The following blog is Part 2 of “Considering Suicide.” (Please read Part 1, (click here) first.)
OK. Let’s get caught up: The jailer was ready to kill himself, but he stopped midway through his actions and listened to Paul’s words of hope, “We are still here!” Immediately the jailer put down his weapon of self-destruction to check on the truth of Paul’s statement. When he saw that Paul spoke the truth and the situation wasn’t as dire as he perceived it to be, he recognized the rashness of his actions and the fact that Paul had just saved his life. Let’s continue to listen in to this account in Acts 16…
The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
After the jailer looked around, a sense of urgency came as he rushed into Paul & Silas’ cell and was trembling before them. He was actually trembling. We can only get a glimpse of the emotional state he was in. The awe, the wonder, the fear, the curiosity, and the realization of what he almost did manifested itself in his trembling.
Next, the jailer brought them out of the jail cell. It was then, I believe, that the jailer realized that he was the one who was in a cell – the cell of his own making. The jailer recognized that Paul & Silas were not the ones who needed saving, but that he was. “What must I do to be saved?” The jailer recognized that they had something he wanted. No, something that he needed in his life.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
Paul & Silas spoke about the hope of the Gospel…that Jesus died for their sins. All his failures were remembered no more. His worth as an individual was found through God’s love for him and Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus defeated death and gave hope for a new life. Whoever believes in Him will live eternally with God, and without sin, forever.
By listening to Paul, the jailer, who was once hopeless, found hope. He who would act under his own perspective acted upon Truth. He who thought his failure defined him found a new definition of his worth. He who was about to end his life chose to live, and by living, his whole family was impacted and saved.
In Jeremiah 29:11, God said, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.‘” In the life of the jailer, a life that seemed insignificant, we see how God worked in his life and brought the message of Christ to his heart, and in doing so, he was saved – not only him alone, but his whole family.
Readers, God has a plan for you. In Him there is hope. In Him there is a good future. If you have been considering suicide, learn from the jailer and follow his path. Listen to that voice that tells you to “Stop” and turn to Him for your worth and for direction. God is not done yet. The future is promising. Do not act on your own perspective. Now you see in darkness, but God’s truth found in Christ will shed light on your heartaches and will give hope for your future…in this world, and the next.
If you would like this presentation to be given at your church or youth group, please contact us at info@foundchristcounsel. org or by calling 570-402-5088 (ext 1).