For the past 8 years, each February I have been coming to Northwest Florida to attend two banquets. One you are familiar with, The Wuerffel Trophy presentation at the All Sports Association Banquet. The other you may not know, has become as big a part of the yearly visit to Northwest Florida as the first.
The All Sports Associations Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast is a gathering of over 1,100 area middle school and high school students and their huddle leaders. This event has always been a wonderful opportunity to encourage and celebrate what Christ is doing in the lives of these young people.
This year marked the 28th anniversary of the FCA breakfast and I was honored to be asked to speak at this event and there was only one topic on my mind to share……The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul in 1st Cor. 15 said that the Gospel is of first importance in front of all other topics that I could speak about. You see, my story of school accomplishments or football accolades is of no value to these young adults or to anyone else for that matter, but the story of how God saves sinners through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only story that has the power to save anyone.
Quite a long time ago I was at a conference and a there was a speaker there that God used to transform my way of looking at the world, myself, and my problems and explained how our culture tries to teach us another story, one that is not centered on what Christ has done for us. A story that is best illustrated by how our world would answer four main questions. Four questions that nobody really says or talks about, but they have been thought about at one time or another probably by every human being to ever walk the earth. The answers that you have for these questions will determine how you view and interpret everything that happens in your life. These basic questions are as follows: Who am I?, Why am I here?, What is wrong with the world?, and How can what is wrong be made right?.
I shared how we are immersed in a culture that constantly and loudly bombards us with the answers to these questions. These answers from our world only serve to make us more selfish, angry, and miserable. Answers that lead to the conclusion that life has no value or purpose and that I only exist to get as much as I can for me. The good news is that God has not left us alone with these answers. He left us with his written word, the Bible, which is the sole authority to answer these questions rightly.
At the FCA breakfast I answered these questions directly from God’s word, but I will answer here with the answer to ALL of our questions. The answer is found in the good news of Jesus Christ. That God the Father, who is perfect and holy in all his ways, is angry with those who disobey him and will punish disobedience. We, who all disobey the rule of God, are separated from the love of God and are in danger of an eternal and agonizing punishment at the hands of God. But God, who is also rich in mercy, because of his great love sent his only Son born by a virgin, to die as a substitute for the disobedience of a rebellious people. Now through the perfect obedience of the Son of God and His willing death on the cross as payment for our disobedience, all who turn from evil ways and believe in Jesus Christ, following him as savior and Lord, will be saved from the wrath of God to come, be declared just in His sight, have eternal life, and receive the Spirit of God as a foretaste of the glories of heaven with God himself.
This is the answer to who we are, why we are here, what’s wrong with the world, and how its all made right. This is truly good news and this is why over 1,100 youth were gathered on that morning, to celebrate the good news of Jesus Christ.
Rudy Niswanger of Louisiana State University is the 2005 Recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy. He is the Vice President of Joe Gear Companies and resides in Monroe, Louisiana. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.