Being confronted with death, like we all are when someone prominent dies, is often referred to a “wake-up call.” But what are we being awoken to? It seems that many are simply faced with the fact that people die, a fact that few like to dwell on (and those who do are considered morbid). But we ought to be awoken to the realities of heaven and hell. Are the dead resting in peace or not?
I asked a co-worker this morning what his thoughts were on the passing of Steve Jobs, and he said “I wish I had prayed for him.” This co-worker was feeling the weight of eternity, the reality of eternal peace or eternal punishment. I feel it too, and it is heavy.
It is not for us to determine who is resting with Jesus and who is not, but it is for us to look around and consider who near us will be resting with Jesus when their time comes (and it always, ALWAYS comes too soon). So when we say “R.I.P. Steve Jobs” we should hope that he is (as my friend Mike put it, that “Jesus got him in the end”), and then consider our world to see who has yet to meet Jesus and find that hoped-for rest.
What do we mean when say or write R.I.P.? Have we engaged every avenue to bring that person to perfect rest in Jesus? Or are we simply acknowledging a death while disregarding eternal realties?