Kenny McKinley, a former football player for the University of South Carolina and a wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, was found in his Englewood, Colorado home Sept. 20 dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
McKinley’s former college coach, Steve Spurrier, said it was difficult to understand why the pro player took his own life. Each suicide appears to be a senseless case of self-destructive behavior. Little do we know of the pressures and problems that afflict peoples’ minds.
There are several organizations designed to help those whose despondency leads them to think or attempt suicide. But, there is something even more self-destructive than suicide. There is an eternal self destruction.
Jesus said, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak,” (John 12:48-49 ESV).
If one, after hearing Jesus’ words, decides to reject him, there are grave consequences. When Jesus sent his 70 disciples to preach the kingdom of heaven was near, he pronounced woes on Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because the people of those cities decided to reject Jesus and his words. “It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you,” Jesus said to the people of these cities (Luke 10:14).
Rejecting the words and invitation of the Lord Christ is spiritual suicide, which is far worse than killing oneself. Ending ones’ life is tragic, certainly. But if one rejects the bread of life, one spiritually dies, which has far greater consequences.