(3.5″ x 3.5″ booklet, 17 pages)
IF YOU HAVE EVER had suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone. It’s very common. And if you suffer from depression, you don’t have a mental disease. You are sane and you’re normal, because life is depressing. It’s filled with pain and suffering. As you go through life, your beloved dog dies. So does your sweet grandma. Then you realize that no one survives. We are all going to die and it seems that there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s very depressing.
What is the world’s best-selling book of all time? It’s the Bible. Are you familiar with its story of the rich young ruler who ran to Jesus, knelt down and asked, “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” How would you answer that question? Before you answer, let me give you a quick scenario: Imagine you feel a painful lump under your arm. So you go to the doctor. He examines it, looks concerned, does some tests, and comes back with a grim expression and says, “I’m so sorry to tell you this, but you have lymph node cancer. It has metastasized. You have about two weeks to live. I will give you some medication to help ease the pain. I’m so sorry.”
You go home and lie on your bed. You’re too sick to see anyone or go anywhere. All you can think about is that one question: “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” This isn’t a far-fetched scenario. More than 600,000 Americans will die of cancer in the next twelve months, and over 8.2 million will die of the disease worldwide. Put yourself into that frightening scenario and ask yourself, “What should I do to inherit eternal life?” Do you know the answer?
THE CAUSE OF DEPRESSION
According to the world’s best-selling Book, every human being is held in bondage to a haunting fear of death. The Bible says that what Jesus accomplished on the cross was so that . . . [He] might free all those who through [the haunting] fear of death were held in slavery throughout their lives. (Hebrews 2:15, Amplified Bible)
If you were standing on the edge of a plane 10,000 feet up, thinking about how you are going to jump and hit the ground face-first at 120 mph, you would understandably be terrified. But if I gave you a parachute, the minute you put it on, you will be able to control your fears. If you completely trust that parachute, you will now know that you will land gently at 8 mph, on your feet. Your fear will be in direct proportion to your faith. If you have total faith in the parachute, you will have no fear. Your faith will rid you of fear.
Let’s now apply that analogy to faith in Jesus. When He was asked, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He replied: “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” (Mark 10:18,19)
Jesus told him that only God is good; only He is morally perfect. Then He gave the man five of the Ten Commandments. This is because we may think that we are good, but the Ten Commandments show us that we’re not. For example, how many lies have you told in your life? Have you ever stolen something (irrespective of its value)? Have you taken God’s name in vain (including “OMG”)? Jesus said that if we look with lust, we commit adultery in the heart (see Matthew 5:27,28). Have you ever looked with lust?
If you answered “Yes” to these questions, you’ve admitted that you are a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer at heart. So if God judged you by the Ten Commandments on Judgment Day (we’ve looked at four of them), would you be innocent or guilty? No doubt you (like the rest of us) will be guilty. If you’re guilty on Judgment Day, will you go to Heaven or Hell? If any of us were judged by the Ten Commandments, we would justly end up in Hell. What then should you do to be saved from death and Hell?
Fortunately, there is an answer to the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Just over 2,000 years ago, God became a perfect, sinless human being in Jesus of Nazareth. The Bible says: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh . . . (1 Timothy 3:16) And the reason He became a human being was to suffer and die on the cross. When Jesus was on the cross He took the punishment for the sin of the world. We broke God’s Law (the Ten Commandments are called “the moral Law”) and Jesus paid the fine. That’s what happened on the cross. That’s why He cried out, “It is finished!” just before He died. In other words, the debt has been paid.
If you’re in court and someone pays your fine, the judge can legally let you go even though you’re guilty. God can dismiss our case, and legally let us live forever, because Jesus paid our fine on the cross: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Then Jesus rose from the dead, defeating death. Today, if you repent and trust in Jesus, God promises to give you eternal life as a free gift.
DEATH IS EVIDENCE
Do you know what “death” is? It’s our wages. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We earn the sentence of death by our sin. It’s like a judge saying to a mass murderer, “You have earned the death penalty.” Death is evidence that God is serious about sin. In His morally perfect eyes, our sin is deadly serious. Today, right now, please confess and forsake your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ (like you’d trust a parachute). Do that, and God will not only save you from death, but He will save you from the fear of death. Remember the analogy of how fearful it would be to jump 10,000 feet without a parachute? And how, if you were given a parachute, you could control your fears? Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and trust in Him with all of your heart, and you will rid yourself of that haunting fear that causes depression.
Millions of human beings suffer from depression because they live without faith in Jesus. They have no hope in their death. But in Christ, you now have a living hope, both in this life and in your death. You need never fear as long as you trust in Jesus. Look at the promises of Scripture: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31–39)
To grow in your faith, make a habit of reading your Bible daily. Without fail. And make sure that you obey what you read. God will never let you down. Visit Living Waters.com where you will find many helpful resources, as well as our advertising-free YouTube channel (which is seen by millions): YouTube.com/LivingWaters. Condensed from The Final Curtain by Ray Comfort (available at Amazon.com or LivingWaters.com).