I recently met Pastor Viliame Kolikata, a Fijian pastor from Sydney who died and returned to life in October 2007 at the huge prayer event in Parliament House, Canberra. He had some startling things to say about death, including suicide. And so suicide is my topic in this post.
Raised from the Dead
Pastor Kolikata was not feeling like going to the meeting on that October morning in 2007. The event was a day of prayer to break the drought in Australia, convened at the Great Hall of Parliament House, in response to a call from the then Prime Minister, John Howard. Pastor Bill (as he is known) decided he would go, despite the very early morning start from Sydney to get to Canberra for the morning start. He drove down to the event and expected to enjoy a day of effective prayer.
Sitting close to the back of the meeting Pastor Bill collapsed suddenly and died on the spot. Experienced medical people attending the event quickly attended to him and the paramedics were called, but he was pronounced dead. The event organisers called the gathering to pray for Pastor Bill and concerted prayer went up on his behalf.
After approximately 20 minutes vital signs returned and Pastor Bill returned to life.
After Death Experiences
What makes Pastor Bill’s experience more significant than some others who have returned to life is that while he was dead on earth Bill experienced after death encounters with heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ. He was shown things and told that he would return to life.
Pastor Kolikata now travels Australia and overseas sharing what he has seen and heard. I will possibly share some of the provocative insights he received with you in future posts. He was shown a huge church built on sand. The Lord told him that this is how the modern church on earth is in reality, although the leaders don’t realise it. So that and other insights make for some serious reflection.
Seeing Death in a New Way
I have been told by someone who was bankrupted by a business failure that once you have experienced bankruptcy and recovered you lose the fear of financial ruin. By experiencing something that most people hope never to face we are able to see that experience through different eyes.
That is what Viliame Kolikata has found by having died and come back to life. He has a completely different attitude toward death and also toward life. Many things that captivated his attention he now sees as of much less worth. He no longer thinks in terms of avoiding death, but of being productive in the things that will count after death.
Suicide is Not a Solution
One key reflection which Pastor Bill makes is that death is not a “way out” of problems, nor a “short cut” to a solution. People under pressure can think of death as an “escape”. But Pastor Bill realises as he never understood it before, that the realities awaiting people after they die can be far more traumatic than anything they are experiencing in life.
The Bible warns us that we are all appointed to die and then we will face the judgement of God.
“And as it is appointed to men to die once, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27
Pastor Bill warns that once a person faces the final judgement of God and is cast into hell they will realise that it is much better to be alive and to live for God, than to bail out and face eternal judgement.
Pastor Bill proclaims that suicide is not a solution to a problem, but a step into the biggest problems people could ever imagine. The “easy” solution is a bad choice.
You are much better off staying alive and finding faith in Jesus, living for God and then passing into eternity as God’s child, rather than as a doomed soul.
I Command You to Live!
Don’t give up on life. Live the years that God has allotted to you. If things are tough, find God’s help and grace. No matter how bad you think things are they are far better than eternity in hell. Your “easy way out” is a disastrous step to take if it does not bring you into the arms of your loving Saviour.