Rush Limbaugh’s faith was increasingly important to him in the years leading up to his death last week, according to a friend and his wife. Interest has grown surrounding Limbaugh, who mostly kept it private until near the end.
Best-selling author Joel C. Rosenberg reflected on his friendship with Limbaugh, which began when the host hired him in 1994 to work as a writer and research director for “The Limbaugh Letter,” his monthly publication.
“I had the rare opportunity to see Rush’s extraordinary, God-given talent firsthand,” Rosenberg wrote. “But I will be honest — I worried about Rush over the years. I believed he was struggling spiritually.”
Mentioning how Rush’s brother, David Limbaugh, is an outspoken evangelical Christian, Rosenberg believed that Rush, by comparison, had in the past been long “resisting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Rosenberg remembered discussing matters of faith with him occasionally, but he admitted he was intimidated by a larger-than-life figure such as Limbaugh, despite his kindness. As an example of Limbaugh’s generosity, he referenced how the talk show host interviewed him and often extolled his books on-air, a gesture that “simply was not done in his world.”
Despite his personal respect for Limbaugh as a man at the top of his industry, Rosenberg said when he thought of him, he was often bothered by the words of Jesus: “What profits a man to gain the whole world but to lose his soul?”
When Limbaugh was diagnosed with cancer in early 2020, Rosenberg asked to meet with him, to which he agreed. When he arrived at Limbaugh’s home in Palm Beach, Fla., Limbaugh was not well enough to meet with him, and Rosenberg had to hurry back to his family in Israel when the government was shutting down travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “I never got to see Rush again in person,” he said.
Rosenberg later learned, however, that Limbaugh had made a profound conversion to Christianity in 2019 and accepted Christ as his personal savior.
Limbaugh talked about it on Fox News in October saying, “I have a personal relationship. I’ve not talked about it much publicly because I don’t proselytize these things,” he told Fox News.
“I’m just trying to give thanks every day for all of the blessings,” Limbaugh continued. “I have had a blessed life. I have had so many great friends … and still do … there’s nothing negative for me. There’s nothing I have deep regrets about because I’ve been so blessed.”
Rosenberg confirmed that commitment.
“It was because he had truly wrestled through the claims of Jesus for himself and come to the conclusion that Jesus really did die on the cross, rose again and was the messiah, the savior and the king of the universe,” he said, “And having placed his faith in Christ’s love and forgiveness, he now had a certain, definitive hope that he was going to heaven when he died and peace for every day before that.”
That confidence was visible in the last few months of the nation’s reigning broadcast personality.
On Feb. 22 the Rush Limbaugh program was co-hosted by Limbaugh’s wife Kathryn. As the topic of faith came up, she shared how his faith had deepened in recent years. “Rush is in Heaven,” she said confidently.
Rush had himself spoken about his personal relationship with Jesus Christ in October 2020 when he shared with listeners that his cancer was terminal after treatments had failed.
“We all know that we’re going to die at some point, but when you have a terminal disease diagnosis that has a time frame to it, then that puts a different psychological and even physical awareness to it,” he said.
“I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said of his faith. “It is of immense value, strength, confidence. That’s why I’m able to remain fully committed to the idea that what is supposed to happen will happen when it’s meant to.”
That faith may be explored more deeply in the coming weeks. Kathryn Limbaugh announced that a memorial service for her husband will be streamed live with an announcement concerning coming soon.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice