Every year thousands upon thousands of YOUNG AND OLD choose TO TAKE, SNUFF OUT, THEIR OWN LIFE.
From what we are able to tell there are approximately 28-30,000 suicides in the United States per year! On an average American day, about 80 plus people kill themselves in the United States! That includes all ages, those under 16, and those above 65, and all the way in between!
In the little Scandinavian Country of Sweden for example, where there is a population of about 9,000,000 folks, and, where there is estimated to be about 100,000 Pentecostals:
- There is approximately ONE CHILD Suicide attempt each day reported!
- There is at least ONE CHILD Suicide Success each week in Sweden!
- Amidst the astronomical Divorce & Broken Home Ratio!! (1 out of 1.81 marriages)
- Amidst the Pregnancies of girls under 14, up 90% in recent years!
- Amidst this and more, which is all tied together in an aggravated cause and effect way.
THOSE WHO STUDY these Statistics & their causes in our SOCIETY, that is, Sociologists & Psychologists, tell us some things, some startling things! In the LAST COUPLE of Decades:
- The highest rate of Suicides has taken place among PSYCHIATRISTS!!
- Behind that, in a close second, are COLLEGE STUDENTS, & YOUNG PEOPLE!!
- In fact, the highest rising rate is among ADOLESCENTS!
- 13, 14, 15 year old kids who don’t even KNOW WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT!!
- And they end it all; it’s finished for them; no second chance!!
- And, a very high Suicide rate among those who are 65 years or older!
BUT NO SURPRISE! In Rev. 9, we find that THE TENDENCY toward SUICIDE, is a SIGN OF THE TIMES! And, that it will become MORE PREVALENT, as the LAST DAY APPROACHES! When Hell & Satan spread their BLACK SMOKE (pall over mankind!) When modern thinking, philosophies, news reports, only lead to futility & depression. Then we read in Rev. 9:6,
“AND IN THOSE DAYS, SHALL MEN SEEK DEATH; AND SHALL NOT FIND IT,
AND SHALL DESIRE TO DIE; AND DEATH SHALL FLEE FROM THEM!”
That is, many WILL HAVE THIS DESIRE, but won’t have courage TO DO IT. What an awful picture! They WILL LONG TO DIE; DEATH RUNS FROM THEM!!
And even THOSE WHO SO SUCCEED have taken a BOTTLE OF PILLS, then called someone, only to find THEM NOT HOME! And tragically life is snuffed out, before solicited HELP can arrive.
Such is the activity in the LAST DAYS, the days in which we in fact live now. I am told that self-murder among our armed servicemen and women is drastically on the rise, especially after they return home. It is estimated that every day one of them takes his or her life.
All of this is too large and too awful for one pastor to even begin to process. As a nation and the world, we are in a frantic race to beat self-murder. Suicide is a like a huge anaconda trying to swallow the human race. We must try to slay the serpent-dragon less he continues like a monstrous Jack Kevorkian to multiply suicides unchecked.
I. WHY DO WE HAVE SUCH A FLOOD OF SELF MURDER?
I have no interest in reviewing THIS SUBJECT from a PSEUDO-PSYCHIATRIC perspective! I do not pretend to be AN EXPERT in the field, except to share what God has shown me and many other pastors. I want to keep it SIMPLISTIC and approach it from a PASTORAL CONCERN, that is, from the GOOD SHEPHERD’S PERSPECTIVE!
I do not know all of the complexities of life, the HURTS, the injustice, the rejections, the PAIN! All I do know as a Christian Pastor is THAT JESUS CHRIST has come, according to His own words in Luke 4:18,
“TO HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED; AND TO FREE THOSE THAT HAVE
BEEN BRUISED IN ANY and IN ALL WAYS!!”
Jesus Christ has come, according to John 10:10 to,
“GIVE LIFE & THAT ABUNDANTLY!!”
FIRST – LIFE IS CHEAP IN OUR WORLD
That is the General Environment in which the INCREASE IN SUICIDES IS fostered every day. Today:
- There are 1,500,000 abortions in the U.S. annually, 40 to 55 million worldwide!
- There are more abortions in JAPAN, then there are BIRTHS!
- There are more abortions in NEW YORK, then there are BABIES BORN!!
