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THE TRAGEDY OF SUICIDE
AUTHOR: Brown, David L.
PUBLISHED ON: April 10, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Sermons
TAGS: murder | suicide

  THE TRAGEDY OF SUICIDE
  Study by Pastor David L. Brown Th.M.
  First Baptist Church
  10550 South Howell Avenue Oak Creek, Wisconsin 53154
  COPYRIGHT 1989 by David L.  Brown

  In 1896 D.  L. Moody wrote, “There is that other kind of murder that
is increasing at an appalling rate among us — suicide.  There have
been infidels in all ages who have advocated it as a justifiable means
of release from trial and difficulty; yet thinking men, as far back as
Aristotle, have generally condemned it as cowardly and unjustifiable
under any conditions.  No man has the right to take his own life  from
such motives any more than he has the life of another.” (From “Weighed
and Wanting” by D.  L. Moody; Published in 1896)

  THE DREADFUL DETAILS

  Mr.  Moody, you should see what is happening today!  It is beyond
appalling. We live in a death-fascinated society. “How To” books are
being written on means and methods of suicide.  These books describe
drugs you can use and how they will affect you.  They give step by step
instructions on the use of razor blades, guns, hanging, drowning and
drugs for self-murder.  There are an ever increasing number of songs
being written and openly performed pounding home lyrics that  advocate
the “suicide solution.” Millions of these records are sold legally. 
Case and point, Ozzie Ozborne’s “Suicide  Solution.” Youth and adults
are making “suicide pacts” and killing themselves.  “Cluster” suicides
are an alarming new phenomena (chain suicides, one after another, in
the same vicinity over a relatively short period of time).

  Millions of people, Christians and non-Christians, are attempting
suicide and tragically thousands of people are successfully taking
their lives.  Likely 30, 000 or more people will successfully kill
themselves this year.  Even more alarming are the statistics that
reveal the skyrocketing 400% increase in teenage suicides in the past
decade.  One study I came across said the average teenager thinks of
death every eight minutes, often death by suicide.  I PRAY HIS
INFORMATION IS WRONG.  According to Dr. Seymour Perlin,  chairman of
the board of the new Youth Suicide National Center in Washington D.C. 
This year we will see 2, 000,000 teenagers attempt suicide.  That’s 5,
479 per day!  Suicide is the #2 killer of teenagers.

  That’s not all.  80% of all successful suicides are preceded by a
threat or previous attempt.  A common misconception is to believe that
an individual who threatens or attempts suicide is “only trying to get
attention” and is not really serious. 15% of all those who attempt
suicide and fail the first time will try again within two years.

  Dr.  John Q. Baucom Ph.D. says in his book, FATAL CHOICE, “Three
times more women attempt suicide than men.  On the other hand, three
times more men actually succeed.  Men use more violent means to commit
suicide…

  “More professionals commit suicide than others.  Farm workers have
the lowest incidence among occupational groups.  Dentist and physicians
take their lives at the rate of 6 1/2 to 1 over the general population.
Lawyers commit suicide at a  ratio of 5 to 1 over the general
population.”

  He goes on to say that April or May are the worst months for
suicide.  In addition, there are a large number of suicides during
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years holidays.

  Protestants have a higher suicide rate than Catholics. Catholics
have a higher rate than Jewish.  American Indians have a suicide rate
five times higher than the national average.

  The “typical” attempted suicide victim of the 80’s would be a white
teenage female, who attempts to take her life by swallowing barbituates
and claimes depression as the reason.

  The “typical” fatal suicide would be a white teenage Protestant
male, who lived in an urban environment and had repeated family
difficulties or separation from family.  He probably committed suicide
with shooting, hanging or carbon monoxide poisoning.  He was depressed,
lonely, hopeless, estranged from close family ties and perhaps in ill
health.

  You may be saying, these things are not happening around here!  YOU
ARE WRONG! Though hushed, with data like this, you can be sure families
you know have gone through the agony of dealing with an attempted or a
fatal suicide.

  Churches, pastors and believers must not stick their heads in the
sand and pretend there is not a problem.  We need to take a careful
look at some of the — QUESTIONS and ANSWERS ABOUT SUICIDE.

