In The Vicinity

Last week, our kids had their second baseball game of the year. It was a fun game and the boys are now starting to play together as a team better than they did the first game. I’m the head coach of their team and also coach first base when our team is batting. I am also not new to the game of baseball and the rules of the game because I have played the game since I was 5 years old. 

During this game, our kids were batting. It was actually Jayden batting and he hit the ball to the shortstop. The shortstop cleanly fields it and throws it to first base. The throw was a little short so the first baseman comes off of the bag about two foot. Jayden steps on the bag as he runs by. The umpire makes the call “OUT”…  WHAT?! OUT?! How in the world was he out? The first baseman was clearly off of the bag about two feet. 

Now, I’m a pretty calm coach. I help my hands up to the umpire and calmly said “Come on blue, you know that he was clearly off the bag, how was he out?” To my surprise, he admitted to calling him out even though he was safe but would not change his call. He said, “Yes, He was off the bag but I called him out because the first baseman was ‘in the vicinity’ of the bag”.  

Ok, that is the first time I have heard that. From my experience, you had to have your foot on the bag to get the out at first or tag the runner. Neither of these occurred but he was still out. I knew nothing I said would change his mind so I explained to Jayden that he was really safe and sent him into the dugout. 

This weekend, I was thinking about that incident and how everything unfolded. That lead me to think of Heaven, the church, and Christians in general. 

There are so many Christians that do not attend a worship service. There are many Christians that attend a worship service but do not get involved with the work of the Lord. So how does this tie into the baseball game? 

Many Christians and others believe that you don’t have to completely follow God’s commands to make it to Heaven. They show up once a week (or a less) to a service, fill a pew (or chair nowadays), and then leave and nothing else is done to grow God’s family. In reality, they believe that because they are  ‘in the vicinity’ of the service they are completely fine. 

Let me be clear, I am NOT saying that that person will or will not make it to Heaven. That’s God’s decision, not any of ours. But, I do know that the Lord commands us to go out into the world and spread His name and bring people to Him. The church in the Bible also met weekly to worship and break bread to remember the resurrection of Jesus. If you are one of those that are ‘in the vicinity’, you are only showing up, you aren’t doing the Lord’s work. 

Do you think that God will allow someone to enter the Kingdom of Heaven just because they have lived ‘in the vicinity’ of the laws that Christ has laid out? Do you think that He will say, “Ahh well, you didn’t follow my commands but since you showed up at a service every now and again, I’m gonna let you get your reward?” 

I hope and pray that everyone goes to Heaven when it is their time but I do know that the Bible tells us that many will not inherit the Kingdom of God. We need to make sure we are following His commands and doing as Jesus instructed while He was on the earth and before He returned to Heaven. 

If you are one that has been ‘in the vicinity’ and not really engaged in spreading God’s word, I want to invite you to join us and we can pray with you and for you to get you closer to Christ. I know that this family of believers can help because they have helped me. Surrounding yourself with Christians who have the drive to get to Heaven will help you develop that drive as well. 

God is Good..

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