2008-02-26 Spiritual Suicide
Psalm 49:10, "For he sees wise men die; the stupid and the senseless alike perish, and leave their wealth to others."
Some topics, we don't like to talk about. Some things, we shouldn't talk about, and are inappropriate for Christians to dwell upon. Some topics are just unpopular. However, we can learn from difficult subjects, and I hope today that as we look at what is for many, a painful subject, we can avoid the spiritual reality that, I fear, all too many fall complacently into. I have no desire to dwell on the evil of self-murder in the least, and will push it aside with the mention that I have something other than that in mind. There are other ways that people lose the vitality of life with God, and spiritually execute themselves.
The first is one I already mentioned: complacency. Many go through their lives, and through indolence respecting things of a spiritual nature, let the thing s of the next world happen however they do. They simply do not think of spiritual things. They push them off for another day, or disregard them altogether. They say, "If I pretend that God does not exist, there will be no day of reckoning with Him." This man or woman actively kills their spiritual life, by starving it. He or she enthusiastically lives as if there were no other world, and if there is, they declare, by their lives, that they would be damned. They will achieve what they pursue. It is spiritual suicide.
There is another kind of spiritual suicide. I think I see this more often than the first kind. It is seen in those who feel it is an insult to them, when we tell them of their need for Jesus Christ. They are good people. A minor moral malfunction here or there, but who doesn't? Christ is for sinners, and it is a step down in their dignity to be joined with drunks, harlots, and sinners of that ilk. "I have much more virtue than that," they say. They are blind to their need for regeneration in Christ, because they are good neighbors, give blood to the Red Cross, and attend church on Christmas and Easter. There is nothing evidently profane about their lives, and our call that they must be born again, and made new creatures in Christ is received with as much enthusiasm as a proctology exam. It is the mindset of the spiritually suicidal. Unless such come to Christ, in repentance and faith, and are made new creatures through Christ's shed blood, they will look up from Hell after this life is over, and find that they are with the very drunkards and harlots that - like them - never came to faith in Christ. Our virtue does not save us. Only Jesus Christ saves us from the wrath of a holy God who will endure no sin before His eyes.
Where is the man or woman who is ill? Where is the one who cannot even get out of bed? The doctor comes to the bedside and says, "Your illness is unto death, but I have a remedy that will heal you. I freely give it to you. All you have to do is take it, and your illness is gone, never to return." The patient replies, "I am not sick. You insult me. I have never been in better health." The doctor replies, "I am quite certain that you are sick, and this is a sickness unto death. Here you are; just take this. You will be well." "Well," the patient replies, "So it may be that I am sick, but if I want your cure, I will send for you, and I don't like charity. I will pay for it." The great physician says, "I offer it to you now. It will certainly heal you. I am the only one with the cure, and I don't sell it. It costs too much for you. I give it away. Here it is. Take it." Of course, the patient is indignant at the thought of charity, and resolves that he really is not sick anyway. He is no worse off than his neighbors, he argues. And so one day, we find him dead. He has refused the remedy that could help him. Who killed him? The offer of the remedy was offered to him, maybe only once, maybe hundreds of times, but he would not take it. He is a suicide.
It is no different with those who do not come to Christ in repentance and faith. The cure from sin is free. It is for all who will come to Christ. But how many will not take it? What shall we say? We must first be sure that we ourselves have taken the cure. We must be sure that we rest in Christ alone. We rest not in Christ plus our works. We trust only in Christ for all our hope. Then we look around us. So many live their lives committing daily, hourly some form of spiritual suicide. May we be the instruments that God uses to bring them from their spiritual lethargy, denial, and/or conscience ideologies that only serve to deny what they know to be true, Romans 1:18-21. They know there is a God, but with all too, many it is all too true that, "professing to be wise, they become fools," Romans 1:22.
Soli Deo Gloria,