The campaign against suicide is one major event I will ever remember as a one-time student in the premises of Wageningen UR, The Netherlands. When members of the Evangelism Unit of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Amazing Grace Parish, Wageningen, heard the news of a student who committed suicide in one of the hostels, they sprang into action. I recall vividly that I designed a flyer for the campaign and we tagged it, “No More Suicide.” Defying the cold weather, we worked in collaboration with other church members to organize the programme in front of the hostel to tell students about the love of Christ and abundant life that Jesus offers. Glory be to God that since I left Wageningen in 2014, I have not heard that any other student committed suicide in the hostel.
Across the nations of the world, the rate of suicidal death is increasing. Data on suicidal death show that suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young people and the elderly and globally 800,000 people die from suicide every year; twice the number from homicide (R. Hannah et al). Aside suicidal death, so many people die daily through incurable diseases and sicknesses, terrorist and bandit attacks, accidents among others. Recently, one of my sisters-in-law suddenly developed brain tumor according to medical reports and we lost her to death in less than one month. Within the same period another sister in-law lost her baby to death after a cesarean section. The pains of losing a loved one is always unbearable.
What is the cause of all these forms of death? The spirit of death is at work daily mysteriously attacking people. This spirit of death is enforced by Satan and his agents. In Revelation 6:8, the Bible reveals the spirit of death as the rider of a pale horse.
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
There are testimonies of children of God escaping fatal accidents and other forms of death influenced by the spirit of death. One servant of God testified that a mysterious hand suddenly started controlling his car steering and after he called on the name of the LORD Jesus, the hand disappeared and he arrived his destination safely. Although the Bible mentions that it is appointed that a person should die once and thereafter face judgment (Hebrews 9:27), some deaths are untimely and fast-tracked by the spirit of death.
God has promised those who love Him salvation from death and long life; so it is never His desire that His children should die untimely.
“With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” Psalms 91:16
The Bible tells us that Abraham died at a good old age. That is God’s agenda for His children because they are Abraham’s seed. Life expectancy of their country does not matter in God’s agenda. God told Abraham that He will die in a good old age and Abraham lived for 175 years. God established the covenant of long life with Abraham and every child of God partakes of this covenant through Jesus Christ.
“And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” Genesis 15:15
“Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” Genesis 25:8
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith……Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. Galatians 3:13,14,16
Activating the Spirit of Life
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
From this scripture, we need to be in Christ to daily activate the law of the Spirit of life. The Spirit of life is the Spirit of God. In John 10:10 the Bible asserts that Jesus Christ came to destroy the spirit of death and to give those who receive Him life to the fullest. So we need to receive Christ and exercise authority over the spirit of death for the Spirit of life to work in us. Being a new creature as declared in 2 Corinthians 5:17, also means that a believer enjoys the Spirit of life and the spirit of death is conquered.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
I will highlight how we can activate the Spirit of life in Part 2 of this article.