Suicide rates in the US outpaced car accident deaths in 2010

Hebrews 9:27-28
Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…

Titus 2:11
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

A very simple statistic from Albert Mohler on Facebook today startled my heart:

In 2010, 33,687 Americans died in a car accident. That same year, 38,364 Americans committed suicide. God help us. [Harper’s Index]

What’s our excuse for not sharing the Gospel???

Ravi Zacharias on suicide

Question to Ravi Zacharias: The catholic church believes that those who commit suicide go directly to hell. What do you think about that?

Ravi Zacharias:

English: Ravi Zacharias signing books at the F...

English: Ravi Zacharias signing books at the Future of Truth conference (2004) at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This question has so many ramifications, other than that, it goes into things like assisted suicide, where machines are pulled off, or, living wills. All these things are now coming into play. The more machines we have and the more science grows, the more complex these decisions become and we are making more decisions of a more rapid nature and with more dramatic implications.

Let me just say this to you: I wish I had an absolute answer to give to you. I would just say this: I wouldn’t want to meet the Lord, after I have taken my life. And the reason is, in Genesis 9:6, murder is called the ultimate attack upon the image of God. That’s what murder is- you have violated the image of God. So, if I violate the image of God in someone else, or I violate it in myself, it is the ultimate act of lack of faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God. So, I would say, I wouldn’t want to meet Him on those terms.

I will also say this, that I cannot stand as a judge, and tell the parent of an 18 0r 19 year old, where the life has been wasted like that, that that’s the end, and that that person is hell bound. That’s not my prerogative in life. I would have to leave God as the judge, and God to work for the peace of a family that has had to live through it. I would never want…. I tried that once. It took me years to even talk about it. I never talked about it to my parents, afterward. My wife spoke to my mother and my father, and said, „It is so embarrassing to Ravi to even discuss it.” It’s easier for me to discuss it from a platform, than it is to talk one on one across the table. The fact that I tried to take my life is a devastating thought to me. The only consolation I have is that I didn’t know Christ at that time.

Now that I know Him, I will never, ever violate the image of God, that is given to me. And, I pray that in pain or in struggle, or whatever… in Romans 14, it tells you about eating food, about one day being more sacred than another, it gives you all of these things, and it tells you this: „Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” What it really means is: if you violate a conviction that God has places in your heart, clearly, it’s a sinful thing to do.

So, I would say what Francis Schaeffer says about the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. „If you are ignoring the sovereignty,” he says, „that’s what I would preach to you at that time.” „If you are ignoring responsibility, that’s what I would preach to you at this time.” If anybody is toying with the idea of taking their life, that’s what I would say to them, „Don’t even think about it. It’s the most sacred gift that has given to you. Don’t use your freedom to violate your freedom. The eternal destiny is in the hands of God, but the moment is for us to choose and select. Let us not violate what God has given to us as a sacred gift. It is a privilege that is entrusted. Trust Him through the wildest twists and turns . When you finally meet with Him, you will find He has sustained you through the greatest and your darkest night of your soul.

Life is too precious, don’t squander it. Go out into the darkness, put your hand into the hand of God.

Prayer for Japan as another earthquake hits today – Rugaciune pentru Japonia

Forta unui tsunami – din 2004 Oceanul Indian

In Romanian:

La un an dupa cutremur, tsunami si dezastrul nuclear care a devastat Nordul Japoniei anul trecut in luna Martie, multi dintre cetatenii Japoniei sufera o disperare profunda. Bloomberg raporteaza ca acesta este al patrusprezecelea an in care peste 30,000 de oameni sau sinucis (anual 30,000 x 14 yrs = 420,000 morti prin sinucidere). Distrugerea care a venit peste tara Japonezilor va ramine pe veci in memoria cetatenilor.

Pastorul Joey Zarina, de la o biserica din orasul Kawasaki scrie ca se fac eforturi din partea crestinilor din toate partile lumii nu numai cu ajutor financiar, dar sa li se dea o speranta vie in puterea Crucii lui Isus Hristos. Dumnezeu sa se indure de acest popor si sa le deschida inimile spre mintuire si viata vesnica in El. Sa ii purtam in rugaciune cetatenii acestei tari.

In English via The Gospel Coalition

The Story: A year after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that devastated Northern Japan last March, many that country’s citizens are still suffering from despair. According to Bloomberg, suicides rose in April, May, June and August–the months following the natural disasters that devastated towns in northeastern Japan and triggered a nuclear crisis. For a 14th straight year, suicides in Japan have exceeded 30,000.

The Background: As Joey Zorina, a pastor at Ekklesia Christian Church in Kawasaki, Japan, writes, the images of the destruction will be etched forever in the minds of the country’s survivors:

The farmer who hanged himself, distressed about a cabbage harvest ruined by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant; the overworked government worker near the complex who took his life; the father who killed himself after a fruitless search for his child after the tsunami- all these are but reminders of the ongoing suicide (30, 000 per year) in post-modern Japan.  Nearly 100 people a day commit suicide; one every 15 minutes.   The most common hour of death is 5: 00 am for men; and noon for women, after their families have left for work or school.  The suicide rate in Japan is tragically alarming.  Suicide is now the leading cause of death among men aged 20-44 and women aged 15-34.

Imagine the soldiers and police officers who had spent weeks on the grim search for bodies, as well as nuclear plant employees working overtime to deal with the crippled reactor!   They’re ordinary men and women like us with families, all vulnerable to the effects of the disaster.   As the nation rebuilds from the 3/11 major catastrophe, public health officials are concerned that a lingering sense of hopelessness and desperation among those affected might lead to a surge in suicides.  In a nation that’s already coping with one of the developed world’s highest rates of suicide deaths, there is a high probability that post-disaster stress could eventually lead to a higher rate.   The nation experienced a rise in suicides after the 1995 Kobe earthquake that killed more than 6,400 people.  Those who chose to die included the city’s deputy major, who doused himself with kerosene on the first anniversary of the disaster.  As Japan rebuilds, there is a fundamental question that will arise in the hearts of people who have lost homes, family and friends: „What do I have to live for?”

Why It Matters: „Japan is being rebuilt by the power of the Cross,” writes Zorina. „There is an ongoing relief work and support by Christians from all over the world. And it would be very unkind and unloving if we try to liberate people from their present temporal sufferings and not offer them the whole Gospel to alleviate their eternal sufferings.”

Because of God’s grace, some Japanese are able to see the light of Christ even in the shadow of destruction. For example, Masato Kotani lost his business because of the disasters, but is grateful that it helped him to find what really matters.

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