Thursday, June 25, 2009
Man Knows Not His Time . . .
By now, most know of the tragic death today of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles. He was 50 years old. Also passing over the past week — Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon. Death spares no one, from the wealthy and well known to the poor and unknown. And of course, whenever someone in the public eye passes on, I always wonder where they were at with the Lord, and what opportunities they had to repent of their sins and trust in Christ.
In the case of Michael Jackson, he grew up in the Watchtower (Jehovah's Witnesses) cult. Although he broke away from the Watchtower in adulthood, I never knew of Jackson actually coming to saving faith in Christ. Only the Lord knows. Most recently, it appeared as if he was coming under the influence of Islam. His brother Jermaine is a convert, who referenced Allah as he commented on the death of his brother. I couldn't help but notice Rev. Al Sharpton waxing eloquent in front of the cameras after the news broke, saying he'd been a friend of Jackson's for 35 years. I wonder if Rev. Al ever gave him the biblical Gospel? Seeing as how I've never heard Rev. Al mention the Gospel in public through the years, I guess I will have to keep wondering.
In all honesty, I never was a fan of Michael Jackson in a music sense. It's not really my style. As a Christian, I worried about his influence over children, whose parents seemed largely undiscerning in letting them indulge in his music. Even in his 1980s heyday, his crotch-grabbing and suggestive lyrics hardly seemed appropriate for pre-teen kids, but many parents -- even those in my own family -- were oblivious. A lot of his sad situation was self-inflicted, but a lot of it can also be blamed on his childhood. You often wonder if he ever really had a true friend who loved him enough to tell him the truth and confront him when he needed it. He certainly had his share of hangers-on, leeches and sycophants. It's all over now.
Whatever the case, God is — and will be — just. We should remember the Jackson family in prayer, as well as the Fawcetts, O'Neals and McMahons. May God bring them comfort and work His perfect will in their lives.
I imagine I'll be musing over this subject for quite a while. As an aside, Christians seem to love it when there are high-profile conversions. Yet, they're the first ones to put new converts on a pedestal way too quickly, and the first to throw stones when there's a stumble. God isn't moved by how high-profile someone is. We're all equal before the throne in accountability. We all need the Lord, whether we're a rock star, a movie star, a television star, or the star of our own daily drama called life. The only real star ought to be the Lord Himself. He died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead for our justification. I owe Him everything.
Finally, to those of you who are believers and DO know someone personally who is high-profile or well known. Love them. Be friends with them. Keep their confidence. And above all, love them enough to tell them the truth. Love them enough to tell them of their need to repent and the Savior's love.
Man knows not his time.