This week we will be looking at the concept of life. Unfortunately, the moral fiber of our country has taken a steady progression downward. We have gone from a positive prospect on life, to a preoccupation with death.
During my lifetime, we have banned prayer in our schools, legislated mass killing of unborn babies, made drugs legal, and allowed diversity to the extent that the sanctity of marriage is no longer the norm. One of the results is Alaska is one of the leading states for death from suicide.
These are all moral issues. Many young people have chosen suicide rather to live. There must be a reason to live. That is what we will explore this week.
Monday: God’s creation
Tuesday: Jesus is life
Wednesday: Suicide in the Bible
Thursday: Life vs. death
Friday: Eternal life
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Result of Man’s Sin
Genesis 3:22-23 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: 23 Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
God created man perfect. He placed him in a perfect garden, with perfect fruit, and no thorns or thistles. All was perfect until Adam rejected God’s command. This caused the first sin. It has been a downward spiral from there.
This is how and why there is wickedness in our world. Satan has deceived mankind into thinking evil is good, and good is evil. We have bought the lie hook, line, and sinker.
The good news is that Jesus is Life. Come back tomorrow and discover what that means.
JESUS IS LIFE
The last time you bought a big ticket item; did you go to the store and buy the first item you saw? Probably not. Usually, we do some research. We determine exactly what we need, our price range, and the features that we want. Then we shop around, either on the internet, papers, or brick and mortar stores.
Choosing a positive or negative approach to life has several similarities. Research is essential. What are the pros and cons of life? What are the benefits to living a positive life?
Yesterday we learned that God created heaven and earth. He also created man and woman. He equipped them with the ability to make choices. They chose to disobey God’s commandment. So sin enters the world and has increased exponentially.
So far it looks pretty bleak for mankind.
God sent Jesus to be the Author of life. Although things became progressively worse after that first sin, there were always righteous people on the earth. Think of Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. Jesus was acting behind the scenes to orchestrate God’s plan for the ages. Let us look at what the Bible records about Jesus.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 11:25,26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Suicide in the Bible
The information below came from www.GotQuestions.org.
I found this information useful to our discussion of suicide in the Bible.
Question: “What is the Christian view of suicide? What does the Bible say about suicide?”
Answer: The Bible mentions six specific people who committed suicide: Abimelech (Judges 9:54), Saul (1 Samuel 31:4), Saul’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4–6), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). Five of these men were noted for their wickedness (the exception is Saul’s armor-bearer—nothing is said of his character). Some consider Samson’s death an instance of suicide, because he knew his actions would lead to his death (Judges 16:26–31), but Samson’s goal was to kill Philistines, not himself.
The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. We should say with the psalmist, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15).
God is the giver of life. He gives, and He takes away (Job 1:21). Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life. No man or woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his or her own life.
Some people in Scripture felt deep despair in life. Solomon, in his pursuit of pleasure, reached the point where he “hated life” (Ecclesiastes 2:17). Elijah was fearful and depressed and yearned for death (1 Kings 19:4). Jonah was so angry at God that he wished to die (Jonah 4:8). Even the apostle Paul and his missionary companions at one point “were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8).
However, none of these men committed suicide. Solomon learned to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Elijah was comforted by an angel, allowed to rest, and given a new commission. Jonah received admonition and rebuke from God. Paul learned that, although the pressure he faced was beyond his ability to endure, the Lord can bear all things: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).
So, according to the Bible, suicide is a sin. It is not the “greatest” sin—it is no worse than other evils, in terms of how God sees it, and it does not determine a person’s eternal destiny. However, suicide definitely has a deep and lasting impact on those left behind. The painful scars left by a suicide do not heal easily. May God grant His grace to each one who is facing trials today (Psalm 67:1). And may each of us take hope in the promise, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
- Suicide does not please God, the giver of life
- Men in the Bible have committed suicide
- Other men overcame their temptation to commit suicide and God greatly used them
- It is God’s desire that all men trust God as their personal Lord and Savior
Please make a study of this issue. Look and see who the men were that committed suicide and then the men that did not. Please refer back to the first two lessons as you study.
Tomorrow, we will look at life vs. death.
LIFE VS. DEATH
Day four on our study of life. As the Scripture verses below indicate, we have a choice to choose life with God or death without God.
Deuteronomy 30:15-16 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Proverbs 11:19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus Christ gives life. When He died on the cross for our sins, resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven, He made a way for us to go from death to life.
Let us consider the pros and cons.
PROS: Good, walking with the Lord, knowing and obeying His commandments, may multiply, blessings, may dwell in the land, righteousness, fear of the Lord, everlasting life, reconciliation to God, and salvation.
CONS: Evil, cursing, snares, condemnation, and sin.
The preponderance of evidence is on the side of LIFE.
Your choice. CHOOSE LIFE!
If you are interested in being saved and going from death to life, please call or email me. Tomorrow we will explore Eternal Life and Eternal Death.
We come to the climax of our study of life. Today is decision day. There is a clear choice between life and death. We have studied it from many different perspectives. However, we are the only ones that can choose. No one can choose for us. Please consider seriously about what you read today. It truly is a matter of life and death.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 John 5:12-13 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 21:1-2, 27 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 20:13-15 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
God sent Jesus Christ from heaven to earth to pay the sin debt for mankind. The payment needed was the blood of a spotless lamb. Jesus is that spotless Lamb. Had Jesus only died and shed His blood, this would have been the same as all the animal sacrifices in the past. Jesus not only died, but He resurrected from the dead, seen by over 500 individuals, and then ascended back to Heaven to be with God the Father. No other spiritual leader EVER has done that.
Please make the decision to trust Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. Repent of you sins and ask Jesus Christ to take control of your life. If you have read each of the devotions this week, it is evident the LIFE is in Jesus Christ. Rejection of Jesus Christ is DEATH and eternity spent with Satan and his demons in the lake of fire.
Now you must decide. Life or death.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001 firstname.lastname@example.org