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What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2021 6:30 am

What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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June 15, 2021 6:30 am

Episode 728 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

1. What was God doing before he created the universe?

2. I am wondering, what does the Bible say about suicide?

3. In 2 Peter 2:20, it seems like Peter is saying people can lose their salvation, but in John 6 and 10 it seems like Jesus says we can’t lose our salvation. How do we make sense of these verses?

4. Following up to a previous answer you gave about the “us” in Genesis 1:26. Doesn’t the “us” in Genesis also indicate the presence of the Holy Trinity?

5. How and why did people divide the Bible into its books, chapters, and verses?

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Resources

9 THINGS EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Available 24 hours – 1-800-273-8255

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What does the Bible say about suicide? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. As always, you can post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can watch us right now on YouTube and message us that way, and you can always email us your question at questions at corechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to John in St. Louis, Missouri. John, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Yes, good afternoon.

I love tuning into your program, and you always can learn something. And my question is, I don't know what can ever really be definitely answered on this earth, but since it says in Genesis that God created the heavens, he created the stars, and created the earth, and all that we see. What was God, since he's timeless, I often wonder what God was doing before he did all that, because he's timeless.

What did he do before that? John, thank you for your encouragement, and thank you for that question. We are speculating a little bit here, as you said. We have the history of redemption and what God did for us in creation, creating all things. You referred to Genesis. We do know that God, the Holy Trinity, existed in perfect purity, love, joy, all of those things. God didn't need anything.

He didn't create the world because he was lacking something. It was really out of the abundance of his glory and of his love that he chose to create freely. And so God existed in perfect harmony and perfect peace and perfect glory. And I guess one passage of scripture that I would go to, John, is Jesus' high priestly prayer. In John chapter 17, it says this. Verse 1, when Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given to him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

So right there, Jesus makes it very clear in verse 5 that the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, existed prior to the creation, before all things, in perfect glory, in love. And so that's one passage of scripture that I would point you to. But what the Bible is concerned with primarily is God's acts of redemption in history. That's why we sometimes refer to the Bible as the record of redemptive history.

It's what God has done to reveal himself, this God who is uncreated, who was before all things, what he did to reveal himself to his creation. And so thank you, John, for that question, and thank you for your encouragement again. May the Lord bless your day. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. As always, we love to receive your phone calls and questions, and we'll take calls for the next 20 minutes or so if you have any question about the Bible or the Christian life. Give us a call, 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our callers named Shelby in Texas. I was wondering what it says in the Bible about suicide, if you guys could clarify this to me, because I'm really torn about it. Thank you so much.

Bye-bye. Yeah, Shelby, thank you for your question, and this is always a question that we want to be very sensitive in handling. One, we always point people to you who are struggling with this, you who are contemplating suicide. There is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or Lifeline. It's available 24 hours a day, 1-800-273-8255. If this is something that you're thinking about, maybe turn the radio off right now and call that number, 1-800-273-8255. We recognize that especially with the last year that we've had, there's a lot of stress.

There are a lot of extra pressures. There's a lot of depression. This is just a really important conversation for us to have. With regard to what the Bible says about suicide, it's interesting. I was reading recently a theologian who was discussing this, and he was talking about when Rome was essentially sacked by the barbarians, how there were many people who contemplated suicide or did commit suicide for fear of being harmed by the barbarians. So this particular theologian was sort of wrestling through what the Bible actually does teach on this and encouraging people not to take their own lives, one, for the fundamental reason that our lives are not our own. We're created by God. We don't have the right over our life in that sense to say, you know, I just want to end it now. No, God gave us life to know Him and to glorify Him.

It's actually kind of interesting. One passage of scripture that this particular theologian pointed to is you look at the Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20, and you have that command, you shall not murder. He was making the point a little bit later when you have the command not to bear false witness against your neighbor.

That phrase, against your neighbor or your neighbor, isn't added to the prohibition with regard to murder because there is such a thing as self-murder, taking one's own life. And that would be wrong. That would be a sin in God's eyes, like I already said, because of the fact that we belong to the Lord, mind, body, and soul.

