Disturbingly, there has been a rash of suicide reports that have come to my attention both on a personal level…some of whom have been close to home and in the media as well.
A few years back, a father who lived in the neighborhood I grew up in took his life because his business was failing and the financial repsonsibility was far too overwhelming. Recently, within a couple of months, one report came of a dear mother who took her own life, after finding out that she was being laid off. And just recently, my husband came home and asked me to pray for the family of a young man in his early twenties, who for unknown reasons ended his life.
According to statistics, someone in the U.S takes their life every 16 minutes. It is the 8th leading cause of death in males and 7th in females .
Unfortunately suicide, leaves family and friends behind in a torrential wake of grief contaminated with feelings of guilt, shame, betrayal and confusion.
As a young girl, in my early teens, my best friend’s cousin took his own life and I remember the questions that arose after the disturbing news came to us. Do those who take their own lives go to heaven?
I certainly have no answer to this question but I do however want to say this, that heaven awaits those who are saved and believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. So the question would not be as much about whether or not they would go to heaven as much as it would be, on whom have they believed? But we must also realize that in order for someone to be Lord…we have given them ownership over us in both our decisions and actions.
Does the Word of God address suicide? The answer is yes!
Hebrews 4:15 says this, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but ONE who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
We read in Matthew 4:5-7 and Luke 4:9-11 that Jesus Christ himself was tempted with suicide. Here’s the account: “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down (kill yourself): for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
After reading from Matthew & Luke and then from this next passage…it is established that suicide is a temptation, a device of the enemy. Revelations 9:6 speaks of it. “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.”
You see, when we seek death, thinking that it is an end to life…a way out…we will not find it because life is eternal, whether it be in this earthly place or the places prepared for us in the hereafter. There is no escape from living, regardless.
We are subject to such a temptation, when there is something more than meets the eye…when our perspective is off. You see, Satan offered it to Jesus, after showing him what was “available” to him, according to his deceitfulness and if Jesus has taken the bate, He would have been bound with limitations, rather than endless possibility.
There is a witness of this in the word as well. Acts 16:25-34 tells this story:
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every ones bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. ”
You see, the jailer saw one thing but in reality, it was something altogether different. Things looked bad but there was more than met the eye! Thank God for the voice that cried out, “DO THYSELF NO HARM!” Then he called for a light because he wanted to see what the darkness was preventing him from seeing. Friend, you and I are that voice and that light!