Hysterical laughing and thunderous applauses – George Carlin was a master at provoking such responses over his 50 year debut on the stage of time. Well, not quite 50 years. He didn’t quite make it. Now the headlines record this fact of Mr. Carlin’s life: “Dead at 71.”
To George Carlin’s credit were: 14 HBO specials, 23 albums, three best sellers, five audio books, 130 appearances on The Tonight Show, 16 movies including 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the voice of flower-power-era VW van in 2006’s animated Cars, four-time Grammy recipient and five-time Emmy winner, etc. (1)
It seemed rather abrupt. One weekend to be doing his comedy act at Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas and the next Sunday to be dead. But that’s the way life is.
Accolades of praise from his laughing audience around the world flowed in. One of his outstanding life contributions was his Seven Dirty Words comedy routine. Seven words he claimed you would never hear on television. When he first went brazenly public with his profanities in Wisconsin during his Class Clown routine he was arrested for uttering obscenities. That was back in 1972. His admirers refer to that occasion as one of the defining moments of his long career.
The focus of this story is rather narrow. I am sure Mr. Carlin made many fine contributions to his family and society and showed much kindness and generosity. But this essay is from a spiritual perspective – his relationship with God.
One might say I have no business commenting on Mr. Carlin’s relationship with God because it is a private matter – but the reality is, he made it a very public matter. He put it out in the public domain for people to consider. For that reason, I do feel sadness over Mr. Carlin’s death. In fact, as I watched a video clip of one of his performances I was profoundly sad. He walked out on the stage and his entire show that night was anti God. He mocked God from A-Z with vile, obscene language punctuating every second sentence. He defiantly called God down to the lowest.
Painfully I watched it to the end. Mr. Carlin obviously knew truth from the Bible. He knew about God’s might and power and holiness; he knew about sin, God’s love, the gift of His Son, the options for eternity – Heaven or Hell, and a person’s responsibility to respond to God’s love.
He knew all this and yet he mocked God, berated Him, cursed Him, denied His existence and then in a closing act of blatant defiance, he challenged God in words to this effect: “If You are up there, send lightening down right now and strike my audience dead.” Then he went further and became very personal: “If there is a God, strike me dead here and now on this stage.” He paused and then he rubbed his leg and mockingly said: “Oops! I have a cramp in my leg,” or something like that. He uttered a few more words and laughingly walked off the stage alive.
But on Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 6p.m. PDT he walked off the stage again – another stage and this time he suddenly died going off the stage. The stage of time. He left for eternity the same day he arrived at Saint John’sHealthCenter in Santa Monica with chest pains – not leg cramps. As you read this, Mr. Carlin is in God’s eternity. His comedy acts are over. He sounded mighty brave on his stage. It almost sounded like he would have the last word. The last say.
The big talk for Mr. Carlin is over. While his admirers continue to rant about his comedy acts and delight in the way he popularized those seven obscene words – the man himself is in God’s eternity. I suspect the big talk is over. The seven obscene words won’t spew out now into the face of God. He now believes in God. There are no unbelievers in eternity.
If Mr. Carlin died without ever repenting of his sin, if Mr. Carlin died without ever turning to God, if Mr. Carlin died without accepting Christ as his Saviour, I feel profoundly sad. I can’t imagine what eternity is like for a Christ rejecter.
You too will be walking of the stage of time one of these days – maybe today. Hopefully you have never ranted and railed against God. Hopefully you are not an atheist or a blasphemer. But the reality is – people who do not know Christ as their personal Saviour go to the same place when they die. It is a place of conscious eternal suffering.
Be sure of this, God has the last word and the final say. For those who die in their sins, without knowing Christ as their Saviour, they will have a one on one meeting with Jesus Christ in eternity. He will not be their Saviour that day. He will be the Almighty and All-Knowing Judge. Every secret will be exposed.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men
by Jesus Christ
according to my gospel.”
We urge you to flee to Christ for the forgiveness of sins NOW. Have your meeting with Christ in time. Accept Him now as your Saviour and enjoy being with Him for the eternal ages. One minute after you die is too late. If you don’t have your meeting in this life with Him as your Saviour, you will meet Him as your Judge in eternity. But there will be no mercy then.
The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses from all sin.
1 John 1:7
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Will you trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour this very day?