Rest in Peace
This past Monday, Bobby Vee died at 73 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the singer, his death hit close to home. Bobby’s first concert in February 1959 (following the plane crash in Iowa that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper) was five blocks from the house in Moorhead, Minnesota where I spent most of my childhood. At that time my dad went to Fargo Central High School with Bobby and shared an art class with him.
Another famous singer who died this past week was Pete Burns of the English band Dead or Alive. They are perhaps best known for their 1985 hit “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”, a song I used to play as a nightclub disc jockey.
Whenever people die, those who care about them will often say “rest in peace.” Sometimes the initials R.I.P. are engraved on real headstones as well as Halloween decorations. R.I.P. originated from the Latin phrase “requiescat in pace.”
The truth is that all dead people are not resting in peace. When a person dies they either experience great joy in heaven or eternal torment in hell. There is no in-between place such as purgatory. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.”
One doesn’t magically change into an angel or get a free pass into heaven just because they had a rough life or were “good.” The Lord said in Isaiah 48:22, “There is no peace…for the wicked.” The wicked are not select individuals the world considers “bad people.” All of us have broken God’s laws and need a Savior.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Once you do that, then you can truly have rest and peace in this life and the next.
“For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” - Isaiah 57:2 (NLT)