The gods of Sport

God is sovereign.

He will choose whomsoever He will.

He has chosen whomsoever He will.

And that choice, having been made shall be confirmed and ratified in glory at last.

Yes, so all that the Father gave by donation to his only beloved Son, Jesus Christ, shall be surely at the appointed time and in the appointed place and by the appointed manner, come to the Lord Jesus Christ and none shall prevent them.

None shall stand in the way.

None shall cause the Lord Jesus Christ disappointment.

What a wonderful gospel it is when we consider it in that light.

But God has done whatsoever He has desired to do. And none can question him. He is the almighty. He is the great and the eternal God. He is from everlasting to everlasting.

He is God alone and there is none beside.

Man makes gods unto himself, many. And, of course, in the Old Testament times you can read in the chapters of Isaiah from 40 onwards about the making of idols.

How foolish, how stupid that was to bow down to stocks and to stones to say that these are our gods.

How foolish was Aaron being bold to make that golden calf and to cause the people to bow down and worship it.

Yes, man has ever been foolish. He is still foolish today. The gods are different gods, but nevertheless, they are still gods.

We have the god of wealth.

We have the god of honour.

We have the god of fame.

We have the god of sport.

We have the god of pleasure.

And all these gods, people bow down and worship.

One time I was in Kansas City, and the hotel that we were staying in happened to be opposite the football stadium and one evening there was such a noise we thought it was thunder.

But when we looked out the window we saw this great crowd of people shouting and screaming for their idols.

This man worships idols.

God’s elect, His chosen, His called people come to see that there is no God but one and they come to acknowledge that He is God and He is God alone.

These are the traditions that the apostle is speaking of.

And how does man come to know that he is one of the Lord’s?

How does he know that he is elect according to the foreknowledge of God?

You cannot look at a person and say, yes, we can see that that person is elect.

How do we know?

The Lord Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

There is a great need, not of a superficial change, but of a real change of heart, of mind, of understanding, a change which would cause a person to walk in a completely different direction to the way in which he once walked, born again of the Spirit of God, born into newness of life.

Yes, the apostle says that we are new creatures, new creatures in Christ Jesus.

“…Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
(2nd Corinthians 5:17)

Here is that change that takes place in the heart and life of the true believer.

And where is that faith directed?

I say it is the work of the Holy Spirit to lead the sinner to the Saviour, to lead him to the cross at Calvary, to lead him to the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, to lead him to that atoning work, to lead him to that propitiation, that peace, peace by His cross as Jesus said.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins.”
(1st John 2:1-2)

He is. He has made peace. He paid the ultimate price for the sins of His people. He gave His life a ransom for many.

The purpose of His coming into this world – “His name shall be called Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:23)

He is the Saviour, then, whom the prophets and teachers of old pointed to. From the beginning of time to the end of the Old Testament there are the many references.

The book of Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah is often spoken of as the fifth gospel because there are so many references to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the work that He will perform and all that He would do to secure the souls of His elect, those who have been given unto Him, those for whom He came to pay that price.

He came to be the Redeemer. He came to bring redemption for his people. Yes, what a price the Lord Jesus Christ was prepared to pay.

And why was He prepared to pay it?

Because He loved his people.

He loved them so dear that He gave His whole self that they, poor erring sinners might live.

These are the traditions that the apostle is speaking of here. The works of sovereign grace, those things which are so despised in our day, those things which are being denied.

You know, we find this in our bookstore. We want to bring forth certain titles which have been made a blessing to the Christian Church. And we find the people that we buy these books from have altered them. We are often deceived and sometimes it is so subtle. We are deceived – not knowing. They don’t tell you that you have changed the text. And without really reading the whole book we cannot always tell. But they make changes – for the most part they have taken out chapters on reprobation, chapters which set forth the truths of sovereign grace. They have watered down these things that the book is totally worthless. It has no point because they have taken out the very heart of the truth of that book.

And I believe this is the whole purpose of Satan.

He wants to take the heart out of the gospel.

