SBC Life Articles

Suicide or What?

There was a tropical depression off the coast of Florida and it was a dreary, rainy night in Winter Garden, Florida. It did not seem to be the best night for the Sunday School FAITH team to be out visiting. The team had made a prospect visit, but John felt an urgency to go to a specific apartment complex. There they went from door to door — sharing one umbrella between the three of them. They were able to go through the opinion poll questions a few times, but without any obvious results.

It was getting late and they were ready to call it a night when they decided to knock on one last door. No one answered, even though they could see a light on in the apartment. They knocked again and because there was still no response, they started to leave. Just as they turned to walk away, the door opened and Glen greeted them with, "Yeah, what do you want?" Their first thought was to run but they introduced themselves, explained what they were doing, and asked if he would give them a few minutes. He reluctantly said okay, but told them to make it snappy because he was tired and wanted to go to bed. His demeanor was angry and he came across as very arrogant and flippant.

When they asked, "In your personal opinion what do you think it takes for a person to go to heaven," he began to get uncomfortable and gave a "works" answer. At this point, John asked if he could share what the Bible says. Glen hesitated a moment, reached behind his back, and pulled the door shut. He leaned against it, crossed his arms and feet, and said, "I have a question for you, okay?" Of course, they said yes and he began. "What do you think about a person who commits suicide? What happens to them? Where do they go? Do they go to some spirit world?"

He continued. "I know this person who is about ready to commit suicide because he don't know what else to do. He has no one who cares about him. He has tried everything and still nothing works. This person has gone through hell and killing himself seems to be the only way out. So, if he commits suicide, what happens to him?"

Listening to and watching him, it became clear he was talking about himself. As he had been talking, the team had been silently praying for God's direction and help. Judy later recalled she suddenly became aware that the atmosphere around them changed. It was as if time stood still and they had a strong awareness of God's presence. In fact, the rain had stopped and the mosquitoes had come out, but they didn't even notice.

Judy was the first to speak. She explained what would happen to this person if he had truly received Christ as his Savior. But, she told him, if this person had never received Christ, he would go to hell. This visibly shook Glen and that was when he confessed that he was talking about himself. He said, "Only this morning I was in such agony I told God, 'If you don't show me that you are real and care about what happens to me, I'm finished with everything.'" He said, "I want you to know, the moment I opened my door and saw you 'church people,' I knew it was a divine intervention." Glen went on to share some of the hurts he had experienced in his life and how he blamed himself and hated God for what had happened. He said he felt like nobody cared about him and that even God wouldn't listen when he prayed.

God, in His sovereignty, seems to always send the right team to the right door. John had been through a similar situation and was able to share on a personal level how God had brought him from the depths of despair and had given him hope. He helped Glen see that God did care and that's why He had sent the team to him. FAITH was presented and when asked if he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart, Glen said yes.

A couple of weeks later, the team went back to follow up with Glen. When he opened the door this time, he looked like a new person. He was relaxed and friendly and seemed very happy to see them. They said it was evident that God was working in his life.

God has given Glen, this new child of God, a new job where he will be traveling around the country. He said he's told everyone about what had happened to him and will continue to do so. We believe that God will use his testimony to touch the lives of many broken-hearted people he'll meet during his travels.

What were you thinking about the team and their actions after reading the first two paragraphs? Were they off limits knocking on stranger's doors? Should they have left when Glen seemed angry, arrogant, and flippant? Is this type of concern and outreach worthwhile? Would an untrained and uncompassionate person do this?

After knowing the results of this committed and equipped team, ask yourself this question: "What if Glen had been my son, brother, husband, loved one, or dear friend — would I want someone to care enough to try and help him?" All around us are other peoples' loved ones — God's loved ones — and many are on the brink of disaster and hell. So … what shall we do?

    About the Author

  • Bobby Welch