Many people will not know that Michael Jackson was, as least for a part of his life, a Jehovah’s Witness. Some have suggested that a few years back the King of Pop may have turned to Islam in 2008. Almost everyone now knows that Michael Jackson, facing bankruptcy and a gruelling tour schedule that many insiders say he was ill-prepared for, has died.
It seems to me that many conservative Christians, unwilling to grant that a Jehovah’s Witness might be “saved”, and believing that anyone who does not give their heart to the King of Kings before they die is destined for an eternity of everlasting conscious torment, but at the same time lacking the courage of their convictions and unwilling to say the King of Pop is now burning in hell, is searching for any excuse to dispatch MJ to heaven where doubtless he can enjoy the company of Elvis along with Jesus.
One very popular story tells how Michael reached out to two old friends-legendary Gospel singer Andrae Crouch and his twin sister, singer and minister, Sandra. Some have even gone so far as to say that Michael had prayed with Andrae and Sandra and “accepted Christ into his heart.” One message said, “Now he’s singing in the heavenly choir! Our hearts rejoice!” The truth is that Michael met with Andrae Crouch and his sister. They talked and prayed together (Assist News Service, Monday, June 29, 2009. ‘Never let the truth interfere with a good story’.)
Whatever was the state of Michael’s Jackson’s heart toward God only God knows but one thing is clear: Michael Jackson is not now either in heaven or in hell (at least not as hell is traditionally understood). The Bible says:
That only God is immortal by nature and that immortality (life after death) is a gift of God to otherwise mortal creatures of dust by faith in Jesus Christ;
That in death there is no consciousness, we simply turn back to the dust from which we came, the “good” and the “evil” sleeping until the resurrection when Jesus comes;
That only then, when Jesus comes, will the dead by judged and the wicked be separated from the righteous who alone will enter into eternal life.
In the meanwhile it is not for us to judge. We need not dispatch Jackson to heaven or hell. We simply say he sleeps in the dust of the earth, awaiting the resurrection when the King of Kings comes.