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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Charles Stanley » Charles Stanley - Suicide: The Impact on Believers

Charles Stanley - Suicide: The Impact on Believers

TOPICS: Suicide

One of the most disturbing events going on in our country most people are unaware of it. They're so full of their own activities and situations and circumstances and needs and cares and burdens and heartaches. All around them, this is going on, they're not even aware of it. But it's an event that says something about our society. How could this happen in a society as educated, as blessed, as wealthy, as up-to-date on all the electronic gadgets there are to be had? And yet in spite of all of that, what's happening is devastating in our nation. I'm talking about the increasing number of suicides.

Now you say, well, I'm not really interested in that. Most people who commit suicide weren't interested in it at one time. You say, well that could never happen to me. That's probably what they said at some time. This is a very serious subject. Because when you think about thirty thousand people committing suicide every year, one person every minute either commits suicide or attempts to do so. And you probably know somebody who has at some point in your life. And you may think at some point in your life you've been in some situation or circumstance that was so disastrous to you, you thought, God, I can't keep living like this.

And yet here you still are because you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and in that desperate moment when you thought, I just can't handle any more, the Lord reminded you by his Spirit that he keeps his word. That you could claim what the apostle Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". And so even though you walked through that experience, and it didn't happen to you, there are multitudes of people with whom it's happening. It's so devastating, I want you to remember it, because if I just sort of rattled them off you wouldn't remember it.

So I'm putting them on the mag screens so you can see these numbers that are happening in our country. And then I want to give you a testimony that someone gave me just a few moments ago. But as I said, thirty thousand people every year, one every moment, more people commit suicide than are killed in car crashes. And you would think that could never be but it is, up fifteen percent in numbers. And in the lives of people fifteen to twenty-four years old, suicide is the third cause of death. And over half of the suicides occur in adult men twenty-five to sixty-five.

What's happening to our country? One out of every sixty-five thousand children commit suicide, ten to fourteen years of age. And there are four males who commit suicide to every woman. Now what does that tell you? It says something about where we are. Now, in the military, for example, listen to this. Two thousand eleven, two thousand twelve, suicides increased by sixteen percent. In two thousand twelve, they set a record of more than three hundred and forty-nine that's in all of the services together. Took their own lives across the four branches of the service, every twenty-five hours one of our service people committed suicide, more than the two hundred ninety-five who died fighting.

Now listen to this. Someone just gave me this who heard the first service. I'm one of those military members in iraq who had my pistol in my mouth and finger on the trigger. I can say that I've been there, but thank God, I can't say, done that. Now if there's one group of people that need our prayers, I think about these men who are fighting in a war they didn't ask for. Think about being separated from their families, their wife and their children: or hearing bad news from their family and not being able to go home and do anything about it. Knowing that every morning when they get up to go to their particular position, they may not come home. And every morning that wife wakes up, or those children, they know that they could hear that their father has been killed, or their mother.

There's something desperately wrong in a nation as rich as we are, as educated as we are, as progressive as we are in every way. What is wrong that so many people are taking their life, when there's so much life to be had? When in spite of all the difficulties and hardships around us, we're still the most blessed nation in the world. There's still opportunity, there's still prosperity out there. There is still meaning for life: and yet it's happening right before us. So somebody says, what is the strongest risk of all of this? And that is the underlying cause of most of it is depression.

Now there was a time when a person was depressed, they'd just go to the doctor and he'd give them some pills and they'd work on that for a while and it didn't ever cure anything, but it sort of settled some things down. You know what? Pills aren't doing it. Shots aren't doing it. Prosperity's not doing it. Position's not doing it. Something is going on in this nation that is disastrous. How could so many people? How could children commit suicide? How could we be living in a nation that is so progressive and yet we can't get along? Listen, we can't get along with ourselves. That depression is the major cause of people taking their own life.

