Posted by Lorren on June 26, 2009
I was shocked and saddened to hear that Michael Jackson died today. Shocked, because I remember back in elementary school how he used to be the biggest star on the planet, and he really didn’t seem to me to be old. Saddened, because his life turned out to be so sad.
The Bible says in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” For quite a long time, Michael Jackson seemed to have it all. He was young, wealthy, and famous. He was able to afford a dream house, Neverland Ranch, that exceeds almost any child’s fantasy. Michael Jackson seemed to be at the top of the world.
But Michael Jackson’s heart wasn’t in the right place. Sure, he did help out people through various charities, but he spent much of his life in prodigal living. Towards the end of his life, his spending exceeded his income, and he was forced to auction off his most prized possessions. He had a failed marriage, child molestation trial, and generally didn’t seem to be a happy person. While I didn’t know him, he didn’t really come across as someone who was joyful.
Proverbs 10:22 states that “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” Michael Jackson received the blessings of prosperity during his early lifetime especially, but it was not because of his godliness. Along with his material wealth came sadness.
In Psalm 73, Asaph questions the prosperity of those that did not love God. They lived as if they would never be accountable for their actions. They enjoyed life. The writer was envious of these people, who were able to live their lives for themselves without caring for the things of God. He talks about his envy “until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”
Sadly, Michael Jackson’s end was not good. Was he a bad person? I don’t know. He was cleared of child molestation, yet the cloud of doubt still overshadows him. Could he have paid off somebody, or hired an expert lawyer that could work magic? It’s possible. I can’t really say anything bad about his character. But I can say that he didn’t pursue the things of God. I can’t tell you whether he was saved or not, but I can say that he didn’t seem to have the peace that God often gives people who live for him. He certainly didn’t use his abundant prosperity to support missionaries to spread the gospel.
Michael Jackson will always be known as a great entertainer. However, in light of eternity, it doesn’t matter how happy you made people. It doesn’t matter how much money you had. It doesn’t even matter whether you helped send food to starving people in Ethiopia. What does matter, what will count for all eternity, is what you did for the Lord. In that regard, Michael Jackson lived his life having abundance in things that pass away as steam coming out of a teakettle, but he was nearly bankrupt in the things that count for all eternity. Now that the steam has dispersed, and Michael Jackson must face the judge of all creation, what does he have left?