Living in Illinois, I’ve seen my share of fair-weather fans. Going to U of I has my opened my eyes to it even more. The most obvious for people are seeing the “hard core” fans during the dynasty of the Bulls, who no longer can list even 3 people on the current team. Then you have those ‘Cubs fans’ during the run in the playoffs (Bartman-era), who now cannot find anything good to say about them. There were the people singing the praises of the Fighting Illini basketball 2 years ago, up until they lost to UNC in the championship game, and then those people started shouting “overrated.” I mean, seriously?
How many people saw/heard about the Miami Dolphins making the Chicago Bears look very inadequate as a team this past Sunday? Last week they scored 41 against the 49ers, and this week they let the ‘1-6’ Dolphins come into their stadium and make them look stupid. (not the best follow-up either, as the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat by 42 last week, and then go on to lose the next 2 games). Am I the only one who saw ‘fans’ jumping off the bandwagon so quickly that there was fear someone might get hurt? I know of a good handful of people who had claimed Rex Grossman as the savior for the Bears this season because he’s finally healthy, but now want to cut him and even let Kyle Orten start after the two pitiful games against Arizona and Miami. How quickly people’s views change when things stop going their way.
The big issue most “real” fans with fair-weather fans is that these people attempt to gain the joys of success without facing the agony and pain of defeat. They want to experience the celebrations and victory cheers, but don’t want to toil in hard work and possible disgrace that might lead up to it. And although the NFL and NBA and MLB and everything else are all just games in the picture, there are many who try to live like this in their everyday lives.
There are those fair-weather Christians. The ones who will cheer for Jesus along with all the other believers, but don’t care too much in the privacy of their own room, or even in the company of those who don’t believe. There are those who lift hands in worship when all goes well, but at the first sight of trouble, those hands clench into fists challenging God. The selfish heart of many do not want to go through the storms of trouble and sacrifice, but they want to joy of salvation. The sad thing, however, is that this kind of living is not possible in the long-run.
Jesus told us to “deny [ourselves] take up [our] cross daily, follow [Him]” (luke9:23). He spoke that we need to “enter through the narrow gate…small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life…” (matthew7:13). He never promised us an easy life, but simply that He will help us with the burden. But there are many who simply do not see the need for these things. They would much rather live both for the comfort of the world, as well as the comfort of eternal life. They believe if they can say they love Jesus at least at some point in their lives, if they can at least be that “Sunday”-Christian, and if they can worship Him in the good times, then they’re guaranteed heaven. I’m sure many have quite an impressive resume of things they did “for the glory of God” – ways they’ve served their church, times they’ve said “praise God”, bible studies they’ve attended. But what did God say?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (matthew7:21-23)
The truth of the matter is that heaven is not accepting fair-weather fans. It’s not about what you’ve been able to accomplish when you have had every reason to thank Jesus. Anyone can praise anything that gives them what they want. But the true test is recognizing where your heart stands when you face adversity, trials, and hardships. When you have to make the choice of shining the light of Christ in the dark world of sin, or if you simply join in on the darkness. We might be able to fool every person on this earth that we truly love God. We might be able to hide our sins from the “Christians” and hide Christ from our “other friends.” And we might be living in somewhat a comfortable life for the next 50-60 years. But when all is said and done, and we must answer to One person…what will He say? Will it be the final judgment of “I never knew you” or the comfort of “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
My God knows me, and knows my heart. And I daily strive to know Him more. In the good or the bad, I will continue to shout “blessed be His name.” There is no question where my loyalty stands. It lives and dies with the one who saves.
[In case you didn’t know, there is a spiritual war going on. 2000 years ago Jesus died on the cross to win the entire thing. I’m sorry if I ruined the ending for you, but I just want you guys to know which side to fight for if you truly want a win.]