  1.  WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT SUICIDE?

  SUICIDE IS WRONG BECAUSE IT BREAKS THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT

  Noted Bible scholar Charles Ryrie has an excellent chapter on 
suicide in his book “You Mean The Bible Teaches That…He says “The
sanctity of human life is paramount in the sixth commandment, ‘Thou
shalt not kill’ (Ex.  20:13). Here murder is condemned, and elsewhere
in the law every act that endangers human life is condemned, whether
the act arises from carelessness (Deut.  22:8), wantonness (Lev.
19:14), hatred, anger, or revenge (Lev.  19:17-18). Human life is
sacred, for man was made in the image of God (Gen.  9:6, where also
this same sanctity is made the basis for capital punishment).  But the
commandment has no direct object. It does not say, ‘Thou shalt not kill
someone’ or ‘Thou shalt  not kill thy fellow man.’ It is simply, ‘Thou
shall not  kill.” He goes on to quote from Carl Keil and Franz
Delitzsch “Thus it is to be concluded that ‘the prohibition includes
not only the killing of a fellow-man, but the  destruction of one’s own
life, or suicide.'” Simply stated, “Suicide negates God’s estimate of
life and violates the sixth commandment (Rom.  13:9).” SUICIDE IS
WRONG. SUICIDE IS SIN!

  “The Bible does not mention one single instance of a good man
committing suicide” D.  L. Moody said. I checked it out and he is
right.  Every biblical account of suicide reveals an individual whose
lifestyle was not honoring to the Lord.  All were living outside of the
sphere of accepted behavioral standards of the Lord God.

  1.  I Samuel 31:3-5 — King Saul and his armor bearer kill
themselves by falling on their swords.  Saul was forsaken by the Lord
when he turned to witchcraft and forsook following God.

  2.  II Samuel 17:1-14 and 23 (key 23) — Ahithophel devises a plan to
kill King David.  When his plan is rejected he hangs himself.

  3.  I Kings 16:18-20 — Zimri, military commander of half the
chariots in the army of Israel, plots to overthrow the king of Israel
and declare himself king.  He kills the king and all the male heirs in
the family.  When the people found out about what had taken place, they
appoint Omri, military commander of the army as king.  The army marches
on Tirzah and defeats the soldiers loyal to Zimri.  When he sees the
city is taken he retreated into the royal palace and sets it on fire
around him and dies in the flames.

  4.  Matthew 27:3-5; Acts 1:18 — Judas, betrayer of the Lord goes
out and hangs himself by thrusting himself on a pointed beam, causing
his insides to gush out.

  The scriptures seem clear enough.  Those who walk in the paths of
sin often find themselves at a dead end.  In despair,  they often
contemplate and initiate suicide!  How eerie are the words of Solomon
who warns, “There is a way which seemeth  right unto a man, but the end
thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov.  14:12). When you go your own
way and turn your back on God, you are on dangerous ground.  A
troubled, restless life and despair will likely follow.  Isa. 57:20-21
says “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest,
whose waters cast up mire and dirt.  There is no peace, sayeth  my God
to the wicked.” You have heard the old saying, “Crime does not pay” I
am sure.  More accurately, living outside of the sphere of accepted
behavioral standards of the Lord does not pay.  A life of unrest and
emptiness will be the wages reaped.  But it does not have to be that
way. Contrary to what you may believe, no one who still has life and
breath is beyond the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness.  The Lord will
always receive the individual who will repent and turn to Him.  He WILL
rescue the perishing.  Ezekiel 33:11 says “As I liveth,  saith the Lord
God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked
turn from his way and live: turn  ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for
why will ye die…?” REMEMBER, AS LONG AS YOU HAVE LIFE AND BREATH, IT
IS NEVER TOO LATE TO TURN TO THE LORD JESUS CHIRST.

  THE BENEFIT OF LIVING FOR THE LORD

  The Bible paints a bleak picture of those who do not know Christ as
Savior and who are walking outside the sphere accepted biblical
behavior.  Ephesians 2:12 says “At time ye  were without Christ, being
aliens…strangers…, having no  hope, and without God in the world.”
Psalm 1 says that those who walk outside the counsel of the Lord are
“like the chaff  which the wind drives away.” But, when you trust
Christ as your Savior and walk in His way, there are abundant benefits
that are yours. You will find purpose (I Cor.10:31; Phil. 3:13-14),
direction Prov.  3:5-6; Psalm 16:11), and stability Isa. 26:3-4; Phil
4:7) in your life.

  I am not saying “everything will turn up roses” in your life though.
But I am saying the Lord will see you through your trials (I
Corinthians 10:13) so don’t throw in the towel.  To be sure, there are
biblical examples of believers who were severely tested and wished to
die.  Job (Job 3:20-21), Elijah (I Kings 19:4) and Jonah (Jonah 4:3)
are all examples.  But each knew that they were not to take matters
into their own hands.  Job’s wife urged him to “curse God and die” (Job
2:9) but he would not.  He cursed the day he was born (Job 3:1-3) but
he knew the giving and taking of life belong to the Lord.  Psalm 68:20
says “…unto God the Lord belongeth the issues  from death.” In the
end we read of Job, “So the LORD blessed  the latter end of Job more
than the beginning…” (Job 42:12).  The LORD works in mysterious ways.
Entrust your life to Him.  He will see you through. Don’t take matters
into your own hands and take your own life.

  SUICIDE IS WRONG!  IT BREAKS THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT!

  FOUR OTHER REASONS SUICIDE IS WRONG

  IT IS THE APEX OF SELFISHNESS

  The root of suicide is self-centeredness.  Charles Ryrie says
“Suicide is one of the greatest acts of selfishness, for in it the
individual caters to his desires and own will and  ignores the effects
it has on others.” Philippians 2:3 speaks to the issue of selfishness. 
It tells us we are not to be selfish but to put others before
ourselves.

  IT IS REBELLION AGAINST GOD AND A FORM OF ATHEISM

  When an individual takes his own life he is saying, “I don’t care
about your purposes or plan for my life all I care about  is me and
‘escaping’ from the present situation.” That’s rebellion.  In addition,
the person who commits suicide is not escaping at all.  They are
“jumping from the frying pan into  the fire.” I will tell you more
about that later in the study.  Where does the atheism come in?  The
individual who makes a decision to take his or her life puts himself in
the place of God, making a choice that only God should make. Further he
is asserting that God is impotent, because his problems are TOO BIG for
God.  That is a tragic mistake. God is bigger than your problems and
able to do over and above what is needed to take care of the situation.
Not only that,  he wants you to come to Him for help!  (Eph. 3:20;
Matt. 11:28-30; I Cor.  10:13)

  IT IS PLAYING INTO SATAN’S HANDS

  Satan is the destroyer, (Abaddon and Apollyon = Destroyer in Rev. 
9:11). His purpose is to “…kill and to destroy” (John 10:10).  Satan
wants the unsaved person in Hell and the believer to be unable to
witness and work for the Lord. Suicide accomplishes his goal.  Satan
wants you to believe there is no way out.  He loves death. If your
thoughts echo  “take your own life, kill yourself, there is no way
out…” you can be sure of their origin, SATAN!  The grave is victory
for the devil when someone takes their life.  His deception worked. 
They bought the lie, that death was escape. But Satan knows that there
is no chance in eternity to change your destiny.  The doom of the
unbeliever is sealed and the witness of the believer is silenced.

  IT CRIPPLES THE BODY OF CHRIST

  If the believer commits suicide it brings reproach on the name of
Christ.  Unbelievers scoff at Christ saying, “If he was so great, how
come he couldn’t help the one who committed suicide.

  In addition an amputation to the body of Christ hurts the whole body
(particularly the local church where the person was a member).  I Cor.
12:12, 20, 26-27 points out this body relationship and Romans 14:7
makes us aware that our life and death influences others.

  SUMMARY: You cannot deny the fact that committing suicide is wrong. 
1) It breaks the sixth commandment, 2) It is the apex of selfishness,
3) It is rebellion against God and a form of atheism, 4) It is playing
into Satan’s hands, 5) It cripples the body of Christ.  In addition,
THERE IS NO CHANCE IN ETERNITY TO CHANGE YOUR DESTINY.

  2.  WHY DO PEOPLE TAKE THEIR OWN LIVES?

  Common factors in attempted suicides are 1) A Sense of Hopelessness
2) A Sense of Helplessness 3) A Sense of Loneliness.  Note I said a
“sense.” These feelings are real to the individual but many times
he/she may not be without hope, help or alone.  The big problem is, the
individual has lost perspective and does not have a good handle on life
or reality. They view life as empty, meaningless and wasteful. That’s
catastrophic!  If the person would turn to Christ and choose to lived
for the Lord the negative perspective would change.  I have seen it
happen!  Your life can turn around and be full, meaningful, fruitful
and satisfying in the Lord Jesus Christ.

