When a celebrity dies a strange phenomenon happens. I feel like I've lost a friend. I've never known the person, but having seen them on television and movies, I feel like I did know them. My heart feels sad. I feel the loss. I find myself reading about the person's life and deepen my sense of grief. When Robin Williams committed suicide, I was deeply affected. I had a real friend commit suicide in my very own home. I was reminded of that fact when I saw that Robin Williams also died of suicide. I not only felt the loss for Robin Williams but my feelings of loss for my friend resurfaced.
With my friends suicide, I learned that depression is a disease much like cancer is a disease and that it is a deadly disease. When my friend died, I took comfort in Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." My friend was a Christian. He believed that Jesus died for him and that he was forgiven of all his wrongs. I know his death did not separate him from the love of God.
By worldly standards, Robin Williams seemed to be a good man. He toured with the USO and gave his time to entertain troops. He was considered a second Bob Hope. Robin Williams visited his friend Christopher Reeves when Reeves was despairing of life. Williams raised money for the homeless through Comic Relief. He supported many other charities including The Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation and St. Jude Hospital.
Good deeds do not earn us a place in heaven. As good and kind and Robin Williams may have been, non of his deeds earns him a place in heaven. None of us can earn our way to heaven. We have all done wrong. We all fail to love God and other human beings perfectly. There is only one way to heaven. Because we all fail to live up to God's perfect standard of love, we are all condemned. God does not desire to condemn us. He wants us to be with him forever. God provided a way for us not be condemned. He sent his son to live the perfect life we could not live. He sent his son to be condemned and to die, so that we could be saved from condemnation and death. The only way to be with God after our body dies is to believe that his son, Jesus died for us. We must recognize that we failed God and failed to love him and others as God commands. We acknowledge to God that we have failed. We belief that Jesus' death can redeem us from our failure. We commit to God that with his help, we will become more loving like Jesus. We surrender to God so that he can begin and complete the process of making us more loving like Jesus. When we accept Jesus as the only one who can redeem us, we are reconciled to God. Then, like my friend who committed suicide, we are reconciled to God and will never be separated from God's love again.
Did Robin Williams believe in Jesus? Was he reconciled to God? Did God set him free? Only God knows. According to Hollowverse.com "Williams' father was Episcopalian and his mother was a devout Christian Scientist. Though Williams is not very religious today, he considers the possibility that his mother's faith and its idea of 'mind over matter' helped him kick his drug and alcohol addictions."He often joked about religion, but he did go into recovery for his additions. If the 12 step program was part of his recovery, there's a chance he surrendered to God as part of his recovery. According to wnd.com, Williams did hear the gospel from Dr. Ted Baehr and Baehr states "Williams had, at one point, 'accepted Jesus Christ' in one of the recovery programs, Baehr said, 'but he never found the transformation that Jesus brings.'" So there is hope that Robin Williams is in heaven. I certainly hope so.