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Summary: This is a parable that I created to illustrate the different types of people responding to Christ.

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The Parable of the Three Baseball Fans

I Corinthians 9:24-27

NOTE: Before I entered the auditorium, I changed into a baseball uniform. As the organist played and the people sang “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” I entered the auditorium and walked up on stage. I loved seeing the surprised look on everyone’s face seeing their preacher dressed in a full baseball uniform!

Jesus was the master teacher and preacher. He always used visual elements in his teaching and preaching.

A coin....in the parable of the lost coin.

A sheep...in the parable of the lost sheep.

A mountain...when he told them they could move mountains with little faith.

12 Baskets of leftovers...when he fed the 5,000

One of Jesus’ most common ways of teaching was through parables.

A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.

Example: Jesus told the story of the prodigal son.

The earthly story: A son who wandered away

from home, lost everything, then came back.

The heavenly meaning: We can come back to God

and receive forgiveness.

Today I want to share with you a parable that God has put in my heart.

It is The Parable of the Three Baseball Fans.

Fan #1: The Spectator

Fan #1 just loves being at the game. All week long he plans and gets excited about going to the game.

He loves the smell of the grass, the sound of the crack of the bat as the ball is crushed. He loves the taste of the hotdogs and peanuts. He loves to hear the cheer of the crowd. The whole atmosphere is just completely exhilarating to him.

Fan #1 doesn’t care if he isn’t playing on the team. He just wants to be there. That is enough for him.

He would much rather sit back and just watch anyway. He just loves being at the game.

Spiritually speaking, many people are like Fan #1. They just love being at church. They love the great music, the preacher is a little crazy, but they love the worship. They love the fellowship. They just love being at church. Now, they don’t really want to make a commitment to Christ. They would rather just sit and watch. Just being at church is enough for them.

It is ok to be Fan #1, but we cannot stay that way. Or we will make the same mistake Fan #1 makes.

Fan #1 assumes that if he faithfully shows up for every game, one day he will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It doesn’t matter to him that he never picked up a bat or glove or ball. It doesn’t matter to him that he never joined the team or even played in a single game. He believes that if he faithfully shows up for every game he will be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. But the truth is: NO SPECTATOR HAS EVER BEEN INDUCTED INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME.

We cannot assume that if we simply show up for church every Sunday that we will be guaranteed heaven.

It just doesn’t work that way. The Word of God is clear.

We must join the team by accepting Christ as

our Savior, confessing Him, repenting,

and being immersed into him.

We must play in the game. (Serve Christ in

our lives.)

We must train ourselves. (Prayer, Bible

reading, evangelism)

When we do those things, God’s grace is alive in us, and we are bound for the Hall of Fame (heaven)

Fan #2: The Benchwarmer.

Fan #2 used to be a spectator. But he decided to join the team. He wanted to be in the game. He wanted to be a Hall of Fame player. So he joined the team. But then he saw how hard it was to be a big leaguer. He had to get up at the crack of dawn. He had to quit many of his old bad habits. He had to stretch and exercise. He had to work on his fielding, his throwing, his batting. He had to learn strategy. He had to watch his diet. He had to play almost everyday. He had to answer to the coach. He had to travel with the team. It was just too much work.

So Fan #2 decided he wouldn’t practice as much. He wouldn’t stay in shape. He wouldn’t always listen to the coach. He didn’t care to sit on the bench and watch his teammates do all the work. It was much easier this way. He could still be on the team, and not have to do nearly the work. He was right there in the action. To him, it was a perfect solution.

Spiritually, many Christians are like this. They wanted to be a light for Jesus. So they came forward, confessed Christ, were immersed into Christ, tried to turn their life around. But after they joined the team (became a Christian) they saw how much work it was. They saw that to grow as a Christian they had to:

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