We watched the movie about English rock group Queen and its lead singer Freddie Mercury with its euphoric highs and chaotic lows, concluding with the awesome performance before the roaring clapping crowd of 100,000 excited fans at the Africa LiveAid concert at London’s Wembley Stadium.
My title is one of Queen’s great songs.
Is Freddie in heaven?
That’s not for us to know and we couldn’t anyway. That private meeting between Freddie and God took place in November 1991, and his eternal destiny was determined by God alone at that moment as will be ours.
Although we die physically it is clear Biblical teaching that everyone nevertheless lives on somewhere. The critical question is: where.
In the end times of great distress upon the earth, those whose names are found written in God’s Book of Life: will rise to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel chapter 12 verse 2). The world is accelerating towards that increasingly lawless stressful conclusion.
There are only two possible destinations and we go to one or the other. Heaven involves being part of a great multitude with God forever. Hell involves being alone and separated from Him forever.
The other ‘possibility’ is the view of the atheist that our only destination is extinction. The basis for this view (minus any evidence) is simply the empty opinion of the person who chooses to believe in nothing and refuses to seriously investigate anything.
‘Because I don’t believe it therefore it’s not true’ says the atheist. Don’t believe in gravity? Test that on any tall building.
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink: you can lead a fool to knowledge but you can’t make him think.
The most graphic Biblical description of hell is that Jesus will be:
revealed from heaven in blazing fire with His powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our LORD Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the LORD forever.(2 Thessalonians chapter 1 verses 7-9).
What an outcome
It’s a shocking waste of divine blessing that someone of enormous talent, after having lived a successful (?) life on earth (perhaps involving great fame and fortune) should die to spend the rest of time “shut out from the presence” of God.
It’s equally shocking whether we are a housewife, President, grandfather, mother, Pope, king, accountant, teacher, Prime Minister, sports wo/man, bank teller, student or whatever.
The first part of existence (earthly life) is of such short duration compared to the second part (evermore) especially if the ‘evermore’ is ghastly, far outweighing the first part.
Jesus asks: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul? (Mark chapter 8 verse 36).
What a comparison
Jesus draws the distinction between those who are and those who are not His followers.
‘When’ the Son of Man comes in His glory [the second time]…All the nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate the people one from another…He will say to those on His right: Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you…He will say to those on His left: Depart from Me you who are cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.(Matthew chapter 25 various verses 31-41).
We decide whether we will stand on Jesus’ right or on His left, not Him. We are responsible for our own response, not Him.
Did Freddie read the Bible?
…it being an indisputably authenticated collection of writings bearing the clear stamp of authority of none other than the Creator Himself.
It was written to revealWho is its ultimate author, what God has done and continues to do, and that He desires to enter into a tender loving heavenly Father: believer relationship with each of us.
We are warned to be: very careful how you live (Ephesians chapter 5 verse 15). Not just careful, but very careful. Why so?
Because God knows that the consequence of not acknowledging, following and obeying Him is so serious, although the Bible was not written to frighten but rather to enlighten.
But time and time again we observe people who live dangerously rather than carefully. They die completely unprepared to meet their Maker on the other side, with the appalling consequence that follows that unavoidable meeting.
Jesus came to: rescue those who all their lives were held in slavery [mental slavery] by their fear of death. (Hebrews chapter 2 verse 15).
What is on the other side?
We find out by asking the One who has been there and returned to this side.
If we don’t ask we probably won’t find out. In God’s scheme of things He requires us to search rather than have Him merely hand it to us. He tells us to seek and His sure promise is that you: will find. (Matthew chapter 7 verse 7).
The kingdom of God is like hidden treasure
Jesus is the hidden treasure.
So it is tragically careless to die before we’re ready to meet Him. But if we’re head-strong and perhaps resistant (or more likely, indifferent) and we don’t seek then please know this: God will let us experience and have to endure the consequence of that wilful blindness.
Was it worth it?
Ultimately, the important question is - was how I lived then worth where I am now? Then to ask ourselves that same question in 100 hours’ time and 100 years’ time.
The divine advice always is: seek. The sure promise is: you “will” find Him. Did Freddie? Will we?
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html