The celebrity suicides that have occurred during the last week have brought this issue to our attention again. In America, there has been a 30 percent rise in the rate of suicides since 1999,1 with nearly 45,000 suicides in 2016 alone.2 Suicide is now the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.3 How tragic.
This isn’t a disease for which we have no cure. This is totally preventable, but not by teaching people how to cope better, having more drugs for treatment of mental illness, or staging more interventions by friends and family. Those are just treating the symptoms. In order to treat the problem, we have to correctly diagnose the cause.
The root problem is that our society has unleashed pure evil into our culture through promoting immorality and sin through media, schools, and government while marginalizing Christianity and its godly influence. We’ve had a major departure from the moral standards that held evil in check for hundreds of years in this nation, and now we are paying the price.
Those in power have thought they could unleash all types of ungodliness without suffering any negative consequences. That’s not how it works. The wages of sin are death (Rom. 6:23). Satan only comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). The only way to stop Satan’s ultimate goal of devouring us (1 Pet. 5:8) is to resist him (James 4:7). Our society has been resisting God and His people while submitting to the devil.
I know the “politically correct” crowd will scoff and even ridicule such a diagnosis, but that is precisely why we see society unraveling. The fear of God used to be acknowledged, even in those who were not actively seeking or serving the Lord, and it restrained sin.
Proverbs 16:6 says, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.”
Psalm 36:1 says, “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.”
Those who fear the Lord and are aware of a future reckoning with the Lord don’t commit suicide.
Those who decry suicide yet promote ungodliness are unknowingly the source of the problem. They have cast off all traditional morality and don’t see a connection between the ungodliness they promote and live in and the rise in suicides. A culture of sin can’t be created in one area without it affecting other areas.
We have seen rebellion against every godly standard and authority by some of the most well-known athletes, actors, politicians, and leaders. They have opened a Pandora’s box, which has released all the evil we see increasing today, including this rise in suicides.
What’s the answer? God! A return to God and a reverential fear of Him is the only solution to this problem. All other answers are only coping mechanisms. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the changed hearts it produces, and the fear or reverence it creates, even in unbelievers, is the only solution for this crisis.
The fault for this current godless culture lies with the church. We have not been the salt and light that Jesus commanded us to be. Those who don’t speak out against the immoral issues being promoted today are allowing evil to triumph. All that has to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.
Paul told us to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), but we must tell people the truth. It’s only the truth we know that sets us free (John 8:32). We are the salt and light of the world. If we don’t release our preserving effect, there is no hope for the world.
Many proposals and adjustments will come as a result of these recent suicides, but the only cure is for us who believe to once again become the salt and light God called us to be. Let these tragedies motivate us anew to speak out the truths of God’s Word to our families, our friends, and those we come in contact with every day.
Together we can turn this nation back to God. Certainly, we can’t do it without God, but He can’t do it without us either (Eph. 3:20). I know He is willing, and I pray that all of us are willing to take a stand for truth, against ungodliness. Let’s do it.
If you are in crisis and need prayer, call our Helpline: 719-635-1111(Monday through Friday, 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Mountain Time). You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7).
1 https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/suicide-rates-are-30-percent-1999-cdc-says-n880926 (retrieved 6/11/2018)
2 https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml (retrieved 6/11/2018)
3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php (retrieved 6/11/2018)