On the Bubble

This past Sunday men's college basketball teams from around the country awaited anxiously for the NCAA selection committee's announcement regarding just what 34 teams would receive an at-large bid to play in the most prestigious tournament of the year, the NCAA Championship, also known as "March Madness".  As pairings were announced one by one, and the brackets were being determined, the faces of the young men and their coaches displayed varying degrees of anticipation, which only grew as the announcements progressed, especially among those teams "on the bubble".  If we were able to read minds, then we no doubt would hear thoughts such as these emanating from them: "Were we good enough?  Did our won-lost record warrant consideration?  Will we make it to `the big dance'?"  Each time a "bubble team" heard its name announced a huge sigh of relief was breathed audibly, followed by an outburst or unbridled joy and celebration, as hugs and high fives were given all round.

I enjoy college basketball and all the hoopla surrounding March Madness, and I like trying to figure out which teams are going to make it in based upon the strength of the resume they bring to the committee, and which teams will be sent home packing.  It is something I can enjoy and share with my sons as we see which of us will be the best prognosticator over the outcome of the games in the tournament as we fill out our printed brackets.

Unfortunately, and what I find quite saddening, is that I have seen and heard too many of my brothers and sisters in Christ look at the state of their salvation as being nothing more than being a "bubble team".  I have heard many say throughout the years various versions of, "When Judgment Day comes, if I make it, it will only be by the skin of my teeth!" or "If I make it I will be one of those individuals who just barely manages to squeeze through those Pearly Gates!"

These attitudes display a genuine lack of faith to trust that God will keep His promises and a belief that it is through our works that we are saved.  But neither of these is correct.  God is not a liar, and He WILL save ALL who are in Christ and remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10).  Paul was able to write confidently to the Christians in Rome, "But now being made free from sin and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 6:22-23)  No, there are no "bubble teams" with the Lord.  There is no "just barely squeezing through".  We are either in Christ, or we are not.  It really is that simple!  And all Christians should be able to unabashedly sing, Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine!  O What a Foretaste of Glory Divine!

May God bless you!

David Ferguson