Encouragement for your daily walk with God
Yesterday, as I prepared for a new sermon series I’ll start in a couple of weeks at the church I pastor, a Scripture prompted a High School memory. I know it sounds crazy, but I was back in the gym, peering over the shoulders of everyone who wanted to see if they had made the team or not. For me, it was baseball. We had tryouts, a few cuts, and then the final couple of weeks to show the coaches what we could do. Then, he announced, “Final cuts will be posted in the gym. If your name isn’t on the list, you’ve been cut from the team.”
Fortunately for me, I made the varsity team. Others, however, left in disappointment. Have you ever lost a competition or been cut from a list of something you really wanted to do or be? Remember what it felt like?
OK, take that feeling and multiply it times eternity.
We Christ followers believe that Jesus will come again. We also believe that those who are in Christ have “made the team,” meaning, we will be with Him for eternity.
What about those who aren’t in Christ, you ask. His coming will be as a “thief in the night” to take only those who are prepared for His coming. That’s a sobering assessment, and why we need to sound the alarm about His coming. It’s a wake up call of sorts, so they can come to Christ now.
In school we called it “making the cut.” Well, here’s a cut you don’t want to miss:
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life... Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire” [Revelation 20:11, 12, 15].
The big question is, how do you make the team? Jesus made that very clear.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son... Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life…” [John 3.18, 36].
Scriptures like these are not at all popular in our culture, but they are there — the very words of God. Let’s not avoid them because they make us uncomfortable. Let’s not be silenced for the sake of the “tolerance” required by our culture.
Jesus is coming. We want as many "teammates" as possible.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2.11-14