A very good friend asked me, "What do you think happens to people who commit suicide and why?"
I do not have all the answers, but in order to grasp any understanding of what happens to those who commit suicide, we need to take a heavenly view of why we are here and the purpose for the struggles we endure during our earthly journey. Each of us may think we have the answer to the question of suicide, but in the last analysis only the Father knows for sure, and perhaps the answer is different in each situation. I will try to give my own personal understanding as one who seeks to be Christ-like, and tries to see such issues through the loving eyes of Christ.
First, the Father's law tells us plainly "Thou shall not kill", and suicide surely violates that law because we kill ourselves. I think many people commit suicide for the same reasons others might kill the unborn, for selfish motives such as a lack of personal fulfillment, or to avoid what is seen to be unbearable pain. As to the pain issue, I'm glad that my Lord Jesus suffered the unbearable pain of the cross to save this retched sinner's soul. Because of Christ's suffering and pain, our lives are changed forever. We need to remember that "all things work for good for those who love the Lord", and that includes unbearable pain, as can plainly be seen in the life of Christ.
We also need to look beyond our own personal desires and fulfillment, because our lives may be the Father's last light to those who are still lost in the darkness around us. Perhaps it is how we personally face death, and the trials of our seemingly unfulfilled life, that might lead another lost soul to eternal life. As I look back across my own life, it was the sorrows that turned me away from the darkness, and back into the loving light of the Father. The Father's hands were always there, even in the pits of hell, to lift my soul up to heaven. As my grandfather knelt in prayer in the darkness of a coal mine explosion long before I was born, he could not have realized in that last moment of his life what an impact his life and death would have upon this unborn grandchild. In his last moments he put his life in the hands of the Father who had cared for him for so many years. We may not be able to see today what the Father can do through the suffering of one of His children, but nothing is without a purpose. We all must die one day, but for what purpose?
As I see it, this earthly life has no future, but is only the road that leads us to eternal life. This earthly road called life has a purpose, to mold us and make us into the image our Father had planned for us from the very beginning, and to lead us home. But it is up to us to follow the road through all of its bends and turns, if we are to find our way to our Father's house.
Now I will tell you what I think happens to those who commit suicide. For those who do not know the Lord, and think killing themselves will end all their sadness, they are in for a terrible surprise. It will be like a person who kills himself, or herself by jumping from a tall building, they always let out a terrifying scream as they are falling, but it is too late. Once they stand in the outer darkness alone, and realize there is an almighty God standing before them who keeps His word, it will truly be too late. They have chosen to take the wide and easy path to destruction, instead of the narrow way to the Father's house. They have chosen to turn off the road themselves, and now the bridge has fallen behind them and there is no way back home. The evil of their own desires has consumed their souls. Seeing the hell to come while standing in the outer darkness will be more terrifying than any fall from the heights of a clay building.
Having said all that, I too am guilty of breaking the Father's laws, but the Father alone knows my heart, and He has promised to forgive my transgressions. I don't personally believe suicide is any different than adultery, homosexuality, pridefulness, greed, abortion, lying, cheating, or killing another person, all are equally evil, and require true repentance and the Father's forgiveness. However, how can we repent once we are dead? We can't, but how many of us have knowingly committed a sin, and while doing so have prayed in our hearts that the Father would understand, and have mercy upon us. You see, it is not our successful works, or failures which save us or condemn us, it is our faith in Jesus Christ that justifies us before the Father. He alone knows our hearts and our suffering; He alone will judge our sins, through His love and mercy. The true child of the Father is in good hands.
Our Lord forgave the evil life of the thief on the cross in an instant, would this same loving Lord destroy a child of the Father because of a failure in the last moments of their journey. I don't know, and that is one of the reasons I fear a loving Father, because I do not have the wisdom, love, or understanding which my Lord has, and these things are rightfully left in His hands. We are being created for His purpose, and not our own. He alone knows whether the product meets His requirements or not. Only He knows the lives of those who have passed own, and they will surely be judged for the love that ruled their lives. The big mystery to me is how could one truly know that the Father controls all things, and yet throw their lives away? How could one truly be born-again of the spirit of the Father, and still knowingly reject the Father's will? Where is their faith, or is it they have bought Satan's lies and have lost all hope, or is there faith all just a lie as well? The Lord alone knows the answer to these questions, and we will each answer for the spirit which rules our own lives.
