Speaking the Truth in Love

The Game Is Up

Avid football fans always relish the coming of August. Friday night high school games, Saturday college games, and Sunday afternoon NFL games make for a perfect weekend (unless you don’t know a fumble from a touchdown and wish that your husband would pay more attention to HGTV or the Hallmark Channel). The most exciting contests are the match-ups between big rivals decided at the last second. One team takes the lead, and now the other. No one knows who will ultimately win.

In the last few minutes of these exciting games, every coach, player, and fan is acutely aware of the clock. Time becomes extremely precious. Everyone knows that when the scoreboard flashes all zeroes, the outcome is determined once and for all. The clock won’t be restarted. The losing team won’t have a second chance.

Our lives are like that. To each of us is allotted a certain number of days, hours, minutes, and seconds. Does our relationship with God at the last tick of the clock determine our eternal destiny? The Bible says that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor. 5:10). Neither this verse nor any other biblical text offers the spiritual loser the hope of a restarted clock.

In at least one key respect, however, the end of our lives differs from the last moments of a football game: Our eyes cannot see the clock. Jesus therefore warns: “Take heed, watch; for you do not know when the time will come” (Mark 13:33).

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