The Christian Olympics

Olympic Games

OGIn the history of the Olympic games, now, every four years the great event is hosted in one or other of the cities of the world. The awesome spectacle of the games brings with it an overwhelming ‘electric’ atmosphere. From all around the world billions of people watch the event on TV, not to mention the multitude that are actually present. Among those attending are are presidents, Kings, and monarchs. Flags wave, trumpets are blown and ‘electrifying music fills the air of thousands of cheering spectators.  The contestants will have undergone intensive training.

The crowning awesome moment for each of the victorious athletes is the moment that three stand on the ‘podium’ and receive their medals. To the roar of the throng raising to the skies a gold, a silver and a bronze medal are presented to the victors. Tears of joy flow and laughter abounds!

For the prizewinners, returning to their separate countries, the glory, pride, and exhilaration continue. Again, as they enter the cities, there will be hugs and kisses. Again the Flags will wave, trumpets will blow and ‘electrifying music will fill the air of thousands of cheering and welcoming the prize-winners who no doubt will be given the ‘keys of their respective cities’. Their ‘triumphal entries’ into their city gates will be ‘abundant’ – resplendent!

Let us pause a moment as Christian believers that speaks of a much more wonderful triumphal and abundant entry that is to come to the Christian believer. This ‘abundant entry’ is mentioned in verse 11 of the following scripture portion.

2 Peter 1: 3- 11

3.His (God’s) divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue; 4 whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust.

5 Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; 6 and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; 7 and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he that lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. 10 Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble: 11 for thus shall be richly supplied unto you the  entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Heavenly Olympic Climax

What a day that will be for the Christian who enters into the ‘eternal kingdom’, hearing the “Well done” from the saviour he loves so much and receiving from his hand his reward for faithful service. A great multitude will be present on that day also, but the splendour of this event will completely overshadow any earthly Olympic celebrations. The city the Christian will enter will in itself be glowing and beautiful beyond imagination. It is the “City of the Living God”, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22); it is the city described in the book of Revelation chapter 21. The study of this city is a theme in itself, however (although it’s biblical description contains much symbolism), it will be a ‘real’, literal and glorious habitation. It will be the city that God has prepared for His people. It is the city that the patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Solomon looked to and waited for. It will be the eternal home of the redeemed, (Heb 13:14).  A glorious throng will be present there also. Myriads of mighty angels will be present to welcome and cheer on the victors.

Hebrews 12:22 – but you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriad’s of angels, and to the universal gathering,

It is interesting to note that the original Greek word for ‘universal gathering’ is ‘paneguris’ and it is actually the same word used to describe the gathering of people to celebrate a public festival such as the Olympic Games.

Right now, as from the beginning of the church age, every believer is engaged in a spiritual ‘Olympic’ combat. Myriad’s of angels are watching; cheering us on, as are those who have ‘gone on before us’ and have been perfected (v 23). The word of God tells us that there is a race to be run.. It exhorts the Christian athlete to discipline himself or herself for combat. Christ Jesus our saviour has promised rewards to his faithful followers. There is a race to be run! There is a mighty battle to be fought!” The Lord is coming soon and His reward is with Him to give to each of His servants according to his fruitfulness’ and faithfulness in this life.

Soon before the ‘bema’ (the judgement seat of Christ – 2 Cor 5:10) before which we all must stand some will receive their ‘ Olympic medals’. Some gold, some silver and some bronze and the angels and the host of heaven will cheer the ‘overcomers’. Amen.   In view of our destiny, we as believers need to ‘train’ for that glorious day. As it is with the natural, so it is with the spiritual; the apostle Paul spoke of this need for spiritual discipline, likening the Christian life to a race for ‘glory’.

Hebrews 12:1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

The Apostle Paul admonished the Christian believers – “And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they [do it] to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible”, (1 Cor 9:25). In a similar way ass the Olympic Athlete is in training so God desires that we ‘submit willingly to the divine ‘trainer’. Our Lord has us in training. If we will submit to His hand, we will develop our spiritual muscles by leaps and bounds. We will grow “in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour, ( 2 peter 3:18 )

Perhaps the greatest need for a runner is ENDURANCE (Stamina). Starting well is great, but it’s the long ‘haul’ that proves the winner in the end. God wants each one of us so much to succeed that He will allow all kinds of circumstances in our life in order to train our endurance. The enemy (satan) throws many obstacles in the path of the Christian. Often these are things meant to upset the emotions of the believer and to ‘distract’ and discourage. In the following pages, much of what we will discuss will be regarding this aspect of God’s training in our lives.

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