Upward Calling

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It is not enough to run hard and win the race;

the runner must also obey the rules.

In the Greek games, the judges were very strict about this.

Any infringement of the rules disqualified the athlete.

He did not lose his citizenship (though he disgraced it), but he did lose his privilege to participate and win a prize.

1976 Nascar cheating scandal

Two biggest names in racing:

  • Darryl Waltrip (Christian)
  • AJ Foyt

Both were caught using NOS in the qualifying of the 1976 Daytona 500.

  • AJ won the Pole
  • Darryl 2nd place

Nitrous Oxide, known as laughing gas at the dentist’s office and used by the Germans in World War II to boost the combat performance of their piston-engine aircraft and found its way into professional motorsports by the 1970s.

They would hide a small pressure tank somewhere on the racecar with a hidden tube to feed the oxygen-rich gas into the intake manifold and provide a brief but considerable boost of horsepower.

Nascar officials noticed that both Aj and Darryl’s qualifying times were suddenly one second quicker on their qualifying laps than they had been in practice.

Waltrip’s car was summoned to the inspection area, where crew chief Mario Rossi was told by NASCAR officials that the car would be cut into tiny pieces until the nitrous oxide hardware was found.

So Rossi confessed and revealed the system’s location, hidden inside a chassis tube.

Both teams were fined $1000 each and their qualifying times were disallowed.

In Philippians 3:15–16, Paul emphasizes the importance of the Christian remembering the “spiritual rules” laid down in the Word.

Philippians 3:15–16 (AV)
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

This is what Paul has in mind

in 1 Corinthians 9:24–27. “Any man who enters an athletic contest practices rigid self-control in training”

(Phil. 3:14).

• If the athlete breaks training, he is disqualified;

• if he breaks the rules of the game, he is disqualified.

• “No contestant in the games is crowned unless he competes according to the rules”

(2 Tim. 2:5).

Judgment Seat of Christ

• The issue is not what he thinks or what the spectators think but what the judges say.

• One day each Christian will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ

(Rom. 14:10–12).

The Greek word for “judgment seat” is bema, the very same word used to describe the place where the Olympic judges gave out the prizes!

If we have disciplined ourselves to obey the rules, we shall receive a prize.

Bible history is filled with people who began the race with great success but failed at the end because they disregarded God’s rules.

They did not lose their salvation,

• but they did lose their rewards (1 Cor. 3:15).

It happened to Lot (Gen. 19:12-26)

It happened to Samson (Judg. 16:15-30)

It happened to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10).

And it can happen to us!

1 Cor. 3:10-15

It is an exciting experience to run the race daily, “looking unto Jesus”

(Heb. 12:1–2).

It will be even more exciting when we experience that “upward calling” and Jesus returns to take us to heaven!

Then we will stand before the bema to receive our rewards!

It was this future prospect that motivated Paul, and it can also motivate us.

The post Upward Calling first appeared on Irvington Bible Baptist Church.

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