Be encouraged upfront friends…you can have the best season tickets in town. You can go to the best ceremony ever. You can have the hottest ticket in the universe…and you can have it forever for free!!! At least…it didn’t cost you anything….
I live in Northern, Va…and the new sensation here is the new quarterback for the Redskins. And the Redskins are ramping up for the upcoming football season…and fans will do anything just to see them. In fact, I saw a guy in the paper had tatooed the “signatures” of numerous sports heroes. I saw an article that a guy had driven up from FLORIDA…JUST to get an autograph from the QB…who hasn’t played a game yet. And the comments normally are…”what a fan!” Now that is dedication….
Contrast that to the dead people who sit in church each Sunday. I mean they are living…but they sure are dead. And they have the opportunity when they go there to meet with the KING of KINGS!!! But they couldn’t care less…it is laborious, painful, and a complete waste of their time….and they just want to go home…
But many of those same people within one to two hours of that Sunday drudgery will be screaming from their couch…and cooking elaborate treats…and painting their face to show support for their team…and will run around PROUDLY boasting about the accomplishments of their team. Oh yeah, and they probably will using their bible as a coaster for their beer! Or they will just skip church all together because they need to prepare for FOOTBALL!…or the OLYPMICS….or GOLF. I mean they went to church last Sunday…or was it last month? Oh yeah…and they put a buck in the offering plate…no actually they didn’t because they were a little short because they bought NFL Ticket so they could watch EVERY game EVERY Sunday. And I sure, if you will listen real closely…you will hear Satan cheering as well. Because he will have succeeded in completely flipping around our priorities…so that what is GOOD (God) is considered bad….and what is BAD (idolatry, lying, drunkeness, carousing….) is considered FUN! And not only fun…but something that we will pay anything to participate in…
But this is not a new phenomenon….Peter addresses this very clearly….
1 Peter 4:3-6 - 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (NIV)
Now don’t get me wrong….I enjoy sports, and I enjoy watching sports. BUT…I like watching the guys for a different reason. I like cheering on athletes and coaches that are Christians….Like Tony Dungy, David Robinson, Tim Tebow, and the list goes on….but the Men and Women who know that they compete for the glory of God. Now that is worth cheering for….
A friend of mine told me about a newscaster who was talking about Tim Tebow….about how he didn’t “mind” him being a christian….because “he didn’t have a problem with that”….but he then showed a picture of him kneeling and praying, and with a disgusted look on his face, he said, “but get a load of that…”. And my friend’s comments were sadly spot on. He said, and can you imagine when that newscaster meets Jesus and Jesus says….
Matthew 7:21-23 - 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (NASB)
And I wonder if Jesus would look at them, and then look at the hell fires that await those people and say…..”get a load of that.”
But be encouraged….OUR LORD AND SAVIOR DESIRES THAT ALL MEN ARE SAVED!!! Check this out…
1 Timothy 2:1-6 - 1First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. (NASB)
AND….be encouraged…because “this” is what he desires to say to you….
Matthew25:21 – His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (ESV)
By the way….you can enjoy sports and many other things…just keep God first! Oh yeah…the eternal tickets to your master’s joy don’t cost you anything…but they cost God, EVERYTHING!
Grace and Peace, Dan