I Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
We will get back to our study of Philippians yet. There are current events that need to be addressed.
I Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Throughout my life time sports has been overemphasized. Parents have spoken of how proud they are of their son because he is a good skater who they hope will make it to the NHL, or a good runner who they hope will make it into the major leagues in baseball or to some football team., etc.
The problem with all organized sports is that it is a god to those involved in it.
In the first church I pastored, we had a family whose sons were involved in hockey. The father was an unsaved man who never attended our church. The mother was saved and did attend quite faithfully. When winter came around, their young sons were often missing from church because of hockey. We also had another family whose son was involved in hockey. Same problem existed in that home.
As a young pastor this concerned me. These children were being taught that their sporting events were of greater importance than learning about the true God. I spoke to the parents about this and the mother whose two sons were involved in sports, saw the significance of what I said. She spoke with the coaches and there were some changes made to their schedules. However, the sport still had to be accommodated, in her mind.
The sporting world does not care about the Lord. There are some coaches or some players that claim to be saved. Some will even stick a Bible verse on their face for shadowing. Yet they have no problem playing their games on the Lord’s Day. They have no problem being supported by the liquor industry and other vices. They have no problem missing Bible study for the sake of a game.
Over the past several months Hockey Canada has been in the news for its moral corruption. During this time it has been revealed that we, the taxpayers, have been funding Hockey Canada to the tune of millions of dollars. Why should our tax dollars be used to fund any sporting events? The answer is because too many people see sports as their god. Too many parents think that if they can get their child(ren) involved in sports, it will keep them out of trouble.
It is important for children to be learning good skills. It is important for them to be occupied in worthy things. It is important to note that there will be no hockey or football or baseball or any other sports in hell. The Bible teaches us that God is a jealous God. He has every right to be jealous. He made man. He made man to glorify Him. He did not need man. He was God without man. He chose to make man for His glory.
He gave man the ability to think and choose. He also gave man the ability to choose the good. Adam soon chose the bad and the evil over that which he knew was right. Since that time, all people have been born into this world as lost sinners in need of a Saviour. Too many have lived their lives assuming they are good enough and have no need of a Saviour. That was Cain’s philosophy. That was the philosophy at the time of the flood. That is certainly the philosophy today. Too many professing Christians assume that as long as they squeeze God in somewhere, that is all that matters. The result of this philosophy has been that there are many gods that have taken the place of the true God in the hearts and lives of too many.
There was a news item that caught my attention this week in relation to the sport of hockey. The article spoke of Hockey New Brunswick. Apparently there is a continuing problem with a lack of respect for other players there and they have seen that their current approach to this issue has not worked.
False religion can create a problem, but it cannot properly address the problem. False religion is built upon false gods and false philosophies. It may have a smattering of Bible in it, but it is distorted and corrupted.
The “wise” people of Hockey NB decided they needed to use a different approach to the concerns they had. They enlisted the help of a “drag queen” to hold workshops to teach the hockey players the importance of respect. This decision shows the depravity of man once again. No God-fearing parent would enlist their child in any organized sport. No God-fearing parent would subject their child to be taught by a sodomite.
God created a man and a woman. He instituted marriage for a man and a woman. He condemned intimacy between a man and a man and a man and a beast. He warned of the serious consequences of such wickedness. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness.
I understand that sodomites and other wicked people have tried to redefine the problem in those cities, but God is clear as to why He destroyed them. The nation of Israel chose to tolerate sodomy within its ranks and God judged them for that as well. Today Israel is one of the leading nations in the promotion of sodomy.
We can see the long-suffering of the Lord when we think of the wickedness of the nation of Israel. God has not destroyed that nation because He made a promise to Abraham. God is faithful and He keeps His promises. He also promised to curse those who reject Him. Within the history of the nation of Israel, there have been thousands of people that have perished. There has been much suffering among the Jewish people at the hands of other wicked nations. Yet, to this day, Israel is still walking in defiance of the true God. One day they will repent and that will be a glorious day.
Getting back to our topic, it is a shame that the news would publish what is happening with Hockey NB, not in a scolding manner, but with respect. Those choosing this direction and those reporting on this wickedness are all proud of what is happening.
This is another reminder of the depravity of our nation. When a person does not know the true God, wickedness will abound and grow like a snowball. There are no brakes on wickedness as far as the devil is concerned. It is God, Who in His mercy, restricts the devil in his implementation of his wickedness. It is God’s design that His children live for His glory. That includes speaking out on the wickedness that is engulfing our society.
I realize that speaking the truth is offensive to those who do not want to hear the truth. I realize that politics has overtaken most pulpits. I also realize that God has not redefined holiness. I also understand that God’s holiness is a blessing for man to live by.
As we continue our study of Paul’s letter to the saints in Philippi, we will continue to see that Paul came to understand the importance of knowing the true God. He was born a lost sinner just like all others. He pursued a path of “religion” that was a dead end path. He did not see that. He was zealous in his path. He was taught by one of the best Pharisees. However, Paul’s past choices were wrong. They were not just off a little bit, they were wrong. They were rejected by God. God allowed Paul to choose a wrong path. There were many others who were also in agreement with his wrong choice. However, his choice was still wrong in God’s eyes.
God was gracious to Paul as He is with all people. Paul (Saul) was given many opportunities to see his need to be saved. He eventually did listen to the voice of God and was converted. He was not a “fair weather” Christian. He was a truly born again Christian.
There are so many professing Christians today that make a mockery of the true and Holy God. We still have God’s Word today. We can still know the truth today. In spite of the great effort being put into distorting the Truth, it is still readily available today. The question is: will you submit yourself to God’s Truth?
Our opening verses challenge us to prove all things, hold fast to that which is good. I encourage you to carefully consider what has been written in this and every devotional we put out. Examine it in the light of God’s Word. Hold fast to God’s Word. Honour Him and know His peace and blessing today and every day.