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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

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