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Preaching the Good News Tim Tebow Style
by Andrew Tuttle
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Upon first glance the John 3:16 reference to Tim Tebow’s 316 yards passing was quite the stretch and at worst borderline ludicrous. It was indeed a random happenstance and many quarterbacks, albeit perhaps not as overtly faithful as Tebow, throughout history have thrown 316 yards in a game. I am sure in the annals football history, or even sports history, somewhere someone managed something akin to 1318 in reference to Revelations 13:18.

As today wore on the 316 reference did not go away. In fact, just this evening a national new outlet remarked that not only did Tebow throw for 316 yards, his yards per pass in yesterday’s upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers was 31.6 and apparently 31.6 million people tuned in to watch the full 11 seconds of overtime. Additionally, John 3:16 was #1 on Yahoo's "Trending Now" list.

This is wisdom – do not underestimate God. So often, Christians and non-Christians alike place God into the little box commonly referred to as the human brain. We can’t possibly fathom God using a professional sports game where players make millions upon millions of dollars to get His message to the masses.

Tebow’s favorite verse, John 3:16, which he often highlighted in his black eye paint in college, is the crux of Christianity. It explains essentially what Christianity is all about. God sent his only begotten Son out of love for the world and that whoever believes shall not perish. If you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for your sins you will spend eternity in heaven.

Is it possible that God is using the National Football League to get His message across? We certainly are living in trying times and many believe we are nearing or perhaps in what is commonly referred to as “End of Days” in that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. Matthew 24:14 it is written “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

The book “90 Minutes in Heaven” details a man, in fact a pastor, who died and spent 90 minutes in heaven. The tale is extraordinary but also has come under fire. His account of heaven or even reaching heaven has been challenged of course by non-Christians but also Christians who say the “theology” is not correct. I digress here a little to point out that the multiple 316 references from yesterday’s Denver Broncos/Pittsburg Steelers game is likely to be vilified by people, professing to be Christian, because it is not theologically correct. More to the point this is not something God would have His hand in.

The truth is I am not sure if anyone has their theology correct. I have heard from other Christians who have embraced a very liberal approach to the Bible in that what we have come to believe has been taken out of context. But these same believers are unable to put the Bible into context. These same Christians, most of whom are in academic circles, seem to have created Christianity in their own image.

Tebow has remarked on how thankful he is of the platform God has given him. That platform I believe is to help fulfill the prophecy of Matthew 24:14. Nowhere in my memory has John 3:16 been so publicized or talked about than today. The sports pundits across the country are getting it all wrong.

Tim Tebow is not about football or whether God is invested in football. Tim Tebow is about the platform. Football is secondary and maybe not even that high up on the list. Whether or not Tebow and the Broncos win this weekend against New England or even go on to win a Super Bowl has nothing to do with if God is indeed involved in the outcome of games or will allow Tebow to win because he’s a Christian. God cares about the message and I find it very plausible perhaps even a simple truth that God is using a good and faithful servant to get His message across before the end of days.

I have never met Mr. Tebow nor do I really know much more about him than most other fans. However, I do believe Tebow’s passion to win is real (it’s only human to want to succeed) however his passion to get the message of the Cross to all the world is first and foremost his number one priority. Deep down, I’m not sure Tebow really cares whether he wins or loses. If he knows a loss this weekend against Goliath has a greater impact on spreading the gospel I think he’ll take the loss. If a career ending injury does more to spread the love of Christ throughout all the nations I have no doubt that is far greater accomplishment for Tebow than a Super Bowl title could ever be.

John 3:16 is all over the news today. A young man who made his Beliefs known by advertising it on his face and talking about it during interviews threw for 316 yards yesterday and 31.6 yards per pass. And, according to a national news outlet that is reached to nearly all the nations 31.5 million people also tuned in to watch a historic football game.

But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” – Romans 10:18

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