By now you’ve almost surely heard the news of David Bowie’s death and have likely been exposed to dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of homages, tributes, and retrospective adoration sessions.
I’m not going to add to that list of Bowie-centric examinations here. I want to look less at the specifics of David Bowie and more at the general truths that God confirms and reminds us of again and again and again with the passing of each little god wannabe that comes and goes like a vapor in accordance with His plans and purposes.
But before getting to a few simple truths that seem important to remember in the context of Bowie’s death, let me be plain that while all men and women who die unrepentant in their sin against God fully deserve and will certainly receive His holy justice and righteous wrath, I make no claim to know David Bowie’s final personal condition and standing before God at the time of his death. While we can (and are commanded to) test Bowie’s worldview as we saw it so flamboyantly expressed throughout his public life and warn against its emulation, we must be very careful not to overstep into territory reserved for God, our Father, who alone is the perfect Judge of those who refuse to have His Son to rule over them.
With that important bit noted, it’s hard not to notice that in the example of David Bowie we see once again the ultimate frailty, fiction and futility of the little gods we are encouraged to worship and follow in this fast fading culture of unbelief.
While they seem to burn so brightly and enjoy so much of what which world tells us is “success”, the truth is that even at their peak in this life, the primary consequence of their burning so bright is their own ongoing blindness. The more comfortably or successfully they seem to live, the more inoculated from the confrontation and correction of the true Gospel they seem to become. In this light, their greatest gifts seem to be more akin to curses than blessings.
God gives these unbelieving men and women various talents and attributes, some of which are astounding, at least when measured by the standards we employ here and now. Some of them are gifted with incredible artistic talent, intellect, physical beauty, charisma, or even breathtaking combinations of all of the above. Yet they will not appreciate or use those talents and attributes in submission to Christ as King and they will not devote them to the pursuit of His glory.
Instead, their talent and treasure is all about them. Their lives are spent in pursuit of their goals, their desires, and their enjoyment on their terms.
But enough about these little gods. Or mostly enough, anyway.
Let’s take a moment to consider what the one true God has done and will eternally do for His people in contrast to the fast fading fortunes of those who will not have Him to rule over them.
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The people of God enjoy eternal lives that will be spent cultivating, exploring, and expressing the talents and interests that they have each been given, all by God’s grace, all for His glory, and all to the literally unending benefit of His people.
Think about that!
Let it soak in.
Every time you see or hear about how another little god is “living it up” or has had an “amazing impact” on the culture through their self-centered, self-referential use of the gifts God has given them to enjoy and use for a brief time on this side of eternity, take the opportunity to bask in the glow of what God has promised and secured for His people in the form of unending growth, exploration, and adventure to come.
We will be unencumbered by sin.
We will be unencumbered by time, at least in the ultimate sense.
These two factors alone give us every reason and biblical basis to expect that we – each and every one of us – will cultivate talents and relationships to a level that can scarcely be imagined on this side of eternity.
With no sin to pollute or corrupt our pursuits and no end to the time that we will have to pursue our God-given desires and polish our God-given talents, just imagine what God will build in time and space through His people?
How far will we advance after 100 years of sinless pursuit of the arts, technology, science, and economics?
What about after 500 years?
What about after 100,000 years? Or a million?
It’s unimaginable, isn’t it?
And yet it is coming. It’s assured. It’s inevitable.
This unending adventure has been secured from before the foundations of the world by its Creator, our Father and Lord.
How cool is that?!
So the next time you see or hear about how some little god of this fast fading age has some “amazing” talent or power or wealth that they are enjoying or once enjoyed, just remember: Whatever they have or had by way of talent or treasure in this life is insignificant when compared to that which each and every Brother and Sister in Christ will enjoy in just the earliest moments of their life to come in resurrected bodies pursuing sinless adventure in a restored cosmos.
The little gods are dying.
All of them.
Only the one true God and His Kingdom will endure forever.
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Finally, here are a few good intro/reminder links for those of you who are new to Fire Breathing Christian and curious about exactly what’s goin’ on ’round here:
And especially this one: Never forget that apart from God’s grace you and I are complete morons.
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