He wants to make them believe that there is another way by which they can come to God or that God, because he is a God of love, will accept the person of all men.

Well, the Bible doesn’t teach that. There are very solemn things which are set forth in the Word of God and we need to be warned of these solemnities. We need to have them set before us.

The last thing that we would ever want when we come and stand before God is for the Lord to say, “But you didn’t warn people. Their blood is upon your head.”

No, we have had to give out at times solemn warnings that if we do not believe the truth, if we do not hold fast to these sound provisions then it is evident that we are not God’s people.

And if we are not God’s people, then we are lost to all eternity.

“Ye began well,” the apostle says.

Yes, many seem to begin well. They seem to have a real religion. They seem to have a love for the truth. But by and by their love grew cold and they started turning out of the way and before long they no longer [fellowship with God’s people]. They wanted a more pleasurable gospel as they would call it. They wanted something which is far easier. And for a while they were entertained by the social gospel that seemed to please their ears and delight their spirits.

But then, after a time, they tell that that didn’t satisfy and they went further yet and until, at last, there was no religion in them. They had walked away from the truth. They had rejected the sound teaching of the gospel. They had fallen away.

Don’t think that these are isolated cases. The sad part is that we have seen it so often in our churches that young people, especially, older ones, too, are being attracted by a certain speaker of a different denomination and they think that this person has everything that they need.

And so they depart from a sound gospel.

And they go and listen to the eloquence of this man who is able to pitch a story which seems so convincing to them that they fall hook, line and sinker, as they say, into this error.

It is very solemn and we see so many.

And some older ones who we thought were pillars in the church, also being deceived, have got away.

Why are our churches so low?

Why are there so few?

Because there are so few people that want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. No, we don’t give you entertainment. We don’t bring forth novelties. We don’t dress up in some comical outfit to amuse and to bring laughter out of our congregation. We are commissioned of God for one thing and that is to preach the gospel. And woe unto me if I preach not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And may this be a warning as well as an exhortation.

“Therefore, brethren…”

He calls them brethren. He loves them for the truth’s sake.

Stand fast, and hold tenaciously hold on to these traditions which have been taught to you, which are laid in your heart as a foundation. Don’t depart from them. Don’t deviate one iota from the truth. It is a straight and narrow way that leads to God and few there be that find it.

The Word of God throughout speaks of remnant, a little company.

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
(Luke 12:32)

Ah, to be numbered among those people.

As the hymn writer says:

May I numbered with them be,
Now and through eternity.

Do we love the brethren?

Do we love the truth?

Do we enough to hold fast to these what are termed today old fashioned doctrines?

Give me the old fashioned doctrines. Give me that straight and narrow way, because it is a sure way. It is a certain way. It is the only way that leads to God.

And when we begin to depart from these, it is like the snowball that tumbles down the
hill as it rolls. It gathers more to it and ends up in confusion at the bottom.

No, we need to stand fast, to stand firm, to hold on, not to let go, not to be deceived, not to be attracted by our fleshly considerations, but to consider what the Lord Jesus Christ is and what He has said and what He has done for His people, that sovereign work that He accomplished whereby he could say, “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

You see, many today are denying that. They are saying, “Christ did not finish his work. We have got to add something to it. We have got to bring something forth.”

They are denying the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ, His finished work, His great salvation.

We believe in a Christ that has done everything and failed in nothing. Oh may we then hold fast unto these things whether we be the only ones left at the end of the day.

If we hold fast then we are assured of a place in the kingdom.

As the apostle says, “To be with Christ; which is far better” (Philippians 1:23).

May the Lord bless his own Word of truth to us. Amen.

By Michael Pickett

One Comment on “The gods of Sport

  1. I am thankful to God for delivering me from this wickedness. It was something I prayed about knowing that I had no ability within myself to change. Sports, entertainment, and politics are but a few of the gods of this age that ignorant men worship. It is all idolatry and for Satan’s world stage (1st John 2:15-17).

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