So, in the scriptures, for example, there are seven instances where someone committed suicide: but we know most of all about Judas. And I want you to turn to the twenty-seventh chapter of Matthew for a moment and look at the first five verses. And you know this story, but listen to what he says, "Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put him to death: and they bound him, and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor. Then when Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that he had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, 'I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.' But they said, 'what is that to us? See to that yourself!' and he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed: and he went away and hanged himself".

Let me ask you a question. You ever thought about hanging yourself? Have you ever thought about doing anything in any fashion that would cause you to commit suicide? Has it ever crossed your mind? Have you ever said, well, you know that could never happen to me. But you know someone with whom it has happened. It's closer than you think. And there are many people who are suffering today and they're living on the edge. In fact, I checked, but just before I came in here with our folks who answer the phones for us at in touch. In the last two months they've had more people calling who were questioning their own life and talking about committing suicide, the most in two months ever.

There's something going on in America. There's a state of confusion, frustration, anxiety, fear, desperation and despair that is happening. Everything seems to be up for grabs and we're wondering, what is going to happen next. We who are believers have the awesome strength of Almighty God living within us. We have the Word of God as a part of our life: and therefore, we have the source of strength to live through any and every circumstances of life. But many people around us do not. And so my primary purpose for this message is to say to you who are strong, there are many people around you who are not: and we need to be very sensitive to people's actions around us, or when they joke about it, or when they say, well you know, I could just take my own life. Or, you know, life's not worth living anyway. We think they're just joking and oftentimes they've very sincere.

So we need to be sensitive to people around us who are in the process of growing in their thinking toward the moment or the day that they might commit suicide. So what I'd like for us to do is to think in terms of why people do. And one of the most evident ones is that people do it because of their commitment to a cause. A suicide bomber is all about their commitment to a cause, they lay down their life hoping and believing that something they've been promised will be given them for the rest of eternity, which is absolutely not true.

Some people have a love pact between themselves, maybe somebody who's elderly and they have been sick for a long time and he's dying or she's dying and they decide, you know what? We've never been separated for these fifty years or forty years or thirty or twenty. And they decide to commit suicide together. Oftentimes people say, well the reason I don't want to live is because my life is meaningless. I don't have any reason for living anymore. I don't feel I have any friends. I don't feel any purpose in life. I'm not going anywhere. I'm not getting anywhere. I get up every morning and get in my car and drive through the traffic and I work eight hours. And I come home and I get my paycheck for the week and I come home and what do I do? I sort of watch the TV at night and what do I hear?

All the bad things that are happening in the world, unless it's something on there that's maybe funny on the one moment and so ugly and dirty and trashy the moment, I don't want to watch it. So, where's the meaning in life? Don't, I don't have any sense of purpose in life, not going anywhere, not getting anywhere. And life is just a circle that's going further and further down. And so what do they say? They say, well you know what? I don't have any purpose for life. I don't want to live this way the rest of my life. And so they choose to end it, tragically. And then of course, people who feel hopeless. They're in a situation where it looks like it's not going to change. Sometimes it may be in their health, it may be in their relationships, may be in their finances.

I think about, for example, college students today who come along and they go through four years of college and now they're getting out of college and they don't have a job. But they do have something else. They've got a hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand dollar of debt, no job. How long does it pay out, take to pay off two hundred thousand or a hundred thousand dollars of pure debt? And they look at their future and they think, I don't have any future. I'll never get out of debt. I'll always be a prisoner to somebody who has the money. I'm in bondage. I feel like I'm in a prison. What purpose is there for me to live when I have no sense of real value in life, and I don't see anything in the future that is encouraging at all?

See, most of us have never been in a situation like that so we don't know how they feel: but that's what they're saying. Then of course, there is the whole problem of pain that is unbearable, physical pain. And we talk to people ever once in a while who've been in the same pain for years and years and years. And some of them I have heard tell of what's gone on in their life and what's been happening, where they are and I wonder how they are able to keep going with the pain they're experiencing. And once in a while somebody says, I can't.