Does this startle you at all? Does 6 Million Jews killed in the Holocaust startle you? What if I told you that that is a drop in the bucket, compared to ABORTED UNBORN! In the good OLE USA. TODAY, someone is RAPED every 8 minutes, MURDERED every 27 minutes, ROBBED every 26 seconds.
Life in OUR WORLD IS CHEAP. T.V. GUIDE is a guide to DEATH, not a guide to LIFE! In other words:
- People see life as a process that “Produces Corpses!
- People do not see LIFE as the PRICELESS THING GOD’S WORD SAYS IT IS.
- In fact, so precious is every single LIFE/PERSON ON EARTH, so precious is each life, that we read in Hebrews 2:9,
“THAT JESUS SUFFERED AND DIED FOR EVERY MAN!”
In fact, EACH SOUL TO GOD is MORE PRECIOUS than GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. (Sounds incredible; but keep it in focus, GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON!)
And of course, Alcohol and drugs play their role here; as they so demoralize folks and lead to the degrading of human life.
SECOND – MODERNISTIC BELIEFS SHARE THE BLAME
This too is the general environment in which SUICIDE IS FOSTERED TODAY! Simply because MODERN BELIEFS & PHILOSOPHIES demoralize & degrade modern man! EVOLUTION, SECULAR HUMANISM:
- All taught in our SCHOOLS today, making MAN AN ANIMAL without a soul.
- Making God’s WORD fairy tales, taking away God’s PERSONAL CONCERN FOR MAN!
- Erasing THE BLESSED HOPE of the ages, what Paul calls in Col. 1:27,
“CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY.”
There is, therefore, in such Godless Philosophy, NO HEAVEN TO GAIN AND NO HELL TO SHUN! NO PURPOSE, NO IDENTITY, NO DESTINY, what the Bible places in right connection in Eph. 2:12,
“WITHOUT HOPE & WITHOUT GOD IN THIS WORLD.”
I am going TO MAKE A BROAD-SWEEPING STATEMENT AT THIS POINT:
“THE PERSON WHO DOES NOT KNOW JESUS CHRIST AS SAVIOR AND LORD,
CANNOT HAVE ONE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE AND LIVING!”
I told you it WAS BROAD & SWEEPING, but everything in the WORD OF GOD says that! For only the BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST CLEANSES THE SIN DARKENED SOUL, and only that CLEANSED SOUL can SEE AND UNDERSTAND WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT.
I Corinthians 1:24 calls Jesus Christ,
“THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD.”
He alone enables us to see life as God in Christ sees life! He alone enables us to respond to life as God in Christ responds to life!
Here is the life principle:
“THAT’S WHY I CAN SAY AUTHORITATIVELY, THAT ANYONE WHO DOES
NOT HAVE JESUS IN HIS HEART CANNOT POSSIBLY HAVE THE RIGHT
PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE; AND THE PURPOSE FOR LIVING.”
THIRD – MARITAL AND FAMILIAL BREAKDOWN IN OUR SOCIETY
I recall the good old Disney Cartoons of Donald and Daisy Duck, as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Daisy and Minnie for the most part wore high heels and flirted with their own husbands. Donald and Mickey were generally in crisis, but a least they didn’t have to worry about Daisy and Minnie being unfaithful to them. There was more marital integrity in those classics than you can find in all of the modern movies and TV shows today put together. Modern media is nothing more or less than a “Marriage Wrecking Crew.”
Or again, Sleeping Beauty spends quality time with Mr. Pillow while the Prince is leaping ravines, hacking his way through an enchanted brier patch, and slaying a fire-breathing dragon. He then kisses the sleeper who wakes up, and says, “O, did I miss anything.” And the next thing you know, they are dancing in the sky. Hear me:
“IT USED TO BE THAT THE RECURRENT MESSAGE WAS THAT MARRIAGE IS
THE HAPPY ENDING TO A MAN AND A WOMAN’S TRIBULATIONS, BUT
TODAY MARRIAGE IS PORTRAYED AS THE BEGINNING OF THE
MAN AND THE WOMAN’S TRIBULATIONS.”
This also is the WORLDWIDE ENVIRONMENT in which SUICIDE is being FOSTERED TODAY. This may sound like a quantum leap, but we better think again. Back to Sweden which is a MICROCOSM OF THE WORLD:
- At least 1 child per day attempts Suicide in Sweden.
