According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are approximately one million suicides each year, which is truly alarming. Many people are suffering from depression and deep pain – from celebrities to teenagers to church leaders, it seems no one is exempt. Taking one’s life is a terrible tragedy, but what about the eternal spiritual consequences?
While theologian, Ravi Zacharias says he can’t give an absolute answer because God is the only judge, he says He wouldn’t want to meet God after taking his own life. However in the video below Dr Zacharias alludes to a dark time in his life when he himself contemplated taking his own life, so he is not without compassion for those who suffer from mental health issues.
While many Christians do not see suicide as different to any other sin that can be forgiven, Dr Zacharias is concerned that suicide attacks the image of God. He points out that Genesis 9:6 states that murder is the ultimate attack upon the image of God. “If you commit murder, it means you have violated the image of God,” he says. “And if we have violated that in someone else or in our own selves, it shows a lack of faith. And without faith it is impossible to please God.”
For those of us who have loved ones who have taken their own lives we know the terrible heartache this causes, as does Dr Zacharias. We have to take comfort in the final prayers of our loved one, being reassured that whoever calls upon the Lord shall be saved. Who knows how their faith could be rekindled in their last moments on earth. With God all things are possible. It is for this reason Dr Zacharias is not prepared to pass judgement.
Just as a creator feels when he sees his creation being destroyed, that’s how God would probably feel to see one of His children destroy their life, His likeness, His creation. Yet He is gracious and merciful and wants all people to be saved. So if you are suffering from depression or deep pain right now, hold on to your faith in God. He will see you through. He will help you. Just don’t give up. It is better to hold on to the hands of God than be with the darkness.
Watch and see how Ravi Zacharias answers this question and make up your own mind.
Credits: Bilabial Ameen
Ravi Zacharias is an Indian-born Canadian-American Christian apologist. He is the author of numerous books, including Can Man Live Without God? and is the host of Let My People Think on GOD TV.