On Suicide, 2020, and the Bible
Let’s talk about suicide, the New Year 2020, and the Bible. This blog is not entirely bleak, so hang tight.
I was always taught growing up that anyone who died by suicide went straight to hell. I never questioned that statement, because I always believed the grown-ups in my life. Many in my boomer generation can say the same thing. However, as an adult, I have contemplated many erroneous beliefs dumped on me as a child and have sought to discover truth and precedents in the Bible. I have learned over the years to use the Bible as my truth standard. It is the lens I look through to gain clarity and understanding. I want 20/20 vision as I walk through 2020. Like mistakenly putting on my husband’s glasses instead of my own, blurry vision is not my friend. Therefore, I must spend more time in the Bible and seek to know God’s truth for myself.
In Genesis 19, we find the story of Abraham’s nephew, Lot. An interesting character, Lot is living where he should not be in the first place. He offers his daughters to a violent mob, hesitates at God’s clear instructions, tells God no, and drinks himself into a stupor. Then why does Peter call Lot “righteous” three times in 2 Peter 2:7-8? Because God alone sees and knows the heart of a man or woman. He knows the condition of that soul at the moment of death. I am not qualified to make that call.
How presumptuous of me to say someone went to hell because they did this or that. God alone is the judge of each of us. The Bible tells me God is full of mercy, grace, and love and is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). At the same time, He is a just and holy God and always does the right thing (Rev. 19:2).
It is dangerous to gamble with one’s eternity, because we honestly don’t know the outcome, and there are no second chances in hell. By the way, eternity is a very—long—time. Esau sought a second chance with tears to no avail (Gen. 27:34).
Suicide in all its ramifications is but one struggle in this life. Whatever you’re grappling with at this time, you can find everything you will ever need on this earth in the pages of the Bible—peace, hope, mercy, forgiveness, encouragement, wisdom, strength, and direction, to name just a few. Take time today to read and pray God’s Word. Better yet, make that a 2020 goal to daily unfold its pages (Psalm 119:130).
An unknown poet wrote: “I dreamed death came the other night and heaven’s gates swung wide. With kindly grace an angel ushered me inside. And there to my astonishment stood folks I’d known on earth; some I’d judged and labelled as unfit or of little worth. Indignant words rose to my lips but never were set free; for every face showed stunned surprise—no one expected me!”