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Posts Tagged ‘Death of Stars

Some Further Thoughts on the Death of Robin Williams

I have seen it all when it comes to the death of Robin Williams.  I have seen people defending him for committing suicide (some even calling it a brave decision).  I have seen people defending his right to take his life in the midst of his depression.  I have seen both worldly and Christians cheering on Williams as an actor.  I have seen people having “Williams Memorial” parties where they sit and watch Williams’ movies to celebrate his life (and his death I guess).  I have seen some Christians cheering Williams burning in eternal hell (no I am not kidding).  I have seen even one Christian rejoicing that Williams is now healed and in the presence of the King.

I have seen it all.

Williams’ death sparks a conversation about death that worldly people don’t want to face and that is that we all will die.  All of us will face the great equalizer in death.  On the same day that Robin Williams committed suicide, over 146,000 people died as well.  In the end, the 146,000 people who died the same day as Robin Williams are all the same: dead.  Their money, fame, fortune, poverty, disease, etc. could not help them.  They are all dead.  They all will end up the same as you and I: worm’s food (unless you cremate them).  From dust we came and from dust we shall return (Genesis 3:19).

Now in this post let me just address a few things.  First, as disciples of Jesus I don’t think we should make light of the death of anyone.  In Acts 12 the wicked Herod has James the brother of John killed (Acts 12:2) and he wants to kill Peter (Acts 12:3) but God hears the cries of the saints and He rescues Peter from sure death (Acts 12:5-11).  Later on, God strikes down Herod (Acts 12:20-23).  What you don’t see is the Church rejoicing in this.  You find the gospel going forth (Acts 12:24) but nothing is said that the Church rejoiced that Herod was killed.  Herod, no doubt, was an enemy of the gospel but the Church allowed God to handle Herod and they accepted His judgment.

My point is that the Church didn’t rejoice in killing of their enemies.  Paul the Apostle wrote in Romans 12:19-21 something completely different about this.  He wrote:

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Jesus said that we were to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) to be like our Father in heaven.  

I don’t see room for disciples rejoicing that Robin Williams is dead or celebrating that he is in hell.  This is not from the Lord.  

That said, I don’t see that disciples should use Robin Williams as an example either.  This was a wicked man.  Let us not play games here about this.  Here was a man who had a vulgar mouth, made jokes about God Almighty, ridiculed Christ, was addicted to drugs and alcohol, etc.  That is only his public sins.  This was not a “good” man as some are saying.  This was a typical man.  A wicked man (Romans 3:10).  

Yet Williams is no different than us.  Without Christ and His grace, I too would be hell-bound (Titus 3:4-7).  Were it not for the grace of God in my life, I too would be lost in my sins (Ephesians 2:4).  Were it not for the cross, I too could be chasing women, addicted to drugs, bound up in my sins.  It was the grace of God and His grace alone that saved me.  It is tempting to belittle Williams and not see our own sinfulness and the grace of God intervening in our lives to save us.  Let us not ridicule Williams for his sinful life without stopping and pondering the grace of God in our lives.  In the words of Steven Curtis Chapman, let us “remember our chains.”  

Before a holy God none of us are worthy.  Before a holy God none of us deserve heaven.  We deserve His just wrath.  But thanks be to God for rescuing us from our sins (Romans 5:8-9).  It was not me that saved myself from the wrath of God.  It was God in Christ saving me from His wrath (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).  As Dr. R.C. Sproul wrote, “We are being saved from the wrath of God by the sacrifice of God.”  I didn’t earn this salvation.  I didn’t make myself worthy to be saved by being a little better than Robin Williams.  I am saved only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).  

I pray that this truth, the truth of God’s grace, will flow in our minds and hearts as we consider the death of those around us.  We too will die but what separates us from the world is the Lord Jesus and HIs grace (John 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57).  We are not like the world who grieve because they have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13) but we rejoice that Christ is risen from the dead and He is our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30-31).  Christ alone saved us from death and He alone gives us the assurance that there is more than the grave.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/14/2014 at 12:00 PM

What We Learn From Robin Williams

Robin Williams is dead at age 63.  He died, according to news sources, from suicide.  He joins a list of over 300 actors who have committed suicide.  Ironically, the world longs to be like these “stars” and to have their fame and fortune yet Williams struggled his entire career with various “demons” including cocaine abuse, alcohol, and depression.

