A Study On Suicide

    The photo / graphic: The house represents the body of a suicidal individual. First, you may notice that the house is standing alone. People who are suicidal often feel alone and sometime withdraw from others. In this house there some major physical problems. The roof has holes in it and is coming off allowing the rain to enter. Often people who become suicidal also have various physical problems. The interior is dark, which means there is an absence of light. In the individual who is suicidal, there is an absence of light of the Truth of God's love and grace. Furthermore, when the door and windows are open and broken in an individual life, the powers of darkness may entered and the individual is subject to that spiritual darkness. As illustrated, the house has been condemned by the marking of the "X" on the side. At the top of the X is the time of the house being condemned "Now". To the left side of the X is the note of the one who makes the judgment, "Self". At the right of the X is why it is the house is condemned, "All", that is, every reason the person can thank of. The number occupants (dead or found there is "1").

Topics: 44,000 in US 2015. One person in the US commits suicide every 13 minutes.

Introduction: Psalm 73 / Book of Jonah.

I. Kinds of Suicide.

A. Deliberate destruction of one’s own life.

1. Shooting one’s self.

2. Deliberate overdose of drugs.

3. Cutting of the wrist.

4. Jumping off a bridge.

5. Crashing of one’s car.

B. “Accidental suicide”

1. Seeing just how close one may come to death without doing so, but going too far.

2. Attempts to get attention, but actually resulting in death.

C. Suicide / Murder. It is the killing one’s self in order to kill others. Suicide bombers. (Samson).

D. Suicide Packs. “People are just angels waiting to go home.” This is more common among young teens, but may occur with adults as well. This may also include suicide challenges.

E. Physician assisted suicides.

F. There is also suicide by degree. This involves overwork, poor nutrition, lack of rest. It also involves attitudes unforgiveness and anger.

II. Why do people commit suicide? (Have thoughts).

  A. It begins with thoughts.

1. The devil is come to steal, kill, and destroy. John 10:10.

2. The devil is a liar and deceiver who suggests thoughts of anger, depression, and suicide.

3. There is a failure to bring every thought captive to the obedience to Jesus Christ.

B. Thoughts associated with rejection, abuse and bullying. (Loss of meaningful identity).

C. Facing situations where the individual sees no way out. (Great Depression 1939 – 1941). 

D. Personal failure: Embarrassment, shame, guilt, and condemnation.

E. Fear of punishment. (I will die before I go back to prison) or (suicide by cop).

F. Major personal loss: Death of friends or family members.

G. It may come through a curse that is passed down from one generation to the next.

H. From a psychological view, it is often associated with anger turned inward.

I. Demonic control of Judas: “And after the sop (dipping the bread) Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:27). The betrayal led to shame and guilt, then to death by suicide. (Matthew 27:5).

J. Loss of a purpose in living. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

III. What happens to people who commit suicide.

A. The determining factor is whether or not a person has given their life to Jesus as their Lord prior to their death.

1. Death is a gateway to eternity, be it heaven or hell.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27).

In Luke 16:19-31, the rich man could not return this life, even to warn his brothers.

2. Salvation is base solely on a faith commitment to Jesus and not on repenting of all your sins but of sin.

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

B. When a Believer commits suicide, he will miss out on God’s purpose for his life.

For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” (Philippians 1:23-24). He may also miss out on some eternal rewards. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10). This is not the Great White Throne judgment, but Jesus as of the contest judge.

C. However, the Believer is born of the Spirit of God and God will never leave him.

1. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (I Peter 1:23).

2. The Spirit of Jesus will never leave the Believer. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

3. Believers are born again and have eternal life. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28). The Scripture in the Greek language uses a double negative for emphasis like “no how, no way!”

IV. Scriptural examples of suicidal thoughts or suicide.

A. Those who had thoughts that were associated with suicide.

1. Job cursed the day that he was born. (Job 3:1ff).

2. Jeremiah cursed the day that he was born. (Jeremiah 20:14-18).

3. Elijah begged God to take his life from him. (I Kings 19:4).

4. Jonah told the men on the ship to just to throw him overboard. (Jonah 1:12+)

5. David said that life was too painful for him to handle. (Psalms 73:16).

6. Jesus was tempted through the devil’s deception to commit suicide. (Hebrews 4:15).

B. Those that committed suicide in Scripture.

1. After a woman hit Abimelech in the head with a millstone, he requested that his armor-bearer kill him and the young man did so. (Judges 9:54).

2. King Saul after he was wounded, fell on his sword. (I Chronicles 10:5).

3. Saul’s armourbearer did also. (I Chronicles 10:5).

4. Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he hanged himself. (II Samuel 17:23).

5. When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he burned down the king’s house over himself. (I Kings 16:18).

6. Samson pulled a building down on the Philistines and himself. (Judges 16:30).

7. Judas Iscariot also went out and hung himself. (Matthew 27:5).

V. How to minister to someone who is having suicidal thoughts.

A. First and foremost, pray and seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit.

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Isaiah 11:2).

B. Some basic approaches:

1. If you suspect that the individual is suicidal, you should ask, "Are you having any thoughts about taking your own life?" This calls for an honest response. For youth, it is important to report to parents or proper authorities.

2. It is wise to inquire about the frequency of the suicidal thoughts. You may ask, "How often do you wrestle with thoughts about suicide?"

3 You should inquire if the individual has made any plans as to how he would kill himself. It would be good to find out specifically what steps of action the individual has already made. For example, you might ask, "Have you purchased a gun?"

4. It is wise to sincerely request a commitment from the individual that he will contact you if he enters into a major battle with suicidal thoughts. If you are in leadership you may even have the individual sign a written agreement. This lets the individual know that you, in fact, care about his life.

