Tag: Death (page 1 of 3)

Good People and Hell

Trish S – I have always questioned the belief that folks who may have little exposure to Jesus but are “good” people will spend eternity in Hell. Perhaps this comes from my Roman Catholic background!

Dave – It’s not just Roman Catholicism but most Christian churches believe that Hell is everlasting torment for all who do not believe in Jesus (born-again). I noticed you put the word “good” in quotation marks which is good because no one born of Adam’s seed is good. All humans, except Jesus of course, are the “walking dead” until they are born-again in Christ. That said, one has to wonder about little kids or babies (including those aborted in utero) who die. None of these humans could even begin to understand salvation’s terms. I think the safe answer is that we do not know but God is just and perfect in all judgments He makes. Perhaps the criterion is different for humans who die at an older age because they had the chance of seeking the Truth. God promises humans that they will find the Truth if the seek it. I maintain, however, that simply seeking truth (small “t” on truth) does not necessarily cut it because the condition of the individual’s heart may not be pure. By pure, I mean they have a willingness to do God’s will as Jesus said in John 7:17. There are many truths found in various philosophies, but adhering to them does not cause one’s sins to be forgiven.

Jewish tradition has this thing called the “age of accountability” which holds that a child’s sins are on the parents’ soul, but from age 13 on they are not. It assumes that before this age is reached, the child is without sin and if he/she dies within this time frame, they go to Heaven. So this would be a sudden shift of guilt and blame based on a time clock. It is not found anywhere in the Scriptures.

We do know that some will receive harsher punishment than others based on what they rejected on earth. For example, those who rejected Jesus are in the most trouble. But what about a person who has never been exposed to the Gospel and dies? This is a tough one. We don’t like the idea that this soul will be thrown on the Lake of Fire, whether or not it is eternal suffering or a literal second death as the Scriptures say it is. Jesus spoke of separating the sheep from the goats and the wheat from the chaff. He said the chaff does get thrown into a fire. Wheat does represent saved souls and chaff does represent unsaved souls. It seems to me that any soul not redeemed by God’s Blood cannot have eternal life…but eternal torment for human souls is extremely difficult for me to accept, whether or not it is accurate. It makes more sense to me that Hell for human souls is the second death. Death means death, or going out of existence. This belief, of course, is a serious error to most Christians, so I would never teach it although the possibility of it being true does rest in my mind.

Some Christians feel if this “error” is taught then concern for the lost would be diminished. I would argue that the Lake of Fire is still a horrible, frightening fate and therefore we all need to get the Gospel out to others.

Suicidal Thoughts

God builds instincts within all life forms. One of the strongest is the desire to stay alive. Even plants have this. The spirit of suicide therefore must work a long time before winning the battle. This battle begins in the mind, is totally fought within the mind, and is won or lost in the mind. In reality, it is a “spiritual thought-life war.” Human beings are the only life form on earth that has this problem. This is a testimony to the fact that we are made much different from the animals and plants, and that we have an enemy that hates us.

Lying thoughts must overcome all what God had built inside us. The lies about us and this life are subtle at first. Then, if we hearken unto those voices more than truth voices (or thoughts), then we start believing lies. Demonic voices tend to say “Your life stinks, you have suffered pain for along time, no one cares about you (often the first lie), things will never change (ah, there’s the second lie), and death is better than this life” (this is THE BIG LIE). We have no way of knowing this last one is true. Moreover, life on earth is far better for an unsaved soul than the Lake of Fire that Jesus talked about. If we believe these lying thoughts to be true, especially that last one about death being better than life, then it makes logical sense to end our life. Therefore, suicidal people are not psychotic (crazy) but they have been overcome with lies. Even Job began to give way to wayward thoughts (voices). Perhaps because some of those voices did speak truth – his life, for example, did stink, but only for a while. Demons would have us believe that our lousy lives will never get better. In addition, the way his friends treated Job, it did seem like they really didn’t care about him. The truth is that thousands of people care about us, but they probably do not know what is going on in our mind.

