The Consequence of Suicide
by Pastor Francis Anfuso
It is with a heavy heart that I share with you about the recent suicide of Rob Wallace, a dear member of our church family. He and his wife Kimberly have been a precious and faithful couple at The Rock for many years. They have been loved by so many, and Rob will be greatly missed. Our love and prayers now surround Kimberly.
Each of us can at times despair of life. It has been said that suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem. I myself was suicidal for six months, many years ago. The great patriarch Job wrote as well, “…a hard death seems better to my soul than my pains. I have no desire for life…” Rob’s battle to find peace of mind caused many of us to regularly pray and encourage him. Tragically, in the end, he somehow gave up on his will to live. Whereas, Job , Jeremiah and King David all persevered through their dark night of the soul, many have not. That is one reason for writing this email.
In an age where the enemy of our soul comes to “steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” Jesus comes to give us life. Yet, receiving His life-sustaining grace is always our choice. When we do not, no one is saddened more than God Himself. “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” It is this turning and once again leaning upon the Lover of our soul that makes all the difference.
When a follower of Jesus dies, he or she is given the assurance of scripture, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in Heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.” This truth from God’s Word is not only a comfort, but a promise we can hold on to.
What is the eternal outcome in light of Rob’s decision, to take his own life? First, we must acknowledge that we are not God. The Bible clearly states, “For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” None of us have been given the stewardship of judging someone else. Only God knows the thoughts and intents of a heart, therefore, only “…God will judge the secrets of human hearts…” Secondly, it is my hope and prayer that Rob, and each of us, will not merely be judged for the poor decisions we have made, but for the God-honoring ones as well.
We must always contend for life, personally and with one another. For “In him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men.” When someone has committed suicide, can we unequivocally say they are in Heaven? Sadly, no. That could possibly give license to anyone who was depressed or had despaired of life to take their own life as well. What we can say, is that we will each stand before the Person who has loved us the most, our Creator. We can place anyone who commits suicide in the arms of the One who died on a cross for all sins, even suicide.
Life is very precious, and worth fighting for. If you have people in your life that are struggling with depression or express suicidal thoughts or intent, please seek professional help immediately.
Please be in prayer for dear Kimberly. She is a cherished sister in the Lord who selflessly serves His Kingdom and our Rock Family in many capacities. She did all she could to lovingly and bravely help her dear husband.
Rob recently expressed a desire that Kimberly return to the international global ministry she is called to in advancing the Kingdom of God. For those who would like to express their condolences, in lieu of flowers, a tax deductible donation to Exousia Ministries Inc. (EMI) will be appreciated.
Click on the “Support” link or
Exousia Ministries International – 6966 Sunrise Blvd.. Ste 329, Citrus Heights, CA 95610
*Pastor Francis Anfuso and leaders at the Rock of Roseville church (www.rockofroseville.com) crafted this letter with my approval.
Rob’s Memorial will be held on March 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm at the Rock of Roseville Church.