Everyone’s a Winner?

Growing up, I hated losing. I still do actually. No one wants to lose because let’s face it, process of elimination, if you lose, you’re a loser. Go ahead and put that L on your forehead. It’s heartbreaking to lose. I never wanted to see my favorite team lose either. I was that kid that cried if my favorite college or professional sports team lost. If my team lost, it was literally like someone had stole all my toys and lit them on fire. Devastating. Why does losing feel so bad? Well, I believe that when you put so much time and effort into something and then you lose, you think “Why did I even bother if this was going to be the outcome??” You put your heart, soul, and body into and then you lose. Ouch. 
There’s a mindset that everyone is a winner. Everyone gets a trophy. Does this same concept apply to our Christian life? I know we are not competing against other individuals for the prize of heaven but rather against our selfish ways. If we look at a few passages of scripture, I think we see the bigger picture.
Hebrews 3:12-19
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Y)”>the living God. But <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(Z)”>encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AA)”>deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AB)”>if we hold fast the beginning of our <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AC)”>assurance firm until the end, while it is said,
<span class="crossreference" style="font-family: inherit; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AD)”>Today if you hear His voiceDo not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me.”
For who <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AE)”>provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AF)”>did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AG)”>whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AH)”>that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AI)”>disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”>unbelief.

Hebrews 10:26-31
For if we go on <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(AZ)”>sinning willfully after receiving <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BA)”>the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BB)”>judgment and <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BC)”>the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BD)”>Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BE)”>How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BF)”>who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BG)”>the blood of the covenant <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BH)”>by which he was sanctified, and has <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BI)”>insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “<span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BJ)”>Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “<span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BK)”>The Lord will judge His people.” It is a <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BL)”>terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(BM)”>living God.

Romans 6:1-4
What shall we say then? Are we to <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”>continue in sin so that grace may increase? <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”>May it never be! How shall we who <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”>died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(E)”>baptized into <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(F)”>Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(G)”>buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(H)”>raised from the dead through the <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(I)”>glory of the Father, so we too might walk in <span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(J)”>newness of life.


According to the passages in Hebrews, we see that people had a wondering heart, hardening of heart, or even a heart of unbelief. We do have grace. We see that in Romans but the idea of grace is not a license to keep sinning. We insult the Spirit of grace when we do that. I see it as a race, as the Hebrew writer wrote, let us run this race we call life with endurance, lay down the things that hold us back, and keep our focus on the Lord. I think the following paragraph helps sum up this idea:
“Christians should rejoice that no one can forcefully take the gift of salvation away from them. But, it is possible for Christians to lose hold of their own salvation (i.e., “fall from grace,” Galatians 5:4) by willfully becoming disobedient to the Master, Jesus Christ. Christians may choose to walk in darkness (becoming unforgiving, unmerciful, lukewarm, etc.), and thus forfeit their eternal life with God in Whom there “is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). Or, Christians can choose to “walk in the light as He is in the light,” and forever remain in a saved state, having the blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanse all sin (1 John 1:7-9).”

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