In addition, he gave gold passes to those who were his close friends, which entitled them to attend the pre-match lunch in the clubrooms with club officials and the players involved in the match.
So everyone in the town got to enjoy the first match of the year, and there was a special treat beforehand for the coach's close friends.
Sounds a bit like what God has in store for His creation, doesn't it?
We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe. [1 Timothy 4 : 10 NIV]All of creation gets to enjoy eternity (the match) with God, but the friends of the Coach (believers - members of the Body of Christ) get to enjoy the pre-eternity ages with Him.
And just as the coach's friends were chosen by the coach well before the day of the match, so believers (members of the Body of Christ) have been chosen well before eternity, even before the ages began.
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. [ Ephesians 1 : 4, 5 NIV]How exciting is that?
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of the world, you have been chosen before the creation of the world to be adopted into sonship.
Indeed, you weren't chosen because you believed, you were given belief (faith) because you were chosen.
Just like these Gentiles ...
The Gentiles listened with delight and extolled the Lord's Message; and all who were pre-destined to the Life of the Ages believed.We are very privileged people. But we also have great responsibility, not only in the now, but also in those pre-eternity ages - yes, we have been chosen for a purpose.
[Acts 13 : 48 Weymouth]
In the now ...
God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. [Ephesians 2 : 10 GNB]In the pre-eternity ages ...
... and did raise us up together, and did seat us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that He might show, in the ages that are coming, the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus, [Ephesians 2 : 6, 7 YLT]Doesn't that excite you? Chosen for ministry on earth now and ministry in the heavens in the coming ages. I don't feel as if I can stop writing about this at the moment. But I must. Just one more verse...
Do you not know that we shall judge the angels? How much more, then, the things of this life! [1 Corinthians 6 : 3 GNB]Blessings, Barry
PS. I am not tempted to de-gender "sonship" in the Ephesians 1 quote above because to do so would lose so much of Paul's thrust here. "Adoption to sonship" is a legal expression that referred to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in the Roman culture of his time. So Paul is saying that believers have full legal standing as adopted sons (I call them male sons and female sons) and heirs with Christ in God's family.