Winning the Big One

As a professional fisherman and Super Pro Champion, it's been interesting to observe the various strategies employed by contestants seeking to win the big prize over the years. On one hand, who you know can make a big difference, especially if that person guides on the lake or is familiar with the best spots and techniques. Of course, you have to place total trust in that person and that's not easy to do with anyone nowadays. On the other hand, relying totally on yourself by working hard and studying the water before the event but not consulting with anyone else, is a strategy some anglers will use, but most often with limited or no success. Others will rely totally on what they call luck for their success (not a good idea) while still others will drive their boats frantically from place to place in a never-ending search for the right spot. At the end of the tournament day, the weighmaster will tally the weights of each contestant's fish. His decision is final. There will only be one winner.

Our life here on earth can be a lot like a fishing tournament. In the Tournament of Life, people will seek many ways to win the prize, which is Heaven. And just like in a fishing tournament, most of these ways will fail. Some will rely on luck ("if I'm lucky enough, God will show mercy on me and let me in at the last minute.") Still others will depend on themselves, hoping that enough prayers, good works, going to church or their religion will be enough. Finally, some will go on a never-ending search to find their own "spirituality". Yet none of these techniques will win the Tournament of Life!

There is only one way to win the Tournament of Life and that is who you know. He is the ultimate Guide and can be totally trusted. His name is Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6). Quite simply, if you do not know Jesus, it is impossible to win the Tournament of Life. Know Jesus? How can anyone really know Jesus? It's quite simple, really. In fact, it's so easy that many religions have found ways to make it complicated through rituals and doctrines so that sinners (you, me, everyone on earth) would have to rely on them to help us get to Heaven. But Jesus said that being religious isn't enough to get any of us into Heaven (John 3:3).

Fortunately for all of us, God made it simple so that all can be saved. Here's all you have to do: Call upon Jesus to forgive your sins. Tell Him you will trust Him to run your life. Ask Him to be your Friend. Acknowledge that he died for you, personally. Ask Him to come into your heart and into your life.

Wouldn't it be great to know ahead of time that your were going to win a tournament prize? Well, here's what God's Word, the Bible, says about winning the Tournament of Life: "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13).

The other great news is that unlike a fishing tournament, which has only one winner, the Tournament of Life will have many winners. In the Bible, God weighed a king and his kingdom and found them wanting. As a result, they lost the Tournament of Life. For all of us, the Tournament of Life will someday come to an end. It could be today, tomorrow, next week or next year. Only God knows for certain. But on that day, we will be weighed in the balances by God the weighmaster. If we are found wanting, the Bible says we will be "cast into the Lake of Fire," losers of the Tournament of Life for all eternity. However, the good news is if we know His Son, Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we will all be winners.

God Himself has guaranteed it!