Should Professional Athletes Be Glorifying the Lord on Their Public Platforms?
Recently I have come across quite a few Christians who seem to be offended whenever any of the professional athletes get on TV or the radio and publicly give God and Jesus all the praise, glory and honor for all of the accomplishments in their personal lives, as well as all of their success on the athletic field.
I have heard many Christians state that a person’s spiritual beliefs should be considered a personal matter and that these athletes should not be talking about the Lord on their public platforms.
The most notable example of this has to be Kurt Warner when he was with the St. Louis Rams.
Several years ago when the Rams won the Super Bowl, Kurt Warner was interviewed right there in the middle of the football stadium for all of the fans in the stands to see what he was going to say next, along with all of the rest of the people who were watching this event on TV.
The first thing that Kurt Warner said, before he even gets into what had happened with the game itself, is that he had to give all the praise, glory and honor to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! And the whole world heard it – whether they liked it or not!
Should professional athletes be using their public platforms to talk about their personal beliefs in the Lord, or should this be something they should keep to themselves and their close friends and loved ones?
They obviously are going to offend many nonbelievers with their public testimonies and surprisingly, quite a few Christians.
For the record, I believe these professional athletes should be using their public platforms to talk about God and Jesus – even if it means offending others about it! I believe that not only is the Lord happy with these athletes doing this, but that He actually wants them doing it!
I will go ahead and give you the main arguments and reasons as to why I believe God wants them doing this, and then give you some good Scripture verses to back all of this up.
1. I believe that professional athletes are in one of the most unique positions in all of the Body of Christ today. Whether we agree with this or not, our society has put movie stars and professional athletes on a pedestal and public platform for the entire world to see and hear!
Professional athletes are the best at the game they play. They have made it through grade school, high school, and college to get into the professional ranks.
They are the best of the best! Only a very small percentage of athletes who start out playing any kind of ball in grade school or high school ever become good enough to make it into the professional ranks. And our society recognizes this fact and thus rewards them accordingly.
Our society sees the blood, sweat, and tears they have shed just to make it through grade school, high school, college, and then eventually into professional ball. Society sees the sacrifices these athletes have made to get as far as they have.
We see the determination, patience, and endurance these athletes have manifested to get to where they are at in their professional sports. A
nd then when they do make it into the professional ranks, they once more have to continue to be the best they can be at their positions on the team in order to help their teams reach the highest pinnacles in all of sports – the World Series in baseball, the Super Bowl in football, and the Stanley Cup in hockey.
These athletes are manifesting the competitive spirit in one of its most intense forms by going as far as they have and never giving up on their dreams to be able to make it into the big leagues. And that same competitive spirit is what has made this country so great! We have fought like the athletes have for our freedom and independence throughout the history of our great nation!
This is why America supports and attends professional ballgames of all types – because these athletes are displaying the same competitive spirit that has made our country so great. People can thus identify with this competitive spirit and they want to support it.
This is why professional athletes are paid so much money. This is why professional athletes are given a public platform for the entire world to see. People want to follow their successes. People want to know who these athletes are and how they have managed to get as far as they did.
2. Bottom line – professional athletes all have one thing in common – they are all trying to be the best they can be at the positions they have made it to on their teams.
And that is what has made America so great. America, more than any other country in the world, has always sought to be the best it can be. This is why we are the one and only true superpower in actual existence at this time.
Look at the present strength of our military. No other country can match the strength, technical skill, and knowledge that we have developed with our military.
And the reason for this is because our military has always been trying to continue to better itself throughout the years.
Look at professional athletes today compared to yesteryear. They are bigger, better, stronger, and quicker than the athletes in the past.
Why? Because these athletes have sought to try and better themselves. They have gained better knowledge in nutrition, weights, and the fundamentals of their game. As a result, we are seeing a better quality game than we have in the past. We are seeing athletes do things they have never been done before.
We had superstars in certain positions like Kurt Warner as a quarterback in football, Michael Jordan in basketball, and Wayne Gretzky in hockey. These three athletes had elevated to such a high level of excellence in their positions, that they were just literally breathtaking to watch on the field!
I also believe God’s hand has been on American professional sports from the beginning. I believe God anointed Babe Ruth to hit as many home runs as he did in order to give professional baseball the shot in the arm it needed at that time to get accepted with the American public.
I believe God is using professional sports to help keep the American competitive spirit alive and well in order to help motivate us and keep us pressing on to continue to be the best country in the world.
3. As a result of all of the above now firmly locked in place in our country, the professional athlete is now in one of the most unique positions in all of the body of Christ!
The professional athletes have access to a public platform that few of us have or will ever have. They have a platform that is open for the entire world to see and hear! And I believe God wants them to use the public platform that He Himself has created in order to reach the rest of the world with His message of eternal salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ!
