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Part of the series: BE AN OLYMPIAN
BE AN OLYPIAN (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. There is great honor in being an Olympian. There is even more honor in being an Olympian who receives a medal. The greatest honor, however, goes to the Olympian who receives the gold medal.
B. The apostle Paul compares the Christian life to the Olympics in the New Testament.
1. Hebrews 12:1
Wherefore, 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.
a. The cloud of witnesses: those in the stands who are cheering for the Olympians
b. Weights: the training weights used before the actual race
c. The race that is set before us: the Olympic race itself
2. My friends, there is honor in participating in the Christian Olympics.
a. The world might deny this. Those in the world might chastise us for this.
b. One day, however, those who compete in the race and complete it will be given great honor by the Judge of all (II Tim. 4:8).
Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not unto me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
C. In our last lesson, we began a study entitled: “Be An Olympian!” We want to continue that study in this lesson. We are looking at comparisons between the Olympic competitors and Olympic games and Christians who are seeking to live the Christian life.
I. BEST TO START EARLY
A. Olympic athletes begin their quest for the gold very early in life. It is not uncommon to hear of individuals who start training at the ages of 5-10 years old.
B. It is much better to start the Christian life as early as possible.
1. Timothy was a young man who was both a leader and an important part of first century church history.
a. Let no man despise thy youth… (I Tim. 4:12).
b. And that from a child thou hast know the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus (II Tim. 3:15).
c. Ecclesiastes 12:1
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
2. Why should you start in your youth?
a. More years to serve the Christ and less years to be in the service of Satan
b. Greater capacity for learning, especially for memorization
c. A lot of energy to use in the Lord’s vineyard
d. The ability to reach others that the older generation does not have
e. An enthusiasm that is passed on to the older generation.
f. You give purpose to the older generation both to encourage and mentor you in your growth in Christ.
II. VIOLATIONS AND MISTAKES
A. We mentioned in our previous lesson that the Olympic Committee has an Olympic Charter that contains the rules and regulations for the Olympics.
1. If an Olympian violates the Charter, he is disqualified from the games. He will not receive a medal. If he has already gotten the medal, it will be taken from him.
2. Examples of violations
a. Using unlawful equipment
b. Taking performance enhancing drugs
c. Receiving certain types of contributions of money
3. It is possible for a Christian to violate God’s charter for Christian living.
a. Two verses:
1) Psalm 119:158
I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.
2) I John 3:4
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
b. Just as one can be disqualified from the Olympic games, so one can be disqualified from receiving a crown as a Christian if he violates the Word of God
1) Ps. 37:38
But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
2) II John 9
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
1. As one is competing, he can make mistakes in his/her performance that will cause him to lose his medal.
a. Slips on the ice or snow
b. The failure to complete a hurdle
c. Making a move to the finish line too soon and running out of energy
2. Christians can also make mistakes that will disqualify them from their reward.
1) We do not watch our words
2) We are not diligent in our practice of Christianity: Bible study, prayer, worship
3) We allow sin to overcome us
b. II John 8
Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
3. NOTE: One mistake can be tragic. Remember Moses who struck the rock instead of speaking to it (Num. 20:10-11).
And Moses lift up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because he believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
III. ONE CAN OVERCOME MISTAKES AND FAILURES AND WIN
A. A mistake made does not mean that one can never win a medal.
1. Many Olympians has overcome failure to come back and receive medals.
2. Olympian, Noelle Pikus-Pace
a. 2005 – a shattered leg
b. 2010 – 4th place in the Olympics
c. 2014 – 2nd place in the Olympics, a SILVER MEDAL
d. Between 2010 and 2014 she also lost a child by a miscarriage
B. Christians are going to make mistakes, but, we, too, can come back and win our crown.
1. Two prominent examples:
a. Peter who denied the Lord three times (Matt. 26:75).
b. Simon who desired the ability to lay hands on others in order to bestow the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:20-24).
2. Those listed in the Hall of Fame of the faithful in Hebrews 11.
a. Noah got drunk with wine (Heb. 11:7).
b. Abraham told half-truths and deceived Abimelech (Heb. 11:8).
c. Jacob was a deceiver (Heb. 11:21)
d. Moses disobeyed God (Heb. 11:24-27).
e. David and Samson both committed sins against God (Heb. 11:32).
3. God has given His people a plan of pardon after they have sinned against Him.
a. Repentance (Acts 8:22)
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness…
b. Confession of sins (I John 1:9; Ps. 51)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
c. Prayer to God (Acts 8:22)
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
A. Can you imagine being an Olympic athlete who wins the gold medal?
1. The honor of being number 1 in your sport.
2. The privilege of representing your country.
3. The pride you give to your family and friends.
4. The joy of wearing the medal.
B. Such an honor pales in comparison to receiving the victory crown on the last day (James 1:12).
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for which he is tried, he shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.