Addressing the recent surge in celebrity deaths, Rev. Franklin Graham stressed that everyone – whether they are a famous musician, actor or actress, sports star, cultural icon or someone unknown – each and every person on the planet has one thing in common: death.
Graham took to his Facebook page on Tuesday to remind Americans that life is short and that everyone is just seconds away from eternal life … or death.
"This week, pop icon George Michael passed away at age 53, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died at 60, and award-winning Watership Down author Richard Adams died at the age of 96,” the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) posted to his Facebook following. “From the unknown to the most well-known, we all have something in common — death."
The day before Fisher’s mother, award-winning actress Debbie Reynolds passed away, Graham reminded his Facebook friends of the short time everyone has on earth and that all will be held accountable to the God of the Bible when their time comes.
"Our time on Earth is brief – the Bible says like 'a vapor,'” wrote Graham, who also serves as the president of Samaritan’s Purse. “And each of us will stand before Almighty God to give an account."
Graham stressed that celebrity status, exceptional talent and worldly power makes no difference to God – only one’s decision to follow His Son.
"There are no VIP passes or exceptions," the global evangelist pointed out. "The decision that will determine where we spend eternity is whether we have believed in His Son, Jesus Christ – trusting Him as our Savior and following Him as Lord.”
He then took the time to reflect on the salvation of the recently deceased stars.
“I hope each of these people had made that all-important decision before they took their last breath on Earth – have you?" Graham asked in conclusion.
Besides the latest celebrity death of famed actress Debbie Reynolds on Thursday following Fisher’s and Michael’s deaths, Prince, Florence Henderson, David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Eli Wiesel, Doris Roberts and Alan Rickman – just to name a few -- also passed away earlier this year, according a report from The Christian Post.
More celebrities dying this year?
With a surge in celebrity deaths at the end of December, many Americans are wondering what is responsible for the surge in deaths this year.
The Mirror recently addressed this concern.
"Figures appear to confirm a spike in high-profile deaths this year, with Wikipedia recording 642 notable deaths in January – compared to 466 just a month earlier," the publication reported in a piece asking the question on Tuesday. “Why are so many celebrities dying in 2016?”
It went on to review a number of theories, such as dangerous lifestyles finally catching up with the generation of Baby Boomer stars, an overall rise in the number of celebrities compared to past generations – leading to an inevitable increase in deaths – or strictly coincidence.
"Before the Internet, we would learn about celebrities and their lives from television, the cinema, newspapers and word of mouth, but now, there is an endless amount of information about them online – regardless of where they are from and whether they are an A-lister or a Z-lister,” The Mirror informed. “This includes news of their deaths."
Regardless of the reason for the uptick in celebrity deaths, Graham stressed that the biggest concern he has about stars is not what they have accomplished in life, but where they are going afterward.