Posts filed under 'Overcoming the Fear of Death'

Anna Nicole Smith: Overcoming the Fear of Death: The Tragedy of a Life Less Lived

by Steve Sjogren

As you well know, yesterday Anna Nicole Smith died unexpectedly of what looks to be an accidental drug interaction of some sort at least, that is the early indication of several sources, toxicology reports will require several weeks to get to the bottom of the issue.


No Judgments Necessary
No doubt, pulpits across the US will be filled with announcements of the Christless eternity that faces Ms. Smith in payment of her life of sin and debauchery. I say, “Not so fast!” and “Who died and left you in charge of such announcements?”

I remember some years ago a well-intentioned pastor friend of mine announced to his congregation the weekend after John Lennon’s murder, “Well, it has been about 6 days that Lennon has been in Hell… I wonder what he thinks about Jesus now…”

Of course, as a biblically-based person, I believe there are severe consequences for not trusting in Jesus to take care of the issue of sin. As any who take the Bible seriously, I believe that Hell is a real place and there are consequences for living and especially dying apart from Christ.

However, as a preacher-teacher-communicator of God’s word in public, in my opionion, something like my friend did with John Lennon is completely inappropriate. At the top of the list, he has no idea what was going through the mind of Lennon in his final moments on earth. I know for certain that Yoko Ono’s daughter is a very committed believer, something that has been an irritation to Yoko for many years. It is likely that she has explained the gospel to Lennon more than once. Lennon didn’t die instantly as he lay in front of the Dakota apartments, he lay on the sidewalk and bled for some time while he was fully conscious but unable to be moved. He was conversant.

It seems likely that any thinking person with any common sense would call out to God in the closing moments of life. No matter what Yoko may say. She has a vested interest in conveying a certain image of Lennon to the public. Thus we may never know until we stand before Jesus ourselves if he did business with God.


Believing The Best = Love
So it is with Anna Nicole. She lived a life of tragedy, one after the next. Don’t blame. Please don’t take the cheap shot. It is difficult to see Jesus doing that. Paul tells us that real love believes the best about a person’s efforts, intentions.

I have done many funerals where a person’s spiritual state was unclear. I have chosen to simply say, “I can guarantee you that if this person were here today they would strongly encourage us to take Jesus seriously, very seriously, while there is time and opportunity.”

While it is still “now” let’s also take the things of forever to heart.


Steve Sjogren is the author of The Day I Died which describes his near-death experience as the result of a medical accident.

4 comments February 9th, 2007


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