Right now the news is filled with the human interest stories of the athletes in the Olympics. Some of them are pretty young to have been through so much in their short lives. The discipline, courage and overcoming spirit of many of these men and women is awesome. And after the long years of practice and personal dedication, they still had to go through pre-qualification rounds to be on their country’s Olympic team. Many have already suffered the “agony of defeat” by failing to make the cut.
Is Christianity hard to get into? Do you have to “pre-qualify” to be on the Jesus Christ team? Some people must think so because over the years I’ve heard this type of comment: “I have to clean up my act before I become a Christian.” Then they go on to say that before they come to Christ they have to DO a series of things or QUIT DOING a series of things. Basically they are saying that they are just not good enough yet.
Well, these people have been looking at the wrong rule book. There is a qualification to becoming a Christian but it isn’t being “good enough”. Rather the opposite; the qualification is being a sinner. If you have ever done anything wrong in your life, you are pre-qualified. Jesus said; “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13) Actually, I don’t think that is the real reason most of these procrastinators are not becoming Christians.
The real issue is that they have a nagging suspicion that if they come to Christ their life is going to change big time. Their suspicions are correct. They don’t need to clean up their act BEFOREHAND but if they submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, he is going to begin a process of conforming them to his own likeness. Something like the athlete submitting to the Olympic coach.
The aspiring Olympian does not come to the coach because they are already prepped and ready to compete but because they know they aren’t ready. They submit to the training and discipline of the coach because they trust he or she will get them ready for a chance at the Gold. In the case of Christianity, the gold medal is eternity. There is a big difference, however, that I should mention. If you come to Christ, you don’t have to worry about being cut from the team. Once you sign on, you have a home for life – and then forever.
Now listen to the audio version: