Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

Back, Back, Back, GONE!

I started back with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Seneca High School yesterday, and the Lord was gracious!  It was my first opportunity to speak to the baseball team, in addition to the girl’s basketball team- who have been putting up with me for a couple months now.

My plan was to review things we have talked about over the last couple months with the basketball girls, find out what they remember, refresh their memory, and try to find out issues they would like to talk about over the next month or so.  But, only one of the basketball girls was there on time (the rest trickled in later).  So, I was standing in front of the baseball team for the first time without having prepared anything to say to them.  But, by God’s grace, I think I knocked it out of the park!

I started by introducing myself and telling the guys about my baseball “career”- I played in high school and went through the off-season baseball stuff my freshman year in college before deciding to focus on basketball.  If you’ve ever spoken in front of people, you can tell when they are not listening.  That was the case at this point.  We were in the “old gym” at Seneca, and judging by where the baseball guys were looking, everything in the gym was interesting- except for me.  I had my audience so engaged that the girl’s basketball coach and the baseball coach were carrying on a conversation- about 5 feet away from me, without whispering!  But, it got better.

I wanted to find out a little bit about the baseball players, so I asked how many of them professed to be Christians.  About half raised their hands.  I asked where they go to church, and pointed to a couple who had raised their hands.  A couple of them acted like they didn’t see me point to them, broke eye contact, and looked at the floor.  One said he occasionally goes to Southeast Christian Church.  I asked what he meant by occasionally, and he said about once a month.  A couple of others named other churches in town.

Then, I held up my Bible and asked what it was.  One kid said that it is the Word of God.  I said, “exactly,” and then asked what that means.  Another said that we have to obey it.  I said, “we have to obey it- or else what?”
“We go to hell,” he replied.

“We obey the Bible or we go to hell?” I asked.
When he said yes, I asked him if he has obeyed the Bible.
“No.”
Where are you going then?
“Hell.”

After he said this, he started back-tracking.  He tried to claim that he has obeyed the Bible, but I wasn’t letting him off that easily.  After all, he was the one who said if we don’t obey the Bible then we go to hell, AND he admitted that he has not obeyed the Bible.  After some discussion, I told them that if that were the end of the story, then we would all go to hell- because we have all failed to obey the Bible.  Not only have we done what the Bible tells us not to do, we also have not done what the Bible tells us to do.  At our best, we fail to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, souls, and might (Deut. 6).

After they agreed that this is bad news and that we are in bad shape, I told them I was going to make it seem even worse before making it better.  I talked about Exodus 34:6-7, where God says that He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin- but He will by no means clear the guilty.

We are guilty, and God will by no means clear the guilty.

I asked them how God can claim both that He forgives transgression, iniquity, and sin; and that He will by no means clear the guilty.  Silence.  I asked some questions leading them toward the right answer, and finally one of the girls said Jesus died for our sins.  “Exactly!”

One girl said that she didn’t get it, and asked if I would put everything together.  I explained that Adam and Eve sinned, and were separated from God.  And, because of them, we are all sinners and we have also all sinned against God.  We have disobeyed His Word and we all deserve to go to hell.  But God sent His Son, Jesus, to live the perfect life that we could not live, perfectly obeying God, and then He died to pay the penalty for our sins in our place.  God does not clear our guilt, He transfers it to Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins in full on the cross. What great news, especially against the backdrop of the bad news of our situation and what we deserve!

Possibly the most encouraging part happened when FCA was over.  One of the girls asked to speak to me, and asked if all that we had talked about applied to her.  I think she understood her position before God, that she deserves judgment and hell as the penalty for her sins, and that her only hope is in Christ.

Pray for my Seneca FCA kids, that they would love God and love Christ and love the good news that we can draw near to God because Christ died for our sins in our place!

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January 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Always praying….. mom

    Comment by jzh/Gramzee | January 25, 2010 | Reply


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