Pictured above is the white chalk cliffs of Beachy Head, England - one of world's most popular places to commit suicide. People are unhappy, lost a job, had a breakup, committed a crime, incurred gambling debt.
Depression, despair, mental disorder and substance abuse are all major influences in suicide.
Some people have planned it for months, others have been thinking about it for a few hours - when someone is talking about killing themselves, you must intervene. 40% of teenage suicides are impulsive.
7 people in the Bible committed suicide, most notably King Saul (1 Samuel 31:4) and Judas (Matthew 27:3-5).
Here are some tips to share when you hear the threats:
First, offer a boatload of hope. Remind them about their children, good memories from the past and how their temporary circumstances or pain will pass. Hopelessness will always be a leading cause of suicide. Financial debt or pending prison is better than ending your life.
Second, remind the person that suicide is murder and breaks the Sixth Commandment (Exodus 20:13). If the person threatening is a Christian, remind them their bodies belong to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:20). They would kill themselves and literally seconds later must give account for the sin they just committed. This is certainly not the preferred method of reaching God.
Third, tell the person God has a plan for their life. His plan is life not death. Jesus came so people can have an abundant life (John 10:10). If they repent and begin to call on the name of the Lord, He offers the life they're longing for.
Is suicide unforgivable? No. Romans 8:38-39 reminds us that not even death or life can separate us from the love of God. Christ offers the greatest victory over someone considering suicide - hope and life in Him.