Summer Ends Sunday - Suicidal Idols - Purity 839
Purity 839 09/17/2022 Purity 839 Podcast
Today’s photo of the countryside illuminated by the light of the setting sun just off of Waite Rd in Easton comes to us from yours truly as I took some quick picks to capture the splendor of September as I took my canine companion, Harley, for a late afternoon walk yesterday.
Well, we are past the ides of September and it is my prayer that all my friends enjoy the last weekend of summer as the season officially will end with the Autumnal Equinox on Thursday the 22nd. Even though the Autumnal Equinox is used to mark the season, the weather and return to school usually give us a Fall Feeling before it arrives. This year we had an abrupt shift in the weather on Labor Day weekend in the capital district of upstate New York as we experienced sunshine and a high of 81 degrees on Sunday only to crash into Labor day Monday with heavy rains and a drop to 66 degrees.
I remember thinking on Labor Day, “Wow, there goes summer!” and then I remembered that the previous day, while out walking under the heat of the sun, I had a real sense of the urgency that summer was slipping away and I had a decision to make in terms of what to do with the rest of the day.
I decided to spend the day with my wife indoors and have no regrets about it but after Labor Day’s storms and relative chill, I remembered that feeling during that Sunday walk that “this was it” and I poetically thought about this “prophetic” intuition with the phrase “Summer Ends Sunday”.
And when I came up with that, I thought that the phrase “Summer Ends Sunday” would be an awesome name for an alternative band.
We are “Summer Ends Sunday! Good Night!”
And all of this comes flooding back into my recollections this morning because as I finished up my Bible Study and emailed myself the photo of the day from my phone I fell victim to some “click bait” on Yahoo that teased “Rocker’s wife states husband had delirium before suicide” or something like that and so I wondered who it was referring to and discovered it led to a story about a recent interview of the Vicky Cornell, the widow of the former front man of Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell who took his life in 2017 (https://www.aol.com/chris-cornells-wife-vicky-says-201233639.html). So it was recent interview, but not exactly recent news, on the rocker’s death.
You can research the details on Cornell’s death if you like, but the recent interview by his widow and her comments about his “delirium” before his death coupled with the fact that he had a history of substance abuse, and was on some prescription medications ( which the family had alleged were over prescribed and caused Cornell to act erratically before his suicide) and one could easily speculate and make the case for demonic influence as a contributing factor to his death as well.
Christ tells us in that the enemy want to kill us in:
John 10:10 (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. …
As Christ well knew from Satan’s temptation in the wilderness.
4:5-6 (NKJV) tells us
5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.' "
So the devil takes Jesus to a high place and tells Him to jump, to tempt God with His safety, and potentially kill Himself.
The enemy’s mission to kill and destroy us includes tempting us to suicide.
From my volunteer work with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and from listening to the testimonies of survivors of suicide attempts, and the families of people who died to suicide, I know that Cornell’s widows claims of “delirium”, and surrounding factors of Cornell’s death are not unique and because of my biblical worldview, education in Christian Counseling, my training as an CFMA for Freedom in Christ Ministries, and my experience personally with addiction, depression, condemning thoughts, and thoughts of suicide, I would state that spiritual forces of darkness or the spiritual conditions in someone’s life play a part in every suicide.
Either through direct demonic influence or simply from a worldview of hopelessness that is born out of an atheistic worldview, people suffer and will continue to die from suicide.
This is obviously not a popular theory to bring to the discussion of suicide prevention. Our Western Post Christian Society denies the involvement of the spirit realm in our day to day lives and seeks to silence the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the confusion of “coexistence” and the proliferation of the idea that all roads lead to God. And we suffer for it.
The issues of mental health and suicide will continue to plague our world as we are enmeshed in a culture that refuses to offend anyone with the Biblical standards of morality, with a standard of truth that is based on the Bible, or the solutions for negative mind states that are available through the application of Biblical wisdom to the way we live our lives.
To state that someone is living in sin, or even to suggest that someone turn from drugs, alcohol, and sex that is outside of the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman, and to instead turn to the Lord and live according to His ways is almost laughable to our secular society or is met with stern opposition and fierce hatred that would condemn Christians as judgmental, hateful, bigots.
The world laments over it’s problems, seeks the cold comforts of better life through chemistry, and wonders why things seem to be getting worse because it refuses to accept the answer that God sent to save us all: Jesus Christ.
So society through its rejection or separation from God, or nominal lip service to Him that says “I believe” but refuses follow Him in any discernable way is plague with the subject to the temptations and the oppression of the spiritual forces of darkness.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV) says
26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27 nor give place to the devil.
Our sin, and everyone sins to some extent, makes us vulnerable to the devil.
However, Christians have ben set free
Romans 8:2 (NKJV)
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Faith in Christ not only gives us power over death with our eternal life in the kingdom of God guaranteed. It also gives us the power to say no to sin.
We won’t be perfect but we can progress in our freedom and victory to the sins that beset us and if we stumble on the road to sanctification, because of our life giving relationship with God through our faith in Christ, we have a way to reestablish our harmony with Him.
1 John 1:9 (NKJV) tells us
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And so in Christ we have an advocate and a constant source of power and peace to guide us in the way we should go and comfort us and remind us of why we need a Savior when we stray from His path.
Our American dream culture whose philosophy is centered around circumstantial happiness fails to satisfy and provide meaning and purpose to life. The enemy uses sins and disappointments to drive to confusion and despair and to destroy ourselves.
