I remember quite a number of years ago, a woman who tried to cheat in the Boston Marathon. When the woman finished the race in exceptionally good time there were cheers and adulation for her. But then some thought, wasn’t that time a little too good? Suspicions were raised while she indignantly protested the questions she was expected to answer.
Finally, the truth came out. A camera along the way had caught her on film, joining the race from the sidelines nearer the end. She had not run the whole race and she forfeited her spot in shame and derision.
Paul compares Christian life to a race in 1 Corinthians 9:24. He says; “Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Not beginning the race at the start line can be a disqualifier as the Boston Marathon lady found out. For the Christian, what is the start line? It is repentance. Those who try to avoid that and slip in at another spot will never get the prize.
Saying a few formula words down at an altar or in a “repeat after me” scenario only works when there is an actual heart change. Repentance means to turn around and go a different direction; it does not mean slipping sin under the rug and going forward like it never happened.
Give your own conversion experience the once over. Did you start at the beginning? If not, go back now. After all, you don’t want to run that long race your whole life and never get the prize.