There’s only one week left in the 2018 Olympics, so while the world is still tuned in to watching the best athletes compete for gold, let’s use it to our advantage and bring up the gospel!
Here are four gospel conversation segues you and your teenagers can use to bring up Jesus with lost friends who watch the Olympics.
1. The Biathlon
Biathletes have to be super physically and mentally tough. There’s absolutely no room for error ifthey want to win the gold. Olympic.org says the biathlon event “…mixes the physical test of cross country skiing with the precision of shooting. Biathletes have to carefully control their heart rates to ensure they can shoot accurately in the range. One missed shot results in a penalty loop and a single miss can wreck a hopeful’s race.”
When it comes to running the race and shooting the target of being good enough to get into heaven, none of us will ever even come close. The Apostle Paul lays it out clearly in Romans 3:23 when he says, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
There’s no way that we can earn our way into heaven or a relationship with God, so God made a way for us. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus ran the race of life without sin and hit the bull’s eye of earning God’s forgiveness by dying on the cross for us. Now, we can have a relationship with God when we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).
2. The Skeleton
The Skeleton event is just crazy any way you look at it. According to Olympic.org, “Skeleton racing involves plummeting headfirst down a steep and treacherous ice track on a tiny sled.”
Skeleton racers trust in a tiny sled and steering with their bodies to get safely to the finish line. At speeds up to 80 mph, a wrong move or a sled malfunction can cause pretty serious damage. But getting hurt on an ice track is nothing compared to the physical and spiritual agony those who don’t know Jesus will experience after they die.
What we believe in in this life is like a Skeleton sled we’re trusting in to get us safely to eternity—except everything is at stake if we make the wrong move. The Bible says nothing can save us and get us into heaven but Jesus Christ. When we accept Him as our Savior from sin and make Him the Master of our lives, He will never malfunction or steer us in the wrong direction. And through Him alone, we’re guaranteed a relationship with God and a spot to be in heaven with Him forever.
3. The answer to world peace
Athletes from every corner of the globe come together for the Olympics every two years. Even in the midst of global disasters and political tensions, the Olympics always have a way of bringing the world together. What else in the world has that kind of power?
There’s one thing that can unify all the countries of the world like none other, and that’s the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t die to save people from just one country or race. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
There’s not a person on earth that can’t be saved by Jesus. He died to take away every person’s sin and free us all from the evil that runs rampant in our human hearts. Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), is the one who can bring lasting peace and hope to every broken life and every war-torn, violence-scarred part of the world. If we want world peace, then what we need is Jesus!
4. The true worth of a gold medal
Winning an Olympic gold medal is a lifelong dream for many athletes. Most Olympians dedicate years of their lives to their sport, starting out in childhood and training to adulthood to be the best of the best in the world.
But when this life is over and the world forgets who won the ski jump in 2018, what is a gold medal and all that training really worth?
If we want our lives to count long after we’re gone, we have to live for something bigger. And the only way to do that is living for what we were created to do: love God and tell other people about Him.
Do we all need to become pastors and missionaries to do that? No way! The kingdom of heaven needs lawyers, cashiers, dog trainers, engineers, and Olympians who can tell people in those fields about Jesus.
The incredible reality is that when we give our lives to Jesus, He makes our jobs, relationships, and time valuable for all eternity. All it takes it trusting in Him to give us the purpose and fulfillment that nothing else—not even a gold medal—ever will.
Challenge your students to come up with more ways to bring up the gospel during the Olympics! If they need help navigating gospel conversations, make sure to look into our powerful, weeklong evangelism training called Lead THE Cause (LTC) coming this summer. At LTC, your students will learn to pray for, care for, and share the gospel with others and truly live out THE Cause of Christ for the rest of their lives.