>Recently, death didn’t just come near to Liz Taylor. This time it took her. Death is the ultimate level playing field for all of us. Her fame and $600,000,000 fortune couldn’t hold off its inevitable, cold hand.
There was once a famous and sobering song called “Is That All There Is?” It was sung by Peggy Lee and had haunting words about the futility of life—how humanity experiences life’s fleeting pleasures, but they soon fade. The song’s conclusion didn’t offer God as the solution. Instead it recommended hedonism, before death grabs us and pulls us from this precious life. It suggests that we “break out the booze and have a ball / if that’s all there is.”
The composer spoke about how the now deceased Peggy Lee recorded it without any changes to his original composition, which he said was very unusual. Of course, it’s just a matter of time until he follows Peggy and Liz out of this world into the next.
I have asked many people if they are afraid of dying. The question is a powerful pride-meter. Proud people are quick to say they are not afraid, but I know better. I have a Book that tells me that all of us are held captive to the fear of death until we come to the Savior (see Hebrews 2:14,15). Skeptics may say they’re not fearful because they believe that death is the end. But they know no such thing because they have no authoritative information upon which to base their claim.
I admire anyone who is honest enough to admit a fear of death—I even respect Charlie Sheen for his honesty about his fears. When asked, “Are you afraid to die?” he answered, “Who isn’t? It’s the greatest trip because they save it for last. You know…deep. It sucks that I have to do it too. I don’t know…Heaven and Hell, whatever. I just think it’s different dimensions. You walk through different doors. Who knows? I don’t know.”
Charlie didn’t know, and none of us can until we take seriously the words of the One who came to destroy death: “I am he that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18). Liz Taylor was right about being close to God anywhere. But the question on Judgment Day won’t be how close we were to Him, but did we have peace with Him? Jesus alone holds the keys of Hell and death. The moment we repent and trust solely in Him, we come to know the truth and the truth makes us free…free from its tormenting fear, and free from its terrible power.