Several years ago Ted Turner, a well-known entrepreneur, called Christianity a “religion for losers.” Later he retracted his comment and apologized for his words.
Though his words were derogatory and should not have been said in that context, I think the words he spoke were right. True religion is for losers—losers who want to WIN. Jesus’ disciples were thinking along these lines when Peter said to Jesus, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us? Jesus said to them,…when the son of man sits on his glorious throne… everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:27-29 NIV 1984).
To follow Jesus means to lose one’s life. “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:24-26). “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates [loves less] his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If
anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor” (John 12:25-26).
Religion for losers means a daily dying to sin, giving up our old life for a life free of sin, accountable to God and His appointed Judge of all the earth (1 Cor. 15:31).
Religion for losers means leaving pride far behind, knowing that pride goes before destruction (Prov. 16:18).
Religion for losers means giving up any ties with those of the ungodly world. “Whoever … wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (Jas. 4:4).
Religion for losers means denying our fleshly wants, putting behind carefully constructed plans for this life that could possibly be full of troubles, pain and sorrow, for a life that is completely dedicated to God.
Religion for losers requires a steady march up the mountain of faith to victory over self. It is to lose whatever God does not approve, always being humble, counted the least among men, yet commanding a strength and power of will in strength of the Lord, never compromising, anxious to admit error as we learn, guided by the laws of faith.
Religion for losers means finding joy in our losses, knowing that we gain by losing. We are willing to lose now, knowing that the reward is riches, honor and glory far beyond what we can imagine: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9).
Religion for losers is a life enjoying the hundredfold now. This is in addition to what we can expect in the eternal Kingdom. Have you ever thought about what that hundredfold is? Could it not be the peace, joy, and happiness beyond description that we have now? If we get to the point that we will gladly give up (lose) the ways of our old man, we will then experience joy far beyond what this world can give us now. Our greatest desire will be to please our Heavenly Father. What wonderful joy to know that we are glorifying God when we are bearing MUCH FRUIT! (John 15:8).
Contrast what we “lose” with what the billionaire, Ted Turner, has lost:
“The old Ted Turner –– the one who made billions and won the America’s Cup and the World Series and launched CNN –– probably would have tried to buy his way in (his heaven). But the do-gooder Ted is earning his way in by saving bison and other endangered species and fighting for the oceans and preserving 2 million acres of ranch land and standing up for women and supporting causes near and dear to the United Nations.”
The last statement: “supporting causes near and dear to the United Nations,” shows he knows nothing about what the Lord has decreed, that there will be only four world kingdoms, and no more. Of course, Ted Turner would not know or understand this––that a heavenly Kingdom will be established, ruled by One very different from the kings and rulers of this world. The coming King Jesus will rule in righteousness, and every one of His associates will be like Him. There will be no more war or hatred, no more lies and deceit anywhere in the world. For the first time ever, there will be joy and peace, no pain, no sorrow, no dying.
Ted Turner has said, “I can’t see myself sitting on a cloud and playing the harp day in and day out.” So what is Ted Turner’s notion of heaven?–– “Montana in the summer.”
The great Apostle Paul would tell him, “Ted, look in the mirror, son. You’ve done a lot of good things. You’ve done a few great things. But at the end of the day, you’re just another loser.”
Every career in this world ends in losing. Ted Turner is a double loser. Billionaire and media mogul, he stunned the world when he announced in 2018 at age 81 that he had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a type of progressive dementia that leads to a decline in thinking, reasoning, and independent function. In spite of his wealth and multiple successes, he has no way out but to lose.
In contrast, think what the prospect is for those who serve God. We can be DOUBLE WINNERS! We have the promise of a hundredfold now in this life and eternal life in the future (Luke 18:29-30; Mark 10:29-30). This double win has no rival in this world! Unlike those who think they have everything, the second “WIN” will far exceed the “everything” that their congregation of minds can even begin to imagine!
Do you want to be the greatest winner? Then be content to lose for a moment now so that you can end with the very best, even LIFE UNENDING in the world to come! –GP
Is Your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
You can only be blest and have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield God your body and soul.