I don’t want to make light about Williams’ death.  After all, we all will face death unless Christ returns (Hebrews 9:27).  All of us are going to die (Romans 6:23).  This is the way of humans.  We have sinned against a holy God and thus we have earned what we deserve, death.  Your death and mine are coming.

Yet what we learn from Williams’ death is much.  Here was a wealthy man, a man whom the world loved and adored.  Here was a man who made many laugh with his comedy and many cry with his acting.  His movies ranged from funny to weird and everything in-between.  I was not a big Williams fan but enjoyed him the most in the 1992 Disney film, Aladdin.  I also give him some credit for his acting in Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society.  Williams’ films were not always wholesome such as his vulgar language in Good Will Hunting or even Mrs. Doubtfire.  

As far as Williams’ religious views.  He was raised by an Episcopal father and a Christian Science mother.  Yet he seems to have embraced agnosticism (as there are not true atheists according to Romans 1:21).  Williams mocked Christianity at times and made many jokes about God.  He said that cocaine addiction was God’s way of telling you that you have too much money.  His comedy routine was full of vulgar and sexuality.  Williams was a long-time supporter of the Democratic Party and poured thousands of dollars into liberal causes such as abortion rights and homosexual marriage.  In essence, Williams was just what the world wants from a Hollywood actor.  Sinful.

In the end, Williams died depressed.  A man who had used his humor to entertain millions dies depressed and lonely.  He had struggled nearly his entire career with drugs and alcohol abuse yet he never repented of his sins.  He tried and tried to overcome his “demons” but they controlled him (Genesis 4:6-7).  Williams could have found peace.  He could have found victory over his flesh.  He could have had the power to fight those demons yet he never repented, never turned to Christ Jesus in saving faith.  Instead he mocked the Creator of all.  He mocked the Bible.  He mocked the truth that could have set him free.

Williams now knows there is a God (unless you believe in soul sleep).  His life is over.  His time is gone.  Some are seeking to find mercy in the Lord and some have been posting on Twitter and other social sites that God could have given Williams grace at the last-minute.  Therefore, they argue, we should not be quick to cast Williams into hell.  After all, he did so much good.  But I remind you friend that the Bible says that there is none righteous (Romans 3:10).  I remind you that all our good works are nothing before a perfect and holy God (Isaiah 64:6).  I remind you that our only hope for salvation is found in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).  I remind you that are only time of repentance is now (Luke 16:27-31).  There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that we have hope once we die apart from trusting in Christ now.

The lesson we learn from Williams’ death is that we too will die and nothing can stop that.  Further, your money will not bring happiness.  Success will not produce peace.  Having women or men will not bring satisfaction in this life.  We must repent of our sins to find peace (Romans 5:1).  We must not love this world (1 John 2:15-17) but instead we must love Christ above all else (Luke 14:25-35).  The promise we have is His presence no matter what we face (John 16:33).  Jesus promised us that He would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).  No matter what may come, I have the assurance that Jesus is my strength and that nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:31-39).

In closing, let us pray that God sends a revival to Hollywood and that many of them will repent and trust in Christ alone to save them.  Let us pray that the “demons” that controlled Robin Williams (and many others in Hollywood as well) will be cast out by the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/12/2014 at 4:21 AM

“RIP” and the Unsaved

Once again we have a popular actor/singer found dead.  Once again the blogs, Twitter, and so many other social venues are full of references to the star with the noted “RIP” attached to their name.  The world uses the phrase “RIP” to mean “rest in peace” and they mean goodwill by saying this.  What bothers me is that so many Christians are also using this term for the star.  Now to be fair, I would hope to God that the star repented before they died.  I would never desire the death of the wicked and for them to be cast into hell.  I want all people to repent as God does (2 Peter 3:9).  God Himself said that He takes no delight in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32).  The fact that God gave His Son for the salvation of all people should demonstrate enough right there that His desire is for their salvation (John 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-6).

