Could George Steinbrenner's Money Buy Heaven? (NKJV)
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- Version: NKJV
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I love the New York Yankees because they represent American capitalism at it’s best. They’ve been blessed with the most resources of any other baseball team and very often they’ve used those resources wisely. This is evidenced by the fact that they’ve won more World Titles than any other team in history by far.
I also was a big fan of their owner, George Steinbrenner, who bought the team in 1973 and turned a 10 million dollar investment into one worth over a billion dollars at his death. George had his quirky ways and rough edges as we all do, but he wanted to win and I see nothing wrong with that (within reason). As the saying goes, “winning isn’t everything, but it beats coming in second.” When the Yanks clinched their 2009 Title, their 7th under Steinbrenner, sadly “The Boss” was too ill to be there in person to enjoy it. All indications are that, at 79, he was nearing death and could not attend. Sadder still, there is no Biblical reason to believe that George was trusting in Christ alone for his entrance into Heaven when he passed, but rather in his own “good works” (extensive charitable giving, etc.) to get him there one day.
In Matthew 16:26, Jesus said “what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” As I thought of Mr. Steinbrenner during this Yankees’ World Series Celebration, I thought to myself “What does it profit a man if his team gains the world championship, even seven times, and he loses his own soul?” Admirably, George’s team “dedicated” their ‘09 win to him and commendably, his sons are picking up where Steinbrenner left off by running the team well. But it’s a tragedy to think of a dying man who does not seem to be ready to go to Heaven though he has wealth, and Championships, and respect from his family, and employees, and peers.
Only Christ gets us into Heaven! Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Steinbrenner’s good works, if he trusted in them to get him into Heaven like he used his own money to buy the Yankees, couldn’t buy his way into Heaven and your good works sure won’t get you there, either. Is Mr. Steinbrenner in Heaven? I truly don’t know; he may have trusted in Christ alone at the very end of his life and got saved. I hope so, but all you and I can be worried about now is ourselves. Are we trusting in Christ Alone, or are we trying to pave a road to Heaven that will let us PAY our way in? “There is a way that seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through Me” (John 14:6). No one can buy their way into Heaven, so don’t miss out on Heaven simply because you’re trying to get in the wrong way!
Copyright ©2010 by Chet Jelinski.