A Christian analysis of the loss of Robin Williams

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
 | 
Bryan Fischer - Guest Columnist

Bryan FischerRobin Williams' desperately sad ending arouses our sympathy, as it should. But we must not confuse our sympathy with God's salvation. There's only one path to eternal life.


Robin Williams' suicide, as is every suicide, is a tragically sad thing. My heart hurts to think what Williams' inner life must have been like at the end to drive him to such a terrible decision. My heart aches for those he has left behind – his wife, his children, loved ones and friends. His death has left a hole in their lives that nothing and no one can fill.

RIP Robin WilliamsIn the wake of his suicide, billboards and media pundits alike have been assuming that Robin Williams is now in heaven, making God laugh along with other funny men who left this earth before their time. So is he?

There is one thing we do know and one thing we do not know that can help us think clearly about Robin Williams' eternal destiny.

The one thing we do know is that access to the presence of God and life in the age to come is reserved exclusively for those who have placed their eternal trust in Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). There is nothing remotely ambiguous about that statement. All roads may lead to Rome, but only one leads to eternal life. The only door that leads to life is the narrow gate that Christ himself has opened. As Peter puts it, "[T]here is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

The world naturally will stiffen their necks when they hear these words and throw epithets at those who verbalize it. But their argument is not with us, it is with Jesus himself. He is the one who said it. We simply agree with him.

Now Williams' desperately sad ending arouses our sympathy, as it should. But we must not confuse our sympathy with God's salvation. There is one and one path only to eternal life, and that path has not been altered by so much as one centimeter in 2,000 years. That's what we know.

The one thing we do not know is whether Robin Williams did business with God in his dying moments. While his mother was a Christian Scientist (a counterfeit form of religion which is neither Christian nor scientific), his father was an Episcopalian – so it is certainly possible that Williams heard the gospel in his formative years and may have remembered it all his life.

The thief on the cross did not place his faith in Christ until he was drawing his final breath. His last words were, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." In response, Jesus' last words to him were, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 22:42-43).

It takes but one moment, one whispered, even agonized, prayer, to pass from eternal death to eternal life.

No one but the thief and Christ knew that this transaction had been made. The thief's wife and children didn't know, and it's unlikely that any of the onlookers heard this private exchange. As far as everyone knew, this man died as he lived, a sinful, unrepentant and broken man.

Yet we know better now, and one day we will be where he is, with Jesus in Paradise.  Will we see Robin Williams there? We don't know. Only two men know the answer to that question.

But we who are yet living know how we can find our place in God's kingdom. Whether we experience eternal life or eternal death is not God's choice but ours. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, the last words to be spoken are, "Thy will be done." Either we will say it to God or God will say it to us.

So the pressing question is not where Robin Williams will spend eternity. The question is: Where will you?


Bryan Fischer hosts "Focal Point with Bryan Fischer" every weekday on AFR Talk from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. (Central).

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in 'Perspectives' columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article's author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at Onenewsnow.com strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.

MAKE A DONATION
We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Will a 'two-state solution' help Israel's security?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Kim Jong Un: 'Deranged' Trump will 'pay dearly' for threat
Latest: Hurricane Maria approaching Turks and Caicos
Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Pats
Powerless: Puerto Rico faces weeks without electricity
Trump's new executive order targets funding for North Korea
Search for survivors continues in aftermath of deadly Mexico quake
A stunned Puerto Rico seeks to rebuild after Hurricane Maria

LATEST FROM THE WEB

NKorea could test hydrogen bomb in Pacific, top diplomat says
Ex-Secret Service rebukes Dems for hypocrisy over surveillance
Here’s where a Michigan teacher wasted $30k in stolen school funds
Democrats caught inciting anti-police riots in St. Louis
Cops' 'knock and shoot' leaves innocent man dead

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day

REASON & COMPANY