Sermons

Summary: Part 3 of series on Evangelism

Sharing Your Faith In Spite Of Opposition

Passing On The Faith

2 Timothy 2:1-13

You may have heard that Lance Armstrong

retired from competitive cycling

about a month ago.

His story is one of the great sports stories

of overcoming obstacles.

In October 1996 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer,

with a tumor that had already spread to his brain and lungs.

His cancer treatments included brain surgery and extensive chemo,

and it looked so bad, doctors told Armstrong

there was only a 40% chance of him surviving.

It was obvious to the doctors and everyone else

that he’d never race again.

But as you know, not only did he survive,

but then went on to win the world’s toughest bicycle race,

the Tour de France

every year from 1999 to 2005,

the only person ever to win seven times.

Lance Armstrong’s aerobic capacity is amazing.

He can pedal a bike 32 miles an hour for an hour straight.

Now as a comparison,

A very fit 21-year-old college student

can pedal a bicycle at 32 mph for about 45 seconds.

For about the first 10 seconds they feel great.

After 20 seconds they feel like they are going to die.

After 45 seconds they fall off their bike and throw up.

A professional hockey player tried to pedal that quickly.

Afterwards, he said,

“I lasted two minutes and then I had to quit.

I was totally exhausted. My whole body was aching.

Armstrong could go an hour at that pace.

Lance was asked,

What kept him going in spite of all the obstacles he faced,

in spite of so much opposition?

He said,

“After the cancer I just decided to live every day as fully as I possibly could.

That’s a great goal.

Are you living every day as fully as you possibly can?

What keeps you going when you face opposition?

There’s another great athlete named Eric Liddell,

an Olympic sprinter from Scotland,

whose story was told in the movie Chariots of Fire.

Liddell was the fastest sprinter in the world at the 100 meter distance,

but he refused to compete in the 100-meters

at the Paris Olympics of 1924.

when he found out the event was on Sunday.

He decided his faith in Christ

just wouldn’t let him violate the Lord’s Day.

People all across Great Britain criticized him.

they accused him of being unpatriotic and legalistic.

He received pressure from the British Royal Family.

They said, you need to race,

for the sake of your nation.”

But despite all the opposition,

Liddell stuck to his principles,

because he really believed

that God was telling him not to compete on Sunday.

He wrote later that he had to decide,

Will I honor God, if it means being laughed at?

Will I obey God even if it means personal financial loss,

or some kind of hardship?”

If you saw the movie you know that,

Eric Liddell dropped out of the 100 meter race,

but at the last minute

he signed up for the 400-meter race,

which wasn’t run on Sunday.

Most people didn’t think he had a chance at that distance.

During warm-ups,

one of the members of the American Olympic team

slipped him a note.

which had a quote from 1 Samuel 2:30

‘Those who honor God, God will honor.’

God did honor Eric Liddell’s obedience.

He ended up winning the gold medal in the 400,

and became one of the greatest

and most respected figures in British history,

because of his determination to honor God above all.

Just 2 years ago he was voted the greatest athlete in Scottish history.

A year after the Olympics

he left for China as a missionary.

and for 20 years poured his life out there,

then died in a Japanese prison camp

when Japan invaded Chine during WW2.

What kept Eric Liddell going despite great opposition?

And what keeps you going,

when you face opposition?

We’re continuing a series from Paul’s second letter to Timothy.

called, Passing on the faith,

today we’re talking about how to overcome opposition.

If you have your bible turn to 2 Tim chapter 2.

We’ve been talking about how

the Christian faith is passed along

from person to person,

from generation to generation,

like links in a chain?

Every conversion is one more link in a chain that stretches

across twenty centuries

and thousands of miles

and millions of people

who passed on their faith to someone else,

a chain that goes back all the way

to Christ and the apostles

and a chain that made it unbroken,

all the way to you and me.

And now, the question is,

if you are a follower of Christ,

Are you going to break the chain?

Now, when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy.

Timothy was facing a lot of opposition

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