Pastor Louie sermon notes for June 10, 2012
SUICIDE AND THE BIBLE
(2 Samuel 1:1-11)
INTRODUCTION – All of us have been touched by the tragic loss of someone we have known. Perhaps it was a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a fellow student, or a neighbor. At other times we are surprised to read about a celebrity who has taken their life. And for many of us there have been times where there has been a personal contemplation of taking our own lives. Life gets tough. We get angry and then depressed. We see no way out of our suffering. Then we start entertaining thoughts of what it would be like be free from the mental and emotional anguish that just won’t go away. What does the Bible say about suicide? What can the Christian hold onto when the dark shadows loom? Let’s study the scriptures starting with Saul and then bring it on home to where we live today.
HOW SAUL DIED
· This account of Saul’s death is different from the account in 1 Samuel 31:1-5. Why? It could be the Amalekite was lying and he had come upon Saul dead and thought David would reward the person who had killed his rival. The Amalekite would then be termed a battlefield scavenger pretending to be the one who had killed Saul. Because he had Saul's crown with him, something the Philistines wouldn't have left behind, we would infer that he found Saul dead on the battlefield before the Philistines arrived.
· Others have seen Saul’s death in three parts. First he is mortally wounded by the Amalekites. Then he falls on his sword but this doesn’t do the job. He then asks the Amalekite to finish the job. We cannot be certain about all the facts, only that he died tragically.
· That’s the thing about when someone takes his or her own life. You wonder what was in their minds that led them to their self-destructive action.
o (1 Cor 4:5) Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
- Here are a few hard facts about suicide:
- Over 36,000 people in the United States die by suicide every year.
- In 2009 (latest available data), there were 36,909 reported suicide deaths.
- Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years in the United States.
- Currently, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
- A person dies by suicide about every 15 minutes in the United States.
- Every day, approximately 101 Americans take their own life.
- There are four male suicides for every female suicide, but three times as many females as males attempt suicide.
- There are an estimated 8-25 attempted suicides for every suicide death
· Suicide is not a new idea. The Bible records seven suicides:
o Abimelech (Judg 9:52-54)
o Samson (Judg 16:25-30)
o Saul (1 Sam 31:4)
o Saul's armor-bearer (1 Sam 31:5)
o Ahithophel (2 Sam 17:23)
o Zimri (1 Kings 16:15-20)
o Judas (Mat 27:3-5)
· Is a person damned if they take their life? An unbeliever will go to hell not for committing suicide but for not accepting Jesus as their Savior. (John 3:36) He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” For the believer God’s Word is true that nothing will ever separate us from the Lord: (Rom 8:38-39) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But there will be repercussions for the believer’s suicide because of the sorrow he leaves behind and the accountability that lies ahead at the judgment seat of Christ (Rom 14:10; 1 Cor 3:11-17; Mark 3:28-29).
WHY SHOULDN’T I?
· So what should a person think about if they are contemplating suicide? Why shouldn’t they take their life to escape their pain?
o The scriptures forbid it. The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. (Exo 20:13) You shall not murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. (Job 1:21) And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
o God has a purpose for your life that is not to be cut short by self-inflicted death: (Jer 29:11) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
o God has promised to see you through hard times and bring you into the abundant life He has promised you: (James 5:11) Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
o When there is God there is always hope! Read the story of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:25-34. He didn’t take his life. He gave his life away to the Lord and received back the gift of life!
CONCLUSION – Don’t give up…give it up…to the Lord! Jesus died that you might live! (Rom 15:13) Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.