And therefore, since they don't have any cure for what I have and I'm in this particular degree of pain, it's so bad I can't stand it. I can't stand: I don't want to die, but I can't stand living. And at some weak moment in their life, they take their life. And so I think about people who have emotional pain. They live in circumstances and situations, they don't feel wanted: they feel betrayed. They feel like the other person's been unfaithful, disloyal. They don't have a sense of oneness with the other person. They feel rejected, alienated, isolated, cast out and they're just existing.

And that emotional pain can be so bad they say, you know what? I can't handle this anymore. They've talked to their spouse, maybe. They've talked to doctors. They've talked to psychiatrists. They've talked to their friends and nothing gets any better, and so they decided, I can't handle this anymore: I'm going to take my life. We don't even understand the degree of hurt and pain that some people go through. What motivates them to make the most difficult decision they could make and the most disastrous they could make to shorten their own life, which is never the will of God.

And so when I think about all of the different reasons, but there's one more. And that is sometimes people commit suicide out of vengeance. I'll show you. I'll show you who I am. And so what do they do? They take out their vengeance and anger on someone else, they kill themselves. And every once in a while I'll hear of somebody who's done that and that's their reason. Sometimes they'll leave a note, sometimes they don't: but they will have said, can't live like this anymore. Here's what you did to me, and so this is what I'm going to do. All of these and there are probably other reasons why people take their life.

So with that in mind, let's think about this whole idea of who is affected when somebody commits suicide. Well first of all, the person who commits suicide is affected. They've cut off their life: they've shortened their life. They've ended their earthly life. But it's not just that. There are consequences in the life of the family. And this oftentimes, they don't consider. Once in a while I'll meet somebody who's had a suicide in their life and they'll ask this question. Could this be in my family genes? I say, no. And once in a while some young person will say that especially if their grandparent or their parent has committed suicide. Does that mean that that's, that's a part of my future? No, it is not. But think of the devastation in a family, whether it's a father or a mother or a son or a daughter.

When someone shortens their life, it's over. You can't say, I'm sorry. You can't bring them back. You can't say, what have I done? How could I have changed? And they ask that question a thousand times. What could I have done different that would cause him or her not to do that? And yet, family and friends will do what they can but you know what they can't do? They can't bring them back. I think that's the thing about it that really just breaks my heart. You can't ever get them back. They can't ever answer any questions. They can't ever explain it to you. You have to figure it out somehow in some way and oftentimes you know you'll never know why. And especially if it's somebody you love: somebody that you dearly love, and all of a sudden they take their life. No warning, and you don't know why.

And so you ask a thousand times, how did I miss it? What did I say? What did I do? What could I have done? And the ongoing hurt and pain and suffering that goes on with the family. It is a tragedy going on in this country far greater than we realize. Why would people lose a sense of direction and become hopeless, feeling isolated, no friends, no real genuine purpose in life, just existing. Well, family and friends hurt and the whole community hurts.

For example, whenever it happens, it spreads. Not the event itself, but people always ask this question. Why do you think he did it? Why do you think she did it? And a doctor that I thought a lot of, I went to see him: I'd been to see him about three times and I went to see him one day and he wasn't there. And so I asked them the question. I said, well tell me, where is doctor so and so? You say he's not going to be anymore. I said, why isn't he going to be here anymore? They said, well, he's resigned and he's going to teach. Hmm. That didn't register with me quite well so I waited about a month and I went back. So I got one of the nurses by herself. I said, ma'am, I want you to answer my question. Where is doctor so and so? And she said, he left work one day: he went home: he wrote a note and shot himself.

And he had a great position. I'm sure he had plenty of money and had a great family. But he saw in the decision that somebody else made that he would not be able to keep his position and for some reason, known only to him, he took his life. It's a tragedy that happens and the tragedy of tragedies and when I think about that, I think about somebody, somebody that I genuinely love deeply, I couldn't ever get them back to find out how and why. Why did you do that? Is there something I could have done? And so there is a terrifying sense of guilt that is often left, frustration, anxiety. And sometimes kids ask the question, well is that, is that a part of my family? And the answer is, no, it is not.

