Most of us are aware of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. We admire the fitness and dedication of the athletes and share their joy when they win a gold medal.
# However, God also has Olympic Games.
- The Bible says, ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?’1 It is exactly as in the Olympic Games.
- Paul adds, ‘Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.’ 2 He refers to the Greek Games of his time which was similar to our Olympic Games.
# The clear difference between the two
- While in the Olympic Games only one in each category can win, in the Christian Olympics every contender can win, ‘Run in such a way as to get the prize.’ 3
- While the gold medals of the Games last only for a time, ours is different, ‘They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ 4
- These winners in Rio get a gold medal. Those who persevere in the Christian Games will walk on golden streets, ‘The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass.’ 5 That is in the New Jerusalem where God and the Lamb will have their thrones and the Holy Spirit with the Bride will be in the King’s presence eternally.
# A lesson from the athletes in the Olympic Games
The honours and medals don’t come automatically. The athletes are dedicated, practice strenuously and have their eyes focused on the goal to win. Paul writes, ‘I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.’ 6
Paul’s words apply to all the followers of Jesus: to press on towards the goal to win the prize which God wants us to receive. The glorious difference is that every follower of Jesus who asks the Holy Spirit to be his/her Trainer, will get the prize. That is the glory of God – He has no shortage of gold medals.
- 1 Corinthians 9:24
- Revelation 21:21
- Philippians 3:14