May 2017 Newsletter
BETHLEHEM PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
NEWSLETTER – MAY 2017
Suicide, by Elder Tim McCool
(from an article in the Pickens County Herald recently)
It would be hard to find a family not affected by suicide. Any way you look at it, suicide is a tragedy. Personally, I have lost friends and people I knew to this tragedy. I have spoken at funerals for those who died from suicide, and also written and preached extensively on this subject. Recently, a young man I knew passed from this life by suicide. When I learned of it, my heart was broken to hear of it.
Death is awful in any form, whether by suicide, car wreck, fire, drowning – or even natural causes. Whatever ugly form death takes, it is wonderful to know the truth about death, no matter how it occurs. A “spiritual” urban legend about suicide goes like this – “If a person commits suicide, it means they automatically go to hell…” or something along that line. This is not true at all. If you have suffered from thinking this, then be of good cheer. The good news is this: No matter how we leave this world, it makes NO difference where we go.
Our destination at death is not determined by the way we die– whether by natural causes, suicide, drowning, execution, etc. To dispel the spiritual urban legend about suicide, we need only look at the scripture. There are several examples of suicide in the Bible. The first that comes to mind is the great hero Samson (Judg.14-16). After Samson ran around with too many wild women and was finally caught, he did something as a prisoner that literally “brought the house down.” Judg16:30 details Samson’s suicide. He brought the house down on himself and the Philistines. He died by his own hand. But Samson is in the “hall of faith” in Heb.11. Read it. The way he left this world did not change where he went.
Another example is Saul, the 1st king of Israel. When surrounded by the enemy, Saul committed suicide (I Sam.31:4). Some object and say there is no way a guy who lived his life like Saul could go to heaven. Thankfully, salvation is not by what we do or don’t do, but by the mercy of God. And without question Saul is in heaven. His suicide did not change where he went. We need only read Samuel’s words in I Sam.28:19 where he says that Saul and his sons (including Jonathan by the way!) will be with Samuel the next day. Where was Samuel? You guessed it – Samuel was in heaven. These are only two of several examples in the Bible.
The idea that suicide is an automatic hell sentence is not from God. His mercy is greater than suicide. That is comfort for us, dear child of God. Lastly, consider this. If the spiritual urban legend that suicide will send you to hell is nothing more than a myth – what else that is commonly accepted in religious circles today, might also be a myth? Hmmm…what about “accept Christ as your personal Savior” (hint–it is not in the Bible!), or “Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart to get in…” (hint–also not found in the Bible!), or the “secret rapture” (hint-the word is not in the Bible!). What else do we take for “gospel” that is not in the word!?
If this encourages us to read the word of God, then I have done my job!
SCHEDULE FOR ANNUAL MEETING THIS WEEKEND:
Sat., May 6 – 10:00 am – Service; lunch; afternoon svc; 4p – fellowship at Old Farm House
Sun., May 7 – 10:00 a.m. (NOTE THE EARLIER TIME), communion, lunch
To Listen Live to the Sunday morning broadcast: Go to “bethlehempbc.org” and scroll down to “Click here to LISTEN LIVE, Sundays at 9a.m.!”