Now, how are we to view suicide in, as far as, the Word of God is concerned? So it's real simple. The sixth commandment says, not thou shall not kill, but thou shall not murder. The true Hebrew rendering of that word is commit murder. It's one thing to kill, for example, people in the service, they are responsible to killing the enemy. That's why they're there. Or people go hunting, for example and kill an animal. The Bible doesn't say don't kill, does not say that. It says, do not commit murder.

So I would say, I think all of us understand what that means but let me just think about something. And I got the statistics a while ago. Fifty-five million babies: fifty-five million babies have been murdered. They can call it abortion. They can call it anything they want to. And when it gets, listen, one of the indications of how bad this society's getting is when a doctor would kill a baby that's already born and crying. That's murder. You can call it anything you want to, but it's pure murder. And I would say to any doctor, whoever you are, you will be held accountable to Holy God for murdering children. Mark it down.

And isn't it strange that we want to protect the whole idea? Do we think we could exist in this country the way we are with all the blessings we have when we're deliberately, you see, there's no question about what the, the sixth commandment says. Thou shall not murder, period. Not I suggest that you don't. Not maybe you shouldn't. Thou shalt not. And if these were the words of a man, that'd be one thing. These are the words of a holy righteous omnipotent God who will be our judge to every single one of us.

Somewhere along the way we better wake up in this country, to think that God is going to ignore that? He's not going to ignore it. I'll tell you why he's not. He cannot ignore that kind of disobedience and rebellion and still be the God of justice that he is. He's a God of justice. He's a God of rightness. He's a God of purity. He's a God of love. He's a God of goodness and mercy, and therefore he loves those babies. He loves those children. And in my mind, I cannot conceive of any man, whatever his reason may be, but primarily it's money. Primarily it's money. They're not doing it for free. And isn't it strange, you don't hear much about it. Why doesn't somebody stand up and really tell the truth? Why doesn't somebody say it loudly and clearly, we are murdering our children, fifty-five million of them have been murdered. And it's quiet.

And there are certainly organizations that impact the political situation. Everybody wants to be quiet. I'll tell you one of these days it's not going to be quiet. Because God's judgment will come upon any nation that does that. We're seeing things going on in our nation that we have never seen before. And we're tolerating it, passing legislation. And our whole moral system has fallen apart in pure corruption. And everybody wants to be quiet. Abortion, death, killing babies is one of them.

Now. We say, how does the Bible look at all this? Well the Bible nowhere condones suicide, not one single verse could you ever say, well here's what the Bible says. No, it doesn't say that. Listen, it's a form of escape for these reasons we talked about, whether it's pain or whether it's vengeance or whatever it might be. It's an expression of unbelief. Here's what it says. I don't believe that God can see me through my problem. I don't believe that God will answer my prayer. I don't believe that God loves me. I don't believe that God will help me through this. That's what it's saying, but none of that's true. That's why it's not in the Word of God. It says also that God is not a God of love and faithfulness. Oh, I know he promised these things but he won't do them now. God is a God of faithfulness.

And listen. Remember the character of God: the, the qualities of God. God does not change in any of his qualities. He's omnipotent. He's always powerful. He's omniscient. He always knows all things. He's omnipresent. He's always in the situation, for example, we're really in his presence. He's not in that presence and that presence. All of us in this whole globe, we're in the presence of Almighty God. He doesn't change. He doesn't change his mind. He doesn't change his ways. God's ways are the same. They've always been. His mind is the same as it's always been so we have no excuse for thinking that somehow, well God will change his mind. No he doesn't! To change his mind would mean that he missed it somewhere.

