He was born Prince Rogers Nelson in Minneapolis, Minnesota to jazz musicians, later becoming the pop culture icon known simply as Prince. He dropped 39 albums. He hosted 28 tours around the world. He received 45 award nominations, winning 7 Grammy Awards and 1 Academy Award. He appeared in 4 films and 2 television episodes. He even made purple fabric and high-heeled boots synonymous to his name. Prince shaped a music genre, introduced a vocal style, and impacted an entire generation.
A contrast to his career’s success, Prince fought many more personal battles. Having been romantically linked to 9 different women, he was engaged once, married twice, and watched his one-week-old baby—his only child—die of Pfeiffer Syndrome.
In April 2016, he postponed two performances due to illness. His jet made an emergency landing a few days later for medical care. On April 21st, however, Prince was found entirely unresponsive in an elevator and pronounced dead just 24 minutes after the initial 9-1-1 call. The world now stands in awe of both his life and death. How should we respond?
First, we must examine our own relationship with God. Remember that no one is promised tomorrow: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13–14). God wants us to be with Him forever. He made that possible by allowing His perfect Son, Jesus Christ to die on a cross in our place, taking the punishment for our sins and rising again. God can now offer eternal life as a free gift if we will place our trust in Christ alone to save us: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We are not promised tomorrow, so the time to come to Christ is today.
Second, don’t ever forget that God uses people to reach people. If we are already saved, God wants us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone we can. There should be urgency in our evangelism because we do not know if the person with whom we need to share will even be alive tomorrow. I do not know how many people have said to me, “I have had so many opportunities to talk to him about the Lord. I wish I would’ve taken advantage of them before he died.” Evangelism is a privilege we do not deserve, but it’s only ours as long as the person in front of us is alive. For that matter, we don’t even know that we will be alive tomorrow in order to tell them the Good News of Jesus Christ. The time to evangelize is also today.
Prince may no longer be here, but we are. Use this time to ready your own soul for eternal life and reaffirm the urgent call to share the gospel.
(Note: This post was co-authored by Hannah Crocker and Larry Moyer.)