For me our purpose for being here is to prevent the lost from committing eternal suicide by rejecting the Father's most wonderful gift of His only begotten Son. We are here to save souls, yet so many willingly throw them away. They cannot see beyond their own personal desires, and are uninterested in the impact their lives may have on the lost souls all around them. The evil of suicide not only destroys oneself, but also destroys the hope of those around us. I don't believe the Father will let our destruction of the innocent hope of others go unanswered.
I personally don't want my last action here on earth to be the rejection of the will of the Father; I have already done that too often during my life. Christ said, my sheep will hear my voice and they will follow me. When we commit suicide, whose voice are we hearing, and whose voice are we following, it surely is not the voice of Christ. But thank heavens, we have Jesus who understands, and He has already paid the price for the sins of the children.
God bless the children, the Body of Christ!
November 12, 1999
PS: Here is a prayer request I just read on a prayer chain; Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 22:15 Ron Strickland Rstrick349@aol.com Pray for healing of leukemia, for understanding in time of need. For stronger faith and closeness to God on a daily basis. Pray for peace for my wife, and that she might find spiritual shelter in God during our time of need. Pray for my family, that they might accept God's will in the fate of my health. I pray that God will erect a spiritual hedge around my children, and protect them from evil.
Yet others throw their lives away?
- - - - - -> Follow-up letter on question about the above note.
The actual names are changed.
Thank you very much for your kind note, your love and compassion shine brightly through your words. I am very glad that you found the strength and hope not to cast away your bridge to heaven, because I believe this earthly life is the only bridge we have. Yes, the Father does have mercy on those who cannot make rational decisions for themselves; I don't think He will hold anyone responsible for what we have no control over. But how do we measure control, it seems that must be left up to our loving Father.
You said, "Many times a person truly loses all hope", and that is surely true, but why do they lose hope? It is often in the losing that we fail, and suicide is just the final act of our failures. If we cannot truly see that there is a Father who loves us, and that all things work for good for those who love the Lord, then we have nothing to hope for. All, which live upon this earth of clay, will surely grow old, lose hope, and die, suicide only speeds up the process. Old age alone will surely drain the hope out of one who cannot see beyond their own pain. All who live upon this earth are condemned already, and have no future, unless they reach up for our savior's hand.
It is Christ Jesus who loved us enough to come down to this land of death to show us the way out. He came because He loves us more than himself, and He willingly risked His own soul that you and I might find our way out of this death trap. But when we cast our lives away, then that bridge back to the Father's house has been destroyed, and there is no longer a way back home for us. You see, we are all committing suicide by the simple rejection of the Father's most wonderful lifeline, His loving Son, Jesus our Lord.
June, you also said, "These people have searched for hope and found that because of their problems the "church" was unavailable for them or they found condemnation in their eyes". That is just the point I am trying to make, they are looking for the Father in the wrong places. We can't borrow others faith or love, we must find our own. The bridge to eternal life is not found in buildings made by human hand, it is not found in rituals, it is not found in a loving pastor or beautiful words, it is not found in the social gatherings of the congregation, it is only found in a "one-on-one" relationship with the Father in our own hearts church.
The hearts church is the only true church, and all else are just Christian fellowships filled with both good and evil. It doesn't help us to blame our failures on the failures of others, to do so is to remain in the darkness. We must come before the Father as one who is stranded on an island all alone, we come to Him knowing all others will fail us, and we come to Him needing no one else. We will follow our Lord, even if the world and our Christian fellowship reject His loving commandments. If we don't love Him more than we love the world, then we don't really love Him at all. Show me who you truly love, and I will show you where your treasures are. If we look to human organization for hope, they will surely fail us, and give us unnumbered excuses to reject our Christ and His hope. But it is in our heart alone that must fall in love with the Lord. When we truly love someone, nothing others can do or say will change our love. If we are only infatuated, or we confuse lust for love, then we should not be surprised to find that we are on the road to unhappiness and destruction. If we cannot love others more than our own pain, as Christ did, we should not be surprise to find ourselves going further into the darkness away from the bridge of light, which leads to our Father's house.