- And, ONE CHILD EACH WEEK dies as a result of SELF-MURDER.
- And, according to the CRIS, Children’s Rights In Society, these numbers synchronize with TOTALLY BROKEN MARRIAGES, from which they often come.
- Also, that many of these self-murdering children HAD EXPERIENCED, or were the result of INCEST.
Listen to me! The younger the child, the more they sense INNER COMMUNION between Parents, or, lack of it. A Child’s only world IS THE FAMILY, and IF BROKEN, A HUGE VACUUM IS CREATED.
Young Danny was in the sight-sound ministry of our church. He came from a broken home, and lived with his mother and her second husband. He would visit his father but not regularly. He was a precious young teenager, and one moment he seemed fine, and the next moment he shot himself in the chest with a shotgun. Danny was gone.
It is no wonder that the Lord says in Malachi 2:16:
“THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, SAITH THAT HE HATETH DIVORCE.”
These are not surprising connections whatsoever: “DIVORCE CAUSES CHILD SHOCK FOR YEARS TO COME.” And, listen TO THIS:
-In the 1950’s in the U.S., there were 395,000 divorces.
-In the year 1965, in the U.S., there were 479,000 divorces in this country of ours.
-In the year 1979, there were over 1,000,000 divorces in this country of ours.
-In the year 2012, there were over 2,208,000 divorces in this country of ours.
And as a result of this, there are multiplying millions of children who are the PRODUCT OF DIVORCED AND BROKEN HOMES. And, that number is on the INCREASE at the rate of about 1,000,000 per year! And, then we wonder in our day, why SUICIDE is on the increase on all levels.
Let me just say this, that God today is WAITING TO REMOVE, obliterate THE OPTION OF DIVORCE! When will we learn that the Lord does not operate as the world operates. The World recommends:
“GIVE UP, PROTECT YOURSELF, GET A GOOD LAWYER!”
The Lord says:
“PERSEVERE; DENY YOURSELVES FOR MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE.”
AND TO THESE CHILDREN I SAY TODAY:
-You may feel DESERTED AND LONELY. Yet there is LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, & A PURPOSE!
-And, it is all centered in ONE PERSON, the GREAT FRIEND, the Lord Jesus Christ!
-HE UNDERSTANDS YOU, LOVES YOU, will FULFILL & PROTECT you always!
–Right now, He wants to STRENGTHEN YOUR LIFE, as HE REACHES HIS NAIL-PIERCED HANDS TO YOU, & says in John 14:19,
“BECAUSE I LIVE, YOU SHALL LIVE ALSO.”
FOURTH – A FEAR-FILLED SOCIETY FOSTERS SELF MURDER IN OUR SOCIETY!
We live in a world of GROWING NUCLEAR THREAT, HIGH TECH INDUSTRY & MACHINERY. All of which presents a high level of threat to life, to job, and to man’s total security. We read in Luke 21:26, the words of Jesus Christ:
“MEN’S HEARTS SHALL FAIL THEM FOR FEAR, AND FOR LOOKING AFTER
THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE COMING UPON THE EARTH.”
We live in quite a day. According to a recent “SCIENCE DIGEST” computers today are being shot! Computers have been: BURNED WITH GASOLINE, DESTROYED WITH PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES, STABBED WITH SCREWDRIVERS, SHOT AT WITH RIFLES, ATTACKED IN ONE CASE WITH THE HIGH HEEL OF A LADIES SHOE. They are being referred to in the business world already a DATA PROCESSING TERRORISTS, that is, DPT’S. And are in many cases people WHO HAVE GREAT FEAR THAT COMPUTERIZED MACHINERY will take away their jobs, their cozy, real security in life.
OH PRAISE GOD, that JOB SECURITY is not the Christian’s security. Ps 91:1-2,
“HE THAT DWELLETH IN THE SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH,
SHALL ABIDE UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY, I
WILL SAY OF THE LORD, HE IS MY REFUGE, MY
FORTRESS, MY GOD, IN HIM I TRUST.”
CONCLUSION TO # 1
Whatever it is that leads to self-murder, feelings of unworthiness, guilt, reject loneliness, after people are so guilt laden, suicide is a FORM OF SELF PUNISHMENT, to pay for their sins. Praise God, that Jesus paid it all, that as Paul says in Romans 8:1,
“THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION TO THEM WHICH
ARE IN JESUS CHRIST.”
