I was watching the NFL’s Eagles and Titans game about four weeks ago. At the end of the game, I was extremely happy with the outcome. It was exciting to me for the Titans to beat the Eagles. Why was I happy? One reason is the Titans are my team. I keep up with them, I watch or listen to every game I can, and I always root for them no matter who they are playing. I am ecstatic when they win and extremely disappointed when they lose. You might say I belong to the Titans fan base.
While on earth we can belong to many groups, organizations, or clubs. Everyone wants to feel like they belong to someone or something. Belonging to a group can help us formulate goals and attitudes in keeping with the purpose of the group. Belonging can give us a feeling of fulfillment or purpose when the goals of the group are accomplished. As a member of the Titans fan base, my goal was for them to beat the Eagles and win every game they play. All I can do is cheer them on during each game, but it is the players and coaches that determine if they achieve victory.
The best group you can belong to is the Lord’s Church. The Church is made up of imperfect people serving the perfect God. God wants us to do our best, but we will often fall short and sin against Him. Thankfully, He offers us a way to be right with Him and to be saved from the penalty of our sins. That way of salvation is called the Gospel, which means good news. As Christians, we are not sinless, but we must do our best to sin less. We are called to put others before ourselves and treat them as we would like to be treated, according to Matthew 7:12. We strive to help and not hurt each other. As Christians we all have the same goal of getting to heaven and trying to take as many with us as possible. Unfortunately, Jesus says many choose not to belong to His way and follow the path which leads to life, as Matthew 7:13-14 teaches.
It is not a sin to belong to some earthly groups. For instance, God created the family to be a wonderful thing. However, if we put our families before God, then we are in the wrong, as Jesus taught in Matthew 10:37: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” We need to set our priorities properly. Anything we put ahead of God is a sin; it does not matter if it is a sports team, your family, a wooden idol, or anything else. I go to worship every time the doors are open, unless my physical health restricts me. I plan to do that when it will be my decision and not my parents’ choice for me. I may miss parts of the Titans games. However, watching or listening to those games is not as important as worshiping God. God sent His Son, who lived a perfect life and died an excruciating death for my sins. The least I can do is to obey Him and worship Him every time I have the opportunity.
On judgment day there is only one thing that will matter and membership in only one group will count. Did you faithfully belong to Christ’s body which He shed His blood for? Even if you belonged to the most prestigious family, famous club, or fantastic fan base while here on earth, it will be of no value to you in eternity. If you did not become and live as a faithful member of Christ’s body, you will find yourself in a place of eternal punishment. On the flip side, if we continue to belong to Christ till our last second, we will be found in a place of eternal happiness called heaven.
Whom and what do you belong to?