One Shot

28 Nov

In the words of that famous philosopher Eminem: “Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?” Would you?
If there is one thing Christians and non-believers can agree on, it is that we only get one shot at life. For the non-believer, this means you need to make the most of it before you become dust. I can vividly remember when my Dad told me that I had one crack at life and that I had better enjoy it.
But is it any different for the Christian? Hebrews 9:27 reminds us that ‘man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment’. What does this mean for us? Do we set out to enjoy every moment of life before the end? Or should the prospect of judgment and accountability to God for our lives shape everything we do? This was the dilemma set before 10,000 Christian people at the Sydney Entertainment Centre just over a year ago.

The ONE evening was billed as “One Saviour. One Life. One Night. Don’t Waste It” and the guest speakers were John Lennox and John Piper. Lennox is a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University. He speaks four languages and is well known for his public debates with atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Lennox challenged the people at ONE to use their lives to serve Jesus. It was the same challenge he had received as a young man. No matter what your profession, your skills and your abilities, he said, you can use them to further Jesus’ Kingdom. Lennox told the story of how he learnt Russian in order to be able to lecture Mathematics to Russians. As a result of this he had many opportunities to explain the message of Christianity to curious Russians who wondered how a Mathematician could be a Christian. Through his life Lennox cultivated opportunities to engage with Atheists and to explain the rationality of believing in Jesus. He realized early in his life that he had only one life and he chose to confidently engage non-believers with Jesus – no matter the cost.
John Piper, the second speaker of the evening, is the Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota. He is well known for his desire to teach and persuade people about the supremacy of Jesus. Amongst other things, he is known for his book called ‘Don’t waste your life’.  Piper called upon the 10,000 strong crowd to use this one life to glorify Jesus as a response to Jesus’ love for us. He illustrated this with a personal story – whilst he was undergoing treatment for cancer several years ago, he prayed that God would help him to best use that situation to glorify Jesus. Piper reminded the crowd that every breath of life is the gift of God and that the Christian life is really about an obedient response to the God who saves through Jesus.
Some might say that ONE was just one night, so what difference could it make? But since ONE was all about the ONE savior Jesus Christ the potential is massive. The 10,000 attendees were asked to make resolutions that evening. How would we use our lives to glorify Jesus?
Eminem was right that you only have one shot but he forgot one thing. We are all accountable for our lives – one day we face judgment! The Apostle Paul understood this very well. That is why he made a beautifully simple resolution: to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).  What about you? You have one shot – will you use it to glorify the name of Jesus?

Jason Veitch


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