Spain just won the 14th European Championship for national football teams organised by UEFA. None of the 16 teams which took part in the tournament is going to say well at least we made it to Euro 2012, or at least we came close winning it. Whether they came out of the group stages, quarter, semi or finals, the post mortem have long began to ascertain why some teams performed so badly or why some came closer to win but couldn't do it.
In the Bible one man who came close to the Kingdom but couldn't enter was Herod (Mark 6:20) Since then many have come close but haven't entered.Think of all the sermons you have heard urging you to become a Christian. Many of us have since Sunday school years heard the gospel preached to us. Many have had Christian parents, wives and husbands who have encouraged us to to give our lives to Christ. We've been to many conferences and crusades where we've promised ourselves that this is the moment of surrender and yet couldn't go through with that promise. There are several times that we could recall moved and impressed by sermons but have failed to take the step to give our life to Christ. We've been near the Kingdom of God.
Many of us have also assumed the wrong things for taking us to the Kingdom of God for example church attendance. That would have been like the 16 teams who took part in the Euro 2012. Turning up and not playing by the rules couldn't win any team any trophy. Some of the teams in the Euro 2012 came close to winning the trophy but couldn't because certain things were holding them back. Some hadn't giving up the in fighting in the team. Same with us and the Kingdom of God. We can't attain it until we give up anything which is holding us. In most cases one thing which holds us back from entering the Kingdom of God is sin.
In the Euro 2012 final, soon after Spain scored the second goal it became clear that Italy had no chance in the game. For us no matter how much we've lost, we still have the chance of reaching the Kingdom of God. It is not too late to come back to it. No matter how many own goals or from the opponent we've conceded, we still have the chance of getting into the Kingdom of God.
We've come near the Kingdom of God several times and for many years. Now may be the time to try and win it. We've put off the decision to enter the Kingdom numerous times. Time may be running out. Nobody had ever retained the European crown, but Spain has done it this year. Spain is now thinking about how it could retain the trophy next time round. If you're sure you've attained the Kingdom, can you retain it?