The First Way to Hell: Suicide
Suicide is a shortcut to hell. There is no way which leads to hell more quickly than this. Note this brief Bible passage: “He [Judas] might go to his own place” (Acts 1.25). Judas had never believed in Jesus Christ. Though outwardly he pretended to be one of His disciples, he was “a son of perdition” (John 17.12) who had never experienced salvation. After he died, he went “to his own place.” What was his own place? It was destruction or perdition. After he died, he went to hell. How did he go to hell? He killed himself by hanging.
If anyone wants to go to hell, suicide is the most convenient method of doing so. A razor, a rope, or a cup of poison will quickly send the soul to the place of eternal suffering. Hell may be quite distant from you in this life; it might, in fact, take many years for you to end up there. But if you commit suicide, you shorten the days of your life on earth and speed yourself to the place of eternal perdition.
Once an unbelieving master asked his believing chauffeur what the shortest road to hell was. At that time his car was speeding along the highway. The chauffeur opened the car door and said to his master: “If you jump out of the car, you will immediately arrive at that place. Since you do not believe in the Lord, you will go to hell as soon as you fall to your death.”
The easiest and quickest way to hell is indeed suicide. If you want to arrive at hell in a few hours, swallow a large dosage of raw opium and you will be at your destination. If you wish to arrive in hell in a few minutes, take some cyanide and you will surely be there. And if you consider these ways far too slow, and you want to descend to hell in less than a minute, blow your brains out with gunshot and you will certainly be there. There are many other ways to commit suicide. For example, you may starve yourself to death or you may leap into the sea. Or you may lie on the railroad track and let the train break you in two.
By committing suicide, a person deprives himself of the hope of salvation. But if he continues to live on earth, he may hear the gospel of the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus and believe for salvation. But if he kills himself he destroys forever the opportunity to hear the gospel. Please take note of this observation: whether one is saved or perishes is a matter decided in this life. If you refuse and do not believe in the Lord Jesus in this life, you will have no further opportunity to hear the gospel and be saved after death. In killing yourself you end your life and forfeit any chance of salvation. Hence the suicide victim will go straight to hell. His very blood is the stamp on his ticket to hell.
Once I was conducting a meeting in Chuanchow. I spoke on the same subject. That evening there were more than fourteen hundred people assembled together. Among those in the audience was a large number of high school boys and girls. As I was speaking, I thought to myself: What is the use of saying these things to them; surely they would not harbor any idea of committing suicide. But the Spirit of the Lord was working in me so that I had to say what I was led to say. And thus, I spoke to them frankly that if they truly wanted to go to hell they would no doubt end there by committing suicide.
After I finished speaking that evening, a teacher came to see me. He was a college graduate and was very clever and learned. He told me how life had become so tasteless and monotonous and how he had thought of killing himself many times but had dared not because of the darkness ahead of him
. Now he knew that if he killed himself he would have no more hope of being saved
. Hence he had decided not to take his life thereafter. A few days later a high school student came to see me and told how pessimistic he was about life and how he had thought of killing himself many times but had no opportunity to do so. Upon hearing the preaching of God’s word a few evenings before, he had given up the thought of taking his life.
Several months ago I was preaching in Amoy and spoke again on this subject. If anyone would kill himself, I repeated, he would surely go to hell. Later, a medical doctor told me she had a nurse who had frequently tried to kill herself but had been hindered by her from doing so. That night after she heard what I had said from God’s word, that nurse dared not entertain such a thought again.
Now these people whom I have mentioned have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only did they dare not kill themselves, they also did not need to kill themselves; for they now have Christ—they are saved! Christ has so comforted their hearts and transformed their lives that they no longer nurse the thought of taking their lives. I have no idea how many people meditate such a thought. But I do know this, that Christ can satisfy every heart. So why any longer contemplate suicide and head for hell?
Once I was preaching the gospel for a few days in a college in Nanking. In the after-meeting on the last night, a townsman of mine who was a college student there came to talk with me personally. He had no difficulty in paying the tuition and his family financial situation was adequate. Moreover, he was not in any danger of failing in his studies. Yet he took a very pessimistic view towards life. He wondered where men came from and where they would go afterwards.
He had been in this frame of mind since his high school days. He felt life was so uninteresting and extremely cruel, and he thus sensed a need and a longing—a lack within him which nothing in this world could satisfy or fulfill. So he began to take a passive attitude towards all things. Life to him was meaningless and a heavy burden. The longer he lived, the more vexations he experienced. Except for the monotony and the pain, life for him had no other flavor. He often kept to himself and passed his lonely life in musing. However, the more he contemplated his situation, the more abstract everything became. He searched in darkness and could not find a ray of light. For him such a burdensome life should now be quickly ended. He had no desire to continue on in vexation. So he decided to leap into the sea and end his miserable existence at the time when he would be returning home by boat during the winter vacation.
Now, though, he had been hearing the gospel during the few days of meetings just concluded. And he today knew that the Lord Jesus Christ had died for all and lives to be a Friend of many. So why, he thought, should he die? During our conversation, he accepted the Lord Jesus to be his Savior. After he had decided to accept the Lord, I told him to tell God about his thought of suicide. He did so as we prayed together. After prayer, he asked me what he should do when he got up the next morning. I told him he should find an opportunity to read the Bible prayerfully and to meditate on God’s word so as to nourish his spiritual life
. We then parted.
A few days later I asked his friend about him. His friend told me he was today very different from before, he now being a happy man. A few days after that, I met his friend once more and again I asked about him. I received the same answer. Praise God, now that he has the Lord Jesus he has no need to take his life.
Why do you seek for death? I know you are dissatisfied with life. I know you often feel lonely and miserable. I know your life is monotonous. I know you frequently sigh. You sense the vexation of life. And you are no stranger to tears. Though you possess many things of this world, these cannot satisfy your heart. In the depth of your being you sense a need, a longing for something which you do not know but which you hope will fill that void.
It is true that besides sorrow and vexation, life has no other taste. And hence you sometimes think of suicide. But why should you take that route? Jesus Christ has come to save suffering people. He has comforted many hearts, satisfied many souls, transformed many lives, and wiped away many tears. He is willing to help you turn your vexatious life into a joyful one. He can be the sun in your cloudy days, and He can be the song in your dark nights. With Him your soul can be comforted and made joyous. Why then must you die? Why commit suicide and end in hell? Today you must heed the gospel. The Lord is able and He cares for you. Accept Him as your Savior and Lord, and your life’s problems will be solved.