Amid the glory & honor that was bestowed upon this man upon his death, I decided it was imperative to remind those who would listen to what Paul Harvey would call 'the rest of the story'...
Muhammad Ali, the charismatic three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, who declared himself “the greatest” and proved it with his fists, the force of his personality and his magnetic charisma, and who transcended the world of sports to become a symbol of the antiwar movement of the 1960s and a global ambassador for cross-cultural understanding, died June 3 at a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was living. He was 74.
His family released a statement confirming his death. The boxer had been hospitalized with respiratory problems related to Parkinson’s disease, which had been diagnosed in the 1980s.
Mr. Ali dominated boxing in the 1960s and 1970s and held the heavyweight title three times. His fights were among the most memorable and spectacular in history, but he quickly became at least as well known for his colorful personality, his showy antics in the ring and his standing as the country’s most visible member of the Nation of Islam.
When he claimed the heavyweight championship in 1964, with a surprising upset of the formidable Sonny Liston, Mr. Ali was known by his name at birth, Cassius Clay. The next day, he announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam, a move considered shocking at the time, especially for an athlete. He soon changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
In 1967, after Mr. Ali had been heavyweight champion for three years, he refused to be inducted into the military during the Vietnam War. Despite the seeming contradiction of a boxer advocating nonviolence, he gave up his title in deference to the religious principle of pacifism.
He was supported by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who supported his decision to become a conscientious objector as “a very great act of courage.”
Muhammad Ali was, at his peak, arguably the most famous man on the planet.
His prodigious boxing talent was matched only by a towering self-belief.
"I am the greatest," he said, and who could doubt a man who won the World Heavyweight Championship three times.
His outspoken support for civil rights endeared him to millions of people across the world.
A funeral for Mr. Ali will be held in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, according to The Associated Press. City officials scheduled a memorial service Saturday.
In addition to the public memorial, a private service commenced on June 3rd in a place where the fire is not quenched & the worm dieth not. There were no accolades given, no special speakers offering words of comfort or consolation. The only sounds heard were that of weeping & gnashing of teeth. As the newspapers were published and the sportswriters gushed over this remarkable boxing talent since his illness & death were made public, Mr. Ali offered no humorous rhymes or witty remarks – he had only two requests: He first cried out for a drop of water to cool his tongue then he asked if he could send word to his younger brother Rahman Ali who’d followed him into Islam and warn him of where his false religion leads.
While his loved ones are gathered around his casket and look upon his mortal remains & they speak of the great man he was, Mr. Ali will see nothing; not because he is dead, but because he’s been cast in outer darkness.
Mr. Ali is survived by nine children all of which will most likely lift up their eyes in Hell also because of his example.
Mr. Ali will remain in this state of torments for at least the next 1,000 years. After that he will be brought before a Holy God who will Judge him Justly. Immediately following that ceremony, Mr. Ali will be cast into the lake of fire where he will reside for the rest of eternity.
Mr. Ali once told Esquire magazine writer Bob Greene in 1983, while flying into Washington’s National Airport. “Look at all those lights on all those houses, Do you know I could walk up to any one of these houses, and knock on the door, and they would know me?”
Yet today Mr. Ali is learning first-hand the lesson that Jesus taught in Mark 8:36-37 When He said… For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
It’s a lesson that Muhammad Ali is wishing that he’d listened to.
It's this author's opinion that consideration should be given to include the following quote upon Mr. Ali’s headstone:
‘I floated like a butterfly & I stung like a bee – better get your heart right with Jesus, for you don’t want to end up like me’.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
The Bible says there is ONE WAY unto salvation – and it’s not through Muhammad Ali (works) or Allah (false religion) – it’s through JESUS!
This is certainly not written with joy, but with a heavy heart. I was not a fan nor did I despise this man - it's sad to know that any man lifts up their eyes in Hell, but through his testimony & armed with the understanding of Scripture, this is undoubtedly where Mr. Ali is today. We must live with the decisions we make - so I implore you, make wise decisions... Trust in Jesus while you still can, for one day it will be too late.