The ‘Main’ Event [v84]

FEBRUARY 2006

THE ‘MAIN’ EVENT
This coming Sunday there will be, as it is ‘billed’, the “event of all events”—the SUPER BOWL! It has pretty much become an American tradition—and maybe even a worldwide one!

It has grown into a phenomenon that has transcended being a mere sporting event. It is watched by more people than any other single game in the history of sport. The game is televised in over 220 countries, in over 20 languages, with an estimated audience of close to a billion people (this is over 30 times the amount for the largest World Cup of Soccer TV audience ever—and that was for the whole weekend!).

In the history of television, nine of the ten most watched TV programs were Super Bowls. (Note: The only other ‘event’ that was watched by more people worldwide was the funeral of Pope John Paul II on April, 8, 2005—it was estimated to be almost 2 billion people). Do you think there could be an ‘event’ that everyone on earth would ‘watch’?

So to find out, I went to the ‘source’ of this kind of information—the Guinness Book of Records. They site that CNN is the largest worldwide TV network seen in 212 countries and territories through a network of 23 satellites—and that about 149 million households across the planet tune in to on a daily basis (less than 1/6 of the audience for the Super Bowl!).

Here’s a few more interesting facts I found during my research:

– The economic impact is estimated to be $300-$400 million dollars to the local economy of the host city
– Consumers will spend over $5.6 billion on Super Bowl-related items from food and drink to new TV sets, lounge chairs and entertainment centers (specifically, merchandise that bears the Super Bowl ‘logo’ exceeds $100 million dollars!)
– It is the second largest day of food consumption in the United States—only Thanksgiving exceeds it
– The average number of people attending a Super Bowl party is 17%, over 20 million Americans—with the average size of an “at home” party being 17 people
– Half of all Americans would rather go to a Super Bowl party than a New Year’s Eve party.
– Two out of five Super Bowl watchers are not even football fans—even people who will never watch another game all year will tune in to be part of this one ‘national event’
– On Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will eat an estimated 20 million pounds of potato and tortilla chips and eight million pounds of avocados
– ESPN airs more than 160 hours of Super Bowl programming during Super Bowl week.
– The Super Bowl has become advertising’s big contest as well. It is believed that close to 58% of people would rather take their bathroom breaks during the game than miss the commercials.
– Advertisers pay over $1 million dollars for a 30-second spot—with a record amount being paid for this year’s “premier” spot of $2.5 million!
– Sales for antacid increase by 20% on Super Bowl weekend, and almost 10% of Americans call in “sick” the day after the Super Bowl
– Coincidentally, no NFL team has ever played the Super Bowl on its own home turf
– Teams with no Super Bowl appearances: Arizona Cardinals; Detroit Lions; Houston Texans; Jacksonville Jaguars; and the New Orleans Saints

As you can see, this event is regarded with such ‘awe and reverence’ by so many that it may well be called a veritable “holy day” of sport! [Note: There’s even a grassroots effort to make the Monday following the Super Bowl a national holiday!  ( http://www.superbowlmonday.com/ ) – Source for “interesting facts”].

Wow, this is a really BIG EVENT! But all this got me thinking that if someone asked me what I think would be the MOST IMPORTANT ‘one-day event’ in WORLD HISTORY, what would I say? Well, recent events came to mind first, specifically the death of John F. Kennedy (indelibly ‘burned’ into my brain during the ‘impressionable’ times after my 8th birthday). A few other ‘earlier’ events then came to mind: the first book off a printing press; D-day; the first man in space; and then some very recent ones like Y2K, and even the first e-mail (I think Arielle and Tyler would say the introduction of the cell phone).

But, before you ‘rack’ your brain trying to remember what you learned in high school history class, since these things, as important as they were, cannot be changed (just learned from), let me ask you…What would be the MOST IMPORTANT ‘EVENT’ IN THE FUTURE for you?

Well, some might say the ‘cure’ for cancer, the first people on Mars, the utopian ‘dream’ of the signing of a world peace ‘pact’, our own death, or even the ‘end of the world’ as we know it (of course, there are many more).

Sometimes it’s a bit tough to think in such ‘broad’ terms, especially about things we have no ‘basis’ for. I’ve heard it said that sometimes we’re a bit too ‘myopic’ that we can’t “see the forest from the trees”—or that we need a viewpoint from “40,000 feet.” It seems to me that we try to ‘grasp’ the whole picture so we can better understand how we can ‘break it down’ into more manageable pieces, and so we can ‘prepare’ for a future eventuality.

All this to say, for me, the first most important ‘event’ of history was the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ—and the most important ‘event’ in the future will be His SECOND COMING.

Why do I think this is so important? Well, the way I see how mankind has ‘blundered’ in the past and gotten this world in such a ‘mess’—making it look like it is filled with madmen—sometimes I feel that there needs to be someone or something to put a stop to all this ‘craziness’!

Well, that’s pretty much what the Second Coming is all about. God is going to ‘rightly’ judge this world—and it’s a Christian’s hope and confidence that God is in control of all things and is faithful to His Word (the Bible) and His promises.

The Second Coming is also important because it will come at the time when the world is most in need of a “righteous King.” Revelation chapters 6-18 describe the end times prior to the Second Coming of Christ. The world will be devastated, millions of people will perish, and the most evil person in all history will be ruler of the entire world. The Second Coming of Christ puts an end to all of this.

The Bible states that those who witnessed Christ’s ascension into heaven after His death and resurrection heard the angels declare, “Men of Galilee…why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” [Acts 1:11]. The Second Coming is the literal return of Jesus Christ to earth as King in power and glory to rule for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6) in fulfillment of His promises and to fulfill the prophecies made about Him.

Jesus Himself promised, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” [Matthew 24:30]. Revelation 19:11-12 proclaims this about the Second Coming, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.”

So, let me propose an acrostic for what I think will help you break down the ‘components’ of this event. It’s S.E.C.O.N.D.—standing for Sudden; Essential; Conclusion; Obvious; No one knows when; and Doubters.

S…SUDDEN. The Bible says it will take place “in the twinkling of an eye” [1Corinthians 15:52]. Scientists have estimated the time for the eye to twinkle is about one twentieth of a second. Watch the second hand of any clock and imagine one twentieth of one of those seconds—wow, pretty quick.

E…ESSENTIAL. One of the foundations of the Christian faith is Jesus’ Second Coming. It is spoken of much by Jesus and many others in the Bible. Jesus will physically come again for all His believers and for His final judgment. Unfortunately, some Christian cults teach that Christ “secretly” returned already. As you read what the Bible says about the Second Coming of Jesus, it will be obvious that it hasn’t happened yet.

C…CONCLUSION; the Final Judgment. The Bible declares that Jesus will be the final judge of the world [John 5:22, Acts 10:42 and 2Timothy 4:1]. Some of the additional verses describing the second coming, resurrection of the dead, millennium, and final judgment are located in Acts 17:31, 1Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 and Hebrews 10:27.

O…OBVIOUS. There are over 6 billion people on the planet. God only knows what percentage are truly Christians, but let’s use a really conservative number like 10 percent—which would mean over 600 million people will vanish from the earth simultaneously according to Matthew 24:40. There will be no mistaking when Christ comes back for His Church!

N…NO ONE KNOWS WHEN. In Matthew 24:36, Jesus said only God the Father knows when (speaking mortally, of course). God is outside time. God already knows every prediction regarding Jesus’ return that has ever been or will ever be made.

D… DOUBTERS. As we get closer to the Second Coming of Christ, there will be increasing and widespread doubt about whether Jesus even existed. People will also start wondering if God really exists and believers will leave the Christian faith [2Thessalonians 2:1-4, 1Timothy 4:1-2, and 2Peter 2:1-3].

Do you think we’re already seeing these ‘signs’? Should we just shrug our shoulders and ‘casually’ wait for Him? Well, Jesus was pretty specific about this, telling all of us to “keep watch”—and a great ‘way’ to keep watch is to know what the Bible reveals about upcoming events and compare those to what we see happening today (there are nearly 100 biblical passages discussing this). The Bible also tells us that we are to anticipate this event, and not try to set dates and times—but live our lives as if it could happen any day, any moment.

Jesus gave an illustration to help us with this ‘waiting’. As contrary to nature as it would have been for a thief to announce to the house master of a rich household when he was going to break in and steal all that was of value in that home, so it is also ‘contrary’ to the behavior of Christ to announce when He’s going to return. It’s His ‘house’, and He is free to show up any time He wants. He doesn’t have to give anybody a warning. He’s in charge, and He has a plan that He wants his faithful servants to be part of. So He’s saying, “Just keep on doing what you’ve been called to do until the moment I arrive.”