The Bible says the end will not come until the Gospel has been fully preached to the entire world. Christian TV is making huge inroads into fulfilling this prophecy.
And professional athletes have their position in God’s army with their public platforms, which is basically conveyed through TV to the rest of the world!
As a result of having a truly unique position in the Body of Christ, I really do believe that God wants these professional athletes testifying in public. I believe the public platforms these athletes have are nothing more than a platform arranged by God Himself to get the message of the Gospel out to the rest of the world before His Son returns back to us in His second coming.
If we are close to approaching the second coming of Jesus, then I believe God is going to pull out all of the stops in order to get as many people saved as He possibly can before the Rapture occurs and the rise of the Antichrist and 7-year Tribulation begin.
And I believe that television and the public platforms these professional athletes are now being given are two key avenues that God is using to reach the lost in this day and age.
Who knows how many people have been saved over the last 10 years as a result of someone hearing a professional athlete testify that he is where he is at as a result of being a born-again Christian and living and operating under a full surrender with God the Father.
These athletes have produced serious fruit for the Lord, and I believe that God wants the rest of the world to see and know where this fruit had come from and how it all came about. And the only way that can happen where many people have access to their stories and testimonies is on a public platform where all of the world can see and hear them.
Their stories and their fruit in the Lord are too big not to be shared with the rest of the world. I believe that God Himself has personally arranged for this platform to be given to these professional athletes in order for them to be able to testify of their faith and personal relationship with Him.
I really believe that we are getting close to approaching the end times as prophesied to us in the Bible – and I believe God is really going to step things up in order to reach the lost with His message of eternal salvation.
I believe that TV and the public platforms being given to these professional athletes are just two more weapons in His arsenal that He is using to try and reach as many people as He possibly can before the end comes.
I believe it is very natural for children at young ages to look up to role models. They are looking for people to look up to. They are looking for people to imitate and emulate. Again, professional athletes, as a result of the public platforms they have now been given, serve as powerful role models for many of our youth today.
Even young children can recognize and see the high level of physical skills these athletes are operating in, and they thus try to imitate and emulate what these athletes are doing on the field. They start playing basketball, football, or baseball trying to be like the athletes they watch and see on TV.
As a result of having these professional athletes as their role models, some of these young athletes end up making it all the way to the professional ranks just because they had these good professional athletes as their role models.
The motivation that was given to these young children by these professional athletes was enough of a spark, enough of a fire to propel some of them into these higher levels of achievements!
Now if professional athletes have this kind of power and sway with some of the younger children in our society – wouldn’t it make sense that God would want to take this scenario one step further and have His professional athletes tell these young children the reason behind their success?
The Bible talks about God wanting to make His people “fishers of men.” In order to catch fish, you need some kind of bait. In this case, the bait is the success and fruit of the professional athlete.
The child is initially drawn to the athlete as a role model due to all of the athlete’s success and fruit. However, most of the Christian athletes will be the first ones to tell you that it was God’s anointing and God’s gifting on their lives that has made them the success that they have now become.
I personally believe that God is using the success and fruit of these athletes to initially draw the children in – and then the athletes testimony about God and Jesus to get them saved! Again, how many young children and teenagers have been saved over the last 10 years with more of the athletes going public with their personal testimonies about God and Jesus?
Once the young children and teenagers see the true reason behind the athlete’s success, they will then want to do the exact same thing the athletes have done – and that is to accept Jesus Christ as their true Lord and Savior, and then fully surrender their lives over to God the Father so He can now start to work His perfect plan and destiny into their lives like He has done with many of the professional athletes. Success breeds success – even in the spiritual realm!
So not only is God using the professional athlete’s public platform to reach as many of the adult population as He possibly can, but I also believe He is using their public platforms to reach as many of the younger children and teenagers as He possibly can.
With the breakup of the American family, with half of all marriages still ending up in divorce, many fathers are no longer serving as good role models for their children. In fact, some of these fathers are no longer even around or if they are, they are not spending enough good quality time with their children.
Children are thus looking elsewhere for good role models – and some of them end up looking to the professional athletes. With this kind of scenario now firmly locked in place in our society, I have to believe that this is just one more reason that the Lord is having His professional athletes go public with their testimonies in order to reach some of the younger generation who no longer have their natural fathers as their proper role models.
1. This first Scripture verse will hit the nail right on the head as far as what these professional athletes are doing when they publicly proclaim their faith, belief, and allegiance in the Lord. Here it is:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand. And it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
How can a Christian athlete glorify God with his good works for the entire world to see if he does not publicly proclaim that God is the main reason for the good works that he is producing? This verse right here is telling us to give God all of the glory for any good works that we produce for Him.
