Opening game of the new season! Fans are streaming through the gates. And what a storied tradition drives this contest: the common belief that this is the only day of salvation and God and Satan are engaged in a frantic frenzied slugfest over souls won or lost before the last at bat.
While we wait for the first pitch, Pew Research scores Christianity as currently the world’s largest religion at 2.2 billion, equaling 31.4% of world population. That leaves Satan with a winning 68.6%
Pregame analysts predict that for 2050, the number of Christians will climb to 2.9 billion but still equal about 31% of world population. Doesn’t look so good for the home team, sports fans—Satan still winning with 69%! And there’s more than first place at stake here!
Nephesh Stadium is rocking today! Get your program! Get your hotdogs! Stomp and clap!
Crrrraacck! At the sound of Louisville wood striking horsehide, those rooting for God’s side leap from their season ticket box seat pews and cheer as they watch a most improbable grand slam clear the left field fence: Doesn’t the Bible say “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31)? Well, James 2:19 says “Even the demons believe—and tremble!” So shouts the beleaguered frocked manager from his dugout pulpit: “One-third of the millions of angels should be counted as Christians!” The scoreboard seems like it dings for eternity trying to tally up all the fallen angels!
This clever tactic caught Satan off guard and he slithers out to home plate to hiss at the ump and dig up dirt on him until the infield swirls like the ‘30s Dust Bowl! Usually it’s humans ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:9). But this time he never saw this no-holds-barred attempt coming to steal not just second base but the whole team in fiery red suits! And clearly, if the ump ruled that they must don the other team’s white outfits, how would you tell the sides apart. Barna has already been analyzing that too many Christians act and think like the non. Looks like game over before the seventh inning stretch!
But don’t count the wily deceiver out yet! Satan’s summoning his bullpen! With all the best lawyers to choose from, out comes the one with the unhittable forkball. He sidewinds up and pitches a summons for the ump to find out how many of the Christians had walked and given their hearts to the Lord. Sure enough, though it seemed a heartless call, the oblidging ump had to call them legally dead and “out!” at the plate! The scoreboard starts dinging again and tilting to the dark side.
Both teams and their fans scream and threaten to storm the playing field for a real spiritual donnybrook!
“Quiet” boomed the commanding voice like the sound of many waters from His throne on high. Everybody looked up and the irresistible presence was originating from somewhere way up beyond the box seats. Except the crowd could only hush and look down as the stadium lights turned up like the sun.
“My plan of salvation is right on track to have ‘all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’” (I Timothy 2:4). “I am the Master Timer in complete control ‘until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved’ (Romans 11:25-26). Nobody can come to me until I decide it’s the right time to draw him” (John 6:44).
Satan knew all this full well and slinks away from Nephesh Park. He knows what nephesh really means and he feels like one! He knows there is no contest. He knows he and his team will be removed by Jesus Christ on a future Day of Atonement.
Suddenly a spotlight on the on-deck circle! It’s Jesus! Astride a magnificent white stallion! “I’m coming back soon enough, but for now I want you study into Pentecost, my next holyday coming May 24 (Leviticus 23:9-22). This amazing day teaches about the first fruits and how the Father will call each person to their day of salvation at the perfect time for them.”
FUN FACT: Out here in the bog is like a beautiful ballpark. But no dome and the glittering lights are real moon and stars! I’m glad God called me “out” here! I like being the only nephesh out here and am happy to not see a soul. I need to stretch enough that I don’t wait for any seventh inning.
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