Death: One Arrival; One Departure

With recent suicides in Farragut/Knoxville TN involving High School Students and my own experiences with suicide I believe this topic is highly needed, not just here but overall. I hope this will make you think more about how you can help others. If you are thinking about suicide, I hope that you reconsider and know that God loves you.



For Millennials, thinking about death might seem weird because we are so young, and we have our whole lives ahead of us. We are experiencing it more and more because of the crazy world we live in. In this life there is One Arrival and One Departure, like a really weird airport. For example, when I go to Guatemala in the summer on a missions trip I depart; I am saying goodbye and hugging my mom. Then, when I arrive in Guatemala I am hugging the team I work with as I arrive. So even in the same day I have said both goodbye and hello. 

In a sense, it’s the same way we arrived when God made and formed us from the dust. Genesis 2:7 states: 

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

We are born, we live, and finally we die. There are so many questions, thoughts, and views on what comes after death. What about when it’s not God that takes us out of this world? There are many different viewpoints on this topic; and they are ever changing, depending on your religious background, affiliation, and how you interpret the scriptures. We are going to take a deeper look down one particular avenue that has affected many Millennials. Suicide. It seems to be more and more common among our generation. Why are we losing so many millennials this way?

Our generation is facing insane challenges unlike any before that most people don’t fully understand. Millennials are under enormous pressure of the world more than any other generation. Millennials are told they need a certain education, they need to make tons of money, they need all these positions and they need to have a wife, kids, and a picket fence by a partial age and when they don’t achieve this, society deems it as a epic failure. There is pressure to be someone you aren’t, to live a certain way, and with the cultural norm. Pressure, by parents, by family, their church, and so can make suicide a lot more tempting and more intriguing to get away from the pressures of life and what society expects of us.

We are told that every 17 minutes someone in America commits suicide. In North America, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among people 15 to 25 years old, college students for the great part (source).

Recently I attend a funeral service for a family friend whom committed suicide. Not knowing why he committed it resonated with me. Was it depression? Was it a mental illness? Combination of both or just pressures of everyday existence. When I found out my heart sunk deep inside. Knowing that the family and one of my dear friends would be grieving for a loss and the mind asking would have, could have, should have questions. We will never understand or know what was going thru the mind of this guy but God does know and he knows the potential pain and suffering that could have occurred in this persons mind.  Sometimes the heart asks, Why? Why is this happening to me? But the answer is so mind blowing  Young people kill themselves mainly for one reason: they cannot believe their lives are precious enough to make them worth living. Despair, depression, hopelessness, self-loathing– these are the killers.

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Many people who struggle with suicidal thoughts feel like they are alone. You would be surprised by how much the Bible talks about suicide. There are several helpful examples of those who took their life and many reminders of hope throughout Scripture. Even though these stories from the Bible are of people overwhelmed by fear, guilt, heartache, illness, pride, disillusionment and hopelessness, no where in God’s Word does it indicate that suicide is an unforgivable sin. The Bible is very clear in that the only sin which cannot be forgiven is refusal to believe in Jesus Christ. While suicide is sin, it is not the unpardonable sin. 

So what does the bible say about suicide?

 
The Bible records seven suicides:

Abimelech

Judges 9:52-54

Abimelech lacked personal identity

Samson

Judges 16:25-30

Samson died for a cause he believed in and for revenge

Saul

1 Samuel 31:4

Saul was stressed out, unable to live up to certain expectations; felt like a failure

Saul’s armor-bearer

1 Samuel 31:5

Impulsive, he wanted to die with his boss 40% of teenage suicide is impulsive

Ahithophel

2 Samuel 17:23

Ahithophel was bitter because his advice was not followed

Zimri

1 Kings 16:15-20

Rebellion, Zimri had a problem with authority

Judas

Matthew 27:3-5

Depression, Judas felt trapped by materialism and guilt

God has a plan for you!

  1. God has a great plan for your life. God has created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). He created us for a purpose. God has a specific plan in mind for everyone.
    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
  2. God’s plan is for life, not death. The Bible teaches that both physical and spiritual death are the result of our sin and disobedience to God, but eternal life is a gift to those who receive it.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
  3. Jesus taught that death and destruction are the work of “the thief” (Satan). He said,
    The thief comes only to steal and destroy (John 10:10).
    John 8:44 says that Satan is a “murderer” and the “father of lies.” The feelings of despair that lead to suicide are caused by some of his lies.
  4. Jesus wants us to have life. He said:
    The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10).
  5. Life belongs to God. It is never our place to take our own life or someone else’s life.
    Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Suicide isn’t the answer.

  1. The solution to despair and hopelessness is not suicide, but faith in God.
    We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you (Psalms 33:20-22).
  2. Christ promises that He will give us rest from our problems.
    Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
  3. Tell someone. Tell your parents, your brother or sister, your teacher or school counselor, your pastor or youth minister that you are thinking about suicide. If a friend tells you that he or she is serious about suicide, then you need to tell someone who is responsible and can help.
  4. Accept Christ’s free gift of eternal life and salvation, if you haven’t already. Romans 10:13 says:For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
    John 1:12 says: Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
  5. When we accept Christ, God gives us a brand-new life and sees us as completely holy and righteous. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
    God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  6. Because of God’s salvation through the death of Jesus on the cross, we can have assurance of eternal life with God.
    I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)

 I believe that it’s our duty as Christians to worry less about whether people who have killed themselves go to heaven, and worry more about how we can help those people. Our most urgent problem is not the morality of suicide but the spiritual and mental despair that leads people to it. 

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If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please get help. Do not face this on your own. There is hope and healing, and there are many who will help you. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time day or night, to talk to someone who understands. Or go online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org for more information and help.

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