2016 is coming to a close and one of the facets it will be remembered for is the passing of many notable celebrities. Among them were David Bowie at 69, Alan Rickman at 69, Prince at 57, George Michael at 53, Gene Wilder at 83, Carrier Fisher at 60, and even her mother, Debbie Reynolds, at 84. There have been others but for many these are names that we grew up with and may be large portions of our childhood memories. What can we learn from their passing this year?
It is common as one year comes to an end and we anticipate a new year’s arrival for us to be introspective and think over everything that has transpired in the last year. In reflecting on the passing of these well-known individuals one important thought to remember is that death is inevitable for all of us. Some of these people were very well off financially but in the end that did not help them for we are all part of the Great Statistic – “100% of people die.”
While remembering them we may think over the roles they played that stood out to us the most. Princess Leia, the Goblin King, Willie Wonka, and even Professor Snape may come to mind but let us not forget to review our own roles. Were we charitable, loving, forgiving? Did we spread the Gospel to those who are in desperate need of it? Did we play the villain, or perhaps the apathetic viewer?
2016 is quickly passing and 2017 will bring a new year that these notable names will not experience. In one way, then, we have more than they do for we still have the opportunity to make better choices for this new year. In Hebrews 9:27 it is written, “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” This isn’t a threat or condemnation but a warning, be prepared for the judgment that comes once this life is passed away.
Romans 3:23 shows us that we are all fallen and none of us live up to the standard set by God. Romans 6:23a reveals that “the wages of sin is death,” not just the physical death that we will all face but an eternal separation from God in an eternity of torment. Thankfully, God in His mercy has made a way for us to escape from this terrible punishment. Romans 5:8 informs us that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were still in full rebellion against the Creator of everything, He sent His only begotten Son to bear the punishment for our wickedness, our sins. What must we do to partake of this pardon? We must repent (or turn away from) our sinfulness and put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. This allows us to move beyond the “wages of sin” and into the promise in the last part of Romans 6:23, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
These famous people have passed into eternity and what they find next will be dependent on their relationship with Jesus Christ. For us, though, we have a new year to become new people through Christ, to be the peacemakers, to bring the good news (Gospel) to people who are lost and suffering. 2017 will bring with it new trials, hardships, and difficulties but our Heavenly Father is faithful and He will be with us throughout the new year as with the passing year.
We here at Floodwaters Ministries are so blessed to have had you with us through 2016 and look forward to seeing the amazing things that God will do in 2017.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” – Romans 15:13