It is also contrary to Jesus’ ‘plans’ to announce to the world when he is going to come back to this earth as the risen Lord and Judge. In the Scriptures we discover that Jesus will come again to this earth in two stages. The first stage is called “the day of Christ” [Philippians 1:10] and will be his invisible coming. As a “thief in the night” or “at an hour you know not,” He will return to this earth for his children sometime before the great and terrible tribulation mentioned in Daniel and in Revelation. We who love Him and have given our lives to Him will see Him, but those unbelievers will not ‘see’ (understand) Him.

The second stage is called “the day of the Lord,” which will occur at the end of a seven-year tribulation. This is the MAIN EVENT OF HISTORY!!!—one which the WHOLE WORLD WILL SEE Jesus’ visible return to this earth with His saints and His mighty angels in flaming fire to judge the nations and establish His divine rule on earth for a thousand years!

Are you ready for the Second Coming of Christ? If not, it isn’t really that ‘hard’ to prepare for. With a contrite ‘heart’, just tell Jesus you are sorry for the wrongs you have committed in the past, and that you believe that He can help you change these ways and you would like for Him to ‘guide’ you for the rest of your days here on earth—and throughout eternity!

(If you would like to further investigate the goodness and justice of God, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d1_1of10.html ).

[Excerpts from: Paul J. Nuechterlein; David Chadwell; Dr. David E. Leininger; Ron Ritchie; All About God Ministries]

Blessings…Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v84) for FEBRUARY 2006
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Thanks to:
– Candace Cesarz

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IN THE YEAR 2525

In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive they may find

In the year 3535
Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lies
Everything you think do and say
Is in the pill you took today

In the year 4545
You ain’t gonna need your teeth won’t need your eyes
You won’t find a thing to chew
Nobody’s gonna look at you

In the year 5555
Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides
Your legs got nothin’ to do
Some machine’s doing that for you

In the year 6565
You won’t need no husband, won’t need no wife
You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube

In the year 7510
If God’s a comin’ He oughta make it by then
Maybe He’ll look around Himself and say
Guess it’s time for the judgement day

In the year 8510
God is gonna shake His mighty head
He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been
Or tear it down and start again woh oh

In the year 9595
I’m kinda wonderin’ if man is gonna be alive
He’s takin everything this old earth can give
And he ain’t put back nothin woh oh

Now it’s been ten thousand years
Man has cried a billion tears
For what he never knew
Now man’s reign is through

But through eternal night
The twinkling of starlight
So very far away
Maybe it’s only yesterday

In the year 2525
If man is still alive
If woman can survive, they may find……
[Zager and Evans]

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HUSBAND’S FUNERAL
Surprised to see an empty seat at the Super Bowl stadium, a diehard fan remarked about it to a woman sitting nearby. “It was my husband’s,” the woman explained, “But he died.” “I’m very sorry,” said the man. “Yet I’m really surprised that another relative, or friend, didn’t jump at the chance to take the seat reserved for him.”

“Beats me,” she said. “They all insisted on going to the funeral.” [Anon.]

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PREPARING FOR A LONG TRIP
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him in front of the service station.

Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. “Reverend,” said the young man, “sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.” The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”
[Received from Candace Cesarz]

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DOES GOD CARE WHO WINS THE GAME?
The time had come for Duke’s wonderful coach, Mike Krzyzewski, to end his earthly journey. He arrived at the Pearly Gates and was greeted by St. Peter who ushered him inside where he was promptly welcomed by the God of all creation, the Almighty. With a broad smile, God said, “Welcome Coach K. Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Lord. Follow me to your new heavenly home.”

Not far off, they came to a pleasant subdivision not unlike an American suburb and Coach K was shown a lovely little bungalow surrounded by a small lawn, some flowers and shrubs, and even several faded (but still serviceable) Duke pennants and banners. “How do you like it?” asked God.

The coach replied, “Well, it would be fine, but…” And his eyes raised in the direction of a magnificent palace at the top of the mountain that overlooked this group of homes. Leading up to it was a tree-lined driveway that was generously landscaped with all sorts of North Carolina Tarheel memorabilia: pennants, flags, and championship banners. “I don’t understand, Lord,” said Coach K. “Why is Dean Smith’s home so much better than mine?”

God laughed. “That’s not Dean Smith’s place. That’s MINE!”
[Received from Gene Besh]

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DEEP THOUGHT
“I define football as 22 men on the field desperately in need of rest, and 40,000 in the stands desperately in need of exercise.”  [Bud Wilkinson]

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I hope you enjoyed some of these insights. Share them with your friends and colleagues, so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from—and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” especially if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be!”
[Revelation 1:7].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright is used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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