Copyright 2015 Theresa Harvard Johnson
 

Suicide is defined globally as the intentional act of killing or murdering oneself. In our country, there is a national push to enact suicide prevention strategies, raise awareness concerning the early warning signs, to educate communities about its devastating effects and to explore every possible option for intervention. There are also numerous, Christ-centered organizations that stand as watchmen for suicide prevention, offering hope for the hopeless and even helping those who have lost loved ones heal. We desperately need these services.

Then, there is also the startling reality of “spiritual” suicide.

Spiritual suicide can be defined as the willfull, intentional act of causing one’s own spiritual death in Christ. Sadly, among the congregation in this nation, we do not have a national push to enact suicide prevention strategies or an awareness campaigns to educate the global church concerning its devastating effects. We do not have visible lists posted on websites or distributed city by city specifically identifying the early warning signs of “spiritual” suicide. We are without unified efforts to explore every possible option for intervention, and it seems that the most blatant signs are often ignored. In fact, there are very few organized programs or Christ-centered watchmen identifying the devastation of "spiritual" suicide among us.

What we do have are Thyatira, Sardis, Pergamum and Laodicean congregations participating in mass “assisted” spiritual suicides (Matthew 23:15 ; Revelations 2-3). We have chronic messages of grace that have gotten so out of hand that repentance, sanctification, holiness and righteousness are dirty words and debatable terms in the 21st Century – not expectations. Sin has become a taboo subject, and the expression of true servanthood as recounted by the foundational apostles and prophets has become evil in the ears of men. It is common practice today to cuddle, defend and nurture tares among the brethren and cut down, and incapacitate the wheat as idolatry is stroked, sin is condoned, indulgence in merchandising encouraged, and compromise is accepted as the new diet supplement at spiritual dinner tables and smorgasbords across the nation (2 Timothy 4:3-5 ).

Romans 8:6-8 CJB describes spiritual suicide this way: Having one's mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one's mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom.  For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God's Torah - indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God…”

We have fast become a blind congregation that is drawn more to the natural man; than to our Spiritual existence and habitation in God (1 Corinthians 2:14 ; John 4:24 ; Acts 17:28 ; Daniel 12:10 ). We have become a congregation that is so in “love” with the extreme humanistic view of love, that we fail to recognize when that definition crosses the line into strange affection (Colossians 3:5 ) and when it departs from the foundations of ahavah (1 Corinthians 13 ). As a result, we miss the concentration of the signs of “spiritual suicide” operating in a believer’s life and fail to rescue them.

Matthew 18:15-18 CJB encourages us to participate in one anothers walk with the Lord: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Listen, I have heard so many teachings on binding and loosing, but the power to move in this area is about "seeing our brothers and sisters delivered from DEATH." If Christ could make such a great sacrifice to loose us, how much more should we be required to do to help our brothers and sisters remain free in Christ. People of God, we are being called back into the throws of ahavah --- that place where our love is so Godly deep that we will weep between the porch and the altar for those in the throws of "spiritual suicide." If we can cry in the natural, how much more should our weep be in the spirit realm.

There are so many of us who begin on the narrow path; but end up on wide, winding roads. At one time, I found myself in this place -- seemingly destined to be lost and caught up in the "spiritism" of Babylon thinking I was serving God only to discover I had a form of godliness. I almost DIED there. This, people of God, should concern us. This type of condition should cause us to go to our knees in intercession. We should grieve for souls that are lost -- those who have never known God as well as those who are turning their backs on salvation's journey. We are being called in this hour to not just point fingers and say, "Wow! Look at them!" but to be catalysts for the breaking, declaring that the prodigals will return. In this hour, we must align ourselves with knowing that the Word of God describes two distinct groups of people: (1) those dead to sin and alive in Christ; and (2) those who are dead or dying in sin.

Romans 6:6-10 CJB describes these two groups this way: "We know that our old self was put to death on the execution-stake with him, so that the entire body of our sinful propensities might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For someone who has died has been cleared from sin. Now since we died with the Messiah, we trust that we will also live with him. We know that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, never to die again; death has no authority over him. For his death was a unique event that need not be repeated; but his life, he keeps on living for God. In the same way, consider yourselves to be dead to sin but alive for God, by your union with the Messiah Yeshua. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies, so that it makes you obey its desires; 13 and do not offer any part of yourselves to sin as an instrument for wickedness."

