On Mick, Paul and Prayer

We should pray for all sorts of people, even aging rock stars:

I was thinking last night while lying in bed. OK, that is a rather dumb thing to say, since I am ALWAYS thinking while trying to get to sleep. All my life I have had troubles getting to sleep, so I toss and turn and think and think. I am reminded of the character in the early 60s Sci-Fi flick, “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die”. Yep, that’s me, every single night. I sometimes do wish my brain would just die – at least at bedtime!

Anyway, I pray each night as well, and I have a long list of those I pray for. I was going to say that the list gets longer and longer, but then again, some of the folks I pray for have died, so maybe it is not growing quite so much. And all sorts of people get prayed for, from family members to celebs. I even pray for Bob Dylan and Woody Allen nightly that they become Christians. And I have recently added the conservative Jewish commentators Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager to my list.

After praying last night, I started thinking of some of these aging rock stars who – it seems – have not yet become Christians. They sure have lived the good life, with all their fame and fortune meaning that they could have anything they ever wanted, and do everything they ever wanted, at least in material terms.

I thought especially of Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger. I have followed both all my life, certainly during the first decade of their careers with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Consider this amazing fact: Paul is 81, and Mick is 80! They ain’t no spring chickens anymore. And don’t get me started on Keith Richards!

So I was thinking about their spiritual condition, and shooting up prayers for them. I thought that from very early on in their lives (both groups started to make it big in the early 60s), both men were living unique lives – lives most of us could only dream of. By the time each one was around twenty years old, they were known the world over. And it just got more and more intense.

They were not only household names, but soon enough they were packing stadiums with tens of thousands of screaming and adoring fans. Just the energy, rush and high a rock star can get when performing in front of such massive crowds of adoring and worshipping fans is something that most of us will never experience.

I cannot be precise here of course, but if they were like most young budding rock stars, they each probably ended up bedding dozens – perhaps hundreds – of groupies and female fans. They would have taken mountains of drugs and consumed oceans of alcohol over the past 60 years – certainly in their earlier years.

And they would both be stinking rich. They would each own multiple homes and mansions, fancy cars, maybe private jets, and so on. They could at the drop of a hat fly over from London to Paris or Berlin for an overnight party or whatever. And the booze they consumed would not be the real cheap stuff, but the top of the line really expensive stuff.

They could eat the finest of foods and live a life of luxury that few of us will ever know. So in terms of the world’s values, these guys have had it all. Sixty years of living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. So many folks would be so very envious of these two – and others like them.

But… My concerns are obviously spiritual. In terms of eternity, what will these two have to show for themselves? As I say, they are certainly getting old. And some of their peers did not get very far at all. One of the original guitarists for the Stones, Brian Jones, died of a drug overdose in 1969 – just 27 years of age.

The Beatles of course broke up in 1970, but John Lennon was gunned down in 1980, aged 40. George Harrison died in in 2001, aged 58, leaving Paul and Ringo as the remaining Beatles. What about Paul and Mick? Have they ever considered eternity? Have they ever considered giving their lives to Christ?

I have no knowledge of them having done this so far. It is hoped that they will, however. But relying on a deathbed conversion can always be risky business. With both in their 80s, if all the hard living of sexual encounters, drugs and alcohol does not catch up with them, the simple reality of old age will.

It might be this year, or in five years, or ten, but they are not immortal, and they will one day leave this earth. Of course we can be certain of that. But when it does happen, all the world’s front-page headlines will read, “Mick Jagger dead at 85” (or whatever), and “Paul McCartney dies aged 86” (or whatever). The whole world will know real quick.

While I appreciate good music, and have enjoyed some of their music, and they made some real contributions here, there is much more at stake. In terms of eternity, just what have they gained or benefited from? As Jesus asked, “For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36, NASB).

If Mick could sing “I can’t get no satisfaction” back in 1965, and if he ends up away from the presence of God in the next life, he will have an eternity of no satisfaction. That is not a good place to be in. As I say, by worldly standards, he and Paul have had some of the most wonderful, amazing and exciting lives imaginable.

Sure, there would have been ups and downs along the way: busted relationships, loss of loved ones, maybe health issues, and a range of other things. But all up, in this world they certainly lived the good life. Consider just their personal wealth and financial worth. I just did a quick search: Mick is worth $500 million while Paul is worth $1.2 billion!

Wow, that’s a lotta dough. But neither one can take a penny with them. They need to look at what really matters in life if they haven’t already. So I will probably end up adding these two men to my nightly prayer list. They need it. And I am sure other believers are praying for them.

They have each had six entire decades of living like kings with everything they could possibly desire at their disposal. Whether they live for two more decades each, or just two more days, they need to make a choice as to just whom they will serve: themselves or the living God. If they end up converting to Christ, finding forgiveness of sins, and making it into heaven, that would be great.

If not, well, this is the reality for them and every other human being on the planet:
-For the non-Christian, life on this earth is the best they will ever know, with the absolute worst still to come.
-For the Christian, life on this earth is the worst they will ever know, with the absolute best still to come.

We all need to choose wisely.

[1215 words]

8 Replies to “On Mick, Paul and Prayer”

  1. Your words are wise only if your beliefs are true. But it requires a huge leap of faith in ancient stories to place any credibility in such tales. It flies in the face of reality. I’m surprised that any grownups still believe. We’ve all been dead before, so we know there’s nothing there.

  2. Thanks Harry. But it requires a huge leap of faith to place any credibility in such tales that say that all purpose arose from non-purpose, all meaning arose from non-meaning, all personality arose from impersonality, all value arose from non-value, etc. It flies in the face of reality. I’m surprised that any grownups still believe it. Sorry, but I do not have enough faith to be an atheist. And here is a truth you can count on, whether you like it or not: the very second that you die, you will discover how dead wrong you have been, as you stand before the God you now hate and reject. That is one scary place to be in. You might consider easing up on your hubris and consider just where you are heading. And also whether you like it or not, I will keep you in my prayers. If God can reach out to a God-hating person like me and turn my life dramatically around, he can do it to anyone – even you.

  3. If you believe that salvation is by grace only, then the onus can’t be on them just to ‘give themselves to Christ’.
    Rather, the reality is whether the 3-in-1 God had predetermined them to be saved from eternity past. And if that is so, they will be effectually called by his irresistible grace, so that it is not of their works, lest any man boast.
    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pray for them, as I do for Dennis Prager too (and a few of our politicians), but if/when it happens, the glory must be to God only.

  4. Thanks Annette. Yes, salvation is by grace only. But Scripture makes it perfectly clear that God has chosen to work through his people to achieve his ends. We share the good news with others – as God has called us to do – and leave the results up to him. So our preaching and prayers are a part of the divinely-appointed means by which people become Christians. We are coworkers with Christ, as Paul said, but God still gets all the glory.

  5. This topic makes a good change from all the dreadful things you covered these recent days. Good thoughts – we must hope some of these guys get to be where we hope to go for eternity. Would be fun to catch up with them.

  6. Hi Bill, one more thought – your reply to Harry above truly encouraged me to deal with more conviction on responding to my atheist sister in the Netherlands.
    You gave him a hard hitting reply that inspired me. Glad you did respond to him with those powerful, meaningful words.
    Welcome to WA this week, sorry I can’t be at any of the venues.
    I look forward to your inspired writing about your visit in your next Culturewatch blog.

  7. Good article, thanks Bill. I read every word.

    I have similar thoughts to you, about these and other celebrities.
    If we don’t pray for them, who will?
    Or put it slightly differently, I often wonder I am the only one to EVER to pray for some of the people from my past experience, who I do pray for.

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