Since these professional athletes are in the eyes of the public with their public platforms, then I believe this verse is telling them to give God and Jesus all the glory on their public platforms and not to hold back on it!
They are to let the whole world know the reason for all of their success, and that they would not be producing this kind of fruit and success unless God Himself was anointing them to be as skilled as they are in their particular professions.
2. Here is very another powerful verse about not being afraid to speak out on behalf of the Lord:
“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-28)
If you have a public platform like all of these professional athletes have, then I believe this verse is telling these athletes not to be afraid to give their testimonies for all the world to see and hear so that God and Jesus can be glorified for all of their accomplishments and achievements in the athletic arenas!
3. This next verse is also very specific. It is telling us that we should always be ready to give a defense and a reason to those who want to know the reason for the hope that is in us.
People want to know how these athletes have made it as far as they have. And since God is the only reason they are as gifted and anointed as they are, then this verse leaves them with no other alternative but to be ready to tell others exactly how they have been able to get as far as they have in their individual sports.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15)
4. Here is another good verse basically saying the same thing:
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season … do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
5. Here are two more good verses showing that we are not to be ashamed to talk about God and Jesus:
- “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord …” (2 Timothy 1:8)
- “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes …” (Romans 1:16)
6. This next verse is telling us not to be afraid to even testify about God and Jesus before kings themselves! If God is making this kind of radical statement in that we are not to be afraid and ashamed to testify of Him even before kings or rulers in authority – then I believe God would also want us to testify of Him and His Son before the rest of the world for those who would have the public platforms to be able to reach the masses. And professional athletes have this kind of public platform to reach the masses!
As I stated above, their positions are truly unique in the Body of Christ. Most of us do not have this kind of public platform to be able to reach the masses – but for the ones who do, I believe God wants them to use it to testify of Him and His Son – not only to give God and Jesus all of the glory for their fruits and accomplishments, but to also lead as many souls into eternal salvation as they possibly can.
Here is the verse:
“For I seek your precepts. I will speak of your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” (Psalm 119:45)
7. This last verse tells us how beautiful are those who are willing to testify and preach the good news of the gospel of Jesus to all of those who will listen to it. I believe this verse is telling us that God Himself considers all those who are willing to preach and testify on His behalf – that they are beautiful in His eyes! Here is the verse:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)
If you put all of the above arguments in together with all of the above Scripture verses, then I personally believe that professional athletes are doing the right thing in using their public platforms to talk about the Lord, and to give the Lord all of the praise, honor, and glory that is only due to Him and no one else!
If we are starting to fast approach end time events, then I really believe God is going to start to pull out all the stops in order to reach as many people as He possibly can before the Rapture occurs.
I believe the public platforms that has been given to these professional athletes is being completely orchestrated and designed by the Lord Himself so He can reach as many of the lost as He possibly can before the end comes.
I think all Christians should think twice about ripping any of these professional athletes who are willing to use their public platforms in an attempt to give God and Jesus all of the glory for their accomplishments – and to also use it to try and get as many people saved as they possibly can as a result of their testimonies.
If God is behind all of this, and I really believe that He is, then those Christians who are ripping on these professional athletes will have to answer to Him on their day of judgment with Him when they appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of every word that has come out of their mouths – whether it be good or bad. I will leave you with four very intense verses from the Bible to back all of this up.
- “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
- “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
- “Do not touch my anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” (Psalm 105:15)
- “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32)
I believe that many of these Christian athletes are being led by the Holy Spirit to use their public platforms to testify on behalf of God and Jesus. They are all being given windows of opportunities to reach millions of people – I repeat – millions of people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Not many Christians have ever had this kind of window to reach this many people off one platform! I believe that all Christians should be willing to support these professional athletes who have the courage and faith to testify about the Lord on the public platform that He has given to each one of them.
Remember what one of the above verses has stated – “Do not touch My anointed ones.” I believe that many of these professional Christian athletes are God’s anointed ones being used by Him in these last days to reach as many people as He possibly can before it is too late.
Do not deny these professional athletes the chance and opportunity to reach some of the lost that may not be able to be reached in any other way. You are dealing with eternal fate of a person’s soul and nothing is more important than that!
The souls they get saved off their public platforms are the real victories, the real trophies that will really matter the most in this life!
And these trophies will be the real treasures that will be stored up for them in heaven, not the trophies won in their sporting events.
Those perishable trophies will not be passing over with them into the next life. They will perish like all the rest of our earthly goods will.
But the souls they end up getting saved off their public platforms will cross over into heaven – and these exploits will far surpass any exploits that each of them has ever had on their individual athletic fields.
The souls they are responsible in getting saved off their public platforms will be permanent eternal trophies that moths and rust will not be able to destroy.
There can be no greater thing for any Christian to do in this life – athlete or not – than to get someone saved in the Lord.