Posted by: Mark | August 27, 2010

The end times and Derek Redmond

I am pretty sure that few will remember the name Derek Redmond now. And those that do will probably be saying what has he to do with the end times.

Lets start at the start – who is Derek Redmond? Those of us who are old enough to remember the 1992 olympic games in Barcelona could, like me, have a distant memory of a 400 metre runner (one of the favourites) who in a qualifier turned the last bend and suddenly pulled up. Faced with the option of going off on a stretcher or hobbling to the finish, he stood up and in pain, with the help of his father who had ran down from the spectator seats, hobbled over the finish to a standing ovation and to top spot in the 1992 motivational podium.

So what has he to do with the end times. In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked him if there would be any signs of how the world would end. Jesus answer was not very encouraging. I am not purporting to be an eschatological genius by claiming to understand everything here but merely want to say it doesn’t sound good. It sounds pretty mean actually. Basically times, for Christians especially (v9), will be really awful. The world will look like a bit of a mess. But then Jesus says:

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved” Matthew 24.13

This is where I bring in Derek Redmond. I am not holding him up as a great moral example to follow but in that race in Barcelona he endured right to the end, he finished the race. In doing so, he not only ended up being a hero in the 92 games but also proving himself as a true athlete. Winning the race would have proved that he was a good 400m runner but could have just had a large dose of natural talent. By doing what he done, in my humble opinion, he proved he had what it took inside himself to push his body through what it didn’t want to go and be an athlete. And then, after a doctor told him he couldn’t do sport again, he competed for GB in basketball and almost rugby 7s. The man was an athlete. Are we athletes in our faith?

Christianity is not a short-term thing. It is not something we can put on one day and take off the next. It is not something we can try out for a few years. It is a lifetime. It is something we have to be, not something we have to do. We have to endure to the end. We have to keep on running. And, according to Paul, we have to put our whole selves into it running like we want to really win.

Lets not be people who can be described as, messing around with Christianity. Lets not be people who can described as culturally religeous. Lets not be people who can be described as luke warm Christians.

Lets be people who can be described as life-long, gut honest God followers. Lets be people who DC Talk could describe as Jesus Freaks. Lets be people who could be described as true godly athletes who are running God’s race to win and will endure to the end.

Here are a few videos for you to enjoy of Derek Redmond’s race:

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