  Back to why people take their lives?  We need to dig deeper and be
more specific.

  DEPRESSION

  According to research by G.  E. Murphy (Hospital Practice “Suicide
and Attempted Suicide”) At least half of all suicides are suffering
from depression when they take their lives.

  Don’t let yourself sink too deep into depression before you talk to
a friend, your pastor, a counselor or member of your family.  If you
wallow in depression, that will lead to self- pity and soon you will
find yourself caught in a quagmire pulling you constantly downward
until you are considering suicide.  You lose your rational perspective
on life. If you are intensely depressed and that does not eased in a
week to ten days, get some help!  At least talk to a friend who “has it
together” and better yet, get some professional help from your pastor,
a counselor or doctor.

  ALCOHOL and DRUG ABUSE

  Alcoholics and drug abusers account for another one quarter of all
suicides.  In fact another researcher claims that the suicide rate for
alcoholics is 55 times the national average. One in five successful
suicides is committed by a person who suffers from chronic alcoholism. 
Drug addicts are 350% more likely to commit suicide than are
nonaddicted individuals of the same age.

  I want to share with you a poem that I came across.  It made my
heart ache for those enslaved to drugs and alcohol.  It was written in
a phone booth, by a 20 year old girl just before she committed suicide.
I heard it on a tape by Dave Mizel of Frewsburg, New York. I call it A
HEROIN ADDICTS 23RD PSALM. It is obvious to me that the tormented young
lady must have been “religious” for she had to know the 23rd Psalm to
write her lament based on it. She wrote…

  King Heroin is my shepherd, I shall always want.

  He maketh me to lie down in the gutters.  He leadeth me beside the
troubled waters.

  He destroyeth my soul.  He leadeth me in the paths of wickedness for
his efforts sake.

  Yea shall I walk through the valley of poverty and fear all evil,
for thou Heroin art with me.  The needle and capsule they to comfort
me.

  Thou strippeth the table of groceries in the presence of my family. 
Thou robbest my head of reason. My cup of sorrow runneth over.

  Surely Heroin addiction shall stalk me all the days of my life and I
will dwell in the house of the damned forever. ***

  DON’T BUY THE LIE!  Drugs and alcohol are poison.  Statistics tell
us 80% of all reported teenage suicides had alcohol in their systems.

  If you have an alcohol or drug problem, get help to get control of
it.  Alcohol and drug abuse are deadly weapons in the devils hands. 
They are life destroyers.  If you are a believer, you must remember that
your body belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. You must not abuse it (I
Cor. 6:19-20).

  Friend, if you find you are caught in the snare of alcohol and drug
abuse, don’t let your fear, pride, rebellion or stubbornness keep you
from getting help.  Many Christians neglect getting help because they
feel it will be an embarassment to their families and church.  It is
far better  to ask for help yourself as opposed to being “discovered.”
Call your pastor and ask for his help.  If you are a young person tell
your parents the situation and ask for help.  If you can’t bring
yourself to ask for help, call a local hospital and ask where you can
get help.

  INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS and LONELINESS

  Not being able to talk to mom and dad is thought to be the number
one promoter of teen suicide according to Jerry Johnston, popular teen
speaker who deals with the issue of suicide prevention in school
assemblies.  This is not necessarily all the parents fault. Parents
need to be open. When their teenagers talk, stop what you are doing and
listen.  Initiate communicate with their teens. Keep in touch with what
is going on in their lives.  Don’t “jump on” every little thing you may
not agree with.  Save your “two cents worth” for what’s really
important.

  Loneliness can be very depressing for young and old alike.  To some
it becomes so amplified that they try to escape in suicide.  But,
suicide is not the answer. Remember, there is no chance in eternity to
change your destiny.

  DIVORCE AND BROKEN HOMES

  Parents who break up often do not realize that they are provoking
their children to unbelievable anger.  Despite the tension in unhappy
marriages, for the most part that tension is more readily handled by
the children than a divorce.  There were a million new divorces last
year.  The children from these broken homes feel rejected, cheated and
often responsible for mom and dad’s break-up.  The attempted suicide
rate among these kids is sickening.  More each year are looking for
escape from the hurt by suicide.

