Competition is something that excites men and women. I can confidently speak for many men I know, including myself. That probably explains why I take time to keep up with sporting events. But have you noticed the sporting world is progressively spiraling downward at a rapid pace? You don’t just watch sports anymore; you must sift through the inappropriately dressed entertainers and the profane language, filter through the indecent commercials, the sexual suggestions, the slanderous remarks toward business competition, and embezzlement.
Magazines are sold from sports providers, and they have absolutely nothing to do with competition or sports for that matter. Rather they are generating all forms of sinful passions, marrying athletics to immorality. Watching a sporting event is becoming difficult for that reason among others. Add to that the gross immorality on the part of the athletes themselves, something many would rather just ignore.
But it has not stopped there. The full acceptance of homosexuality in athletics is happening with great rapidity. This problem is not recent, yet the rate to which we have seen it grow like gangrene is exponential. A former male athlete, Bruce Jenner, has received just as much notoriety or more than pressing sporting events. You cannot just watch a game anymore. You must look past the filth and open depravity in order to do so. Now you have to watch a man, who thinks he was trapped in the body of a man, convince you that he should be a woman. You must stare at a football athlete, whose sport embodies pain and punishment, publicly display his affection for another man. The world of athletics is becoming the new display of God’s judgment.
These are the signs of the time and there is no way we can chalk America’s ascension toward declension to human progress. Human beings are not that quick to make drastic changes in their convictions in such a short period of time. Mankind, although they will progressively get worse (2 Tim. 3:13), are not that eager to change their views at such a rapid pace. The sprint to the immoral finish line is precisely what we call God’s judgment upon our society, not human advancement. We did not stumble to get to this point; God in His judgment has done this. The world of athletics is attesting to that.
Romans chapter 1 is the road marker for what we are seeing. God does not take lightly our proclivity for just letting people live without taking into account His moral laws. God’s law for morality applies to every man, whether they are in Christ or not. No one just has a free pass to live how he or she pleases; they must obey God or suffer the consequences. And if they think they are enjoying themselves because they have the right to choose, they are actually committing shameful acts while thinking they are doing good.
They call these indecent acts freedom. Beat writers herald their actions as ‘bold.’ They are stepping out, declaring who they really are, as if they know who they should be. The failure to consider God for who He is has led them to this point. To extend this further, there are some who claim to believe in God but do not see anything wrong with people living how they feel. If that is true, then why are followers of Christ hated for believing what they believe? Why are we labelled as being judgmental when we speak God’s word about man’s moral condition? The answer is: man does not want to retain God in his knowledge (Romans 1:28).
To return to the world of sports, nothing we see around us is innocent. The world of sports, where masculinity, toughness, grit, concussions, sweat, or any other macho trait is encouraged, is becoming the final battlefield to be conquered. The public schools have given in, churches are giving in, and our teaching society is giving in. In fact, I took my then 6-year-old daughter to a local library a few years ago to discover a book written for her age about two married kings on their honeymoon. This is not the age of advancement; this is happening all to quickly to credit man. God’s judgment has removed all rationality, reasoning, and restraint. This is an old-fashioned turning over by God.
How do we cope with this problem? The answer is always the gospel. Paul’s goal in Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32 was not a merely a dissertation on humanity’s condition, but a full disclosure of his complete bankruptcy and how a holy God will judge. The message did not end there; it exposed man’s helplessness, both Jew and Gentile, in order to unveil his only hope, Jesus Christ. All have sinned, from the homosexual to the unregenerate homemaker.
So, instead of the pulpits branding homosexuality, or stopping only at Romans 1, they must and must always take the message toward hope, the hope in Christ. We are not here to persuade society to change. The ship is too great for us to turn it around. What we are called to do is faithfully teach God’s word, proclaiming to the world that God alone is the absolutely authority over His creation. We know that Paul wrote the epistle of Romans when Rome was burning with sinful vices. His message then is the same message now, the gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16).
We have the shameless and timeless message of the gospel. We do not have time nor the right to debate whether or not we should preach about sin, including the sin of homosexuality. With the love of God we call sinners, including Bruce Jenner, to embrace Jesus Christ; repent of their sins. You are not empty because you have have been a woman all along. Man is empty and bankrupt because he, in his sin, has rejected the giver of life. In Christ is our hope.
Finally to all the preachers who evade these topics: you really do not love the people. You love yourselves. Genuine love speaks the truth. And yes, sometimes many preachers have been too hard and even hateful. I have a strong dislike when people picket and attack, especially with signs telling everyone else they are going to hell. That is akin to snake evangelism, venomous and deadly but not graceful and caring. Nevertheless just because there may be spiritual abuse by others, does not justify avoiding the topic. We must care for everyone because they are created in the image of God. But true, biblical love will tell that lost soul they are falling into eternal torment, hell, if they do not repent.
You and I must pray for men like Bruce, primarily for his salvation, and pray that someone would lovingly tell him what God has to say about sin. For the world of sports, it will never be the same. It will get worse because men will progressively get worse. Can we not learn from history, which points us to the reality of God’s word and His holy character? What we are witnessing is God’s judgment, not man’s freedom. The world of sports is painting the reality of God’s judgment for us every day.
The only hope is the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for sinners because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23)