Deception usually mixes truth with the lie so that we have a better chance of believing it. Deep inside our soul, I believe that we will believe the voices to which we give more listening time. One side will overpower the other eventually, but it takes time. We do not become suicidal overnight. This is why God tells us to dwell on things that are good, pure, honorable, lovely, of good repute, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). It is also the reason I quote Scriptures back at demons when their wayward thoughts hit me. This is what Jesus did when Satan tried to get Him to throw Himself off a cliff. The Word of God is depicted as our sword and is the only offensive weapon God gives us. The rest are defensive ones (Ephesians 6:13-17).

What a person should do who is suicidal:

  1. Pray in Jesus’ name for help.
  2. Talk to someone who can help. Vent. Get all those feelings out. Commit to meeting with them more than once.
  3. Learn important Scriptures that you can quote back at demons who are lying to you. Here are some good ones:
  • Romans 8:1 – “There is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”
  • Romans 8:35-39 – Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
  • 2 Tim. 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind.”
  • 2 Tim. 2:13 – Jesus always remains faithful to us.
  • John 16:33 – Jesus has overcome the world.
  • 1 John 3:1 – We are children of God.
  • Hebrews 7:25 – Jesus always makes intercession on our behalf.

How we can help someone being attacked by suicidal thoughts:

  1. Listen, especially if you are the first person they’ve told. They need to vent.
  2. Get further help and do not swear to secrecy (often they don’t want us to tell anyone).
  3. Connect the person to that help (go with them if necessary).
  4. Reveal to them that the battle begins in the mind, is fought in the mind, and is won or lost in the mind.
  5. Encourage them to begin a believing relationship with Jesus Christ if not already.
  6. From that relationship comes power and authority over demons who are placing typical thoughts in their mind such as: their life stinks, things will never change, no one knows how they feel, death is better than life.
  7. The suicidal person thinks they know reality, but they do not. Their perception has been distorted by Satan, the Destroyer. Tell them of God’s reality, which is – they are precious and important to God and He has a purpose for their life (hope) and he will wipe away every tear.
  8. Encourage them to serve others – this can be an antidote for the self-centeredness they are in.
  9. Let the person know you are committed to pray for them and will see it through all the way until they’ve won the victory.
  10. All these things do not have to be covered all at once. Give the Spirit time to work. Again, just listening helps them know someone really cares, and this is sometimes the initial stepping stone they need at that time.

I would like to underscore the idea that suicide battles are totally spiritual in nature. Minds are the port hole to the supernatural realm. Both God and demons will speak to us there. Some people believe that external circumstances such as poor home life, drug addiction, social rejection, or sudden loss of wealth are its cause. While these circumstances can certainly increase suicidal thoughts, they are not the real cause. If they were, every human that has experienced any of those things would automatically become suicidal, and we know this does not happen. So there must be a deeper, more insidious common cause. Jesus identified Satan as the father of all lies, a destroyer, a thief, and a murderer. Therefore, ultimately, we can identify him as the real source of suicide. People who fight and defeat the actual cause always have victory. I counsel people to rebuke demonic, suicidal thoughts in the name of JESUS! The Bible tells us that because Jesus had victory over Satan by never sinning and then offering Himself up as a perfect sacrifice for sin and then rising from the dead, He has ALL authority. Demons must obey His voice. So we all must get into a believing relationship with Him and then use His name to thwart all sorts of attacks against our minds (or souls).


NF – Wow what a excellent lesson here–really opened my eyes to how to deal with suicidal thoughts- thanks for sharing! (this dear friend of mine has dealt with this problem more than once, but has not had the problem for many years now).

PT – Dave, great topic and a difficult one. And as you mentioned Christians, including “mature” Christians, are sometimes tempted to commit suicide. The apostle Paul even despaired of life in the Book of Acts and the great prophet Elijah (or Elisha) even wished for death. I think your counsel is good counsel on the topic and I would add that suicide is very difficult for survivors (myself being one). The many unknowns surrounding suicide can be very difficult.

