C.T. Studd might be considered the Michael Jordan of his sport, or the Steph Curry,Tom Brady, or Lebron James of our day. But C.T. was also a Christian, and a lukewarm one by his own admission. At the pinnacle of his career, a series of events occurred that changed his perspective on eternity and changed the course of his life forever. One was a tract he picked up that was written by an atheist. The tract made such an impact on C.T.’s life, that he began to reevaluate his life, and made major changes that would last for eternity. Read what the atheist wrote below:
“If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, then religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of Eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand or seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon Eternity alone, and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN IF HE GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL?”
This challenged C.T. so much, that he walked away from his sport (can you imagine Stephen Curry doing this before the start of the next season?). He walked away from his wealth. He gave the majority of it to the Lord’s work. And he left his home country to be a missionary to China. Why? Because he was challenged by an atheist to consider the vastness of eternity in light of the brevity of this life. In doing so, he realized that life’s pursuits, pleasures, passions, and purposes should be lived out as they will affect eternity.
Mark 8:35-36 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
How about us? What are we pursuing? Where do our passions lie? What are we living for? What is our wealth being spent on? Will any of it matter in eternity? If not, we might take advice from an atheist, as C.T. Studd did. We might reevaluate our lives, and make changes in our lives in light of what will matter in eternity. Let’s live our lives for eternity, starting today.
Pride distances us from God’s blessings because pride removes God from our minds.
When we prioritize God as Jehoshaphat did, we unlock blessings that have a profound impact on our lives.