Reality Check: When Famous People Die
For some strange reason it seems that whenever a well known person dies it tends to get our attention and makes us think about the afterlife a little more than we usually do. If we read the newspaper or watch the evening news we will often be given a chronology of that persons life. If a person was a movie star, the media will talk about their greatest movies and then go on to rehash the intimate details of that persons life. If a person was a famous athlete, all of the statistics of that persons career will be given for people to remember. If a person was a rock star the public will be given the list of their greatest hits, and how many millions of albums were sold over the years.
Often the writers will go on to say that this famous person is now at peace and in Heaven. Sometimes the newspaper cartoonist will have a cartoon with a sketch of that famous person sitting in the clouds with other famous faces from that same field of business. If they were a movie star they will show that person with other famous movie stars of the past who have died. If they were a famous rock star they will tell you that this famous rock star is now “jamming with the music greats in Heaven” who passed on before them. If the famous person was a baseball player then perhaps they might show a cartoon illustration of that person sliding into a homeplate in Heaven, with the umpire giving the “safe at home” sign, while other famous baseball greats from the past look on. This all sounds so wonderful and nice, and it will surely evoke many heartfelt and emotional memories, but the question that must be asked is this:
Does Everybody Go to Heaven After They Die?
Does Anybody Ever End Up In Hell?
Should we listen to, and believe what the media tells us, or should we look to the Word of God (Bible) for the answer to that question? I choose to believe the Bible and more specifically, the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for WIDE is the gate, and BROAD is the way, that leadeth to DESTRUCTION, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and NARROW is the way, which leadeth unto LIFE, and FEW there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Here the Lord is talking about the way of eternal life, which ultimately takes a person to Heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us that there are only a few who find it, and not the majority as most people would probably say today. Many people believe that only hard core murderers and others like them end up in Hell but that is not true. The Bible tells us this about the human heart:
The HEART is DECEITFUL above all things, and desperately WICKED: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
The Bible tells us that each and every one of us has come short of the glory of God.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
Each and every on of us is spiritually DEAD in our own sins, UNTIL we accept the eternal life which is found in Jesus Christ alone.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Jesus Christ made it clear that a person who did not believe in Him would simply die in their own sins. That is an absolutely horrible thought!
“And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. ” (John 8:23-24)
Jesus Christ also said this:
” He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ” (John 3:18-19)
Billions in the world today have no idea that the wrath of God is already resting upon them without the free gift of salvation which God offers to all.
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)
There is a natural human tendency for us to see ourselves as basically “good people” but a fair reading of the Bible will show us the exact opposite. If we examine ourselves using the murderers as the standard then we may not look that bad, but if we let the Word of God examine our hearts then there is not a one of us who will come out “looking good.” The Bible even says this about people who are Christians regarding their former past:
And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were DEAD in trespasses and sins; Wherein IN TIME PAST ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the CHILDREN of WRATH, even AS OTHERS. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
Do you see that? The Bible tells us that we as believers in Jesus Christ were “by nature children of wrath even as others.” The only thing that a Christian has to boast about is the mercy and grace that Jesus Christ has shown them. God’s Word tells me that I was a child of wrath by my own very nature! I deserved nothing but the lowest part of Hell and it was only the LORD who showed me that. Not only that but the Bible tells us in that passage of scripture that we used to walk in the same way of “disobedience” as “others” which means that the “others” are still walking that way and therefore they are at present still “children of wrath.”
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke often about Hell and He told the story of a rich man who went to Hell and could not get out. In that passage of scripture the man spoke with Abraham and begged him for water:
And he cried and said, FATHER ABRAHAM, have MERCY on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in WATER, and COOL my tongue; for I am TORMENTED in this flame. But ABRAHAM said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but NOW he is COMFORTED, and THOU art TORMENTED. And beside all this, between us and you there is a GREAT GULF FIXED: so that they which would pass from hence to you CANNOT; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. (Luke 16:24-26)
We can see from this passage of scripture that a person is conscious in Hell and they are most definitely in pain. The one telling this is Jesus Christ, the creator of Heaven and Earth and the most compassionate person to ever walk this Earth. I encourage you to read the whole account in Luke 16:19-31 to get a clearer picture of what a person can expect if they die without Jesus Christ. Satan is the arch-enemy of your soul. He is working 24/7 to keep your mind blinded to the truth about the salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Satan is also known as the “god of this world” and he would love keep you on his demonic treadmill until the last breath leaves your body.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
The “gospel of Christ” is shining unto you right now through the words on this page, and if you do not know the Lord, the Devil is probably reminding you of a hundred different things that you need to do, before you take the time to get right with God. Countless billions have been presented with the same truths that you are reading here right now, but the majority of them listened to them, ignored them, and then moved on with their lives in this temporary world. I remind you that these are not my opinions but they are the words of my Creator, my Lord, and my Savior, Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul, who was a former persecutor and murderer of Christians, wrote these words:
But GOD commendeth his LOVE toward us, in that, while WE were yet SINNERS, Christ DIED for US. Much more then, being NOW JUSTIFIED by HIS BLOOD, we shall be SAVED from WRATH through HIM. For if, when we were enemies, we were RECONCILED to GOD by the DEATH of his SON, much more, being RECONCILED, we shall be SAVED by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)