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The Departure of Two Icons

June 29th, 2009 Posted in encouragement, Pastor's corner

As we all know, two American icons passed into eternity on the last Thursday of June, 2009 – Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

Farrah Fawcett was once regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful women. Her hairstyle was copied by countless girls in her day, and her posters hung on many a young man’s wall. Tragically, she contracted cancer and eventually succumbed to it. Prior to her death, when she was still trying to beat it, a TV special chronicled her fight and her hope to overcome this dreaded disease.

Unfortunately, it was not to be, and Farrah Fawcett entered eternity. Her memorial service was held this week. Her boyfriend Ryan O’Neal and her family had been hoping for a miracle. In an interview he gave before her death, O’Neal said he would only talk about Farrah’s recovery, because ”the alternative is too painful to accept. It would be an awful conversation to have.”

It’s understandable, isn’t it? People don’t like to face — or even talk about — the reality of death. It frightens, even terrifies us. The New Testament speaks of those who are ”held in slavery by the fear of death” (Hebrews 2:15).

But as we all know, there is no escaping it! The Bible says, ”There is a time to be born, and a time to die … .” Across our world, 3 people are dying every second …180 every minute … nearly 11,000 every hour. That means that 250,000 people enter into eternity every single day.

In addition to Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, other recent notable deaths include Ed McMahon, legendary sidekick to Johnny Carson, as well as TV pitchman Billy Mays. This reminds us that death is no respector of persons. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, famous or unknown. Death knocks at every door.

King David said, ”Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath” (Psalm 39:4-5, NIV).

In days gone by, people thought about such things more than many of us do today. In his book, “Heaven,” Randy Alcorn points out that ancient merchants often wrote the words, ”Momento Mori,” or think of death, in large letters on the first page of their accounting books. Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, commissioned a servant to stand in his presence each day and say ”Philip, you will die!” In contrast, France’s Louis XIV decreed that the word ”death” not be used in his presence.

Although many knew Farrah was fighting cancer and might die soon, the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson was a shock to many. Now, as more comes out about his life, it would appear that he had been on a downward spiral for months, even years. Jackson had unprecedented success, winning 13 Grammys and selling a staggering 750 million records worldwide. He was one of the few artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. The Guinness Book of World Records declared him to be ”the most successful entertainer of all time.”

Before his death, Jackson was preparing for a series of 50 concerts that would have been held in London, England beginning July 13, 2009. But then death came, as it does to everyone. Even so, 50 years of age sounds like way too young an age to leave this life — and it’s sounding younger all the time!

I don’t know where Farrah and Michael were at in their spiritual lives. I only hope they had put their faith in Christ, and have both gone on to be with Him, the true and living King. On the same day that this news was breaking, I was called to visit a man on his deathbed. He knew he had cancer and that he only had days to live. We talked about eternity, and though he claimed to have faith, we went over God’s glorious plan of salvation and prayed as he committed his life to Jesus Christ.

I told him that I would visit him again on Saturday, but he didn’t make it. In fact, he ended up passing into eternity, into the arms of the Lord, only hours after our visit. I’m so glad I went to visit him! Thursday was an extremely busy day and I had considered waiting to go until Saturday, but felt prompted by the Lord to go that day.

This is why, as a pastor and an evangelist, I want to spend my life telling others about Jesus. Because we never know when life on this earth will end. If you know someone who is not yet a believer, go tell them today how to come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, the living Lord. If you yourself are not a believer, check out this link that will explain how to become one.

Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, is dead.

James Brown, the King of Soul, is dead.

Kurt Cobain, the King of Grunge, is dead.

And now Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, is dead.

But Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, is alive forevermore! Let’s tell people that, so they too can live forever.

Jesus said, ”I am he who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.”

Amen.

91 Responses to “The Departure of Two Icons”

  1. Beth D. says:

    Right On!

  2. Kevin Love says:

    A busy week for Ed McMahon, Farrah, Michael, Billy., and all those unmentioned that passed on. Let’s hope they have all received God’s gift of eternal salvation through his Son,and all have reservations in the non-smoking section. Death…… 100 out of 100 will die. God’s word …… 100%

  3. stevepadilla says:

    Harvest.org. Listen to your sermon and comments on the 2 Icons. Very impressive and love the continuity between Demons and Angels.

  4. Schneb says:

    Greg,

    Praise God that He sent Andrae Crouch to Michael to talk to him about Jesus. Also, his good friend Steve Harvey, took him to church one day in 2003. Michael heard the gospel, and Andrae brought it home days before he died. I think God had His eye on him the whole time.

