9 October, 1940 – 8 December, 1980
John Lennon was the founder of The Beatles. During his 40 year dash he achieved fame and fortune. At one point he claimed The Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ. As he traveled the world, he often sat in hotel rooms and watched television evangelists. In 1972, he wrote a desperate letter to an American evangelist. He referred to his dependence on drugs and the problems of life. He expressed regret for saying The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
In the same letter Lennon quoted a line from the song “Can’t Buy Me Love” and then he wrote:
“It’s true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don’t want to keep on with drugs. Paul (McCartney) told me once, ‘You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you’ll regret it in the end.’ Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phony? Can He love me? I want out of hell.”
The evangelist wrote him back assuring him that Jesus Christ could meet his need completely. He told him that Christ is ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ John 14:6. He quoted the words of the Lord Jesus found in Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest….for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” John Lennon was told that Christ would give him a peace that passes all understanding.
His wife, Yoko Ono, was not impressed. She was into witches, the occult, the dark arts and paganism. On one occasion, she fiercely attacked the divinity of Christ while John was talking to Norwegian missionaries.
One of the people who later accompanied Yoko Ono to Colombia to meet a witch was John Green. He later wrote Dakota Days. Green claims that in 1977 Lennon was ‘lonely and scared’ while he stayed in a Tokyo hotel. He would stay in his room for long periods of time and suffered from terrifying nightmares.
“I’d lie in bed all day, not talk, not eat, and just withdraw. And a funny thing happened. I began to see all these different parts of me. I felt like a hollow temple filled with many spirits, each one passing through me, each inhabiting me for a little time and then leaving to be replaced by another.”
Sadly, Lennon’s description of his own personal state, as recorded by Green, was very much like what Jesus described as demon possession in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 11 (Bible).
Fast forward to Easter, 1979. Lennon is vacationing with his sons in Florida and is watching Jesus of Nazareth. His personal assistant, Frederic Seaman, recalled that Lennon kept joking to fast-forward the movie to the crucifixion. “John began working himself up into a tirade against Christianity, saying that it had virtually destroyed what was left of pagan culture…He then announced that he was now a ‘born again pagan.’”
And then on December 8, 1980 outside the Dakota, Mark David Chapman yells: “Mr. Lennon!” When it happens it happens. His dash was over. There are no pause or reverse buttons then.
Back in 1972 John Lennon wanted out of hell – but he wasn’t even there. As miserable as life can be, it sure isn’t Hell. Jesus described hell as a place of conscious eternal suffering; a place of abandonment and separation from God. A place of no escape. Read the account of Hell given by Jesus Christ in Luke Chapter 16.
There are no true Christian evangelists in Hell to tell you what Christ can do for you. There is no genuine Christian in Hell who will pray for you and no one to invite you to trust Christ as your personal Saviour. The moment of death is also the moment of closure to all future opportunities. Death brings to an end the possibility of you ever being saved. Hell is a place of no hope.
But what about John Lennon’s question recorded above: “Can He [God] love me?” Have you ever wondered the same thing about yourself? The Bible’s beautiful answer to that question is summarized in this verse:
For God so loved the world
That He gave His only begotten Son
That whoever believeth in Him
Should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (Bible)
“The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The Apostle Paul, Galatians 2:20 (Bible)
“Herein is love, not that we loved God,
but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins.”
1John 4:10 (Bible)
Your dash could end abruptly. Are you fully prepared? To discuss this further by email click here.
(First posted on this site, December, 2008)
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The Gospel According to the Beatles, Steve Turner, Westminster John Knox Press, 2006
The Gospel of the Fab Four, The Washington Times, Jen Waters, August 30, 2006