Even if we don't call ourselves Christians, God created you for a purpose, and that purpose is to know Him, to glorify Him. Now, I know that there are so many other things that we have to bring up when we have a discussion like this. You think about the reality of mental health, and Bill, I'd appreciate some of your insights here, too, as someone who's trained in this field in particular. But we just want to encourage all of you, those of you who are struggling with depression, there is hope, there is help, and you really need to get that help immediately. Go and talk to someone about how it is that you're feeling, and know, as I said, that there is hope, isn't there, Bill?

Yeah, and you know what? You said something so key there, Adriel. You said talk to someone. Reach out to anyone that is close to you, a friend, a family member, a pastor, and let them know what's going on in your life. Because God loves you, and they love you, and they don't want you to do anything that would put your life in harm's way. One of the things we often say in the psychology world, Adriel, is that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. And what we mean by that is, at the time, you may think that life is over, that there's no hope, but for many people that have contemplated suicide, then you talk to them a year later, they can't even believe that they would have considered that, because the circumstances have changed so dramatically in their life. Not that a year from now everything's going to be rosy, but the fact is that most people who were seriously considering it, you ask them a year later, and they're just flabbergasted that they would have ever considered taking their own life.

So it is indeed a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You need to get help. You need to find hope. And you mentioned that suicide prevention hotline. I'll give it again. And you can call 24 hours a day, 800-273-8255. You can also just Google that and call up that number.

There are people there, counselors there, waiting to talk to you. Thank you, Bill. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Christine calling in from Toledo, Ohio. Christine, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Hi. I was just calling in regards to, I guess it's more so about just the certainty of salvation in regards to reading 2 Peter 2. You know, those who escape wickedness by knowing the Lord and knowing their savior and then getting tangled up in sin again, they're worse off than they were before when I guess I've just always been so cemented in like the Book of John, you know, Chapter 6, Chapter 17. And he talks about he doesn't lose one that the Father has given him. So I don't know if that's just referring to the disciples or if he's referring to everyone who come who come to Christ. So I guess, yeah, certainty is salvation, just I'm lost on how to interpret that. Yeah.

Yeah, I know. And I could see why this passage of scripture might raise some concerns in your mind. I'll just be honest, it did for me as well when I was a newer believer and I was reading about the false teachers in 2 Peter 2 just thinking, oh, man, you know, this is absolutely terrifying because it's very clear, Christine, in 2 Peter 2 that these false teachers have this intimate knowledge of the things of the Lord.

And yet there's something so sinister about them. We have to define them for who they are, what they are. And that's exactly what Peter calls them in 2 Peter 2, Verse 1. He says, But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And then you were referring to a little bit later in in verse 20 where it says, If after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness, and after having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Now, how do we make sense of this? Are these people who lost their salvation? No, I don't think that there are people who lost their salvation.

Not at all. Because as you said, you know, you go to the Gospel of John, for example, and John makes it absolutely clear that if we believe in Jesus Christ, we have passed from death to life. We don't enter into judgment. Jesus says that in John chapter 5. In John chapter 10, I think that you were referring to that as well. You know, beginning in verse 20, 24.

It says, The Jews gathered around him and said to him, How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. And Jesus said, I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. Now, I would say that these false teachers in 2 Peter chapter 2 are also those who are not the sheep.

In fact, Peter goes on to say that they're like dogs who return to their own vomit. And Jesus says in verse 27, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. This is precisely what the false teachers in 2 Peter chapter 2 don't do.

They deny the Master who bought them, Peter says. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one.

And I know you're familiar with those words, Christine. But I think what Peter is highlighting there in 2 Peter chapter 2 is that there is an intimate knowledge that people can have about God, about the commandments of the Lord, the things of the Lord. They can even rise up as teachers in the Church, influential leaders in the Church. And yet, if you have all that knowledge, all of that head knowledge, but your heart has not been changed by the Gospel, well, then you're in a very precarious situation. You stand to be judged, to be condemned. And essentially, what these false teachers were doing is they were leading people away from Jesus and the Gospel.

This isn't an individual who knows the truth and is struggling to obey God's Word and to follow Jesus and is convicted of their sins. These are people, as Peter describes them, they are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls.

They have hearts trained in greed, accursed children. They have forsaken the right way. You read the description of the false teachers there, and these aren't people who love Jesus, want to follow Jesus, and have known Jesus.

