The Olympics of Eternal Life

100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #16 | with Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25: “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

As you probably know, the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games have been played over the past 17 days. During this time, over 10,000 athletes from 204 countries competed in almost every sport imaginable. Thirty new world records were set and 946 medals were awarded. Last night, the closing ceremony of the London Olympics took place.

The Bible talks about a spiritual Olympics that is far more important than the Olympics we saw over the past 17 days. You see, an Olympic medal will not last for ever. The medals that Olympic champions receive will one day decay and the money they receive will be used up. But the Bible talks about an eternal prize, “an incorruptible crown, that fadeth not away.”

Paul, the writer of this passage, was familiar with the games at Isthmia near Corinth which took place every two years. He may have even been in Corinth during one of these events. The city would have been packed and many people would be forced to camp out in tents, so Paul, who was skilled at tentmaking would have probably applied his trade during this time. Since he is writing to the Corinthians who are familiar with this event, he uses the metaphor of runners racing for a prize to get his point across in this passage.

Please notice with me five things that we can learn about the olympics of eternal life:

I. The first thing that Paul urges his reader to do is to run with a purpose.

II. The second thing I want you to notice is that when you run, you must run with discipline.

III. The third thing I want you to notice is that earthly prizes and rewards are only temporary.

IV. The fourth thing we notice is that if we run this race and run it well, we will receive an eternal prize that cannot be taken away.

V. The fifth thing we notice is that in order to win this race, you have to get in the race.

+ Plus, listen to Steve Ivey singing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

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