Losing your religion over Football

It is a phrase that has been around for years, that being, “Go to hell!”  Even in a Bible-belt state where I live, fans of one university tell another to, “Go to hell!”

As a younger, unsaved individual I said it more than a few times, and not just to football fans. Now that I am a born-again child of God (Galatians 3:26), I do not believe that is the proper thing to say, especially for Christians. For one thing, the Bible tells us to put off anger, wrath and other forms of filthy communication (Colossians 3:8). Meanwhile, the Bible gives us a clear picture of what hell is like, and it is the last thing any person should want another individual to experience.

Luke 16:19-31 involves the Parable of Lazarus and The Rich Man. Yes, it may only be a story, but Jesus uses parables to teach and preach while giving people a visual aide. In this case, a man goes to hell and is described as being in torment (verse 23). This means people in hell are conscious or aware of their surroundings. Moreover, the man cries out for mercy and asks for water to cool his tongue (verse 24). When he is told there is nothing that can be done for him, he prays for someone to go and warn his relatives so they will not end up in the same place of torment (verse 28). 

This is not the only time Jesus mentions hell. He actually talks about hell quite a lot. Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50 and Mark 9:43, 48-49 are examples, and those accounts involve a place of torment where people are crying out. Is that somewhere you want people to go to after their death? One might say, “Well, they deserve it.” If that is you, then let me say we all deserve hell. After all, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and our righteousness is described as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). 

It is not until we realize just how awful a place like hell really is, that we understand how amazing grace is for the people who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Without that faith in Jesus Christ, we are all destined for hell (Romans 6:23). There are not enough trophies and bragging rights to make up for that, which is exactly why Jesus instructs us not to set up treasures here on earth (Matthew 6:19). So go forth and wish people well.

Cheer righteously, and preach the Gospel.

Chris Woodward

Assistant Editor, One Million Dads
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