Why Punt at the First Down?

It is college football season in America.  In Wisconsin the fall colors are white and red!  I caught the University of Wisconsin game this afternoon.  The Badgers looked pretty good!

For those of my readers who are not familiar with American football, the game is played on a 100 –yard field.  Each of the two teams has an “End Zone” at opposite ends of the field, where they are able to score.  A winning score is called a “Touchdown.”  The team who is playing the offensive role has 4 chances to move the football at least 10 yards toward their End Zone.  Each chance is called a “Down.”  The team who is playing the defensive role is trying with all their might, to keep the offensive players from moving the ball the required 10 yards.

If the offensive team fails to move the ball at least 10 yards within 4 downs, the ball is turned over to the opposing team, who tries to move the ball down the field to their own End Zone.  USUALLY, if the 10 yards are not achieved within three downs, instead of advancing the ball on the 4th down, the offensive team will kick the ball, or “Punt” the ball as far away from the opposing teams End Zone as possible, to make it as difficult as possible for the opposing team to move the ball into their own End Zone.

As I watched the game today, I was struck with the thought that Christianity is a lot like an American football game.  However, at least here in America, the offensive team is stuck at the first down.  In fact, many people do not show up at the line of scrimmage at all, let alone make the effort to advance toward the End Zone, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Many Christians view the New Testament Bible verse, John 3:16, as a means to loaf off and assume they are going somewhere really, really special when they die.  John 3:16 instructs us to believe in God through a belief in Christ Jesus.  Unfortunately, to some this is the end of the game.  Many people believe their salvation is assured, therefore, they go back to warm the bench.

Well, friends, the world is living on borrowed time.  It is over two thousand years since Christ Jesus was physically in our midst.  Because of a sense of apathy, many Christians forget that the opposing team is trying to keep us away from the End Zone.  John 3:16 is only the First Down!

I guess this post is a bit of a rant, but some of our churches need a wake-up call.  The only way to the End Zone, the Kingdom of Heaven, is through effort, grunting, exhausting effort.

We may be tackled along the way, but if we do not show up for the game, or if we do not put forth the effort, the enemy may win, and our children and our children’s children will live in the same quagmire state the earth is now experiencing.

How do we advance the football?  By engaging whole-heartedly in Christianity, including inviting Christ into our souls to guide and direct our paths, and obedience to His direction.

With Christ as our Quarterback, we will win this game, one rookie at a time!  Have faith.

W.S.

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