Fauquier Baptist Church
Saturday, September 23, 2023
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23
     As I write this, it's late spring. The weather generally has been cooler than usual for this time of the year, but without a doubt, hot weather is just around the corner. Here in the piedmont region of Northern Virginia we enjoy four distinct seasons, summer being the most active. With the arrival of summer we have town festivals, fairs, outside music concerts, flea markets, yard sales galore, sports, all kind of church activities, you  name it and we have it here in the "good ole' summer time."
     Most know that this Pastor has a penchant for golf. We've talked for a while about having a church golf team to enjoy the fellowship, and to compete with other churches in this area. With summer coming on, there's no better time than now to get together, practice and learn. It's been said that golf is the game of life because the average player most often comes up short. That is, short of par.
     I read that Arnold Palmer, one of the best known professional golfers of all time argued that, "One of the worst things any golfer can do is leave the ball short of the hole on a putt." He said, "At least get the ball to the hole and give it a chance to go in!" Arnie said that, "If I'm not mistaken, getting the ball into the hole (in the fewest strokes) is the object of the game!" "SO, DON'T LEAVE IT SHORT!" If you  have ever played golf you know that what Arnie said is true. Golf may be called the game of life but whether one is a good golfer or not being a good golfer has no bearing on eternity. Golf is a game, life is not, though some treat it as a game.
     Our text verse mentions coming up short "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." To "come short" simply means, TO MISS THE MARK.
     How often we all have missed the mark! In high school, for instance, one had to make at least a 70 in order to pass a test. That was the minimum grade. If one made a 40, another one made a 60, another one almost made it with a 69, it made no difference, anything below a 70 was short of the mark. Similarly, like Arnie said, "Don't leave it short." Whether one missed a putt by just an inch or by four feet, it still missed the mark!
     According to our text verse, sin is the reason that all have come short of the glory of God. Sin is something that we all have inherited from Adam and Eve and if we will admit it we all have gone astray from God. The Prophet Isaiah said, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way ..." How true. "All have sinned... All we like sheep have gone astray..." In Romans 3:10 the Bible declares, "There is none righteous; no, not one." Someone said to me once that the Bible was the most depressing book they'd ever read because it made them feel so bad. Being a sinner and being separated from God and having no hope of ever seeing Glory should be a depressing thing! The Scripture is clear that the wages of sin is death. Certainly not a thought any sane person would relish! And, it is not death, as most folks understand it. In II Thessalonians 1:9, death in hell is described as "Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord..." What is a person to do?
     Thankfully God made a way to escape the death described above. Certainly, the Bible is clear that the "Wages of sin is death" and the verse goes on, saying, "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. Jesus said Himself, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH TO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME."
     The Apostle Paul said this, "I press toward the MARK for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," Philippians 3:14. To miss the mark is to miss Heaven. What marks a saved person is not church membership, it is not being baptized, it is not how good one is, IT IS SALVATION IN JESUS CHRIST AND CHRIST ALONE. In Hebrews 2:3 the Word says, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation...?" Neglecting Jesus Christ is to come up eternally short.
     If you have not trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, mean business and do it today. "The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth...and will save them," Psalm 145:18-19. "Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved," Romans 10:13.