BUT – WHATEVER:
-When you wade through all murky problems that are connected with self- murder.
-You will find at the bottom of the barrel, a familiar face, LUCIFER, Satan.
-He is according to John a LIAR, AND THE FATHER OF ALL LIES.
-And, the ultimate goal is to destroy you. John 8:41 says he is a murderer from the beginning.
-And he will tempt you to destroy yourself, even if you’re a Christian, especially then.
-For it is his nature, you must see that, for one of his names, in Rev. 9:11 is Apollyon, which means DESTROYER.
-He is Satan, the chief angel of the abyss of hell. He wants you dead one way or another. THAT IS ONE OF HIS NATURE GOALS.
Significant in Matt. 8:28-34:
-That when the demons were cast out of the demoniac, they went into pigs.
-And lo and behold, what the pigs did was TO DROWN THEMSELVES in the sea.
-And what is more, read the accounts of THOSE WHO WERE DEMONIZED, OPPRESSED, TORMENTED by Satan.
-You will find them throwing themselves into fire, cutting themselves with knives.
-I know a young woman who cut herself with knives, razor blades when demonic attack came.
Christian or no Christian, makes no difference. Satan wants you dead, and will tempt you one way or another. Elijah, the great prophet of God, came to the point that he wanted to die.
Even Jesus Christ was tempted to commit suicide:
-In Matt 4, Jesus Christ was led by the Spirit into wilderness to prepare for His ministry.
-Satan came at Him 3 times, to tempt Him, and the second attack takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple.
“If thou be Son of God, cast thyself down, for is written, He shall give His angels
charge over thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up.”
-Slick, isn’t he? Jesus ran Satan through with the sword of the Word of God. He said:
“IT IS WRITTEN, THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD.”
Frankly, I am going to make another broad sweeping statement:
“I BELIEVE THAT SATAN WILL AT SOME TIME, TEMPT EVERY DEPRESSED DOWNCAST
SOUL WITH THE IDEA OF SOME OR ANOTHER
OF SELF MURDER.”
-Satan will try to use you, DECEIVE YOU and utterly destroy you.
-He must, for that is his very nature as stated in John 10:10, “KILL & TO DESTROY.”
-And don’t anyone here think himself/herself to be exempt from his attack.
And hear me:
“IF WE AS PASTORS FAIL TO HELP OUR PEOPLE BUILD A FORTRESS AGAINST
SATAN THE SUICIDE KILLER, WE ARE AT BEST BUILDING A PLAYHOUSE
WITH PLYWOOD CUT TOO SMALL FOR THE ROOF.”
II. THE CONSISTENT BIBLICAL ANATOMY OF SUICIDE!
The Bible records various suicides, and they are all parallel in obvious ways. Turn with me to I Chron. 10:13-14. This is the TRAGIC and sad conclusion to the reign of a great king. King Saul had become filled with anger, hatred, bitterness, rooted in self-pride & self- centeredness. And along with that, the gremlins of hell, the
“EVIL SPIRITS WOULD AGITATE SAUL & STIR HIM UP.”
The Bible reveals that often Saul could NOT REST, COULD NOT THINK, COULD NOT SLEEP. And the Bible reveals that the anointed music of a little shepherd boy, David, would soothe the beasts of torment. (Praise beats Satan)
WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN ALL OF THAT? Well, you get the real picture of Saul, when in his lifetime, you hear cheering multitudes. They would sing: “SAUL HAS SLAIN HIS THOUSANDS”, as HIS CHEST STUCK OUT. And Saul would walk proud in his usual stride, head & shoulders above each man. BUT THE CHANT WENT ON!
-They would go on to say: “AND DAVID HAS SLAIN HIS 10,000’s.”
-And the Bible says in I Sam. 18:8 that Saul “WAS VERY WRATHFUL.”
-And we read in I Sam. 18:9 that from that day “HE EYED DAVID.”
-And the word “EYED” in K.J.V., had EYED DAVID, means literally, “he burned.”
-Have you ever been so angry, you said: “THAT REALLY BURNS ME?”
-You are Scripturally correct, I hope you don’t take comfort in that.
