Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Ed McMahon passed away this week. Death is no stranger to the rich and famous. As I watched the news reports, I wondered if any of them are spending eternity in heaven.

Ed McMahon was a Roman Catholic, but I didn’t find out much about his spiritual life after a brief online search. Farrah Fawcett was a Roman Catholic. Despite a faith background she told Ryan O’Neal that she “was not going to make it.” For many years Michael Jackson was a Jehovah’s Witness. After a brief internet search, I learned that his faith was a mystery (he may have converted to Islam, become a nihilist, practiced Kabbalah, or just explored a number of world religions).

There are a lot of religions out there today. I am a Christian. But I’d rather say that I’m a follower of Jesus Christ. I think the term “Christian” has lost its meaning because so many people use the term without understanding what it means. The word was first used in the 1st century and referred to people who were imitating the lifestyle, values, and morals of Jesus.

I’m not sure if Ed, Farrah, and Michael are in heaven right now. I did not know them. Nor is it my job to judge them. All I know is this … Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The only way to heaven is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. While other religions may have great ideas and moral values, they will not get you into heaven.

Jesus is the only way. It does not matter who you are, how much money you have, how popular you are, or how good you were. Death comes to us all. The real question is this, “Am I ready?” Unless you have confessed your sins and trusted Christ for salvation, you are not ready. River Ridge exists so people will be ready when death comes. I want us to help people find real life … in this life and the one that follows!