    Schneb

  5. Nancy says:

    I knew Elvis knew the Lord and heard that he wanted to sing more gospel and Farrah was a devout Catholic so Michael being aloof in his life you think he had a relationship with our Savior. He seemed astray all the time. Seeking and talking to Deepra Chopra whatever his name is and seeing that he counciled with a Rabbi. I know that when the opportunity comes for anyone just tell them how much the Lord loves them that is all it takes is a couple of words. I just got in touch with an old freind and she told me her brother i knew that passed found God and that made my day.

  6. Jerry says:

    I was in my twenty’s and for years I always thought I would die before I reached the age of 40, why? I don’t know why I always believed that Maybe I just never wanted to get old but I will be 52 this year and I thank the Lord for this time I have had and my family, children and Grandchild something Farrah or Michael were not blessed with and I count each day as a blessing.
    I may never have thier fame or Money I have something much better.
    Lord Thank you

  7. Jenn says:

    Amen, Greg! God has been opening my eyes to things in a new way… One of those ways is seeing the DEPTH of the sadness and misery around me! What is on my heart more than ever is this: “If someone you knew was dying and you had the cure, would you share it with them?” It’s so easy to say, “YES! Of course I would,” but how many times do we really follow through on it? I’ve come to realize I don’t follow through often enough if I don’t follow through EVERY time.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts– God bless you, Pastor.

  8. Liz Hoffman says:

    Outstanding – thank you for sharing with us and especially for sharing with that man who is now in Heaven.

    Have a blessed night!

    Liz

  9. Sheila Froehlich says:

    I pray that the death of these 2 famous people will once again stir peoples hearts for eternity. here in Wausau we go out sharing Christ thru the evangelism explosion method on Tuesday nights. Cold calling evangelism can be challenging but also rewarding.

    Even though I share Christ often with others, I still feel like a big old chicken and let many opportunites pass me by…Oh that I would go with boldness and a windsome heart.

    Blessings Pastor Greg!

  10. Jaime S says:

    Thursday was a pretty insane day. Levi Lusko had actually posted on his twitter this: “With death in the focal point of the world like it is today–the question we must ask is, where will we go when we moonwalk into eternity?”, it made me laugh a bit.. but it’s so true.

    One thing I couldn’t get over on thursday, was how so many people were talking about Michael, and saying that they’re going to teach all of their kids about him. I remember thinking, ‘if only people had the same exact zeal for Jesus’.

  11. Pati says:

    That blog is so right on Pastor Greg, Im so glad I was lead to read it… I Believe very strongly in letting others know about Jesus cause as you say.. we never know when the Lord is going to call us home… Its sad that these two Icons died the same day.I too wondered about there spiritualily. but i still pray for there familys and for Gods Grace shed upon them…

  12. Pati says:

    That blog is so right on Pastor Greg, Im so glad I was lead to read it… I Believe very strongly in letting others know about Jesus cause as you say.. we never know when the Lord is going to call us home… Its sad that these two Icons died the same day.I too wondered about there spiritualily. but i still pray for there familys and for Gods Grace shed upin them…

  13. jewel says:

    i agree, it’s sad to see so many die w/o being sure where they are. many say RIP but are they really in peace, a term overly used. i feel for them, so many people are deceived, my prayers are that many of the world’s idol’s come to know God.

  14. Lisa Hobday says:

    AMEN!

  15. Jerry says:

    When I heard the news that Michael Jackson died i was totaled i didn’t want to believe it. As i was reading your blog Greg i didn’t realize or even take in consideration that Michael Jackson might go to heaven or hell i hope as well that his heart was in the Lord. I’m sorry i just turned eighteen i don’t know who Farrah Fawcett :(! where you one of those guy’s with a poster of her. Only them and the lord know where there hearts were.
    -Jerry Abarca

  16. ashly says:

    That was well said Pastor Greg! Nice blog

  17. Julianne Bell says:

    AMEN!

    How many times have we known somebody that died and we feel convicted because we did not share the TRUTH with them and do not feel persuaded they partook of the Grace of God?

    Not only do we need to share with words, but we need to share through our actions, our life. Evangelism should be exuding through our every pore! :)

  18. Matt Munsey says:

    Thanks Greg, for continually keeping things in perspective.

  19. Kathy Lebron says:

    I would love to repost this on my blog with your name on it if I had your permission. It is imperative at this time to get this message out. Thanks for your wonderful ministry!

  20. Walk says:

    Your last section is excellent for witnessing to those whom worship a men or women only because of their fame.

    Praise God you met with that man on Thursday, I want to talk to him one fantastic day, after Jesus and my dad.

    Great post, Blessings

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