“Having a form of godliness, but denying its power …”
— 2 Timothy 3:5
Have you ever done well in some big contest only to lose because you were disqualified on some seemingly minor point? During one of the most exciting baseball games of all time—the seventh game of the 1924 World Series between Washington and New York— something like this happened. In the bottom of the ninth with two outs and two strikes, Goose Goslin, batting for Washington, hit a home run—or so it seemed. Goslin made it safely to home plate, but Washington lost the entire World Series because as Goslin ran around the bases, he failed to touch first base. What a shock. And what a shame to lose a championship game because of a failure to follow a fundamental rule.
Sometimes this same sort of thing happens in churches. Some people who have been church members for years have never gotten to first base when it comes to Christianity. They’ve never been born anew. Somehow they thought they could skip that base and proceed to join a church, be baptized, be confirmed, participate in all the outward practices of religion, then make their way around the infield and head for home with a great welcome to follow. Instead, these people will hear these words from the Great Umpire, “I never knew you; depart from me” (Matthew 7:23). These people have a form of godliness, but they don’t have true godliness because they don’t know God. They don’t experience His power. They don’t allow Him to transform their lives. They find worshiping God a great burden, struggling to sit through church, to pray, or to read their Bibles. Sometimes these people continue practicing these forms of godliness to quiet the outward clamor of spouses, parents, or grandparents. Sometimes they do these things to quiet the inward clamor of their own consciences.
We all have to touch first base so that we might hear the Lord say to us: “Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” Do you know God? Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and do you enjoy an intimate relationship with Him? If not, touch that base today so that you might win the game and receive the prize—eternal life.