GREG LAURIE: Bob Saget, Norm Macdonald, Betty White and the Afterlife
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We were all shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Bob Saget at age 65. To the generation who grew up watching "Full House," Bob was a father figure they came to love. Yet another generation discovered him as the host of "America's Funniest Home Videos."
Bob Saget was found dead in his hotel room in Florida following a show on his comedy tour. This tragic event happened right on the heels of the death of beloved comedic actress Betty White, who died at 99.
Bob Saget made this statement on Instagram after Betty passed: "She always said the love of her life was her husband, Allen Ludden, who she lost in 1981. Well, if things work out by Betty's design— in the afterlife, they are reunited. I don't know what happens when we die, but if Betty says you get to be with the love of your life, then I happily defer to Betty on this."
He honestly added, "I don't know what happens when we die."
Death is something we all think about almost every day —some more than others. We should think deeply about death, but more importantly, the afterlife.
In older times, people commonly wrote a Latin phrase on the top of documents: "Memento Mori." It means "Think of death."
The phrase sounds morbid on the surface, but it's not. It served as a reminder to be aware that life ends, eternity is close and there is an afterlife.
Betty White and Bob Saget were not the only comedians to think about the afterlife. In Sept. 2021, Norm Macdonald died of cancer at age 61. Macdonald quietly fought his cancer battle and continued in his comedy work. He often spoke about the afterlife and Heaven.
Larry King asked Macdonald about his "religious views" in an interview.
"I'm a Christian," Macdonald replied. "It's not stylish to say that now."
Larry King then asked, "Are you devout? ... You believe in the Lord?"
"Yes, I do," Macdonald said.
Larry did not know he was interviewing a man facing death every day in his fight with cancer. He then asked Macdonald, "You think that you're going somewhere when (life) ends?"
Norm said he did.
Larry said he could not believe in an afterlife because of all the evil in the world.
Norm responded, "It sounds like you have a God-shaped hole in your heart."
Larry did. We all do.
Norm Macdonald once posted these words: "Scripture. Faith. Grace. Christ, Glory of God. Smart man says nothing is a miracle. I say everything is."
That sums it up perfectly.
I am not an expert on the afterlife, but I am a student, not only because I am a Christian and a pastor, but also because my son, Christopher, died in 2008. I have thought deeply about what happens when we leave this life and enter the next one. Here is what has brought endless comfort to me: There is a Heaven, and Jesus has made a way for us all to go there.
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying" ().
My son believed in Jesus as I do. He is now in Heaven.
For the Christian, the moment we take our last breath on earth, we take our next breath in Heaven. Because Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose again, I have hope for the afterlife. And I know that I will see my son again.
King David, who also lost a son too soon, wrote, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Sam. 12:23).
My son is not just a part of my past; he is also a part of my future. Jesus promised me that.
It is not a bad thing to think about these things deeply. Renowned author and theologian C. S. Lewis said, "A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not . . . a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do."
Think about death, eternity and the afterlife. But think on it with the knowledge that death is not the end. There is an afterlife, but you need to be ready for it. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people.
Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am, you may be also" (John 14.2).
Only those who are prepared to die are genuinely ready to live.
Now Norm, Larry, Betty and Bob are in the afterlife. And one day, you will be too. You decide in this life where you will spend the afterlife.
Greg Laurie is the pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and of Harvest Crusades. He is an evangelist, best-selling author, and movie producer.
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