The problem is that if a person does not repent, if they have shown no evidence of salvation, if they have never demonstrated godliness and holiness, if they have pursued their flesh and sin (1 John 3:6-9) then they do not know Jesus.  We don’t have to tiptoe around that.  The person who is living is sin does not know Jesus (1 John 2:3-6).  The person who does not obey Jesus as Lord does not know Jesus (Luke 6:46-49).  The person who practices sin will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:18-21).  Why do we avoid the clear teachings of Scripture on this?  If a person is not living a holy life, they are not going to see God (Hebrews 12:14).  This is not an Arminian teaching or a Calvinist teaching but a biblical teaching.  Jesus said that only the pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8).  Why do we seek to take the narrow way that Jesus taught and turn it into the broad way that He said leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) and Jesus said that few would find it.  When our Lord says few He means few.  Somehow we seek to allow whoever to go to heaven so long as they once went to church or sang a Christian song or acknowledged God despite not obeying Him as Lord (Titus 1:16).

So the words “RIP” do not apply to the wicked.  There is no resting in peace for the wicked.  This applies only to disciples of Jesus (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).  Those who were not Jesus’ disciples will not find peace but only destruction (Revelation 20:15-20).  Those who were not disciples of Jesus will not rest in peace but will be cast into hell (Matthew 25:45-46).  We may not like that but that is what the Bible says.  Those who have not obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ are doomed (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

My advice for disciples of Jesus is to cease saying that a person is resting in peace.  We don’t know that.  We are making an assumption that probably is not correct.  Could a person repent while in the last stages of life?  Perhaps but I say that we cease either trying to put people into heaven who lived like the devil and cease trying to know the mind of God as well.  It’s best to simply take the opportunity to call people to repentance who have the chance now.  Once a person dies, no matter who they are, it’s over.  Their chance is gone.  Hebrews 9:27 makes this clear.  Luke 16:27-31 makes this clear as well.  Jesus said that only those who keep His Word will never see death (John 8:51).  A person may die physically but if they are a disciple of Jesus, they will live forever with the Lord (Philippians 1:21).  2 Corinthians 5:1-10 speaks of this hope for the disciple.  Our passion is to please the Lord, to walk in His ways, to obey Him as Lord so that this salvation that He has given us will lead to eternity with our Savior and Redeemer.  Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there.  Hell is hell because Jesus is not there.

So is the star (or whoever) who was not a disciple resting in peace?  Only God knows.  By their fruit we can discern that it is very likely they are not.  Yet I have never been to a funeral where a person was declared in hell.  They are always declared in heaven.  No matter how sinful.  No matter how lost.  No matter what, the person is said to be at peace in eternity.  The vast amount of humanity will find no peace in eternity but only destruction.  Only disciples of Jesus have eternal life (Romans 6:23).  The vast majority of people close their eyes in death and awaken in eternity only to find the wrath of God still abides on them because of their sins (1 Timothy 1:8-11).  They were not clothed in righteousness and are cast away (Matthew 22:11-14).  We can be even zealous for God but lost (Romans 10:1-4) without God’s perfect righteousness that comes by faith (Romans 3:22-28).  Jesus told us to be dressed and ready and keep our lamps burning (Luke 12:35) lest we turn away from obedience to Him and fall into sin and be cast away (Luke 12:36-48).  May we always burn with zeal for Jesus (Romans 12:11).

The final conclusion is that only disciples of Jesus find RIP after we die.  All others will find no rest whatsoever.  Only hell.  May this do two things for the disciple.  First, let us worship Jesus for saving us by His grace.  Where would be without His grace and love?  We do deserve hell but He gives us His grace.  Secondly, let us seek to evangelize the lost so that they can truly be able to have the assurance that they will be in heaven when they die.  People are thinking about death and let us use this as the chance to preach the gospel to the lost bringing them under conviction through the Law of God (Romans 3:19-20; 7:7; Galatians 3:23-24; James 2:9-13).  Let us show them clearly that they deserve God’s just wrath against their sins but then show them the beauty of the cross and how Jesus bore our sins on the cross to appease the wrath of God (Romans 5:1-11).  Then we can surely say that a disciple of Jesus will find rest when they die (John 11:25).  In fact, Scripture does call death “rest” for the disciple (see Acts 7:60 or 1 Corinthians 15:6, 16-19, 50-57 for examples).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/12/2012 at 11:30 AM

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