And Still They Die…Every Day
For anyone who’s been paying attention, people we tend to “honor” as celebrities have been dying since the first of year and the world, for the most part, has been keeping track. In March alone, several well-known actors and celebrities have gone onto the next life, including Larry Drake, Ken Howard, Patty Duke, Gary Shandling, Alan Rickman, Merle Haggard, and Doris Roberts.
Of course, this is merely a partial list of all the celebrities who have died in 2016 so far. Many others will probably be added to the list before the year is out. In the end, this represents only a smattering of the 150,000 people who die every day and enter eternity, most having no relationship with God in Christ. Yet, most we’ve never heard of and wouldn’t know if we passed one of them on the street, who later that day, gave up the ghost.
Why do we tend to become saddened when a celebrity dies and not the average person? Unfortunately, it’s because we feel we “know” the celebrity better than the average person. We see them in sitcoms or movies. They sit and chat with talk show hosts on their talk show programs. They tell us about themselves. But in the end do we really know them?
Doris Roberts had a tremendous career as an actress with 157 credits to her name, according to her IMDb.com page, which began in 1951. But what do we really know about Doris Roberts? Anything? People think they know her because of the last character she portrayed on the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” There, she played the ethnic (in this case, Italian), mom who knew everything and was in everybody’s business. It was the accepted role for Italian moms in “those” days.
But what was Doris Roberts really like? Only those who were close to her either as close friends or family can really answer that question. Yet, if you were a fly on the wall of her funeral, the eulogies were likely filled with praises, pleasant quips, and remembrances that likely brought tears to the eyes of those in attendance. That’s the usual fare for eulogies where the dearly departed takes on attributes that may only have been sparsely seen in life itself. The sorrow brought on by the death of a loved one often makes people forgive and forget and only see the good in the person who has died.
But no matter how many celebrities (or average people) die on a daily basis and no matter how flowery the speeches are during the eulogies, there is a very clear reality for everyone. It is this: when the person dies, they stand before God. At that point, they will hear one of two things found in the Gospels. They will either hear “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness,” (Matthew 7:23) or “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master,” (Matthew 25:23). Those are the only two options available to all people.
Yet, in this life, people strive to receive rewards and awards of all sorts wrongly believing that those rewards/awards make them a better person. In the end, the awards/rewards they receive are provided by human beings to other human beings. Do they count for anything? Certainly, in this life, they can and many believe they do. It’s not that we should eschew all awards or certifications. Some are good to mark milestones of personal achievement, while others help provide career advancement. These are not necessarily bad things.
However, when I leave this life, I take none of those with me and they really do me no good at all. When I stand before God, while He might appreciate how well I have undertaken to study His Word (proof of which are the individual degrees I received for such study), any certificates or degrees associated with that study won’t guarantee me a special place (or even a place) in the heavenly realm.
Doris Roberts died. All of her Emmy nominations, her activities including the foundation she set up, her testimony before Congress, and all the rest means nothing as far as God and salvation is concerned. While it is certainly good that she spent her life doing things that helped other people, as a Jewish immigrant, did she ever come to know the Jewish Messiah? That and that alone is the most important achievement anyone in this life can be involved in.
Every time I hear of another celebrity who has left this life, I cannot help but ask the question, “Did they know Jesus?” How very scared I become for many of them who seemed to have not known him at all. Now they are gone and gone forever.
It is clear that people need to hear about Jesus but I fear that all too often no matter how many times they are told, they will continue to reject Him. This was the exact situation that Jesus met with every day. The religious leaders who literally and viscerally hated Him all died only to instantly realize that they had come to hate the Truth. What do you say in that situation? What can be said then?
In this life, we cover our sins by lying to ourselves. We deny the truth preferring lies instead. But consider the stark nature of leaving this life and instantly knowing without any doubt whatsoever that Jesus is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) and those who rejected Him in this life until they died will have lost their chance to change their minds in the next.
Hebrews 10:31 tells us what awaits those who continue to reject God’s loving overtures in this life, dying without Him.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
The terror of falling into the hands of the living God after death is something I cannot fathom in its fullness. If I could, I might actually be willing to get in people’s faces about eternal matters. As it is, the realization of the truth of Hebrews 10:31 tends to cause me to pause. It even tends to paralyze me a bit with some measure of fear for those who resolutely go through this life with nary a thought of God. When they do consider Him, they are so cavalier and dismissive in their manner, that it is shocking. They really cannot see due to blindness that has such a grip on them. They prefer their blindness because it allows them to be more accepted by others. One thing a celebrity in particular cannot handle is the rejection of fans on a large-scale. Not only can that be emotionally devastating but career ending.
Folks, we will all have our day before God. The eighth chapter of Romans starts with a promise and ends with another one. Sandwiched in between these verses are the various truths that denote our walk with Christ.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death, (Romans 8:1-2).
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:38-39).
On one hand we are told we are no longer condemned. Why? Because we are “in” Christ Jesus (baptized into His Body at the moment we receive salvation). On the other, we are promised that nothing (that actually means nothing) will ever separate us from God’s love. Why? Because Christ lives in us and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit.
Those who choose their own path in this life ultimately have only themselves to blame. They can’t blame others or God. They have made their choices and unfortunately, their choices put them on a path that moved them away from God continually and consistently even to death. I cannot imagine the abject shock they experience the very moment they die and are ushered into His Presence. Words fail me as I’m sure it fails them. They have no excuse and tragically, they will know it.
Christian, we must get the word out and we must tell people whether they will listen or not. It is our job, our duty, our commission.
Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, Global Elite, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: celebrity deaths, hebrews 10:31, no condemnation, Romans 8.