They're people who heard the truth, knew the truth, had this intimate knowledge of the Word of God, and yet reject Jesus and his Gospel. And it sort of reminds me, Christine, of what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7, where he says, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many are going to say to me on that day, didn't we do this, that, and the other in your name? And then Jesus, do you remember what he says to these false prophets, to these false teachers, Christine? He says, Depart from me, I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness. Not, yeah, I used to know you, we used to know each other, we used to be in a good relationship, you had your sins forgiven, and now you've lost all that. Jesus says, Look, I don't even know you.

I've never known you. We've never been in that relationship, that intimate relationship that we're called to by faith. And so these false teachers didn't lose their salvation.

They knew the truth, cognitively, in their heads, but they rejected the truth of the Gospel, and they lived according to their own sensual desires. Thank you for your question, Christine. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we have another ten minutes left or so of the program. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, hop on your phone right now and give us a call at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 833-843-2673. Well, whether you're driving around town, doing errands, or going on a long road trip this summer, we all need good music to listen to, and that's why for a donation of any amount, we are giving something really special to you. It's called Evensong by Keith and Christine Getty. Yeah, hymns and lullabies at the close of day. These are songs that they would sing to their children. So this is really a family-friendly, a wonderful gift for you or for someone that you love, a family that you love, to help sort of come around music together and meditate on the things of the Lord and encourage one another.

I love doing that with my kids. We sort of sing songs before they go to bed. If that's something you do and you're looking for some new songs to be able to sing with your family, get ahold of this resource, as Bill said, for a donation of any amount, Evensong by Keith and Christine Getty. We know that it'll bless you. We love these artists, and if you've never heard them before, chances are you have sung their songs in your church in worship time. And boy, they just have such beautiful music. Christine's voice was just like an angel.

So we would highly suggest you get this CD, and your kids will love it, you will love it. Again, it's called Evensong, and all you have to do is go to our website at corechristianity.com forward slash offers to learn more, or you can call us for that offer or any one of our offers at 833-THE-CORE. Well, let's go to a voicemail we received from one of our listeners, and this is actually a follow-up to a question that Adriel answered earlier this week. My name is Dan, and just had a quick comment for Pastor Adriel. With regard to the question that came in at the end of the show recently, may have been the last show, regarding what does us mean in Genesis, in the early verses of Genesis 1, let us create him in our image.

I think the pastor may have missed it a bit, because he mentioned, perhaps in haste, that there were angels involved, you know, obviously God and angels, and I think, at least in my opinion, that was, for lack of a better term, the initial offering of the existence of the Trinity, so to speak, that's where that plurality comes from. Anyway, thank you very much for your show, it's a blessing to everyone who listens, I'm sure, and God bless you all. Take care, bye-bye. Hey, thank you for that question. Let me just say, too, I love when we get follow-ups with the question that I've answered, where someone will say, hey, you know, I don't know if I totally agree with your answer there, and, you know, sort of provide another perspective. If you ever feel that way as you listen to this broadcast, you know, please give us a call, we want to hear your comments as well, and be able to engage on the Scriptures. It's very Berean, right, like Paul talked about the Bereans, and how that's what they did, they searched the Scriptures to see if the things that were spoken by the disciples were true, and so that's something that we're all called to do. Now, with regard to this question, related to the plurality that you see early in Genesis, where God says, let us make man in our image, or, I mean, you see this language actually kind of all over the place. In Isaiah, for example, when Isaiah has a vision of God's throne room, the Lord says, who will go for us, whom shall we send, you know, that kind of a thing, and there are a few different ways, or a couple of different ways, primary ways of looking at this. One is this idea of the divine council, and that is that God is depicted in the early chapters of Genesis as this great king, surrounded by the heavenly host, his quote-unquote divine council, and that is the us. It's the angelic host, and God is being, as I said, depicted as the Lord of all creation, the creator king, who speaks in the plural for that reason.

You do see this, I think, supported in different places. You see it supported in the Psalms, for example, where it talks about the creation of man. You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings, and crowned him with glory and honor. They're referring to the angelic host, and even later in Genesis, at the end of Genesis chapter 3, where Adam and Eve are exiled from the garden, and God says, man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil.

