Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

In the News: Another Rock Star Dies

ImageBritish singer Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011. Winehouse was a talented performer with a distinctive voice and style, who died following a history of drug abuse, at the age of 27.

Her death is one in a long line of untimely deaths of celebrities and performers. In fact, the age of 27 seems to be significant, as singers Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin all died at that age as well. All were heavy drug users, and Hendrix and Joplin died of drug overdoses. Cobain committed suicide.

The cause of Winehouse’ death is not clear, but she was diagnosed with emphysema due to heavy cigarette and cocaine smoking, and a few weeks previously had cancelled a tour because of her difficulty dealing with her addictions. Pictures of Winehouse from just five or six years ago show a fresh faced, attractive young lady. At the time of her death she was heavily tattooed, and looked old, emaciated, and worn out.

One thing that all of these individuals had in common? They were successful, yet their success was simply not enough. They were miserable and self-destructive. And yet, there are millions of people who desire to live their lifestyle, and aspire to the same level of “success.”

They also are famous, and their deaths have been mourned by millions of people. This shows the folly of both a worldly lifestyle, and the adoration and emulation of it. It would be bad enough if death were the end of such wickedness. However, the Bible paints a more lasting picture of destruction for the wicked.

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 8:28-32).

The death referred to by Paul is not merely physical death, but spiritual death. In another place, Paul said that those who practice the lusts of the flesh, “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21). It is a shame that so many choose the world rather than their God, thus making themselves His enemy (cf. James 4:4).

It is proper for Christians to have role models. But, they will not be famous, because they will not be recognized by the world as worthy of emulation. We can look to the worthy men and women who populate the pages of our Bibles, both Old and New Testaments. Paul said, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Abraham, Sarah, David, Esther, Peter, Mary, the list is very long. It is likewise proper for Christian fathers, mothers, elders, preachers, deacons, mature and spiritually minded men and women to serve as our models and influences. They have it figured out. Their lives are happy, and their ultimate home is heaven!