Sunday, August 7, 2016

St. Peter and the Pearly Gates

Three days ago I took a road trip from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, South Dakota with another evangelist. One of our pit stops was in St. Peter, Minnesota. The name of that city had me thinking about the proverbial belief of the apostle standing by the gates of heaven. This is based on some people’s interpretation of Matthew 16…

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 
19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Jesus was actually talking about kingdom authority. The power of binding and loosing is available to every believer. One who is born again already has citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20) for God “…made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)

Recorded testimonies of individuals who received glimpses of the other side refute the idea of people waiting in line to see if they made it through the Pearly Gates. Individuals not in right standing with the Lord immediately descended towards hell. Conversely, Jesse Duplantis said the first man he saw in heaven was Abraham (not Peter) in his book and video “Close Encounters of the God Kind." A friend of mine told me Kat Kerr has a similar testimony.

The term “Pearly Gates” originated from the description of the New Jerusalem that will be transplanted from heaven to earth after the Great White Throne Judgment. The first half of Revelation 21:21 says, “The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl.” As I heard another minister point out, “How would you like to see the size of that oyster?”

Regardless of who may be standing by the gates of heaven, one must know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to go through them. Are you ready for eternity?

“Those gates are the way into the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there.” - Psalm 118:20 (TLB)

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