Suicide, can it be justified? Not in the heart of this retched sinner! Could I terminate the life of a love one whose pain could not be stopped, and their agony prevents them from even considering the love of the Father in their lives? I don't know, and I pray I never have to face that situation. I pray that the Father never ask me to be the one to cut their bridge to eternal live. I know in my heart that our pain is not just to change our own lives, but how we handle the pain could change the lives of those watching our struggle. If I show no hope in my own hour of pain, then how can I tell others there is hope, which is found only in Jesus? The Father will tell us when it is finished, just as Jesus did on the cross of Calvary. The Father alone will cut the bridge, when our job is done, and we are safely on the other side.
Thank you very much for your note and I pray that our loving Lord will never stop filling your cup with His love and mercy.
God bless you Sister June, as we seek both His understanding together.- - - - - -> Another letter to me concerning the original article.
I read your letter and I did appreciate it, respect it, and know in your heart that you are a very good steward of God for obedience to his will. But...and this is a big and valid but. There are a few points that I would like to address with you. Some people are in very horrific and at times unremitting pain that is very hard to bear day in and day out. It is not a "selfish" desire that they just don't want to go through some pain. They go through it all the time. It can be very stressful and wearing constantly on a person's body and therefore should not be compared with sexual desire, temporary thoughts of murder, anger at a neighbor or loved one, disrespect for a parent, lying out of selfishness, or stealing out of need, or a vain use of the Lords name in a heated or disrespectful moment.
There is no lapse of thought in the human sinful nature that compares with a lifetime of pain. The continuous, unrelenting and wearing down pain, which might be physical or mental but all the same, very, very hard to continue on with. Please, please, please don't assume that a person in constant pain just wants to take the easy way out or throw away a chance as wonderful as helping someone be lead to salvation or helping someone else in need. It clearly is not the same thing. I hope and pray that I face death valiantly and as your Grandfather did, on bended knee praying to God. But please open your mind to the difference between being selfish and having a debilitating illness.God bless,
I'm very sorry I did not include more specific words in my previous note on the impact of unbearable and unending pain on ones decision to commit suicide. I thought I had covered it indirectly, but I was obviously wrong. Only the Father knows our sufferings and He alone will judge our actions. But when I look at such situations, I immediately think of Christ's own suffering on the cross. He didn't have to suffer, but He did, and why? Without His suffering there would have been no sacrifice, no saving blood, and we would not be able to see the goodness, and unending love our Lord had for us that day on the cross of Calvary. There is truth in the words, "All things work for good for those who love the Lord". This includes unending pain. It is not important that we endure pain, but it is important in how we endure pain. We don't know who is watching us in our darkest hour, but our example may be the very light which guides another lost soul out of the endless darkness. The Father tells us He will not give His child more than they can bear, and He will end it all when our task is finished.
Having said that, I can understand why some would prefer death to the pain that surrounds their body, but it still doesn't justify destroying that which the Father has created. In fact I praise the Father for the sadness and pain which has come into my own life, because it was that very pain which drove me out of this earthly shell, and into the spirit of my Father who took my life and changed it forever. If not for the terrible pain, I would have been lost forever. The pain I experience here on earth is nothing to losing my soul to eternal damnation. I can only thank the Father for all He has done for this poor sinner in bringing him to the feet of Christ.
I think if we truly try to look at our pain and happiness from an eternal heavenly viewpoint, we quickly realize that no pain in this earthly shell will last very long, when compared to the joy or pain which faces us when we stand before the Father's throne. As for myself, I pray for the strength of Christ in my hour of need, that He will not forsake me. When I have traveled the full measure of my life, then the Father will say, it is finished my good and faithful servant.
I'm sorry that my works are so inadequate; I hope this has shed some light on what I so poorly tried to say. Thank you very must for giving me your honest views, and willingness to share with a brother in Christ. Our journeys will take us cross roads we have not yet seen, but we do know where they all end.
God bless you friend, until we reach the other side together with our Christ who came down those same roads to get us.