Monday, November 27, 2017

Tom Petty's standing ovation at the Pearly Gates

A few weeks ago I was listening to a local classic rock station and there was a song playing by the late Tom Petty. When the song ended the DJ, like they normally do before a commercial break, transitioned with a few comments about the artist and the song. The first comment is what really caught my attention. The DJ started off by saying "Can you imagine the standing ovation Tom Petty received at the Pearly Gates?" I simply shook my head at the comment and changed the station not wanting to hear the upcoming commercials. 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were an awesome musical group. With albums that went Gold, Platinum, Double and Triple Platinum, receiving the Billboard Century Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and many other honors, Tom Petty was more than deserving of a standing ovation in any room he walked in. His contributions to music are evidenced by the fact he sold over 80 million albums worldwide making him one of the top 100 best-selling artists of all-time. His greatness in the area of music cannot be disputed.

The real question that should jump out at us after hearing (or in your case reading) the remarks of a DJ on the radio is "Was Tom Petty deserving of a standing ovation at the Pearly Gates?" I don't pretend to know the spiritual relationship between Tom Petty and God, but if mentions of his belief in the benefits of transcendental meditation are true, then I doubt that Tom Petty was a believer in Christ. That being said, Tom Petty, and everyone else for that matter, can expect an ovation at the gates of heaven based on one thing and one thing only. This ovation is not based on record sales, awards, honors, how good a person you were, how much you gave to charity or the church. This ovation is not based on what you thought about God, how you treated your family or if you provided for your family. This ovation is not based in anything you can do on this earth as a result of your own power, intellect, or musical ability.

The only thing that needs to be done so you can receive a standing ovation at the gates of Heaven has already been done for you, but the ovation itself is based in what you do with what has already been done. The only way for you to be received into heaven, which will excite God, the angels, and every person there, is to trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Then and only then will there be a great ovation as you enter into heaven when this life is over. Jesus dying on the cross 2,000 years ago secured for you a spot in heaven. He's already done everything needed for you to get into heaven. The only way to claim that spot with your name on it is to believe that Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God, who died on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins and was raised from the dead by the power of God three days later. If you believe this in your heart, and confess your sin, confess your need for forgiveness, and confess your desire for Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, then you will receive eternal life and a right relationship with God. When this life is over, you'll find yourself in heaven with a God and people who are excited to see you.

If for some reason you decide not to pursue a relationship with God and not receive the forgiveness Christ offers, then you'll find yourself on the outside looking in. To borrow from another classic rock artist, you'll find yourself "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and you won't be getting in. The sad reality is that you'll be eternally separated from God. This means you'll spend eternity in the tortures of hell. There'll be no standing ovation at the gates of hell only "wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 8:12, 13:42). My suggestion to you today is to put your faith in Christ and avoid this awful existence after this life is over. By doing so you'll enter into a place God has prepared for you, specifically for you, and enjoy fellowship with Him and other believers for all of eternity. 

You can find more information on starting a relationship with God through Jesus Christ here or here.

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