When I was a teenager, I saw a movie in church that really impacted me. It was about a teenage girl who was contemplating suicide and who actually did kill herself in the movie. I remember it so clearly because it showed the demons coming to collect her soul and take it to hell. I honestly think the pastors were trying to scare us to death! I had nightmares for weeks. I discovered soon after that many Christians believe that if you take your own life, you forfeit your salvation and end up in hell.
Did you know that more Americans now die from suicide than are killed in car crashes each year? According to the CDC, death from suicide has risen significantly in the United States in recent years. 9.3 million Americans admit to having suicidal thoughts, and approximately 2.7 million Americans each year actually make a plan for how they would commit suicide. This is not only Americans, but according to the World Health Organization, suicide is the third highest cause of death in the world. Suicide rates have skyrocketed by 60 percent over the past 45 years
This isn't just limited to a certain age group either. Old as well as young people are deciding that life is not worth living. People who are reaching retirement age often find themselves with health issues and huge financial debts with little hope for their future. What is even more alarming is that according to Fox News, the suicide rate for young people ages 10-24 has gone up every year.
I know. Depressing topic, isn't it? Makes me wonder how things could possibly get so bad that anyone would want to end their life? I've been through some very rough times in my life, and in all honesty, I've had fleeting thoughts of ending it all. But they were fleeting and not taken seriously. Why? Because I guess deep down I always had hope.
Hope is the key. Hope is so very powerful that even if a speck of it exists, it is enough to keep a person going through horrendous situations and circumstances. Think about that. Just a speck, a tiny molecule of hope is all that is needed to endure incredible affliction. But when that speck of hope is gone, there is nothing left. I believe that's why people kill themselves. They have lost all hope. (I'm not talking here about those people who are mentally ill who take their life)
The Bible has much to say about Hope. When I did a search on Hope in the New Testament, I got so many Scriptures I couldn't read them all. Apparently Hope is a very important thing to God. Here's just a few of the verses
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. Romans 8:23-25
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 2 Cor 1:10
So why the rise in suicides? I believe it's because the world is turning against God. People are rejecting their Creator and worshiping the creation and themselves. And when all you have hope in is this world system and yourself, that's pretty darn depressing! Yes, there are good things about the world and this life, but most of it is hard work, disappointment, heartache, and fear. It is struggle and pain. And if this is all there is, why stick around for that? Especially if your life is a mess and you have no hope for a future.
But we who follow Jesus, who have given our lives to him, are filled with hope. We know that this life is not all there is. We know that this is only a blip on the eternal radar. This is only the training ground for eternity. We have a future, a grand future that will be so wonderful, we can't imagine it! And while we are here on earth, we are here to glorify God and help bring others to Him so more and more people can have the Hope we do.
Is Suicide a mortal sin that will send you to hell? I've read through the entire Bible multiple times and I can honestly say I have not found one place where it says that. Murder is a sin, yes, so murdering yourself is a sin, yes. But if you're a Christ follower, your sins are forgiven, past, present, and future. I'm sure God is displeased if one of His children takes their own life. It breaks His heart that they drifted so far from Him that they lost all hope. But it is my opinion that they do not end up in hell. If anyone has a Scripture to disprove me, I'm open to hearing it.
I hope that those of us who know Jesus and have His hope living inside of us will go out and happily share that hope with others. Who knows, you could be preventing someone from taking their own life someday.