God is infinite in his wisdom and knowledge and understanding. He's not a God who's unfaithful. It's an expression of ingratitude toward God. For example, let's look at it this way. You've been given the gift of life. You've been given the wonderful privilege of spending eternity in heaven with Almighty God and all the blessings are indescribable. You've been given that privilege and so what do you do? You commit suicide, you short-circuit, listen, your life here on earth: God's purpose and plan for your life: and you lose the reward which God would have had for you had you lived it out in obedience to him. It is an expression of pure ingratitude toward God. There's nothing right about it whatsoever.

And I think about the fact that sometimes it is an expression of self-hatred. I don't like me. I don't like the way I look. I don't like the way I dress. I don't like the way people look at me. I don't like my friends: they don't like me. And a person can have such self-hatred they think, well, why should I live when I have no friends? I'm living alone. But not just alone, I'm lonely. I'm all by myself in the world. So what do they do? They say it's not worth it. They take their life. Is it right? No it's not right. And what they're doing is usurping the power of God.

In other words, God is the God of this universe. And if I do something that violates the Word of God, there is a penalty. And to take your own life is to say to God, I'll handle this my way. And is to take the life that God has given you and destroy it. There can be no way that you can possibly believe that God could condone that kind of action. Then I think about it in this way. God has a will and a plan for all of us. And when a person says, I just can't handle this and I'm cutting it out, too many difficulties. Remember this.

What is it that really and truly builds character? What is it that makes us able to achieve and accomplish in life? Most of the time it's because we suffer some situation. It may be something emotional. It may be something physical or it may be something, some pain you and I go through. And all of us who are believers know that God allows pain in our life, very trying difficult times, to do what? To cleanse us: to change our minds and our attitudes about the way we're thinking about something, in order to use us.

When I think about most of the famous people in the world that, that I've read about who were godly people, they went through all kinds of pain. And I can think about many pastors that I know now and in the past who have done a wonderful job for God, suffered all kinds of pain and heartache and disappointment and all the rest. You say, well, you know, I just can't handle but so much. You can handle anything God sends your way. And listen, the reason you can handle it is because he's there to enable you to handle it: to uphold you: to overshadow you: to surround you: to be with you no matter what's going on. And so a lot of the pain and suffering and disappointments we have in life in these lonely times or whatever, God allows them because he's in the process of teaching us something.

So, instead of asking the question, what is God up to in my life? God, help me through this. A person says, you know, I don't have to do this. And it reminds me of what I hear pastors every once in a while, they'll call me and they'll say, I'm going through this bad situation at my church. These folks, they don't love me. They don't appreciate me. They don't pay me right. They treat my family wrong. And on and on and on they go and they'll say, I don't have to put up with it. You know what I say to them? Yes, you do. You have to put up with it until God moves you, because God must be doing something in your life. And I can think of so many come to my mind right now, that I said to them, you don't run. You don't leave. You don't move. You don't go find another church because if you think grass is greener on this side, the guy that left that church, he thought, he thought it was brown, so he moved over here where he thought it was green.

So what happens is you keep running. God, listen. God doesn't want us to run. He wants us to stand firm. And listen, rooted and grounded in the truth of the Word of God. Because with that being true, we can stand anything the Lord allows in our life because listen. If he's allowing it for some reason, and he does. Now if you're not a believer, I can tell you exactly what he's up to. He wants you to get so miserable that you'll trust Jesus Christ as your Savior because you so desperately need him. For all of us who are believers, listen, here's what he says. He says in romans eight twenty-eight, he causes all things to work together for our good: to those who love him and to those who are called according to his purpose.

So in those most extreme moments, and I've had some extreme moments in my life. I never considered committing suicide, but I've had some moments I thought, God, only you can help me through this. And he always has and he always will and he always does. And he, God's not partial. He doesn't do one thing for one person, something else for the other. He's willing to help anybody and everybody through whatever they're going through in life, no matter what it might be. So, it's an expression of unbelief. It's an expression of selfishness, to take my life, and listen, when you take your life and deprive your life of those whom God gave you, your wife or your husband, your children, it is a very selfish act. It's a selfish act.

There's no way you could ever look at the Word of God and say, well, God understands. No, it's selfish. It's unbelief. It's ingratitude. It's all the things that we've said it is. And then it hurts the cause of Christ. If you're a believer, for example, and you commit suicide, what does the unbelieving world say? Well, you know, you believed in that Jesus, but he didn't help you. How do I expect him to help me? And so it hurts: it hurts your testimony, but it hurts the cause of Christ.

So that brings us to another question, and that is anything that's so devastating, is suicide an unforgivable sin? Well, if we were to take a vote, we might be surprised how the vote would come out. Is it an unforgivable sin? Let's put it this way. It is a sin without question. There's no doubt about that. And nowhere in the scripture is it stated that suicide is an unpardonable sin. It is a sin, but it's not unpardonable.

Now let me say carefully. Because I say it is pardonable, that is, in other words, if somebody says, well it's an unpardonable sin. You can never be forgiven. That is not true and I'll show you why in a moment. Not true. But that doesn't give you any room to commit suicide and say, well, if I'm going to be forgiven anyway, I don't have to worry about it. Oh, yes, you do. There is an awesome penalty for usurping from the hand of God your life, which he brought into this world for a specific purpose.

And so when we think about that and think about the atoning death of Jesus, how many sins did Jesus die for? He died for all sin, every sin. There's no sin that: there's no sin that he did not die for. There is an unpardonable sin, we're going to come to that in a second, but suicide is not an unpardonable sin. And there are many disappointments in life, heartaches, burdens, cares and trials we face, but we have to keep moving and trusting God, believing in our hearts that he'll take us through it, now.

So let me just say this. Is it the will of God to commit suicide? No! Is it a sin? Yes. Is it an unpardonable sin? No. This is the absolute truth of the Word of God. Once you've trusted Christ as your Savior, you are eternally secure in the grace of God. But there will be a judgment and there will be rewards and loss of rewards. And so a person who takes their own life loses reward. You say, well I don't care about rewards now. I just want to get out of this. Yes you will. You see, that's short-sighted thinking. That's earthly thinking. That's not godly thinking. That's not heavenly thinking. That's not eternal thinking.

Everyone of us need to think in terms of eternity. What about on the other side of this life? And we're all going to die. He says, "It is appointed unto man once to die," and what? He didn't say that's the end of it. He said, and after this, the judgment. Every single one of us will face holy righteous God. And a person who commits suicide will face God. And there is a penalty for it. Is it an unforgivable sin? It is not an unforgivable sin.

I want you to turn to Matthew chapter twelve for a moment and let's talk about this whole idea of, of the unpardonable sin for a moment. And you remember that Jesus is dealing with pharisees and Sadducees. Now watch this carefully. They have seen him heal. They have watched him work. They have heard his words. They have watched these miracles and they're saying to him, you're the devil. You're of the devil. So listen to what the scripture says in the twelfth chapter and the thirtieth verse, "He who is not with me is against me: he who does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I say to you, any sin," now look at that. Look at that word "Any", "Any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven".

So he says any sin except this one will be forgiven, "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him". So when people blaspheme Jesus and curse him and all the rest, can you be forgiven of that? Yes, "But whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or the age to come". Which means in this life or the life to come. Now, so, what is he saying? What is he saying in all that? Simply this. Remember this carefully. The reason any one of us is saved is because the Holy Spirit of God, the third person of the trinity, convicted us of our sin: showed us the truth: helped us to understand the truth and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. And he's the one who enabled us to become a believer.

Now, when you say, I don't believe in Jesus Christ. I don't believe in that Holy Spirit. I have nothing to do with that. All of that's just that's stuff those Christians talk about. I will have nothing to do with any of that. And when they continually deny and reject the Lord Jesus Christ and the wooing of the Spirit, then how are they going to be saved? They rejected Jesus. They rejected the wooing of the Holy Spirit. So is God going to forgive them of that? No, that is the only unpardonable sin.

