Beware of Death Pastors

A death Pastor is any one who tells you that you can commit suicide and not go to hell.

1 John 3:15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

To commit suicide is to murder oneself. Regarding the murdering of others, we know that murder is wrong because it is to destroy men and women who are made in the image of God. Cain was the first to murder and he did so because he hated his brother. When we commit suicide, in which we murder ourself, we are destroying our own bearing of the image of God. It is to hate that very core of self that reflects God’s image and it is to utterly reject what God has given to us. How can anyone walk into heaven having just rejected their own bearing of the image of God?

Jarrid Wilson has written, ‘Stop telling people that suicide leads to hell.’ He said that in order to be saved all that matters is that we have believed in Jesus. Yet, how can we say that we believe in Jesus if we ultimately reject the image of God that is the basis of our very life? It is “believing” in Jesus on our own selfish terms, not faithfully abiding in the image that He created for us to do our believing in. Do not be deceived by death Pastors.

Sadly, on September 9th, 2019, Jarrid committed suicide, leaving a widow and two fatherless sons. Jarrid was an associate pastor at a large Christian church. The next day the senior pastor Greg Laurie, of the same church, posted that Jarrid had gone to be with the Lord.

Suicide is without a doubt one of the most troubling issues of our time, with ever increasing numbers of people seeking relief from crippling depression and ongoing hurt. Is the solution to tell people that they have gone to be with the Lord?

While it is outrageous that any pastor should ignore or diminish the reality of depression, it is even more serious for any pastor to say that someone who commits suicide is now in heaven. The death Pastor promotes suicide, even for himself.

It is obvious that there is tremendous pressure to not say what is upsetting and everyone is running recklessly toward immediate comfort, but at what cost? To assert that we can take our own life and yet have assurance of salvation is to advance death as a remedy from relief.

We must beware of death Pastors who diminish the reality of hell and who indirectly promote suicide. Those contemplating suicide most often do so to escape the desperate situation that they are in. If the death Pastor is right, that God is gracious and all that matters is that I have believed in Jesus, then it would be better to destroy myself and go to heaven instead of all of this suffering. If the death Pastors are right then relief can be obtained without delay, but if the death Pastors are wrong then there is only judgment and eternal punishment.

What we need are Pastors who do not fear men and who will declare with authority, “If you commit suicide you will perish!”

I am deeply troubled by Jarrid’s selfish act in which he has himself extinguished the image of God that was entrusted to him, especially for the sake those who are left behind and who may follow his example. Jarrid has made suicide to have the last word, despite all of his words while clothed with God’s image.

I am sure many would object and say that I just don’t rightly appreciate the pain he was in. Hear what Paul the apostle wrote regarding his own struggles.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many. 

Those who commit suicide cannot comfort us in our affliction because they have bailed out of the difficulties of life in the hope of immediate relief. This was not an option for Paul. Paul was not a death Pastor.

The solution for anyone contemplating suicide is repentance and faith. Jesus is the answer and He loves and cares for you.

1 John 4:15,16 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

When you are in the lowest depths of depression the real difficulty is in believing that God’s love for you is real. I want you to know that His love for you is real and it is powerful. As with Paul, He can help you in any situation. Repent of your contemplation of self murder and believe in Jesus who died for you so that you might live.

December 13, 2020 – John 1:1-18