and even getting one pregnant.  Like Jeffrey Epstein, he killed himself, rather than deal with the humiliation of being locked up and dealing with the consequences of his actions.  He also hung himself.

So with that said, let's see what the bible shows us about suicide:

Judges 9:52-54 - So Abimelech came as far as the tower and fought against it; and he drew near the door of the tower to burn it with fire. But a certain woman dropped an upper millstone on Abimelech's head and crushed his skull. Then he called quickly to the young man, his armorbearer, and said to him, "Draw your sword and kill me, lest men say of me, 'A woman killed him.' " So his young man thrust him through, and he died.

Abimelech would have SURELY plunged his own sword into his chest had he not been mortally wounded by that woman.  He had his armorbearer finish the job the woman started in order to avoid the HUMILIATION of being killed by a woman.

1 Samuel 31:3-4 - The battle became fierce against Saul. The archers hit him, and he was severely wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armorbearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me." But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.

Saul killed himself with his own sword in order to avoid the humiliation of being taken prisoner and tortured by non-Jews.

1 Samuel 31:5 - And when his armorbearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell on his sword, and died with him.

That was one tragic battle.  After Saul lost all of his sons and then took his own life, I guess his armorbearer felt as if he had little to live for, knowing the humiliation he would face due to the overwhelming victory of the Philistines.

2 Samuel 17:23 - Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father's tomb.

Ahithophel (say that name 10 times fast), clearly felt humiliated and discredited over the fact that King David's son Absalom no longer valued his advice.

1 Kings 16:18-19 - And it happened, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the citadel of the king's house and burned the king's house down upon himself with fire, and died, because of the sins which he had committed in doing evil in the sight of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he had committed to make Israel sin.

Here we go again, after Zimri's rebellion failed, he set the king's house on fire and died a very fiery death.  Humiliation, again!

Matthew 27:3-5 - Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." And they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!" Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.

We can't forget Judas!  So humiliated was he, that he betrayed what he finally understood to be "innocent blood", that he felt he had no choice but to kill himself by hanging.

Are you seeing the pattern here?

People kill themselves for a variety of reasons, but PRIDE is always the number one reason behind every suicide.  EVERY - SUICIDE.

Ok, so do you go to heaven or hell after killing yourself?
How about you tell me....

Let's say you were the best church-goer that your church has ever seen.  You gave more than anyone, you volunteered more time than anyone, prayed more than anyone, fed more homeless than the Catholic church during the depression.  And then you find out your wife cheated on you and you kill yourself to avoid the humiliation of dealing with reality.  Do you find yourself in the warm embrace of an "all-loving, all-forgiving, all-understanding God", or do you wind up in the pit of Hell and get to hang out with the likes of Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer and Aleister Crowley for the rest of eternity?

As I say repeatedly in my yet to be released book, "But is it Biblical?", we are called to place all of our faith and all of our trust in GOD ALONE.  When?  At all times!  For how long?  For as long as we live.  If you live your life depending on your own goodness and your own strength, you will fail.

Matthew 19:17 - So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God."

If you die in your sins, you will not inherit eternal life, you will however inherit the Judgement.

Matthew 5:21 - "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.'"

As Christians we should all recognize that our continued faith, our unwavering commitment, our unconditional acceptance of the blood of Christ as complete atonement for our sins & our undying love of God is what will GUARANTEE that we'll AVOID THE JUDGEMENT.  The bible tells us that IF we have to stand before a Holy God on judgement day, we'll all be found guilty and receive our penalty.  If however we place all of our faith and all of our trust in God alone, He promises us the FREE GIFT of eternal life in His presence.

If you self-murder, kill yourself or commit suicide, you will be committing the sin of murdering yourself, which by definition means that you took something that belongs to God and you decided your own fate.  If you die in sin, there can never be ANY repentance.  Dead is dead.  Once your body stops drawing breath, you've given up any access to turn away from your sin (repent).

1 Corinthians 6:19 - Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Believe me when I tell you that I know suicide and indeed ALL mental health issues are serious business.  Sure, I recognize that this is an extremely sensitive subject, especially for anyone who has had to personally deal with the fallout of a loved one killing themselves.

If you or someone you know or love is dealing with depression or thoughts of suicide, please don't stand by and watch them die for nothing.  Suggest that they get help.  If they won't heed your prodding, talk to their family, other friends or even go to their church to try to get an intervention started and get them some help.  At the very least give them the phone number to a suicide hotline.  And most of all, PRAY FOR THEM.  Pray furiously that it's God's will that they get help and LIVE!

If you've never read my blog before, it's important that you understand that the underlying intent is love.  Not the fake love that's all smiles and lies, but the kind of love that will pull you out of the way of a speeding truck and then yell at you for not paying attention and being more careful!

As with all of my blog posts, I expect backlash from people who don't agree with me.

If you have something constructive you'd like to DISCUSS without vulgarity or hate, I welcome the opportunity to have a discussion.  If you're filled with bile and venom, perhaps you need the Gospel message more than you can imagine.

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