When I think about people saying, well you mean suicide is not unpardonable? Well let me say it clearly. Suicide is pardonable, but it is horribly destructive in ways that I cannot even explain. And the attitude of God, listen, the attitude of God toward committing suicide isn't something, well that's okay. Having said all that I want to make one thing clear. There are people who love God who've been Christians, who have come to some area and some place in their life, who genuinely just in their thinking can't handle it and take their life. Was that sin unpardonable? No. It's forgivable, but I'm careful the way I say it because somebody out there will think, well, Stanley said it's forgivable and if he says it's forgivable, I'm not going to worry about it, I'll just do it. Listen, it's forgivable but the consequences are disastrous. And those consequences are eternal.

You say, well what are they? I don't know all the consequences except that I know the Bible is clear about losing a reward. It doesn't fit who you are. Listen carefully. You can't name anything God can't help you through, if you will trust him, if you'll trust him. You say, well, wouldn't people who go to church, wouldn't they know enough? Why? Why wouldn't they trust God? I can't alway answer that question, but I can say this. No matter what you're going through, Almighty God is there to help you. But just because a person claims to be a Christian doesn't mean they're in the Word of God.

Listen, I've been through difficult times in my life and I had to stay in the word. Lord, here's what you said. This is not the way I feel. This is not what I want. This is not what I asked for. Here's what you've said. I have to trust you. That's why this book is so absolutely valuable. Listen, this is a life and death message: and it's an eternal life and death message. And if you're a person who says, I don't need any Bible in my life, then you're a fool. And I say that lovingly, but pointedly. You're a fool if you think you can handle life without the Word of God. And you'll find out too soon. So, it is not unpardonable.

So let me just say this. Here are some things to remember in order that you may share it with a friend. Listen, if somebody jokes with you about it, take it seriously. If they even mention it once, take it seriously. If they call you, take it seriously. Because here's the things that you need to share with them. Remind them that God knows all about their circumstances and he's committed to helping them through it. There's nothing God can't see you through. Secondly, he loves you just as you are and he's willing to step with you step by step through your pain and hurt and suffering and sorrow and disappointment and aloneness and alienation and all the rest. He'll see you through it.

Thirdly, you must invite him into your life as your Savior: then he will become your friend and your partner in life. Without Jesus Christ, you're not going to make it. When you trust him as your personal Savior, remember this. When you ask him to come into your life and save you, he forgives you of all of your sin. He comes in to dwell, listen, he comes to dwell within you for what reason? To help you, aid you, enable you, strengthen you, overshadow you, undergird you, surround you, whatever's necessary to help you to get through it.

You have, listen, not just a friend, but you have Almighty God on your side, to help you through whatever you're facing. You don't shoot yourself. You don't kill yourself. You don't poison yourself. You don't take pills and all the other things. You may have tried everything. You may have tried it a few times and it didn't work. Don't try it anymore. You heard the testimony of this military person who said he put the gun in his mouth and God wouldn't let him do it. Don't destroy what God has created. You may be absolutely shocked at what God does for you and in you and through you once you pass through that stage. No, I'm not taking my life: I'm going to find out what this holy awesome God will do in my life. You'll be surprised. Just give him the privilege.

Father how grateful we are this morning for the Holy Spirit who doesn't let up. Thank you for the times he convicts us, the times he just loves us. And we pray this morning that every person who hears this message will take it very seriously. And we pray that each person listening who has never trusted you as their Savior will be wise enough to listen carefully and recognize that if they're willing to not just confess their sin, but to surrender their life to you, you will forgive them: write their name in the lamb's book of life: walk with them through the last moment of their life here on earth: and take them to heaven. You said you'd never leave us nor forsake us, and, oh God, of all the promises in the word, what could be better than that? My God will never leave me nor forsake me. Write that upon the table of their hearts today, is my prayer. In Jesus' name, amen.

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