Jump Start # 2977
1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”
Let’s start with some administrative notes. From time to time, one of our readers will contact me and inform me that they are not receiving the daily Jump Starts. I tell them to check their spam folder and so forth. You have to understand, I love using technology, but I do not understand it. In this congregation we are pushing the envelope as far as we can with publishing things such as sermons, classes, blogs, podcasts and livestream. Our website adds information daily. We also have a major Facebook presence. People ask me what software we are using for this or that and I really don’t have a clue. So, this week, me, the writer of Jump Starts, is not receiving the Jump Starts. They are not in my spam folder. They are no where.
When this happens, go to the Jump Start website (www.jumpstartsdaily.com) and sign up again. You can always find them on that site, our congregation’s website (www.charlestownroad.org) and most times on our Facebook page. I wish I could tell you why this happens, but I don’t understand it.
And, all of this leads to our verse today. I was thinking about this as I was looking for the Jump Start this morning. I am the author. It comes from me. I am the one who sends it out and yet, it wasn’t sent to me. In a much more grave situation, Paul reminds us that being an apostle wasn’t a sure ticket to Heaven. He had to do what you and I have to do and that is faithfully follow the Lord. Having saved others, there was the possibility that Paul could have been lost. Imagine that very thought. There could be people in Heaven as a direct result of Paul’s preaching, but they couldn’t find Paul in Heaven because he became disqualified.
From this some thoughts:
First, as we teach and preach to others, we must listen to what we are saying. It quickly becomes a double standard when we expect others to follow God’s word closely, but we are not as careful and even playing tag with the Devil. We preachers, teachers and shepherds must take this to heart. If Paul could be disqualified, so could we.
Second, there is one standard, one path and we must all follow it. There is not an exemption clause for some. It’s the same today as it was in 1900. It’s the same today as it was in the 12th century. It’s the same today as it was for those very first disciples. Our world is different, but what God expects of us isn’t. Times have changed, but what God expects of you hasn’t. The world is smaller and moves much faster today, but what God expects hasn’t change.
Third, disqualified is such a sickening thought. It’s one thing to give your all and lose the game or the battle, but to be disqualified carries the idea of cheating, breaking the rules. To lose fairly is one thing, but to be tossed out because you were disqualified is something else. Every Olympic season complicated drug testing must take place because of cheating. Some spend more effort and time trying to bend the rules than they do making the games. Every sport, every game, has rules. Breaking those rules, makes one disqualified. To be disqualified spiritually reveals a serious faith issue. Either the person isn’t committed or somehow he thinks he is above the rules. Our Lord followed the rules. He was obedient in all things. He was tempted but without sin.
Fourth, the declaration of disqualification most likely would happen at the judgment. One can spend a life living with double standards, bending the rules, doing as they feel like, but at the judgment they will find out how wrong they were. It is at the judgment that all the cards are put on the table. It is at the judgment that God reveals all. And, it is at the judgment that opportunity and time to change and be right with the Lord is gone. There is no repenting after the judgment. There is no second chances after the judgment. Disqualified and now unable to receive the greatest crown of victory, eternal life with the Lord.
None of us are too big, too good, too important, too busy, to not possibly be disqualified. It doesn’t matter if you started the church in that location. It doesn’t matter if you have been with that congregation for decades. What matter is are you qualified? What matters is are you being honest with yourself and your walk with the Lord.
I was preaching about Heaven a while back and made the observation that we might be surprised who is in Heaven and who is not in Heaven. That call is made by God, not us. God makes that call based upon one’s faith and walk with the Lord. Some are pretty good at wearing masks and pretending to be what they are not. Others stumble along, but they have a sweet and honest heart. The obvious may not be the one who is in Heaven.
Disqualified…don’t let that happen to you.