Reach | Devotion #6: The “End” Zone
Brett Eberle | Production Director
I can remember getting the opportunity to preach my first sermon. I was part of a class being put on by some of the pastors of the church, and they gave everybody in the class the same topic and five minutes to preach the sermon. I do not remember how the sermon went, but I am sure it was not very good. What I do remember is the topic lighting a fire within me that no matter what I do will not go out. The fire that was lit inside of me was the desire to share the Gospel.
The statement that I am about to make may get me in trouble, but I am going to make it anyway. I do not like that we use the word “Reach” in the vision statement for our church, in my mind it sounds too nice. In my opinion, it gives believers an excuse. Believers will say, “I tried to get through to them” and statements along those lines which mean I reached, but I just could not grab them. I had the opportunity to coach a football team this year and what I did not expect was that I learned as much or more than I taught the players. One of the things that I learned was that I have a major issue with what we call arm tackling. Arm tackling is when you reach for someone to avoid the collision and attempt to drag them down instead of planting your shoulder into them and driving them to the ground with everything that you have.
One of our Student Pastors showed me a quote by Charles Spurgeon a few years ago that has become a constant reminder in my life. The quote was, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”
Since the day that I preached my first sermon, I have treated reach like a goal-line situation in football. I treat it as if I am the only person standing between them and hell and I will do anything in my power to stop them from making it into that end zone. So I challenge you, if there is someone in your life that you have only attempted to arm tackle, plant your feet on the goal line and give it everything that you have because who knows, you may be the only person who stands between them and eternal damnation.