But, Saul eyed David and began to burn with anger against David, and that UNDEALT WITH ANGER, turned into an unspeakable hatred against David. A hatred that he didn’t understand. He loved David & yet, he hated David! And the longer Saul kept that pet in his cage, stroked it, the bigger it grew. And one day, those monsters of anger totally cut him off from God. He sought advice from demonic spirits. He resorted to WITCHCRAFT, and we find Saul in the house of the “WITCH OF ENDOR.” Saul, consumed by the cancer of anger & bitterness, now seeks out a witch.
THEN later, IN A LOSING BATTLE AGAINST THE PHILISTINES, seeing the tide is not going his way, he has nowhere to turn, and he is walled off from God in a wall of hate. Saul ends his life in a raging suicide, and we read in I Chron. 10:13-14,
“SO SAUL DIED FOR HIS TRANSGRESSION WHICH HE COMMITTED AGAINST
THE LORD, EVEN AGAINST THE WORD OF THE LORD, WHICH HE KEPT
NOT, AND ALSO FOR ASKING COUNSEL OF ONE THAT HAD A
FAMILIAR SPIRIT, TO INQUIRE OF IT, AND INQUIRED NOT
OF THE LORD, THEREFORE HE SLEW HIM, AND TURNED
THE KINGDOM UNTO DAVID THE SON OF JESSE.”
Notice what’s happening in I Chron. 10:13-14? It says that Saul “DIED FOR HIS TRANSGRESSIONS.” I thought he committed suicide. But it says that Saul DIED BECAUSE OF HIS TRANSGRESSIONS:
-Saul hung on to his pets, ENVY, ANGER, HATRED, and would not let it go.
-It started out as a SIMPLE TEMPER TANTRUM, and it became a murderous rage.
-That thing so burned within him, drained his strength, broke his will to live.
-That burning rage used all that Saul was for its fuel to continue to burn.
-Until finally, tipped by CERTAIN NEGATIVE CIRCUMSTANCES, Saul went over the edge.
-So miserable was he, that the least thing goaded him to end it all, but Satan didn’t tell him: “HE DIED FOR HIS TRANSGRESSIONS, HIS OWN SINS.”
(People, don’t hang on to bitterness, anger, hatred, it will not only hurt others, it will end up killing you, as the destroyer that comes to tell you to end your misery.)
But, why didn’t Saul INQUIRE OF THE LORD? Understand something, and that is that there is a big difference between CONVICTION & CONDEMNATION. You see, CONVICTION HURTS! Leave a person alone for a while that God is dealing with under conviction. Don’t MESS THINGS UP, it hurts but conviction draws you to God. That’s what it will do, it will lead someone to HUMBLING & REPENTANCE.
BUT, WHAT DOES CONDEMNATION DO? It drives you from God, it will drive you from others too. Conviction will drive you to God; condemnation will drive you away from God.
Conviction is of the Holy Spirit, condemnation is of the evil spirit, Satan. And Saul, BURNED UP BY RAGE & HATE, under condemnation from Satan as a failure & flop of a king who took second place to a boy shepherd, and who himself could not defeat the Philistines, killed himself (I Chronicles 10:4). That’s how it can go, with help from Satan.
Then the man named “ZIMRI”. He was the captain of Judah’s army, was WRATHFUL, CRUEL, DECEITFUL. He saw HIS DEFEAT COMING, AND IN I KINGS 16:18, literally BURNED HIMSELF ALIVE. And the Bible says, in I Kings 16:19,
“HE DIED FOR HIS SINS WHICH HE SINNED IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD.”
There it is again, the root cause, the sin behind the suicide.
Then the infamous man named “Judas Iscariot.” He was a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says in Luke 22:3, “NUMBERED WITH THEM”. Judas had a PART IN THEIR MINISTRY, Judas, knew God. But, we read again in Acts 1:25,
“JUDAS BY TRANSGRESSION FELL (hanged himself).”
Just like Saul, who we just read about: “DIED FOR HIS TRANSGRESSIONS.”
NOW THEN, each one of those self-murderers had their own personalities, their own anxieties, their own problems. But they all had this in common, they carried around WITHIN THEM SINFUL EMOTIONS – HATE, JEALOUSY, ANGER, SELF-PRIDE, & SELF-PITY, and they DIED FOR THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS.
Then Satan came along and seeing their state of misery and being the hell-bent murderer he is, deceived them and pushed them into the “FINAL SIN”, which is self- murder, a sin directed against the 6th commandment in Ex. 20:13, “THOU SHALT NOT KILL” (yourself or anyone else). But, they can’t blame others for it, it is their own transgressions, their own sins, that led them to sin the final time.
And yet, God is over all. For we read in II Chron. 10:13-14, that GOD SLEW SAUL! He allowed Saul to do it. Yet our Lord was there, overruling all FOR HIS PURPOSES! Our God is sovereign!
III. THE DAY OF SATAN IS HERE!
Self-murder will be one of the signs of the last days! Pressure to do so will increase. But, praise God, we read in I John 4:4,
“GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN US, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE
WORLD, (OUR WORLD).”
Listen to me and allow me to illustrate what John is saying in that famous text.
In your ears, there are tubes that run down into your throat. Very little tubes called Eustacian Tubes. Those tubes are very important to your whole anatomical make up.
Have you ever gotten into an airplane, and then climbed to 20-30,000 feet? What happens? You start feeling POPPING in your ears, don’t you? And what do you do but swallow, because by those tubes will balance the atmospheric pressure, which has now changed, even though the atmospheric pressure inside your head was the same. (Always tell people never to sing with their mouths shut, it will blow the top of your head off, it’s terrible).
Or, when you dive into a pool of water and you go down 10-20 feet. What do you feel? Pressure! Go down about 30-40 feet and you will really feel it. It almost begins to crush you. Why? Because the pressure, which is ON THE OUTSIDE, is far greater than the pressure which is on the inside. Therefore, THE PRESSURE ON THE OUTSIDE, NOT EQUALIZED WITH THE PRESSURE ON THE INSIDE, begins to crush, and you feel like your head will cave in.
NOW DO YOU SEE WHAT JOHN IS SAYING:
-Sometimes you feel like the pressures of this world are GOING TO CAVE IN YOUR MIND.
-Sometimes you feel like it’s all COMING DOWN ON YOU, crushing you beneath the load.
-So God says, I’ve got MORE THAN THE GREAT EQUALIZER:
“GREATER IS HE, JESUS, WHO IS IN US, THAN SATAN WHO IS
IN THE WORLD.”
God promises that THE PRESSURE ON THE OUTSIDE OF OUR MINDS will always be less than the power within.
LET ME SHARE WITH YOU A FOILED SUICIDE:
Paul & Silas were thrown into a dungeon because of their PUBLIC proclaiming of Jesus Christ In jail, we read this in Acts 16:25,
“THAT AT THE MIDNIGHT HOUR, PAUL & SILAS PRAYED
AND SANG PRAISES TO GOD.”
Listen to me people, brothers and sisters, the devil could beat them, imprison them, abuse them, but he couldn’t take their song away. It reminds me that that this is exactly like the young woman who told me that TO LIVE WITH HER HUSBAND would drive her nuts, stark raving mad, and she would be driven to suicide. Listen, listen, your husband can NEVER MAKE YOU TAKE YOUR LIFE. And there is NOT a soul under heaven that CAN MAKE YOU GO STARK RAVING MAD.
FUNNY HOW WE SAY:
-Boy, did she make me mad, he drove me crazy! Well, did they?
-Can somebody MAKE YOU MAD? They come over and push MAD BUTTON?
-Can they? Nobody can make you mad, though you can choose that avenue of sinful reaction.
-But, nobody can make you go insane; nobody CAN MAKE YOU TAKE YOUR LIFE.
-You can choose that sinful behavior if you like, but you DON’T HAVE TO!
AS THEY SANG:
-That jail was filled with the songs of salvation.
-Until the foundation began to shake; the walls began to crack & crumble.
-And the hinges of the doors began to break off; and the shackles fell off hands & feet.
-There they were, “FREED COMPLETELY” as God intervened!
BUT THE TREMBLING JAILOR STANDS IN HORROR:
-Imagine in horror that all the prisoners had escaped (though they hadn’t)!
-Fear & depression & despondency of outer darkness began to grip him.
-Roman law demanded his death for allowing escaped prisoners.
Satan’s timing was exact & calculated:
-The poor jailor had lived a life of guilt & despair.
-He worked constantly in the atmosphere of a dark gloom.
-Feelings of guilt for torment he had inflicted upon people.
