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The Open Door


Michael Foust wrote an article that was published in Baptist Press, January 13, 2012 titled, “Tebow’s 316 yards lead to Internet salvations.” When I first became aware of Tim Tebow, he was quarterbacking the Florida Gators. I was thankful for a talented young man who loved Jesus and wanted to be a witness for his Lord.

Tebow has certainly done that. In fact, his forthright witness of the Gospel has thrown many sports correspondents into a tailspin when Tim says at the end of an impressive victory, “I want to give all the credit to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Good for you, Tim! Thank you for being unlike so many believers who never open their mouths to express the name of Jesus, much less give public testimony that Jesus is the Savior.

Tim Tebow’s star has been rising, and no wonder. He is a superb football player. He guided the Denver Broncos to an amazing season. His popularity skyrocketed after he led the Broncos to a playoff win over Pittsburgh.

Unless you are totally disconnected from football news, you are aware that Tebow has promoted the Gospel verse of John 3:16 across many years. This text is a favorite of mine. Some refer to it as the Gospel in one verse. Children have memorized it; Billy Graham has preached it; guys wearing multicolored wigs at football games have held up signs bearing reference to it.

No one has done more to make people aware of the Good News of John 3:16 than Tim Tebow.

No one has done more to make people aware of the Good News of John 3:16 than Tim Tebow. You can imagine the frenzy that occurred when Tim’s passing yardage in the Pittsburgh game was 316. Foust reports that there were several amazing 316’s that occurred in the game. Tebow’s average for his ten passes during the game was 31.6 yards. The overtime portion of the game drew a 31.6 television rating. Pittsburgh’s time of possession was 31 minutes and, you guessed it, 6 seconds.

Foust reported that after the win over Pittsburgh, millions went to the Internet in search of John 3:16. The day after the game, John 3:16 was the number one search on Google!

The secular response to all of this seems to represent a thought that perhaps there is something magical about this verse in the Bible. Perhaps it could be like a magic verbal potion. “Tebowing” has become a popular phrase which refers to the position Tebow takes when he kneels to pray. Pictures have been published on the Internet of people around the world who are taking up the Tebow prayer position. I even saw a report on pretzels being made of a figure in the Tebow prayer position.

Being in the position of prayer but not praying is like reading John 3:16 and not believing it. Such represents lives without Christ. While some of this secular reaction to Tebow’s sincere faith approaches sacrilege, I am praying that the bold witness of Tim Tebow will find true spiritual lodging in the hearts of many people who become honest seekers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

One thing is for sure, Tim Tebow is confronting the culture with the greatest news the world has ever received. People will be responsible for the way they respond to it.

When I watched the game between Denver and the New England Patriots, I was sorry to see Tebow and the Denver team receive such a shellacking by New England. I couldn’t help but imagine how the secularists would see this.

If the assumption is that being a Christian means that you have God on your side and you cannot lose, then the assumption is wrong. Being a believer does not mean you become supernatural; it means you have a supernatural Savior!

When the believer loses, he has yet another opportunity to demonstrate what it means to be a follower of Christ. The victory is ours in Christ, no matter what defeats we may experience in the various events of our lives. Victory in Jesus should always shine through.