In professional sport, athletes have contracts that keep them on the team for an agreed period of time. However, an athlete who does not apply himself during training may be confident he won’t be ‘kicked off’ the team while under contract, but he can expect to be benched on the sidelines when the big games are on.
When people believe in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, God immediately ‘signs them up’ as Christians. They now have an unbreakable contract with God, secure for eternity. Once in-Christ (a Christian) we can never be dropped from God’s team. We learn in verses such as: John 3:16, Acts 16:31 and Ephesians 2:8 that when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (accept He died as our substitute on the cross) we are eternally saved. In grace God paid the entire price of our salvation at the cross – we just accept the gift through faith. This is God’s eternal guarantee – His contract with us.
This is great news; we have an unbreakable contract with God that guarantees us eternal salvation. However, this does not mean we idly sit around doing nothing in life. God has a plan for us which requires our personal dedication. If we fail to show up for training (study the Bible) and continually drop the ball (in Christian service), we should not be surprised if God benches us on the sidelines. God only uses prepared people and won’t send Christians onto the field who don’t turn up for training, or whose actions allow the opposition to score.
We read in the Bible there will be a great victory celebration in eternity. This is the time when everyone is applauding the Christian athletes who helped score the ‘touchdowns’. When they are finally being recognised and rewarded, we may sadly regret how preoccupied in life we were with our own plans. God is not going to punish us for choosing our plans over His, but we will probably kick ourselves when we fully realise we had an amazing opportunity to be part of the ‘big game’ yet we chose to chase worthless things on the sidelines. Yes, there will be some regrets when we realise the decisions we make in life do have repercussions into eternity.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. 2 Timothy 2:15.