-Hearing the CONSTANT MOANS OF HUMAN SUFFERING AROUND HIM.
-The atmosphere of darkness; darkness so thick, you could chew on it.
AND THEN SATAN’S LIE TO HIM:
“You have a right to die; life isn’t worth living; you have a right to take
your own life. End it all!”
BEADS OF COLD PERSPIRATION DOTTED HIS FOREHEAD, AS FROM HIS SHEATH HE DRAWS HIS SWORD, AND PREPARES TO PLUNGE IT INTO HIS HEART.” We read: “HE DREW OUT HIS SWORD, AND WOULD HAVE KILLED HIMSELF.”
But, OH THE LOVE OF GOD REACHING! ALWAYS REACHING:
A voice from within the jail cries out, “DO THYSELF NO HARM.” It was the same voice he had heard praising God. He grabs a torch, rushes in, and falls down before Paul and Silas. He then says words that all eternity was waiting to hear:
“SIRS, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?”
-He said the very thing that God WANTED TO HEAR, AND IT MADE SATAN CRINGE.
-And they said,
“BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS, YOU WILL BE SAVED, AND YOUR HOUSE.”
The first thing he did was become a soul winner. It was midnight hour, can you imagine, “HONEY, KIDS, GET UP.” I got to tell you what happened to me tonight (introduces Paul & Silas). They all get saved! Baptized! II Cor. 5:17 – New Creatures! The very man that had been hard and not sensitive to pain, now acts like a nurse from Red Cross, and begins to bathe wounds of Paul & Silas. I can almost hear him crying, “O Paul & Silas, I’m so sorry I beat you and I can almost hear Paul & Silas say, “NO PROBLEM, IT WAS WORTH IT ALL, JUST TO GET YOU SAVED.”
YOU SAY, HOW MERCIFUL, BUT THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN TODAY. A young man by the name of Jim Boyer would vehemently disagree with you. Jim in high school was a gang leader and got into organized crime. His whole life WAS A MESS! He knew nothing BUT DARKNESS, DRUNKENNESS, FIGHTING. He had been beaten, shot, slashed with razor blades, and left for dead. That’s the kind of life he lived. In a drunken depression, he took a 25 caliber revolver, stuck it in his mouth, pointed it upward, pulled the trigger, and nothing happened. Then, pointed it at the window, pulled the trigger and blew the window out.
Not listening to the mercy of God, he stuck the revolver barrel into his mouth, pulled the trigger again, and this time it went off. The bullet went clean through his head. God spared him! He lived with absolutely no brain damage.
He went into a mental institution, and on the violent ward, had a Gideon Bible presented to him with the text in II Tim. 2:7,
“GOD HATH NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER, LOVE,
AND A SOUND MIND.”
He gave his life to Jesus, and God began to heal his mind as the depression began to lift. HOPE was restored, and did it last? Jim Boyer served the Lord as a counselor at Oral Roberts University. Yes, it lasts. His love & peace is eternal! The devil comes to kill & destroy, Jesus comes that you might have life and more abundantly.
You say, “YOU DON’T KNOW MY PROBLEMS.” I Cor. 10:13 says:
“THE LORD WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO BE TRIED ABOVE THAT
WHICH YE ARE ABLE, BUT WILL ENABLE YOU TO BEAR IT.”
You say, “YOU DON’T KNOW MY SINS.” I John 1:9 says:
“IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US
OUR SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”
You say, “I AM SO ALONE AND AFRAID.” Hebrews 13:5-6 says,
“THE LORD SAYS, I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU, SO THAT
WE MAY GLADLY SAY, THE LORD IS MY HELPER, AND I WILL NOT
FEAR WHAT MAN SHALL DO UNTO ME.”
You say “I HAVE NO PEACE.” Is. 26:3 says:
“THOU WILT KEEP HIM IN PERFECT PEACE, WHOSE MIND IS
STAYED ON THEE.”
Listen, God understands every problem, every heartache, and God has made a provision for every wound, heartache – past present and future – life abundant!
I bind Satan and command him to take his filthy hands off from God’s anointed, yes, off from these anointed HEARTS AND EARS HERE today. Satan is a defeated foe. I command Satan to loose his hold on those who are listening to the Gospel. Lord, anoint every person here with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and Satan will not have a hold on you. In the name of Jesus! Amen.