News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Rob Jackson

Ever wonder 'Wheeere's Johnny?'

The recent death of Johnny Carson was sad. His death is a closing of an era.

I fondly remember sitting with my father and laughing at Carson's monologues. His affable smile and non-threatening wit entertained millions of Americans for 30 years.

In his heyday, Carson generated 17 percent of NBC's total profit. Arguably, he was the most powerful entertainer on television during his reign.

Immensely popular on the tube, he was private with his personal life. Even Ed McMahon, who was his faithful sidekick, didn't do much with Carson in the later years because he felt like he "was intruding."

And yet, McMahon was a perfect sidekick. He always pointed people to Johnny. Who can forget McMahon's nightly introduction, "Heeere's Johnny!" Even reading this article, many of us can still hear in our minds McMahon bellowing out Carson's intro.

As I read of Carson's passing, I couldn't help but wonder, "Wheeere's Johnny"?

All of the money, honors and prestige awarded matter little to him at this moment. I believe that "where he is" this moment is dependent upon an important choice he made while on this Earth, a choice to either accept or reject God's gift of salvation. Only God knows the condition of Carson's heart; only God knows the location of his eternal curtain call.

You have something in common with Johnny Carson.

No, you probably will never have as much money or fame. Hopefully, you will never have as many spouses, or the alimony.

The one thing you and I have in common with Carson is death. We, too, shall one day draw our last breath upon this Earth.

An amazing statistic is that one out of every one person will die, unless the Lord returns first. The book of Hebrews tells us, "It is appointed for man to die once and after that to face the judgment."

The death of Johnny Carson should remind us of the temporal state of life upon Earth. Life is fleeting. David of old correctly remarked, "As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer."

The wind of time is blowing in each of our lives. We are aging. Looking at past photos or glancing at our reflections in the mirror evidences the aging process. In the not-too-distant future, every person who is reading this column will follow Carson to the grave. Death is a reality for humans.

Instead of asking, "Where's Johnny?" we should ask God and ourselves where we will experience eternity.

I believe that Jesus offers heaven to all who repent and believe in him. By turning from our sins and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, each of us can have eternal life. The Bible assures us, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

If you have not done so, I pray that today you might consider your eternal destiny, turn from your sins and cry out to God for his salvation in Christ Jesus. Then may the angels cry out, "Heeere's Johnny, Heeere's Rob, Heeere's Susan ..."

The Rev. Rob Jackson, pastor of Central Baptist Church, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 340-2468.

Rev. Rob Jackson Rev. Rob Jackson

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