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June 23, 2008

The Death of George Carlin

Today I learned that comedian George Carlin died yesterday from heart failure and he, I have to admit, was someone I found quite funny when I heard him as a kid. His rants and use of profanity were quite funny to me, since it was not appropriate for a young boy to listen to such language, but it was ok for adults, because they were adults and adults are allowed to talk that way.

George Carlin's life and death is an example of God's word concerning those who use God's Name for their own profit and fame. I searched through the Bible and found in the book of Psalms a verse that described George's life as a comedian, who often used the Lord's Name in vain and I do not think anyone could dispute the claim of his excessive use of blaspheming the Name of the Lord.

Psalm 52:7 says, "Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness."

Or how about Psalm 109:2 which says, "For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; they have spoken against me with a lying tongue."

The commentary from the Treasury of David (e-Sword) regarding Psalm 52:7 is very enlightening which says the following, "The substance he had gathered, and the mischiefs he had wrought, were his boast and glory. Wealth and wickedness are dreadful companions; when combined they make a monster. When the devil is master of money bags, he is a devil indeed. Beelzebub and Mammon together heat the furnace seven times hotter got the child of God, but in the end they shall work out their own destruction. Wherever we see today a man great in sin and substance, we shall do well to anticipate his end and view this verse as the divine in memoriam." (Emphasis mine).


This morning I watched a video of George condensing the Ten Commandments down to just two and they were not the words we find in Scripture today, to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love one another as you love yourself (Matthew 22:34-40). I do not think God found that humorous at all now that he has stood before His throne of judgment (Psalm 9:7, 122:5, Hebrews 9:27).

What do you think was George's judgment from God upon his death?

"But man dies and is laid away; indeed he breathes his last and where is he?" (Job 14:10).

George Carlin made an awful lot of money making fun of God, His Ten Commandments, his excessive use of obscenities that made people laugh and even his jokes about people or politics. None of it was honoring to God whatsover.

God had given this man 71 years of life, until yesterday, to live in a manner that would be pleasing to Him and not degrading of Him.

What about our own lives? If each person who reads this today had to stand before God within the next few minutes, would each person be able to comfortably stand before God and expect Him to be pleased with the way we chose to live our lives and with what we have said?

Jesus said, "35A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37).

The word idle in verse 36 comes from the Greek word argos that means words that have been implied in a lazy or useless manner.

How often do we hear on television, in movies and even in the conversations of other people, the lazy or uselessness people have for the Name of God let alone His Word, the Bible. What would you or I have to give an account to God for in the words we have used lazily?

A person should take the time to examine themselves and ask if they have ever been careless using the Name of God, in a useless manner such as humor or in anger. Is God, should God, be made the punchline of a joke that brings dishonor to the One who created them? Should God's Name be used in a casual manner without consequence at the end of our lives? Have people been lazy with regard to repenting before God for the sins they have committed against Him? Do they consider salvation through Jesus Christ a useless act that is nothing more than a myth? Sadly, some actually do and yesterday George Carlin learned how real God's Word truly is.

There is a passage from the Old Testament book of Ezekiel (33:1-11) that talks about the watchman, one who could peer into the distance ahead and see the danger that was coming. "His business is to warn sinners of their misery and danger. He must warn the wicked to turn from their way, that they may live. If souls perish through his neglect of duty, he brings guilt upon himself." (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, Ezekiel 33:1-9).

Ezekiel 33:11 says, "Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’"

The apostle Peter's words from his second epistle confirm this too, which says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9, emphasis mine).

I wonder how many times George Carlin may have been warned that it was not right for him to use God's Name in vain the way he had for so many years. How many times had he shrugged it off and cursed back at the people who said that to him?

I cannot say for sure where George has begun his eternal life as of yesterday. His primary concern may have been to figure out how the doctors could fix the problem he had been having for so long, so that it he could feel better and go home. Having peace with God may not have been his primary concern in the hospital too. He may have thought, like so many other people that he would be out of the hospital in a few hours and back home relaxing. It is amazing how the human body will incapacitate a person to do anything when its strength has become so weak and medical intervention fails.

If George Carlin had not repented of his sins and we have all heard him blaspheme God's Name, then he is not in heaven, but in hell.

I wish these words from Psalm 32:5 were true of George Carlin on Sunday, "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin."

But instead, it was likely, "For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave." (Psalm 88:2).

Remember these words from the Lord,

"Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?" Ezekiel 18:23.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
John 3:16-17.


References
Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.