I was amazed yesterday to find out that several big name Hollywood stars had passed away. Not amazed that they had passed, but amazed by the attention their death garnered in the media and on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Not to be trivial about their death in any way, but we have to be honest with ourselves and ask just because they lived their life in the spotlight, does that make their life any more significant than the 10’s of thousands of other people who passed away yesterday? In fact let’s use this as an opportunity to examine our own lives and ask if you were to die today how would you answer to the above question of “Did you live your life honoring the Lord?”
While there’s no doubt, the social impact of these “stars” was significant, was it in such a way that brought glory to God? Did their lives advance the Kingdom of God? Were souls saved as a result of their work? Was their own soul saved? These aren’t just mere rhetorical questions posed to Mr. Jackson and Ms. Fawcett, but questions that you should ask yourself. Let’s face it, death is inevitable for each of us, unless you’re the Biblical Elijah or Enoch, but it’s how we live during our time here that we will be judged.
I Peter 4:3-6 says, “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.”
This passage from the apostle Peter is very serious in nature and he implores readers to turn from a worldly lifestyle, as he identifies several specific sins. He encourages those that have changed their lifestyle to stand strong in the face of mockery that will follow from the old “crowd”, but says that they too will be judged for their behavior. His warning at the close of this passage is clear that both the spiritually alive and dead will be judged according to their works of the flesh and we are therefore charged to live in the Spirit and follow the example that Christ placed before us.
Mr. Jackson and Ms. Fawcett didn’t expect to die yesterday, but they did. We never expect tragedy to befall us until it does and then we are unprepared. If your life were to suddenly end today would you be prepared? At your eulogy would someone be able to answer the question if asked, “Did you live your life honoring God?” More importantly if you were to stand before the judgment throne of God would you want to be judged based on what you have done so far?
Prayer: It’s never to late to turn from our worldly paths. I’m an example of that, you can be too. God can use each and every one of us for His Glory. He can turn darkness into light. Pray that the Lord would use you and that He might gain honor from your service. Most of all, pray that if you’re not living according to His will that He strengthens you and makes your paths straight.
Additional Study: I Peter 4:7-11 Philippians 2:12-16 Colossians 3:1-17