  When the bottom drops out of life, many hurting divorced look to
suicide for release.  There is a better answer and that is the Lord.

  SOCIAL DISGRACE, LOSS OF HONOR and DIGNITY

  The loss of an important position, to be put on the shelf suddenly
or to be a social outcast can be devastating.  The feeling that “nobody
cares” or “nobody needs me anymore” lead many to conclude “I might as
well be dead” and take their own life. What a tragic mistake.

  There is no more devistating blow to the honor and dignity of a
young person than to be molested by a family member or close friend of
the family.  Too often children will go to another family member and
try to get help only to be ignored,  told they are lying or accused of
being the instigator. Seeing no way out, many opt for suicide, seeing
it as the only way of escape.  If you find yourself in this
predicament,  DON’T choose suicide, tell your pastor, teacher,
counselor, doctor or the police.  They will be able to intervene in the
situation and get you some help.

  FEELING YOU CAN’T BE FORGIVEN OR YOU ARE A HOPELESS FAILURE

  Sadly, many mistakenly believe that they are so deep into sin that
God could never forgive them. That just is not true. There is no sin
that puts you beyond the reach of God’s grace if you will but repent
and return to Him.  Isaiah 55:7 says “Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD,
and he will have  mercy upon him…for he will abundantly pardon.” I
John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all  unrighteousness.”

  Many who are contemplating suicide feel that somehow failure makes
them worthless. Life is not worth living. Not true. Failure can have
its benefits.  It can force you to look to Christ for help.  It can
teach you valuable lessons (make you patient, more sensitive to others
who have failed, etc.).  It can build your character.  It can make you
a better, more compassionate person.

  FEAR and ILLNESS

  Acts 16:25-31 is the account of a near suicide because of fear.  An
earthquake breaks open the prison doors and breaks the restraints
holding the Paul, Silas and the other prisoners.  The guard was asleep
on duty but is awakened by the powerful quake.  Believing that the
prisoners have escaped and knowing that he will be held responsible for
it, he is about to fall on his sword.  Paul intervenes and shouts, “do 
thyself no harm: for we are all here.” Ultimately the guard receives
Christ as Savior as does his entire family.  This is a powerful
illustration of the importance of trying to intervene and stop would be
suicides from succeeding.  It also illustrates the importance of
sharing Christ in those situations.

  An increasing number of people are taking their own lives rather
than endure suffering or because of the fear of suffering.  God’s grace
is sufficient and can sustain a believer in any situation.  He gives
living Grace as well as dying grace. I think of Joni Erickson Tada, a
quadraplegic. She has been greatly used by the Lord to advance his
kingdom. Christian friend, never forget that Romans 8:28 is still true
and I Corinthians 10:13 has not been declared invalid by the Lord. 
Friend, if you are not a believer, all the advantages available to
God’s children can be yours too.  Just accept the “Gift of God, which
is Eternal Life, through Jesus Christ our  Lord.” How to do that will
be clearly explained later in this pamphlet.

  3.  WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT SOMEONE MIGHT BE CONSIDERING SUICIDE? 
(This is not a complete list)

  1.  Disruption of normal sleep patterns for 10 days or more

  2.  Change in eating patterns. Sudden loss of gain of weight.

  3. Mood swings. Laughing one moment and crying the next.

  4.  Withdrawal from family and friends or any other prior  interests
(sports, job, hobbies etc.)

  5.  Dramatic change in personality. Extrovert to introvert, 
introvert to extrovert or loner complex.

  6.  Excessive use of alcohol or drugs

  7.  Giving away of prized possessions

  8.  Exaggerated self-depreciation

  9.  Suicide threat or the desire to die. 75% of those who commit
suicide give a warning but it is not recognized or heeded.

  4.  WHAT HAPPENS TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO COMMITS SUICIDE?

  Classically, suicide has been considered a sin that caused spiritual
death and eternal damnation.  Suicide has long been the object of moral
revulsion.  It is distressing the way the medieval church desecrated
the bodies of suicide victims.

  Dante, the 13th century Italian writer believed the most arduous
section of Hell was reserved for those who committed suicide.  In his
book, DANTE’S INFERNO, he devotes one of the grimmest cantos (chapter)
to suicides.  In the depths of Dante’s hell, people who commit suicide
are below the burning heretics and the murderers stewing in their own
blood.  They are found in a dark, pathless woods.  Their souls grow for
eternity in the shape of warped, poisonous thorn trees. Strange
bird-like creatures called Harpies (with broad wings and faces of men)
nest in their branches.  They torment them by picking their leaves,
which symbolizes the violence the individual had inflicted on itself in
suicide.  The whole woods if full of the sounds of agonizing lament.

  Then there is Dante’s scene of Judgment Day.  On that day, he said
the bodies of those who committed suicide would hang from the branches
of these “thorn trees” with human souls. They will not be reunited with
their bodies because they willfully threw them away by taking their
lives.

  DOES SUICIDE END IT ALL?

  To us, Dante’s story seems far fetched.  But what does happen to
someone who commits suicide?  That individual jumps from the frying pan
into the fire!  MOST PEOPLE INTEND SUICIDE TO  END IT ALL…TO ESCAPE! 
SUICIDE DOES NOT END IT ALL! Here’s why.  It is clear from the Bible
that there is conscious existence for an individual after the death of
the body.  The soul and spirit of a person lives on and remembers.  The
thoughts that drove the individual to suicide are NOT killed. Luke
16:19-31 relates in vivid terms the plight of a rich man who died.  In
verse 23 he is in torment. In verse 25 he remembers.  In verse 28 he
remembers his family. It is clear to see that the man in this story is
in a literal HELL.

  Suicide DOES END ONE THING FOR THE UNSAVED PERSON.  That person will
NEVER HAVE THE CHANCE TO TRUST CHRIST AS PERSONAL SAVIOR FROM SIN. 
That means he will reap the destiny of the damned.  The unbeliever will
stand before God’s Great White Throne and be judged according to the
works they did in their mortal bodies.  The activities of their lives
will be reviewed and they will be cast into the Lake Of Fire to suffer
for eternity (Rev.  20:12-15). That should make anyone reconsider
attempting suicide.  How do you describe a horrible Hell-Lake Of Fire? 
Dante did the best he could.  The fact is, Hell will be worse than you
could possibly imagine.

  THE UNSAVED PERSON WHO COMMITS SUICIDE WILL GO TO HELL JUST LIKE
ANYONE ELSE WHO DOES NOT HAVE CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR (John 3:18 and 36;
Rev.  21:8). It remains to be seen what degree of punishment the Lord
will deem the worthy of for all of eternity.

  5.  WHAT HAPPENS TO A BELIEVER WHO TAKES HIS OWN LIFE?

  Perhaps the question we should ask first is can a believer commit
suicide?  Some mistakenly believe that a true believer cannot take
their own life.  There is no scriptural evidence for this position. 
Suicide, which is the sin of self-murder, does not take preeminence
over murder, adultry or other equally heinous sins.  King David
committed both the flagrant sin of adultry and murder.  Yet we know
from Romans 4:6-8 and Hebrews 11:32-33 that David was an Old Testament
believer and will be in heaven.  Suicide is no better or worse than
adultry. Indeed suicide is murder, the murder of yourself.

  Though there is no actual New Testament illustration of a believer
taking his life, I believe there is an Old Testament example.  In
Judges 16:25-30 relates the account. Then in Hebrews 11:32 he is listed
in THE BELIEVERS HALL OF FAITH! Simply stated, a believer can commit
suicide, though it is clearly flagrant sin.  Neither do believers lose
their salvation if they commit suicide.  BUT THEY DO LOSE SOMETHING!

  6.  IF A BELIEVER TAKES HIS OWN LIFE, WHAT DOES HE/SHE LOSE?

  Paul wrote, “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to
depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” Phil.  1:23 It
would be a mistake to take that verse and use it as support for
suicide!  All believers are going to stand before the JUDGMENT SEAT OF
CHRIST and give account of what they have done according to 2
Corinthians 5:10-11.  It is going to be a terrifying experience.  There
we will be judged, not relating to our eternal destiny but concerning
our eternal rewards.  2 John 8 makes it clear that our rewards can be
forfeited.  I Corinthians 3:15 says we can “suffer loss” though still
be saved.  You can be sure that the believer who takes his own life
will suffer significant loss at the Bema Seat.

