The tail end of last week and into today are some very important days for college football players who want to play in the National Football League. Each year they gather in Indianapolis to show off their skills and talent to scouts for each NFL team. Each position has certain skills and drills to do that show off their interview skills, intellect, and physical skills. Each drill has a certain benchmark for each position such as how high is your vertical jump, how many times can you benchpress 225 pounds, and how fast can you run 40 yards. The benchmark (the average) for offensive linemen to run the 40 yard dash is 5.1 seconds. That is pretty impressive that a man who is generally over 300 pounds can run that fast. This past weekend one offensive lineman set Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis buzzing because he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.67 seconds. That is nearly one half of a second faster than the average expected time. Factor in that this man was over six feet tall and weighed approximately 305 pounds and that is downright impressive. One former general manager, the man in the organization who generally sets how a team will draft and who they will draft, was interviewed later that night and he was asked about this offensive lineman. The former general manager’s response was “that is great but it doesn’t tell me how good of an offensive lineman he will be.” The only thing I could think of when I heard this is “wow talk about cutting a man’s legs out from under him.” The lineman had been really impressive to most of the football world and one guy who’s job it use to be to draft players didn’t seem all that impressed. Then it got me to thinking and I came to the conclusion that the former general manager was exactly right. As an offensive lineman you aren’t going to be doing a whole lot of running. Your job is to keep the defense from tackling your running back (who is suppose to run fast) or your quarterback. You need good upper body strength, a low center of gravity, and good foot work so you don’t get knocked over but can control the defensive player.
You may be asking yourself, how does this apply to Christianity? Very simple Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of My Father.” There are a lot of people who profess to be Christians. They are even impressive in church circles for their “great sermons” or the fact they started a lot of churches, or any number of other things. But does that necessarily mean they are Christians? The answer to that is a resounding “no!” Looking at the passage in Matthew 7 Jesus wasn’t talking to addicts, adulterers, and the like. He was talking to well intentioned people who did things in His name (performed miracles, cast out demons, and other things). That to me is like the former GM (general manage) not being that impressed because the man could run fast. The former GM didn’t know if the offensive lineman had the necessary skills to be a good offensive lineman in the NFL. The necessary thing to get into heaven is faith in Jesus Christ as the only hope for forgiveness of sins and the only way into heaven. Notice again Matthew 7:21 previous quoted, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the will of My Father.” How do we get into heaven? By doing the will of God. The things the people did were great, but obviously they hadn’t done the basic requirement of God, and that is have a relationship with Jesus. Just like having fast feet is only the beginning of a great offensive lineman in the NFL, having a relationship with Jesus is the starting point of getting into heaven and doing great things with Christ. Have you surrendered to the amazing love that is found in Jesus and turned to Him in faith?
By His grace and through His strength may we live for Him