Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday Recap at GSJ

Sunday worship experience was truly one for the ages. We were blessed to engage our entire Youth Department to take a more active role. Aside from our Youth Choir and Junior Ushers, who usually play a role, we also featured our Stepping for Christ Drill Team, our Praise Dancers as well as our Boys & Cub Scouts. Both services were truly a joy to be a part of and we praise God for the work He is doing in the lives of our youth. The Lord has abundantly blessed GSJ with gifted young people.

During the preaching moment at both services, I deviated from my series in 1 Corinthians to preach on a subject that normally does not find its way to pulpits today. Due to the increased number of murder-suicides that has gripped our nation in recent weeks and the increased curiosity that is so pervasive among Christians, I thought it feasible to search the scriptures to find God’s take on the subject of suicide. Because of the economic downturn that we are currently facing and the apparent hopelessness it brings, many people are searching frantically for an anchor that holds and grips the Solid Rock.

The title of the message was “The Truth About Suicide.” Several passages were used throughout the message but my foundational passage was Deuteronomy 30:19-20 which says “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” The following is a brief synopsis of the message:


The Truth About Suicide



I. The Facts Concerning Suicide

A) Statistical Evidence
B) Scriptural Examples - Judges 9:54; 1 Samuel 31:4-5; 2 Samuel 17:23; 1Kings 16:18; Matthew 27:5

II. The Fables Confusing Suicide

a) Suicide is the unpardonable sin
b) The tendency to commit suicide is inherited
c) Everyone who commits suicide is mentally ill
d) People who talk about killing themselves never do
e) Christians who commit suicide lose their salvation


III. The Feelings Characterizing Suicide

a) Depression
b) Distress
c) Death
d) Dismal Outlook

IV. The Faith to Conquer Suicide

A) The power of God
B) The promise of God
C) The providence of God


This was the first time in my entire ministry that I attempted such a huge undertaking. Thankfully the membership shared with me that it was a timely message and that it really blessed them in so many ways. God be praised!!

15 comments:

Ronald said...

Pastor McGhee may your tribe continue to increase. What a courageous and clear biblical response to such a devastating issue.

I praise God for you. Man you'll never know how I appreciate this post. Rhema Community Church and I lost a dear brother of our congregation a couple of years back to suicide a older gentlemen who had cancer and no longer desired to live in pain and he decided to end it all on Father's Day while we were in worship expecting him to soon show.

I honestly don't know if neither my congregation nor I have healed from this unforgettable Sunday.

Sincerely Thank You,
Ron

RCA72351 said...

Pastor, McGhee, your deviation from Corinthians was a timely move. Youth need to understand where they can turn to for help at anytime. Keeping our Lord in the forefront of our thoughts, reading His word and listening to your sermons are just a few ways our youth can stay on the right road. Seeing these unfortunate stories of suicide on TV and newspapers can confuse our youth. I believe you presented a message that was truly needed at a time when so many questions are probably on the youths mind. Very timely, informative and spiritual and I am glad we had our scouts there to hear it.

Thanks for adjusting your message when necessary and being fully in touch with our youth and congregation.

Brother Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Pastor McGhee, I truly enjoyed your message yesterday. As a person who has contemplated ending it all myself I was rejuvenated by all that you said and glad that I listened and decided to trust God and go a different route. Everything you said was true I too thought it was the unforgivable sin not thinking about the fact that a sin is a sin.

Thanks again for a great message

Rev. Barney said...

This is a right now word doc!! Hold your horse right there!

Anonymous said...

McGhee, what a heavy load to carry and deliver but thank God for His guidance and power to present such a much needed and timely message. I know you have grown just in the preperation of the message and I pray that some life has been saved by your bold attempt to deal with such a challenging topic.

God be praised for your spirit.

Be Encouraged!

Tony R.

Pastor Rev. Ray E. Owens said...

Pastor,

I was overwhelmed when you told me what the Lord was leading you to do, After reading your blog on the finished product that God used you to present, I am praying that God will find a way to usewhat you said at GSJ to bless everyone here in SOuth Bend. This topic needs more airplay and I praise God for your willingness to launch into deep waters to save those that we miss by staying in the shallow parts of our pond.

Bless you doc,

Owens

Keith D. Witherspoon said...

Doc,

It's not fair that you preach about suicide and then commit a mass homicide!

Great Post and preaching! It was so great that now you are my son's favorite preacher!

Pastor Lance A. Mann said...

McGhee,

I believe that the entire body of Christ needs to hear this message, as many of the church has been improperly taught things about suicide that you have corrected with this one sermon.

You should really put that message on youtube so that every one can be blessed by your commitment to exposition about a sensitive subject.

P.S I totally agree with Spoon...Sermon on suicide and then a committal of mass homicide...NOT FAIR!!!

Lance

Reverend K Dewayne Moss said...

Wow! What an awesome message and an even more impressing answer for an anciously awaiting people, youth, about things that avail in their circle. Our young people, and many of us as well, are facing difficult and dangerous times and it is always refreshing when God sends a right now word for a right now time. I am oh so blessed right now for the word God gave you on sunday. Thank you and God be praised for your obedience to a challenging subject.

your brother,
Rev KD Moss

Rev.Aaron Holcombe said...

Great post! I am so glad to read of the involvement of your youth. What a blessing! God bless you as you continue to serve Him.

Anonymous said...

Pastor McGhee,

Great message on Suicide. We need more Sermon of real life issues that we are facing everyday. I know someone will benefit from your message.

With our economy struggling, God's Word was given to you to share with his people and what a word it was. However,we must always remember that God loves us and knows our struggles. We just have to trust God.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, o people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

The youth of our church were magnificent! Sunday was a great day in the Lord!

Blessings

Anonymous said...

Pastor McGhee,
Thank you for such a powerful message on Sunday. It's time that we all stand up and speak Truth about the real issues that have held so..... many of us in bondage. The text you used in Deu.30: 19-20 blesses me everytime I read this text. Not only did he care enough about us to explain our choices to us but he also went on to give us the anwser to assure we would not choose the wrong answer. ( I have set before you BOTH life and death, blessings and curses, THERFORE choose LIFE). Now that is definitely a God who is not willing that any should suffer!!! He has already prepared for us Life, all we need to do is receive. Wow, it's kind of like failing a test when someone is giving you the answers as you go.

Be Blessed,
Peaches

Pastor Kraig L. Pullam said...

McGhee, I praise God for you diligence!!! Your sensitivity to the times we are facing; along with the apparant diligance of your study - are more than evident. You are a great preacher/pastor. Continue to be encouraged in all that you do!

Clinton Smith said...

WOW!

Vietta P's two cents said...

Pastor McGhee I am certain that your message found it's mark to the hearers of the word on yesterday. In times like these there are many hung down heads in despair. I Salute the youth of the church for the service they rendered to enhance the worship experience. What a blessing to see. Yes, God be praised! Take care.

Mother