5. You should encourage the individual to see that he is a special creation of God.

a. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalms 139:14).

b. For the Believer, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's” (I Corinthians 6:20).

C. There is a need to lay a foundation for the individual to stand on.

1. Often it is a good time to lead the individual give their life to Jesus as Lord and Savior if they haven’t already done so.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

2. It is important to help the individual understand that Believers have a new spiritual nature in their spirit-man.

a. A Believer is been born of the Spirit of God. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13).

b. A Believer is made a new person in the spirit-man. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

c. A Believer is made a new creation to do good works. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

3. It is important to help the individual find his identity in Christ.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Anything that we place our identity in that can be potentially taken away from us becomes a liability. It becomes a source of fear, worry, anxiety, anger, and depression.

4. It is important to help the individual to understand that God has a good plan for his lives.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11)

5. It is important to help the individual understand that God has a purpose in their trials and can work all things together for his benefit.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

D. Some additional approaches.

1. You should lead the individual to understand the real source of suicidal thoughts. Jesus said that the devil is the one that is come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).

2. You may help enable the individual to recognize the deception in the thoughts about suicide. One way to do this is to attach the phrase, "In the name of Jesus" to the thought. For example, the statement, "I will blow my brains out in the name of Jesus", makes for a glaring contradiction of thoughts. (II Corinthians 10:5).

3. You should lead the individual to get a clear conscience. This means that the individual is to to forgive others who have offended him and to seek forgiveness for himself as well. (Matthew 18:21-35, I John 1:9). You may need to help the individual cast down a whole series of lies. I use the outline "Lies That May Lead To Suicide" as a guide, answering each statement with the Word of God. I have seen the countenance of individuals change dramatically in about thirty minutes by doing this.

Lies That May Lead To Suicide

4. You should encourage the individual to see that suicide is a selfish act that actually effects the lives of many other people: family, friends, acquaintances, people he doesn’t even know, and potentially even future generations. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Romans 14:7).

5. You should encourage the individual to yield all his personal rights to God. Remember, anger is a result holding on to personal rights that have not been yielded to God. (I Peter 5:8). Anger turned inward toward self leads to thoughts of suicide. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26).

6. You should encourage the individual die to self. There is no reason to try to kill someone who is already dead. The individual should come to identify self with the crucifixion of Jesus, but also His resurrection. (Romans 6:6-11).

7. You may need to lead the individual through deliverance. (James 4:7). The enemy may have entered through anger, unforgiveness, addictions, and the lies that he has believed. Furthermore, the enemy may enter also through intrusion. (Ephesians 4:26, Matthew 18:34-35, John 10:10).

8. It is also extremely important to lead the individual into emotional healing through seeing that Jesus is our emotional wound substitute. (Luke 4:18-19, Isaiah 53:3-5).

9. You should encourage the individual to learn to be thankful and praise God for all things. David took seven praise breaks every day (Psalm 119:164-165)! No one can truly praise God and entertain thoughts of suicide at the same time.

10. In many cases generational curses are involved. Along with generational curses (inherited tendencies toward suicide), there may also be familiar spirits involved. In such cases, one also may need to declare the curses to be broken through Jesus (Galatians 3:10-13), bind, and cast out the evil spirits in the name of Jesus.

IV. Some effects of suicide on others.

*** The person who commit suicide is generally thinking about his own life and how he may escape his own problems and not how his death may effect the lives of others.

A. It often brings guilt to immediate family, friends, acquaintances, and others who hear about it in that they were not able to see the signs or were not able to stop the suicide.

B. It often brings extreme grief, sadness, and depression to family, friends, and acquaintances.

C. It may produce an undue fear that others in the family may also commit suicide.

D. It produces a stigma of shame upon the family or other organization associated with the individual who committed suicide including businesses, clubs, and churches.

E. Sometimes with youth suicides, the suicide may even encourage another youth to attempt suicide.

F. The spouse or parent who commits suicide may lay a grave financial burden upon his family which he has left behind.

G. The employee who commits suicide will leave a hole in the workforce, negatively effects office moral, and the management may have to look for another employee.

H. It may also set the stage for anger to come in toward the individual who committed suicide.

I. It may also effect future generations. We are still talking about Judas.

V. Ministering to those who have lost family or friends who have committed suicide.

A. Pray for the person who has experienced loss. This introduces God into the picture.

B. We need to have empathy with the person who has experienced loss. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Romans 12:15).

C. We should give the person time to morn recognizing that there are stages of grief.

1. Shock.  The mind and body go into a shock mode.
2. Disbelief.  "I just can't believe this has happened to me."  This can lead to total denial or a twisting of truth.
3. Reaction.  Quite often the reaction is anger (there must be someone to blame).  This is often followed by depression.
4. Assimilation.  This is a calmer attempt to rehearse and gather all the facts.  (How, when, where, and why).
5. Recovery. There may be various approaches, but complete healing can only come through God’s divine intervention.
**** Note: These stages may not always be in order and one may get stuck in any stage along the way. Even Job’s friends waited before speaking to him. (Job 2:12-13).
D. Encourage the person to know that ultimately each person is responsible for his own actions.
But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge” (Jeremiah 31:30).
E. Encourage the person to know that sin is sin.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).

F. Encourage the person to be open and allow the person to acknowledge and share his loss.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:.... A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance"  (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4).

Even, Jesus wept” (John 11:35)

G. Encourage the person to see that grief doesn’t have to last forever.

David, after the death of Bethsheba’s son, David stopped weeping and began to look forward to life. (II Samuel 12:18-24).

"For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5).

H. Encourage the individual to find healing in that Jesus also suffered loss.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4). Jesus is our grief substitute that we might receive healing from our griefs.

I. Encourage the individual to see that out of the comfort of the Holy Spirit in our grief, God wants us to minister that comfort to others.

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:4).