We Need to Have a Serious Talk about Death, Part II
Welcome to Part II of this extremely controversial post. If you missed Part I, you can read it here. Let's jump right in...
The World Can’t Deal with Suicide Because It’s Dishonest about Death
It follows that if we can’t be honest about death, then we REALLY can’t be honest about suicide.
Being dishonest about death is what helped launch Bishop Carlton Pearson from being a preacher of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to Universalism. My Freshman year at Oral Roberts University, I went home for Christmas and was in the shop getting my hair done. There was a gentleman I met there who was visiting some friends and they introduced him to me. He’d been longtime friends with Bishop Pearson (and bore him no ill will) and he shared with me how he saw so many things that caused him to doubt his faith. He saw so many people in his ministry travels and knew he would never be able to reach them all. And the straw that broke the camel’s back was when his favourite uncle died. He was not a Christian. And it was at that point, that he decided-despite the Scripture--that God would not send his favourite uncle (and all of those other people) to Hell. Enter deception. Now, Bishop Pearson is one of the most well-known propagators of a doctrine of devils, pro-homosexuality, and “all roads lead to Heaven.” It is a false gospel and bar true repentance, he will not only taste hellfire eternally, but he will have to stand before God and answer for all of the souls he led astray, many, I’m sure which were swayed from Heaven and cast into Hell the moment they adopted their leader’s other gospel. And that’s not a personal opinion, that’s the Word of God.
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:13-15)
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (II Peter 2:1-3)
Many, for other reasons, have bought into this deception as well, even if they may not adhere to a formal cult/religion. But bringing it back to suicide, let’s make some things clear…
Suicide is Murder
This doesn’t need much elaboration or explanation. “You shall not murder” is the sixth Commandment and it does not provide a conditional clause. Murder is murder whether you murder someone else, commit mass murder, annihilate a people group like Hitler, or simply swallow a bunch of pills and kill yourself. The only real difference is that, like David, if you kill another (hu)man, you can repent. If you kill yourself (unless there’s a moment of genuine repentance before you die), you cannot.
Note: NO ONE can count on having a genuine moment of repentance in the process of trying to kill yourself. You don't know if you'll have a few moments or even one to get right or if you will lose consciousness or "give up the ghost" right away.
Suicide is a Crime Against God
We are not our own. We are God’s, whether we admit this and live like it or not.
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? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:19-20, see also Romans 12:1)
Thus, when we murder ourselves--for whatever reason--we destroy the temple of God.
Imagine if you burned down or demolished my house. That would be a crime. Or if you did the same to a [Spirit-filled] church. That is a crime because either way, you destroyed--everlastingly--someone else’s house. That is what suicide does.
Suicide is a Crime Against the People Assigned to Your Life
God assigns people to our lives. When we live outside of His [perfect] will for our lives, the people we were supposed to meet and love and influence will never experience us and more importantly, what God wants to do through us. However, as long as there is still breath in your body, you have an opportunity to rectify this situation. Not so if you kill yourself.
And as devastating as cancer or any other terminal illness would be (I admittedly cannot even imagine this), we still have an opportunity to reach people. Sampson did more ministry in his death than he did in his life. So did Jesus. And when one commits suicide, especially if they plan it out, they rob God of the opportunity to defy the devil and cancer, heal them, and launch them into their own formal or informal ministry if He so chooses. Suicide removes any possibility of hope. Suicide is the exact opposite of hope, no matter what a person may say.
Suicide is NEVER God’s Will
NEVER EVER EVER EVER. You know how I know? Because I was approached by the spirit of suicide--twice. And yes, it is a spirit. You may be shocked to read that (especially if you know me). But being tempted by suicide is not a sin, giving in to it is. For me, I recognized that those thoughts were not from God or even from me; they were completely foreign. So I had to cast them down as the Bible commands.
Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:5-6)
God via the Apostle Paul doesn’t say this to be controlling or demanding, He says it to save our lives. Because as Jesus told Cain so many thousands of years ago,
Sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it. (Genesis 4:7 ESV)
Satan desires to sift us, as Jesus told Peter, but our faith must sustain us. And in our faith is our obedience to the Word and will of God. Thus, we must cast down EVERY THOUGHT, EVERY SUGGESTION, EVERY IDEA that is not of God. Entertaining godless thoughts is indeed a sin. And sin, when fully grown, brings forth death (James 1:15)
TRUTH: Suicide is NEVER the will of God. It is the son of Satan, the brother of depression, and the ally of fear. All of these are spirits not like God.
God’s Love & Mercy Can Save Us from Hell
As aforementioned, God wills that NONE perish. He loves each and everyone one of us eternally. Why do you think He created you? Sin, death, breaks His heart because when we enter into it, either temporarily or everlastingly, we separate ourselves from Him.
As mentioned in the last section, suicide and depression are inextricably connected. And the driving force behind them is fear. FEAR, not logical thinking, is what causes people to kill themselves. Fear is NOT from God.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (II Timothy 1:7)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (I John 4:18)
Experiencing the torment of fear is not an acceptable reason to kill yourself--even if it feels that way at the moment. And yes, life can make us feel like that from time to time, but that’s not a cause to give in--it’s a cause to get help. And it would seem that the people around Brittany Maynard, and likely in the case of many others who planned their deaths, did not help her. The doctor should have helped her, not kill her. And yes, I hope s/he is disbarred for breaking his Hippocratic Oath.
The love of God produces peace and abolishes the torment of even the worst situations. It may not even make the situation go away, but instead of being in the winds of the storm, you are in the peaceful eye.
The truth is that the love of God--if accepted--could have saved Brittany Maynard from suicide and hopelessness. But as far as we know, she never gave Him that chance. And I’m haven’t heard tell in any articles about her being a Christian. We know where her end is if all this is true.
My point is not to condemn her, she has already been condemned by her own choices and actions. Even Jesus said,
But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:18)
I’ll be very honest with all of you who’ve taken the time to read this far (bless you!!): I would rather scare you into Heaven, than coddle you into Hell. I have to answer to God for what I say and what I don’t say; we must all answer for what we do and what we approve of (either directly or indirectly, officially or unofficially).
Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32)
But people, let me tell you, turning your head from sin, remaining silent in the face of sin, and running from the truth will land you a first class ticket to Hell!
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
People don’t like to preach Hell. Neither do they want to hear about it. But Jesus didn’t care. He knew repentance from sin was necessary for us to enter into the Kingdom of God and the joy of the Lord. How do I know this? I’ll let R.T. Kendall tell you.
The earliest message of the New Testament was from John the Baptist, warning us to “flee from the coming wrath” (Matt. 3:7). (40 Days with the Holy Spirit, pg. 123)
Jesus’s forerunner and cousin, John, preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). And Jesus Himself, once on the preaching scene, also preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
TRUTH: The Love of God comes with Truth and Power. It is the witness of the Holy Spirit. (And any “Jesus” presented to you that does not define Truth or include judgement on unrighteousness is NOT the Jesus of the Bible!)
In this truthful, powerful, love, Jesus called all men unto Him so they might avoid the wrath of God.
The real reason a person should be a Christian is owing to the wrath of God. (40 Days with the Holy Spirit, pg. 123)
And every revival from John the Baptist to the Final (Third) Great Awakening bears this same message of repentance.
In times of Great Revival there is often a revival of teaching of judgement and eternal punishment. And yet only the Holy Spirit can make this truth terrifying. If He does not come alongside when such is preached, people will be unaffected. (40 Days with the Holy Spirit, pg. 124)
The world doesn’t need anymore sugar-coated, seeker-friendly, feel-good messages. We’ve degenerated ourselves so much as the [American/Western] Body that people don’t even accept the Word of God anymore. The Gospel is meant to be an offense and an aroma of death to those who don’t believe--but not for those who say they do! Hearing the Word of God shouldn’t OFFEND you, it should CHALLENGE you to be, do, and live better, holier. And if it does offend you, you might want to check your spirit first before you start pointing fingers and throwing slander.
As my spiritual father always says, “If you constantly find yourself being offended, then you’re [spiritually] immature.” He’s right! But at the end of the day, personal offense does not matter; it has no bearing on the Word or Person of God. And on that note I say:
Let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4) Even me!!