  No believer has any right to take his own life.  The believers body
belongs to the Lord (I Cor.  6:19-20). No matter how serious the
problem you have an open invitation to come to the Lord (Matt. 
11:28-30). No matter how far away from the Lord you have strayed, He
will always accept the repentant sinner back with open arms (Isa. 
55:7; I John 1:9). As a believer, you must realize that God is bigger
than your problems.  He cares and he can help (I Cor. 10:13; I Pet.
5:6- 7).

  7.  WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU ARE THINKING OF SUICIDE?

  The immediate thing you should do is, TALK TO SOMEONE — Talk to
your parents, your pastor, a school teacher, counselor or doctor.  Call
the operator and ask for a suicide hot line number.

  GIVE YOURSELF TO THE LORD.  If you do not know Christ as your
Savior, you should put your trust in Him.  Confess to Him that you are
a sinner and that you need help.  Believe that He died to save you from
your sins and Hell.  Believe that he rose again from the dead and is
alive and ask Him to come into your life and be your Savior.  Read very
carefully from a Bible the following verses.  Pray and ask the God to
help you to understand what is being said.  If you are having trouble
finding these verses call the person or organization who gave you this
booklet.

  The Simple Plan Of Salvation –(Read the following verses in the
Bible)

  1.  John 3:16 — God Loves You 2.  Romans 3:23 — You are a sinner
3.  Romans 6:23; Revelation 21:8 — You need salvation from your sins
because unless you are saved you will die and are destined to the Lake
Of Fire (Hell) 4.  Ephesians 2:8-9 — Your good works cannot Save you, 
salvation is a gift that must be personally received. 5.  I John
2:2-Christ paid for our sins 6. John 14:6 –He is the only way to
Heaven 7.  Luke 13:3 — Repent of your sins and ask the Lord’s
forgiveness for your sins. 8.  Romans 10:13 — Call upon Christ in
prayer and ask Jesus to come into your life and save your soul.

  ***

  RENEW YOUR MIND BY READING, MEMORIZING AND MEDITATING ON THE
SCRIPTURES.  Dr. William Sadler M.D. said “Bible reading on a daily
systematic basis has therapeutic value.  If its verses are assimilated
into the mind [by memorization and meditation], they can accomplish
more than any sedative or  tranquilizer.” Psalm 1 clearly shows the
value of meditating on the Word of God.

  HOW CAN YOU HELP IF YOU THINK SOMEONE IS CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE?

  1.  ASK THEM IF THEY ARE THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE

  2.  IF THE ANSWER IS AFFIRMATIVE, URGE THEM TO GET SOME HELP AND
INTERVENE IF THEY WON’T AND CALL HELP

  3.  TAKE AWAY POSSIBLE INSTRUMENTS OF SUICIDE

  4.  AFFIRM YOU CONCERN and LOVE FOR THEM

  5.  POINT THEM TO THE MEANING OF LIFE IN CHRIST

  6.  TELL THEM OF THE LOVE, FORGIVENESS AND POWER OF CHRIST

  7.  PRAY FOR THEM

  8.  BE A GOOD LISTENER

  9.  TRY TO GET THEM TO FOCUS ON SOMETHING ELSE BESIDE THEMSELVES

  10.  URGE THEM TO TALK TO A PARENT, PASTOR, COUNSELOR, TEACHER,
DOCTOR or POLICEMAN

  11.  DON’T LEAVE A SERIOUSLY SUICIDAL PERSON ALL ALONE FOR LONG
PERIODS OF TIME

  12. URGE THE PERSON TO SEE A DOCTOR FOR A GOOD CHECK-UP. SOMETIMES
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES CAN HAVE MEDICAL CAUSES.

  Salvation and living a dedicate Christian life is the long term
answer.  Christ gives meaning and purpose to Life.
————————————-

  REFERENCE MATERIALS

  You Mean The Bible Teaches That; by Charles Ryrie
  Suicide; by David Wilkerson
  FATAL CHOICE; by John Q.  Baucom
  Crisis Counseling; Eugene Kennedy
  The Savage God; A.  Alvarez

  ******************

  ORDER INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM —
  LOGOS COMMUNICATION P.O.  BOX 173 OAK CREEK, WI  53154 
  We ask a donation of $3.00 or more per booklet. 
  Casette tape of this message is $4.00.

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