The Death Penalty

The death penalty issue divides Christians. I am open to both sides of the debate. One piece of this discussion, however, is touched upon in Ecclesiastes 8:11 – Men will continue to do evil if the sentencing of an evil deed is not executed quickly.

The question that always arises is: Does the death penalty deter future crime? I believe it does ONLY if carried out quickly as this verse says. In this way, evil people would have more fear of the consequences. Today, however, with the legal system and individual protections, death penalties are never carried out quickly. So if your argument for the death penalty is based on it deterring more crime, I would say that is not true in today’s society.

Some Christians who are against it say it would send someone straight to hell. Others say if the criminal doesn’t find God facing death he/she never will. Others maintain that all human life can be changed for the better so no one should be executed for what they do. These folks tend to favor life sentences, but others argue that this costs taxpayers too much money.

God’s Law condemned adulterers to death by stoning, but Jesus did not stone that guilty woman. Does the New Covenant of Grace nullify God’s Old covenant desire for capital punishment?

I know that governments have the authority to execute certain criminals, but my question involves God. does God want the death penalty in operation in societies? What should the Christian belief be on this issue. One problem I might add is that any death penalty system will not be perfect. Certainly people with more money would have a better chance to “beat the rap” therefore putting poorer folks at an unfair disadvantage.

As a society becomes more lawless, this issue intensifies no matter what side you are on. Please comment and try to use Scripture to support your beliefs.

Feedback so far:

NF – Interesting…hard to decide but God is in control.

MM – To go through all the appeals to execute someone is more expensive than a life sentence. My objection to the death penalty is based is my belief that; psychologically, when a society takes life under one situation, it invites the people in that society to logically conclude there may be other conditions under which a life may be taken. i.e. abortion, euthanasia, that guy down the street that “needs killn’ etc. Laws may control the “criminality” of the who is allowed to kill, but the minds and hearts will be affected by the reality of the lives taken!

GR – As Jesus forgave the men who tortured and murdered Him one would be led to believe that Jesus Christ would oppose the death penalty since, as Christians, we are to be like Jesus and forgive people who trespass against us. In theory that’s a wonderful way to think and live, but in reality if someone murdered my little girl, I would want them punished and then killed, or better yet, I would kill them myself. I am a STRONG believer in the death penalty and want to see more executions to rid the earth of vermin that kill. Finally, I do not think the death penalty is a deterrent at all, most murders are crimes of passion or robbery, so the thought of the punishment does not come up.

Dave to GR – I fully understand your anger if someone killed your daughter, but remember what the Bible says about vengeance – it belongs to God alone. And I fully understand how this can be very difficult for all of us under certain circumstances, but with God’s Spirit in us, all things are possible.

TH – There is a difference between vengeance and justice for a crime. Christ does teach forgiveness, but there is still repercussion for your sin (the wages of sin). If the punishment for murder is the death penalty as established by the government, you will still stand trial by your peers and if found guilty, you may be put to death. However, forgiveness from Christ can still be achieved if you repent and ask for it. Therefore, you may still face your punishment as prescribed by your government, yet still be with Christ in heaven. Not saying that government is always right in their justice system, and I am not referring only to US government. Just my thoughts.

MH – I question if some things Jesus said are really as simple as they sound. I usually conclude that His Words are simple, but putting them into action is hard. I haven’t done research on the death penalty so I don’t know a lot about it. However, I have been studying about forgiveness and know what the Bible says about that. Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” I would choose to forgive the person as incredibly difficult as it may be. I would hope to have the support of fellow Christians to help me forgive when I don’t ‘feel’ like it and to persevere until I know that all anger and bitterness is gone.

AR – There are people in The Bible who were instantly killed because they disobeyed God. Harsh, but you better believe those who came after were Way more careful.

Dave – Yes, and that’s why God probably did it. He needed to have strong deterrents in those early days in order to preserve enough life for the Messiah to be born to men. My theory.

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