As I did some research about Christ Cornell, I decided to google “grunge artists that killed themselves” and discovered that the search showed that 13 musicians from the “grunge era” of the mid 1990’s to the early 2000’s, had either died of suicide or overdoses to drugs.
The grunge movement was passionate about living life to the fullest and loving others deeply but without God to give peace the fruits it produced proved to be rotten and it’s idols proved to be suicidal.
As I was in college from 1990 to 1994, I knew most of the names and were fans of quite a few of the lost and it just reminded me that I was extremely blessed to have survived because I had been well versed in the spirit of rebellion and licentious living that surrounded the alternative music genre and the utter hopelessness that results from a lifestyle that has nothing to do and nothing to believe in other than seeking to please and affirm itself. Grunge defied and distained tradition and polite society and rejected God and biblical values and the results are talented individuals lost to drug overdoses and suicide.
And those trends are still happening, and are on the increase in our post-Covid, increasingly confused society today.
So let me encourage myself and others out there who know the Truth that has set them free, that have been saved because of their faith in Jesus: we have the answer in Christ.
My relationship with God through faith in Jesus took me out of the darkness of depression, suicidal thoughts, and addiction and I know I am not special. Similar testimonies to mine are spoken of throughout the history of Christianity. So we have to let others know the way out of the darkness and into a life of peace with God that begins here on earth and follows us into eternity.
This world broken by sin can break your heart but in speaking of God,
Psalm 147:3 (NKJV) says
3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
God is close to us and when we turn to Him, He heals us and sustains us.
So keep walking and talking with God and when you encounter someone who has no hope let them know that the Lord loves them but the way out of the darkness requires that they make peace with Him by making Jesus their Lord and Savior and it also requires that they abide in Him by staying in His presence and casting out the spiritual forces of darkness by confessing any sin and living a righteous life based on the word of God.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Psalm 18:28 (NLT2)
28 You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
Today’s Bible verse speaks of the illuminating power of God.
God is a lamp for all of us. He lights up our darkness by showing us His love that was displayed and embodied in Jesus Christ and when we put our faith in Him, we benefit and share in the Light of the world.
But as I have stated above, we have to let His light shine by living like Him. We can’t live in the darkness of sin if we are to claim to be a part of His kingdom.
The enemy tempts us and seeks to destroy us subtly by forgetting about God’s perfect light and creating footholds in our lives though our sin or disbelief.
So let the light of God shine in your life, Let Him light up your darkness to show you the abundant life that Christ came to give you.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Call to Discipleship - Continued
Following Christ means taking certain steps. The first step, which responds to the call, separates the followers from their previous existence. A call to discipleship thus immediately creates a new situation. Staying in the old situation and following Christ mutually exclude each other. At first, that was quite visibly the case. The tax collector had to leave his booth and Peter his nets to follow Jesus. According to our understanding, even back then things could have been quite different. Jesus could have given the tax collector new knowledge of God and left him in his old situation. If Jesus had not been God’s Son become human, then that would have been possible. But because Jesus is the Christ, it has to be made clear from the beginning that his word is not a doctrine. Instead, it creates existence anew. The point was to really walk with Jesus. It was made clear to those he called that they only had one possibility of believing in Jesus, that of leaving everything and going with the incarnate Son of God.
The first step puts the follower into the situation of being able to believe. If people do not follow, they remain behind, then they do not learn to believe. Those called must get out of their situations, in which they cannot believe, into a situation in which faith can begin. This step has no intrinsic worth of its own; it is justified only by the community with Jesus Christ that is attained. As long as Levi sits in the tax collector’s booth and Peter at his nets, they would do their work honestly and loyally, they would have old or new knowledge about God. But if they want to learn to believe in God, they have to follow the Son of God incarnate and walk with him.
Things used to be different. Then they could live quietly in the country, unnoticed in their work, keep the law, and wait for the Messiah. But now he was there; now his call came. Now faith no longer meant keeping quiet and waiting, but going in discipleship with him. Now his call to discipleship dissolved all ties for the sake of the unique commitment to Jesus Christ. Now all bridges had to be burned and the step taken to enter into endless insecurity, in order to know what Jesus demands and what Jesus gives. Levi at his taxes could have had Jesus as a helper for all kinds of needs, but he would not have recognized him as the one Lord, into whose hand he should entrust his whole life. He would not have learned to have faith. The situation has to be initiated which will enable faith in Jesus, the incarnate God. This is the impossible situation, in which everything is based on only one thing, the word of Jesus. Peter has to get out of the boat into the waves, in order to experience his own powerlessness and the almighty power of his Lord. If he had not gotten out, he would not have learned to believe. His situation on the tempestuous sea is completely impossible and, ethically, simply irresponsible, but it has to happen for him to believe. The road to faith passes through obedience to Christ’s call. The step is required; otherwise Jesus’ call dissipates into nothing. Any intended discipleship without this step to which Jesus calls becomes deceptive enthusiasts’ illusion.
There is a great danger in telling the difference between a situation where faith is possible and where it is not. It is clear that there is nothing in the situation as such to indicate which kind it is. Only the call of Jesus Christ qualifies it as a situation where faith is possible. Second, a situation where faith is possible is never made by humans. Discipleship is not a human offer. The call alone creates the situation. Third, the value of the situation is never in itself. The call alone justifies it. Finally and most of all, the situation which enables faith can itself happen only in faith.
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship