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Michael Jackson’s Memorial | My Thoughts

July 7, 2009

Okay, I’ll admit it, I watched part of the Michael Jackson memorial today.

The one thing that struck me in all of it was that Michael’s body was there…in a casket…lifeless. (Whether his body was actually there, I’m not sure…I’ve heard that it was, but then I heard that it wasn’t.)

That’s where we all end up. All are born, all die. I will end up just like MJ. You will end up just like MJ.

The singing is comforting, the speeches are honoring. Lets be honest though: funerals are mostly for those who are left…it helps us to mourn and get through the grieving process.

Something has bothered me, though, among almost everyone I’ve chatted with about this. When a person dies, many assume the authority to judge the dead based on that person’s life (especially if they were famous). You know what I mean…it usually goes something like this: “He was a good person and did lots of good things, he’s definitely in Heaven.” or “He was a bad guy and did lots of bad things, he’s definitely not in Heaven.”

First of all, Salvation is by faith alone:

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Clearly, salvation comes to those who believe in Jesus by faith alone…not by works. That means that you can do all the good things in the world, and if you didn’t believe in Jesus, you will not be saved. It also means the opposite, you could have done lots of bad things, but if you believe in Jesus by faith, you are saved. No one can boast about his own works. A man or woman or child is saved by grace through faith as a gift of God…it really has nothing to do with your good life or your bad life.

Secondly, God alone is Judge:

Ecclesiastes 3:17 “I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”

Acts 10:42 “And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he [Jesus] is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead.”

For some reason, we presume to be a judge and flaunt our opinion about a dead man’s position on the other side…in this case, Michael Jackson. Unfortunately, we speak of what we do not know…God alone is Judge.

Thirdly, Death is a great equalizer:

Hebrews 9:27 is talking about Jesus, but as a side note, points out that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”

You see, it doesn’t matter if you live a full life or an empty life, it doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, it doesn’t even matter who your mommy or your daddy are…if you live, you will die. Everyone dies and funerals always remind me of how short life is.

But be clear on this: we only live once. One life, then comes judgement…from God. Don’t look at Michael Jackson and judge him and his life. Every time you see a funeral or hear of a death, it should remind you of the fact that you too will one day face the Judge. Look inward and think of that day when you die and face the Judge…it matters.

So what’s the point?

Michael Jackson lived. Michael Jackson died. I am alive. I will die. I must not assume God’s role and be the Judge of Michael Jackson (or anyone else). I must look at my own life and wonder how God will Judge me and get things right with him before I die. Salvation is by faith alone through Jesus Christ…believe in him.

Personally, I am humbled and reminded that life is short no matter how full it is. My heart is stirred afresh to love Jesus and serve his Church.

Some food for thought:

Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Blessings

He must increase, I must decrease. John 3:30

He must increase, I must decrease. John 3:30

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