It was his first album in five years, but Justin Bieber’s latest album “Changes” has just set a record. The album with its many references to faith and God is now No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart and with that achievement, Justin Bieber became the youngest singer to have seven albums hit number one beating out the previous record holder Elvis Presley.
In the first two days after its release on Valentine’s Day, the album sold the equivalent of 250,000 albums. Those numbers are expected to climb dramatically when Bieber starts his tour.
Billboard ranks albums based on several factors including purchases and streaming.
Elvis had seven No. 1 albums before he was age 26, Bieber set that record at 25, since he will not turn 26 until March 1, 2020.
In 2017, Justin cancelled the remainder of his Purpose tour and took time off to renew his faith in God working closely with pastors from Hillsong. During this time he also got water baptized, led worship services and married Haily Baldwin who is the daughter of Christian actor Stephen Baldwin.
In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Bieber explained both his faith and the reason for his sabbatical:
“The way I look at my relationship with God and with Jesus is, I’m not trying to earn God’s love by doing good things. God has already loved me for who I am before I did anything to earn and deserve it. It’s a free gift by accepting Jesus, and giving your life to Him.”
“I don’t know if I’d be alive, for sure. I was dark, really dark. So I’m very grateful to have influences in my life and have played a huge part in me seeing their relationship with their kids and saying, ‘That’s what I want,’ and I’m striving after that.”Justin Bieber in his interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe
Despite his sabbatical, Justin still averages 62 million streams of his music each month making him the top streaming artist in the world.
Bieber’s accomplishment follows Kanye West’s remarkable conversion last year. Kanye, who has since started holding Church services across the country, released his most recent Christian album “Jesus is King” on October 25, 2019.
Despite predictions of failure, Kanye’s album was the No. 1 on Billboard Hot 200 and songs from the album were streamed nearly 200 million times and all the songs were on the Billboard Hot 100 list.
This past weekend (Sunday, February 23, 2020), Justin Bieber led worship at Kanye West’s Sunday church service. He also sang Marvin Sapp’s worship song “Never would have made it,” a song he also sang at Churchome in August 2019, a Los Angeles church pastored by Judah Smith.
Kanye West’s wife Kim Kardashian tweeted that Justin’s worship service was “soo good.”
I believe the remarkable transformations we see taking place in Justin Bieber and Kanye West’s lives are a prophetic fulfillment of the words that Jesus spoke on His final trip into Jerusalem.
As Jesus rode a donkey into the fabled city, the people were crying out “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:39 ESV).
When the Pharisees in the crowd heard these chants they tried to shut down the cries and then yelled out to Jesus to force His followers to keep quiet.
Jesus replied if they did not proclaim Christ as king, then the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40). This means if people try to shut down proclamations about Jesus, God will cause the declarations to come from unexpected sources.
In a climate where the elitists of the world are trying to shut down the Christian message in the public square, God is raising up the “rock stars” to proclaim Jesus as King.
These two pop stars are getting the message of the Gospel out to tens of millions of people through their various social media platforms and music.
And, upon this rock….