Many thoughts were running through my mind. Will he be going to Heaven? Did he think about the people he left behind and how his actions would affect them? Did he really want to die? Did he leave a note?
Yes, that last one may seem off, but Pump Up the Volume, an old Christian Slater movie, came to mind. "Did you at least write a note? You have a reason, don't you? You're not going to be one of those people who kills themselves, and nobody has any idea why they did it? Hey, that's why we need a note, Pal!"
I know that is crass. I am not insensitive to that. If you have seen the movie, then you know that Christian Slater's character did not think that the guy was really going to commit suicide. He thought that the guy was merely having a tough time and feeling down, maybe looking for attention.
Was it like that with our old friend? Did he reach out to anyone? Did they not take him seriously? Did they let him down when he may have needed them most? How alone and miserable must someone feel to go so far as to take their own life?
Back to my first question: Will he go to Heaven? There are an array of thoughts on the matter of whether one will go to Heaven after taking their own life. Some believe that you must ask forgiveness for your sin, and if you are dead, then how can you ask forgiveness? Some believe that once your have Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your sins are paid for and covered. The Sixth Commandment tells us, "Though shalt not murder," or "Though shalt not kill." Does this make suicide a sin?
I will admit that I do not know the word in its original Hebrew. In today's English, Dictionary.com's first definition of murder is, "the killing of another human being." Does that mean that you cannot murder yourself? Dictionary.com's first definition of kill is, "to deprive of life in any manner." Wait a minute, that means something different.
Here is what the Bible tells us.
God's Word says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8) and that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:37-39).
NOTHING can separate from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. That is, as long as we have a relationship with Christ Jesus. Did my old friend have a relationship with Jesus? I am sorry to say that I do not know.
Do we have people in our lives who might be reaching out for help? Are we extending a hand to give them something to grab? Are we sharing the Gospel with them? Are we emphasizing John 3:16? Are we paying attention to what people are not telling us? Are we working to be sure that the people around us are exposed to Christ's love through us?
Most of us are not equipped to deal with a person considering suicide. Hopefully and thankfully, most of the people in our lives are likely not going to even consider it. Probably, though, we do have people in our lives who are feeling bad in some way. What we are equipped to do is to love someone who is sad, to comfort someone who is hurting, to listen when someone wants to talk, to simply be there when someone is feeling alone.
Not only are we called to, but it is also so important that we share the rewards of Christ's love with others. Bear in mind that if someone is in need and is thirsting for something, then the Living Water could sound realllly good.
After all, "How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" -Romans 10:14
Hey, look...this song fits again. Thank you, Casting Crowns.
NOTE: If you know of someone who has a serious problem, and you are not able to be what they need, then I encourage you to find someone who might: a pastor or a doctor or someone professionally trained to handle serious, emotional issues.