Robin Williams, Heaven & preaching the Gospel

When I think Robin Williams, I think big muscles and spinach. I think sailor suit. I think Popeye. Popeye is how I see Robin Williams. Strong and confident and in love with Olive Oyl. Never ever did we think that Popeye, or Peter Pan or Mrs. Doubtfire would take his own life, which is currently the rumor. Battling addiction and depression, at 63 the comedian and actor decided he just couldn’t take this life anymore.

Yesterday, all forms of social media was on fire with pictures, stories, memories, shock and grief. There were prayers sent up for the family, and genuine tears cried over the idea that such an outwardly happy person would take their own life. No one can truly attest to the condition of his heart. We don’t know about his faith in Christ. So that leaves questions.

As a Christian how do we handle this? How do we handle the reality of darkness of an iconic person who shaped several generations with his personality, wit and talent, not to mention his genuine love for people and support of our troops? How do we balance the idea that good is not good enough? By not knowing for sure if Robin Williams was saved, how do we wrap our minds around the possibility that he may not be in heaven? That even though he may have spent his life contributing good to this world, that he may not spend his eternity in the presence of Christ?

And how do we speak truth to people, the truth that Hell is real? When do we act in love, and when do we use situations like this as a way to show people the preciousness of life?

I’m asking these things because I really want to know your thoughts?

No doubt what has happened to Robin Williams is tragedy. The tragedy is that out of all the joy he brought into the world, he couldn’t find any of his own. The tragedy lies in that for a moment in his living, he felt the only way to end his pain was to end his life. The tragedy IS the lies that he chose to believe: that he was unworthy, unloved, and it was unnecessary for him to continue in this world.

But as a person who believes not only in a loving God but an equally just God, I wonder how we handle the idea that Robin Williams might not have been saved by grace. How do we discuss it with our unbelieving friends? How to we show that equality of God’s attributes in a way where they can see the amazing-ness of His sacrifice for us, and that the sacrifice was not only love but justice?

Some think we just preach truth with the scriptures that talk about the consequences of not following Christ and eternal damnati.on Some want to focus only on the love of Jesus: The grace of Jesus. The mercy of Jesus.

But God is both…

what do we do about it? Because doing nothing is not an option.

Share your thoughts with me…. (With kindness, please, this could be a tough subject to tackle)

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12 thoughts on “Robin Williams, Heaven & preaching the Gospel

  1. RCA colleague/friend Pastor Fred Harrell who was on my Israel trip this past spring shared this today: “Robin Williams attended City Church in fall of 2006 when I was preaching through the Apostle’s Creed. He confessed the faith of the church and shuffled up for communion with everybody else needing grace. He was always kind to those around him. I know from other friends of his in the Bay Area what a generous, humble, and charitable man he was and his death saddens me greatly today. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

  2. If Robin has indeed professed his love to God through His Son Jesus, and acknowledged Jesus as His Savior, yes he is indeed resting now in heavens embrace. I am no theologian, but I understand the Grace that comes from Jesus alone. We are told that we need to go to Him to be close to our Father – Abba , God. Nothing else matters. I have always enjoyed Max Lucado books and the one that changed my life was in the Grip of Grace…We all can inherit this grace but it only comes from Jesus, so my answer is this – Only God knows what was in Robin Williams’ heart and if he knew Jesus as His Lord, then God forgave him this last sin and healed him with eternal life – where there is no more sorrow, no more pain and no more tears.

  3. I believe that if you do good in this life and accept Jesus in your heart as our Savior, then yes you will be forgiven and rest in peace in heaven. Satan wrapped himself around Robin and thought he won but in the end Jesus always wins. I read of what a kind, generous and loving man Robin was there has to be a reward for that after you die. I read in scripture that God is merciful, loving and graceful so why wouldn’t we be forgiven? This is another subject but don’t you believe that Pastor Rick Warrens son who battled severe depression, who also took his life, isn’t in heaven? I do. Depression is real and it can destroy/kill someone just like cancer, heart disease and all other diseases. I know that Robin is in heaven now and at peace with our Lord Jesus Crist.

  4. I do know this that God is a forgiving God , Depression is a illness that can be so bad at times that our minds get clouded by our sorrow , with so much going on in this world , how is not with the over load of horrific news around the world , that we are not depress ,
    people have no time for others that suffer threw this, but Doctors seen to mask this problem with pills which sometimes I feel that being on these antidepressant people should be closely monitored by health profession and family and friends, Robin Williams was sick at the time he took his life, there is a difference between someone who knows what they doing , then someone with severe depression ! I believe God is a forgiving and understanding being , and that God needed him to make him and the angels laugh too cause we are making a mess down here ! RIP Robin Williams ,

    1. I too have struggled with depression throughout my life and I know how overpowering it can be. I pray that Robin accepted the work at the cross. He definitely made us laugh! And we definitely are making a mess! Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  5. I think the truth is, you have to present the gospel in a balanced way…God is both merciful and just. Christ is the only way to the Father. What do you mean when you say “preach hell”? I don’t think that anyone should decide to follow Christ out of fear of hell. I think we as Christians need to be very sensitive during this time…willing to have those difficult conversations and allow the Holy Spirit to speak truth in love through us. I think it’s really a case by case thing.

    1. Thanks Elle. I guess what I mean when I say peach hell is really the reality of judgement . Not in a fearful way but more in a factual way. I agree that we need to be sensitive especially because so many people have been personally affected by suicide. I was sad to see on social media some people using his death, shortly after, to preach the reality of judgement. Thank you for reading through the jumble of questions to get at what I was really asking. I, too, think it’s about timing and be led by the Spirit.

      1. I see what you mean. There is a reality of God’s judgment but so many times pastors or public figures put themselves in the judgement seat to condemn others/make them be the example. That makes me sad too!

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