Cher is in the news again. Her new album, “Closer to the Truth” debuted in September and sold 63,000 copies in one week. Not bad for a 67-year-old pop star! She was asked a question in a recent Facebook Q&A that has created a lot of buzz, and I’m glad. I think Cher might need to get “closer to the truth,” and I’m not talking about her new album.
Cher spent a lot of time on that Facebook Q&A answering questions about her professional life in music, television and the movies. Then a fan asked her, “If Sonny Bono were still alive today, but you only had a minute to talk to him, what would you say?” Cher’s response: “How hot is it where you just came from?” I don’t think she is quite over the divorce, do you?
Sonny and Cher met in 1962 and married two years later. I used to watch their television show each week. They ended every show with their hit song, “I Got You Babe.” One of them was usually holding their daughter, Chastity, who is no longer a daughter. “Chaz Bono” had gender transition surgery in 2008 – but that is a subject for another blog.
Sonny Bono died in 1998 after a skiing accident in Lake Tahoe. Apparently, Cher believes that Sonny was not destined for an eternity in heaven. After reading about his choices in life, I think Cher might be correct.
Sonny listed his religious affiliation as “Roman Catholic” but there is not an indicator that he ever made a commitment to that faith. He and Mary Bono, his last wife, were regular attendees at the Church of Scientology. Mary claimed his skiing accident was a result of prescription drug abuse, although no drugs were found by the autopsy.
Reading a description of the way Sonny lived and the “fruit” of his life choices, it would seem that Cher wasn’t off base to assume that Sonny is spending eternity separated from the God who created him and loved him. The point of this blog is this – does Cher understand that she may spend eternity with Sonny?
A Barna survey of Americans reported that just one-half of 1% expect to go to hell upon their death. Yet, 71% of Americans said they believe that heaven and hell exist. One in every four Americans said they aren’t sure what happens when they die. Read this paragraph from that Barna survey:
Among those who expect to go to Heaven, there were differences in how they anticipate such an end would be attained. Nearly half of those who say they are Heaven bound (43%) believe they will go to Heaven because they have “confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.” Others felt they will get to Heaven because “they have tried to obey the 10 Commandments” (15%) or because “they are basically a good person” (15%). Another 6% believed their entrance to Heaven would be based upon the fact that “God loves all people and will not let them perish.”
What does the Bible say? The church of the Thessalonians was enduring a great deal of persecution when Paul wrote these words:
“Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed in heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:4-10).
The Bible says that only those who know God and have obeyed the gospel of Jesus will spend eternity in heaven. According to that Barna survey, there are a lot of people who either don’t know, or don’t believe the Bible. The truth about hell isn’t preached very often any more because it isn’t what people want to hear about on Sunday mornings. But I wanted to use Cher’s comment as a strong reminder.
Who will you spend time with this week that will spend eternity in hell if they don’t receive the gift of salvation that Jesus died to give them? What can you say and do that will help them know what the Bible says about eternity? I wish I could e-mail Cher and tell her she needs to get “closer to the truth.”
Sonny Bono’s headstone reads, “And the beat goes on.” So true . . .