Millions of people worldwide are dying tragically like Prince who are missing a major component of life. Prince may have “had it together” for some aspects, and his ability to sing about life was appreciated by millions. Nevertheless, basic questions must be addressed or there’s an emptiness that leaves us feeling mocked by songs that fade into the night as life ebbs away or ends tragically as Prince did, probably from an overdose.
A Liberty magazine’s cover story illustrates the point: “God’s Greatest Embarrassment: Is It the Church?” Yes, and organized religion is at the core of many rotten apples or ruined lives when it doesn’t deliver.
God seems to recognize this. The last of seven churches in Revelation is a commentary on western Christianity. It was lukewarm, content with its materialism until it ended in an earthquake that destroyed the city. Many Bible students see that book as prophecy and a look at society suggests it could be soon.
Whatever happened to the basics that God loves us, and that living the life He intended can be satisfying and abundant. The Bible says He made us in His image. We feel an affinity for our children when they resemble us. We want what’s best for them, even if we have to wisely let them make their own choices.
There would only be conflict and trouble if we try to control them after a certain point. This tells us about God who also gets no pleasure in trying to control us, but He will reward those who live life well with an understanding of His principles.
Conversely, middle-aged women, between 45 and 64, had the highest suicide rate in both 1999 and 2014. This age group also had the largest increase in suicide rate: 63%. In native American women, it was 89%, very sad.
People everywhere need an appreciation of the physical, mental and moral laws of life that overlap as three circles do, giving us a central area—the social dimension. For maximum enjoyment of life, we need physical health. We don’t want to be sick, weak, or waited on. We also see the need for mental acuity—to be alert to life and to cope with challenges.
Our ability to cope with life’s issues is related in part to the spiritual or moral dimension. Are we willing to give more than we get in our relationships? If it’s all about “me,” we may be swimming in a small pond, even if we are on stage in front of millions, and this goes for government leaders as well.
The moral law that they eliminated from schoolrooms is the basis for the Golden Rule that teaches us to do for others what we would want if we were in their circumstances. Our willingness to serve God by treating others kindly is the basis of the final judgment when He will say, “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it to me.” Matthew 25
As planet Earth approaches a time that may be like final exams, it’s crucial that we see God as someone who loves us and has a better plan—someone to run towards, not away from Him. The Bible calls this process repentance—a willingness to do life on His terms rather than doing it “MY way.”
If we don’t see a crisis developing in our world, we may not be discerning the “signs of the times” that some Bible readers appreciate. Here’s a classic commentary on Matthew 24 from a non-denominational perspective.
Another classic that covers the basics of knowing God’s plan in life, also non-denominational and translated into 127 languages may be read here.