But Hembrick didn’t win a metal—he was disqualified. He didn’t deliberately try to break the rules. He did it unintentionally. He was sincere—but sincerely wrong. He was still disqualified.
Being disqualified from winning the race of the Christian life is a real possibility in our lives. Paul took the matter seriously and personally. You notice in 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul says, “I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Paul didn’t think that the prize was automatically his just because he was an apostle or because he preached to others. He knew it was a real possibility that even he might be disqualified if he failed to faithfully follow Christ.
That doesn’t mean that he would lose his salvation, but it does mean that he would lose the reward he would have received for successfully completing the race of the Christian life.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Brian Mavis on Oct 27, 2000
You share Christ by imitating Christ. A story is told – by Fredrick Beuchner I believe – called “The Happy Hypocrite." It is a story about a man who was born with an awful facial deformity. He grew up alone and lonely. When reaching adulthood, he decided to move from his town to begin a new life. ...read more
Contributed by Tim Zingale on Dec 12, 2000
Remember the opening scene: the village and you see a fiddler on the roof and Tevye says:"A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? but in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Oct 18, 2000
Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna was brought before the Roman authorities and told to curse Christ and he would be released. He replied, "Eighty-six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong: how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?" The Roman officer replied, "Unless you change ...read more
Contributed by Philip Makari on Jan 17, 2001
Here I speak of a special type of giving, the giving of our total selves first to God. It is the giving of body, soul and spirit for God’s use that we may achieve, for ourselves and for others, the higher ends of God. This is not, as you can see, charity giving. This is dedication giving. ...read more