Just when you thought it was safe to look at your calendar again we learn that the world is ending again, this week. In fact, it seems that end time events are already in progression and that the passage of time is already slowing. By Monday evening, time will stop at precisely 7:30 PM, local time. About three hours later the world will have come to an end for a large number of people. For those, life will end and only a dark misery will remain which will govern their lives for the next nine months or so.
[END SARCASM HERE]
The madness over the Alabama – Notre Dame BCS National Football Championship is overwhelming. social media is full of references to the game as fans cheer their team. Folks will spend tens of millions of dollars on travel to Miami, accommodations, tickets to the game, celebrations, souvenirs and the like. Others will spend the next two days doing little but talking about the big game. To be sure, the game is exciting and the rewards of victory will be sweet. But really people, are we not a little upside down here. Have we ejected any sense of priority?
I love Alabama football. I once worked for the Alabama Football Radio Network flagship station. I covered coach Bryant, screened call-ins for Coach Perkins and watched games from the press box. I grew up with the gravel-like voice for coach Bryant on the television on Sunday afternoon and enjoyed my share of Coca-Cola and Golden Flake. But let’s be clear, there are far more important things than this game.
72,000 will be in attendance, 30 million will watch the game. Many, probably most, are lost (). Each face in the crowd and each person watching from homes or bars represents a single soul. Security at the game will be tight. Law enforcement will strive to assure the safety of each person there. Yet, destruction and eternal damnation awaits most of them ().
Many of us, your author included, have already begun to talk about the game. In fact, we talk about the game with complete strangers. Why then do we struggle to even mention Jesus to people we already know? The Great Commission is a charge to everyone of us () but it is also a charge we often ignore. Each of us has the ability to instantly reach hundreds of our friends and associates yet we spend our time with posting silliness and sometimes coarse or profane language ().
Let our goal be purity of life and faith (). Let us rise with joy at the thought of golden streets and glorified bodies, not touchdowns and field goals. Football is not a sin. Enjoying a game is not a sin, but giving more glory to Nick Saban and Brian Kelly than we offer to God is wrong. I’m only suggesting that we recover our sense of priorities and return our Lord to the place of preeminence (). I’m suggesting a way forward in which we become as excited about Jesus as we are about football and maybe even more.
Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.
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13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. (ESV)
5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)
4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (ESV)
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (ESV)