I pray that those who walk with this ministry will know righteous living, and long for the pursuit of holiness. I pray that our cause will not necessarily be the causes of men alone, but the CAUSE to make God a priority in our lives. I pray that they might thirst after IMMERSION. This is indeed good, not evil. I pray that we come to know that spiritual suicide is real, intentional, willful sin (2 Timothy 3 ). I pray that we awaken to knowing that we have a responsibility of helping those assigned to us remember the Way, the Truth, the Life. You see, CHRIST came to deliver us from spiritual suicide!

Spiritual suicide is a choice to "let sin rule in your mortal bodies, so that it makes you obey its desires." It is death (Rom. 6:23 ).

Believers who are in the process of committing “spiritual” suicide may display or begin displaying some subtle signs in the beginning like discarding their prayer lives, turning away from worship, disconnecting from relationships that push righteousness, avoiding Godly relationships that include correction, moving toward a perverse view of love and a host of other things. But there are six signs that, when spiritual suicide is nearing its maturity, that will stand out as deep, bitter roots shining brightly in that soul's life. Those signs include: (This is not intended to be a complete list.)

  1. Rebellion & Disobedience. 1 Samuel 15:23 CJB, “For rebellion is like the sin of sorcery,stubbornness like the crime of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of Adonai, he too has rejected you as king.”
     
  2. Rejecting the Good News. Galatians 1:6-7 CJB, “ I am astounded that you are so quick to remove yourselves from me, the one who called you by the Messiah’s grace, and turn to some other supposedly ‘Good News,’ which is not good news at all! What is really happening is that certain people are pestering you and trying to pervert the genuine Good News of the Messiah.”(Also 2 Timothy 3:8-9 )
     
  3. Being lovers of self, lovers of wealth. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 CJB, “…you will think to yourself, ‘My own power and the strength of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.’ No, you are to remember Adonaiyour God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today.”
     
  4. Rejecting humility, embracing of pride. James 4:6 CJB, “But the grace he gives is greater, which is why it says, “God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble he gives grace.”
     
  5. Existing in narcissism, idolatry. Colossians 3:5-6 CJB, “Therefore, put to death the earthly parts of your nature — sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed (which is a form of idolatry); for it is because of these things that God’s anger is coming on those who disobey him.”
     
  6. Developing a hatred for God and his righteousness. James 4:4 CJB, "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
     

Yes, this is hard truth. But it is the kind of truth that brings conviction of sin, which is the way of the Word, the way of Holy Spirit. In the scriptures, there are two examples of spiritual and natural suicide that stand out to me: Saul (1 Samuel 31:4 ) and Judas (Matthew 27:5 ). Both men were, at some point, chosen of God. Due to their personal choices and inner battle, they lost their way, put their spirit man to death --- and lost their souls.

2 Corinthians 5:9-11 CJB, “Therefore, whether at home or away from home, we try our utmost to please him; for we must all appear before the Messiah’s court of judgment, where everyone will receive the good or bad consequences of what he did while he was in the body. So it is with the fear of the Lord before us that we try to persuade people.”

People of God, it's time to awaken from the deepest of slumbers we have seen in generations. Why would we, as believers, want to deny God his desire for a righteous people? If he is indeed good, worthy of it all and all loving toward us, doesn't he deserve the same from us -- no questions asked? Condemnation comes from darkness, God does not give condemnation to us. This is the enemy of our soul's attempt to cause us to reject correction, alignment, hope in the Spirit. What we receive from the Spirit is conviction -- which is tied intimately to the fear of the Lord. It takes wisdom to know the difference, otherwise messages like this one will be hard to receive. Let me tell you, the spirit of this age is constantly at work on our hearts... constantly attempting to numb us to ahavah.

As believers, our struggle in the flesh is to stay connected to the true vine, following his pattern and growing in our love for Father.

Psalm 145:2-4   NKJV, "Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.…"

Only by loving him first can we ever learn what it means to love his people.

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