Just a little bit later there, it talks about the cherubim. There, again, to sort of include the angels in that language. But, brother, I agree with you that the Trinity is also involved here, because we know that the Trinity was there from the very beginning of creation. Genesis chapter 1, verse 2, the spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

John chapter 1, verse 1, in the beginning was the word, that is Jesus, and the word was with God, and the word was God. We know that the Holy Trinity, before creation, as we heard from the, we're talking about that with the very first question on the broadcast today, but was there at creation, was instrumental in the creation of the world. So I think we can also say yes to what you said, brother.

Thank you so much for your comment, and thanks for listening. You know, one thing I love about you, Adriel, you're not afraid to be challenged by our listeners if they have a question or concern, or they misunderstood something that you said. And really, that's kind of one of those both-and responses, isn't it, as far as the Trinity? Yeah, so I think it is really, really easy to be able to say yes to something like that, because God, the Holy Trinity, was certainly there at creation. And so sometimes, when we look at those texts of scripture, the only reason I want to say, just in terms of the original context, how would the Hebrew people who were reading those passages have understood them initially? I think they would have pointed to the divine council, that angelic, you know, heavenly host. But I think now, you know, as we sort of have this progression of revelation, we know more about God in terms of how He's revealed Himself.

We can also say, and we ought to say, that the Holy Trinity is there in Genesis chapter 1, verse 1. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. By the way, just a reminder that some of the radio stations that air our program air it on a delayed basis. So if you want to call in live to the studio when we're actually taking calls, here's the time you want to do it.

It's 1130 a.m. Pacific, which translates into 1230 Mountain, 130 Central, or 230 Eastern Time. For that 30-minute period, you can call right into the studio and talk to Pastor Adriel. Otherwise, if you're listening at a later time in the day, you can always leave a voicemail.

In fact, our voicemail operates 24 hours a day. You can call us at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Robin, who's calling in from Bethany, Missouri. Robin, welcome to the program. What's your question? Hey Robin, are you there?

I am, sorry, thank you. Hey, hey, what's your question, sister? Okay, so crazy question. I love you guys, though, and I got a million questions, but here's one. Okay, I know the Bible is God's Word, you know, I know all of that, but how did man divide it so strangely? So we have some verses that aren't even a full sentence, some verses that are a paragraph.

How was it determined to divide it up? Is that even something that can be answered? You know, we just recently had a question about this, Robin. It's not a bad question at all, and thank you also for your encouragement.

We want to say we love you too, thank you for listening. And the chapter divisions, the verse divisions that we have weren't something that were a part of the original text. It's not like, you know, as Paul was writing his epistles, he said, okay, chapter 1, verse 3, that kind of thing.

This is something we didn't get until probably the 13th century, 14th century. And so really what it's for, those chapter divisions, the verse numbers, are just, you know, for convenience sake, to help us in terms of referring back to a particular passage of scripture. It's a lot easier to remember a passage and to memorize scripture when we have these things.

So it's really actually quite helpful that we have these chapter divisions and these verse divisions. When you think about the Old Testament in particular, it was really divided up into three parts. You had the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, sometimes referred to as the law. Oftentimes when you have this language of the law in the Old Testament, in particular the Psalms, it's in the Psalms, it's referring back to those first five books.

You had the writings or the Ketuvim they were referred to. And then you also had the prophets, the Nevi, the sort of the three major divisions of the Old Testament. And then in the New Testament you have the Gospels, you have the epistles, you have pastoral epistles. We divide them up in different ways.

But let me tell you one thing that is so important for us to understand. When we think about these divisions, those divisions, you know, the sort of threefold division of the Old Testament, is a lot more ancient than the chapter divisions that we have today. And it's actually something that I think Jesus referred to himself. In Luke chapter 24, after Jesus's resurrection from the dead, he's on the road with a couple of his disciples, and he said to them, these are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses, now you have the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, and the prophets, the Nevi'im, and the Psalms, which would have been a part of the Ketuvim, the writings.

All of those divisions there must be fulfilled, he says. Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. In other words, Jesus says the entire Bible, with the way that it's divided, all the scripture points to me, to my salvation, to my gospel. That's why Jesus could say in John chapter 5 to the religious leaders, if you believed Moses, you would have believed me. So when we think about all of these divisions in the Bible, how it's broken up, the overarching theme is Jesus Christ and his redemption.

And that's, I think, the main takeaway. Thank you for your call. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-04 01:36:12 / 2023-11-04 01:46:50 / 11

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