The ball comes off the bat, deep into the outfield, fans going crazy as the runner goes by first, to second, to third. The outfielder stumbles for a second but then comes up with the ball and throws to the shortstop who turns and hurls the ball toward home plate as the runner dashes in the same direction. There is a cloud of dust while every eye in the stadium looks at the umpire, who pauses for a second, then lifts his hands to his sides and shouts, “Safe!” The crowd goes wild, high fives and hugs among grown men ensue. Meanwhile the manager of the defensive team jumps out of the dugout. Everyone expects him to run at the home plate umpire to argue and kick dirt, but instead he trots simply over to his pitcher and quietly talks to him. The pitcher steps on the mound and then throws the ball to the first baseman who touches the bag. Then the first base umpire lifts his right hand, sticks out his thumb, and yells, “He’s out!!!!” Now the offensive manager sprints out of the dugout, already turning around his hat screaming, meanwhile the high fives and hugs turn into insults and bottles being hurled from the upper deck. What happened? In sprinting so fast to get to home the runner missed first base.
For a lot of people, the miss the joy of the Christian life because they have missed first base in their relationship with God. They are so busy doing church and the “Christian thing”, but they have never come to the point in their lives when they repented of sin and trusted Christ alone for salvation. Do you know for certain that you have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ?
John makes it pretty simple. If you have the Son you have eternal life. And if you don’t have the Son you don’t have eternal life. It matters not how many times you have been to church, or how good a person you are, or if you do a lot of really good deeds. All that is really good stuff, but when you get to home, God will show you that you missed first base. First base is the beginning by receiving Jesus into your life.
Stop right now and pray. If you are a Christian, and have a relationship with God and Jesus, thank Him for giving you eternal life. If you are not sure, or know that you do not have a relationship with Christ, ask God to save and change you. You might pray a prayer like this, “God, I know that I am a sinner and have failed you. I also realize that Jesus died on the cross for me, to forgive me of my sins, and that He rose again three days later to give us eternal life. Right now I want to give my whole life to you. Change me and make me like you. I will turn and follow you. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering me. In Jesus Name, Amen.”