University of Kentucky’s Hall of Fame basketball coach John Calipari gave his team some interesting advice last Spring. Most of his team were freshmen. It was the youngest team in college basketball. They had won several late-season games. The were positioned to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. When the team arrived in Atlanta to play, they were surrounded by a lot of media hype and fanfare. Coach Cal cautioned his young players by saying, “Don’t drink the poison!” He was, of course, referring to the temptation of his players to begin to think they were better than they really were.
The temptation to believe we are special and perhaps exempt from the rules that apply to others is as old as man’s days on the earth. In the Biblical account of Adam and Eve, Satan asked Eve about the forbidden fruit. Eve responded, “God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die”. Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:3-5, NKJV). They ignored God’s words. They ate the fruit. In other words, they drank the poison! The results were tragic, and people even to this day still suffer from the impact of their choice.
The enemy of peoples’ souls still continues to employ the same tactic. God’s word says, “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23). And again, God’s word says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20, KJV). In spite of these and numerous other clear warnings from God’s word, many people don’t believe in sin’s penalty. They listen to the “father of lies” (John 8:44), and they drink the poison:
- You will not surely die. Preachers are just trying to scare you.
- God is love. He will not send anyone to hell.
- God understands our weaknesses and He will give us a pass.
- Everybody sins everyday in thought, word and deed, so sin is not a big deal.
- You’re only human. God will let you let you slide.
Another dose of poison involves the idea that if you are a good person and sometimes help others, that’s all that is necessary. There’s no need to repent and be ‘saved’. However, Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, NKJV). God’s word also says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV).
Although many other poison potions could be cited, space will permit me to mention just one more: the poison of believing that there will always be time later to repent and be saved. God’s word says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). The scripture asks this searching question: “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3, NKJV).
Believe God’s Word – Don’t Drink The Poison
~ Brother Roy