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Is Playing Football a Sin in Christianity?

Is playing football a sin in Christianity?

Introduction

The football game is over a hundred years old, while the Christian faith is over two thousand years old. But, the Bible is silent about whether the game or being involved with it is a sin.

A group of Christians believes playing football is a sin because of how highly competitive and sometimes violent the game is.

On the flip side, other Christian groups have the opinion that there’s nothing wrong with playing football because it promotes team spirit, sportsmanship, and good health.

Although the Bible doesn’t give any definite answer about the sinfulness of playing football, there are lessons we can learn. Keep reading to discover these lessons.

Why are you playing football?is playing football a sin in christianity

The first question every believer professionally playing football or only engaging in it for fun must answer is their motive behind playing the game.

Do they play the game to glorify God, please the flesh, or please others?

God’s Word says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The ultimate purpose behind anything we do on earth, be it our jobs, hobbies, or anything mundane or serious, must be to glorify God.

Our service to God does not end in the church or our homes. We must reflect God’s love and be His ambassadors in the evangelism and football fields.

Unbelievers should see the light of God shining in their lives through our good works and be drawn to that light.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

So ask yourself, are you spreading God’s love on the football pitch or causing pain to others?

Your answer will determine if you are fulfilling God’s purpose and bringing glory to His name or pleasing your flesh.

Biblical principles in footballis playing football a sin in the bible

One of the ways Jesus made spiritual principles relatable and easy to understand was through the use of parables.

Jesus taught profound lessons about God’s Kingdom using daily human activities and items like planting, shepherding, coins, talent, etc.

The football game has some spiritual principles that can help us understand certain scriptures and make the Bible as practical as possible.

So, playing football can make church sermons, Bible studies, etc., more meaningful.

Here are some biblical principles playing football can reveal to you.

Healthy livingis football a sin

1 Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

The football game is a rigorous sport that requires strength and builds stamina.

Playing football can have long and short-term health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, reduced body fat, improved muscle strength and tone, increased bone strength, etc.

Playing football helps us fulfill God’s Word in 1 Timothy 4:8. It increases our chances of living longer and healthier lives to do God’s work and what He has destined for us.

Collaboration and Teamworkis it a sin to play football

Different scriptures in the Bible encourage collaboration, teamwork, and unity in every area of our lives, including the church, our families, and relationships (1 Corinthians 12:12, Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

It is difficult for anyone to thrive in isolation.

That is why God created Eve as a help-meet for Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:18). God understands the power of unity and one voice in achieving goals.

That was why He had to confuse the language of the people at the Tower of Babel who wanted to build a tower to reach heaven.

God knew that they were unstoppable if left to keep building (Genesis 11:1-9)

Therefore, playing football games, which is big on team players’ collaboration, makes the scripture more practical to believers who partake in the game.

Playing football will show you the significance of unity and diversity in the body of Christ and why believers must bring their different gifts together to push the Kingdom of God forward (1 Corinthians 12:12).

Heavenly raceis football a sin in the bible

Paul’s teaching in Philippians 3:13-14 talks about not being distracted by the things of the past but moving forward toward the goal for the prize. A believer’s prize is the crown of glory (1 Peter 5:2–4)

A true football player has only one objective in mind – to score a goal and win the trophy. They are not distracted by the fans’ noise or their opponents’ discouraging words. They only want to win the prize.

The football game is like the heavenly race. There are oppositions, hurdles to cross, and challenges to overcome.

Those who get distracted and discouraged along the line will lose the ultimate prize, while those who persevere and endure to the end shall be saved (Matthew 24:13)

When football can cause sin?is watching football a sin

Even though playing football has many physical and spiritual benefits, some players develop harmful habits, which later become a sin.

Here are some reasons playing football can become a sin.

Gambling

Many football players and fans are chronic gamblers. Their love for money has driven them to the point of addiction and greed.

Thanks to many sports gambling and betting sites, it is now effortless for people to gamble in the comfort of their bedrooms.

The Bible warns about the dangers of the love of money, calling it the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

Many have lost their lives to gambling after losing large sums of money and running into huge debts.

Some people have resorted to stealing and other social vices to feed their gambling habits.

Hurting otherswhat does the bible say about football

Too much of everything is bad, including when one becomes too passionate about football.

Many football players go the extra mile to physically and emotionally hurt their opponents to weaken their spirit and defense in order to win a game.

Doing that is a sin because God’s Word encourages us to love others as we love ourselves.

Jesus said this is the second greatest commandment after loving God (Mark 12:31). We must, therefore, ensure we compete in love.

Some players and fans become scornful after losing a match. They become unapproachable even by their loved ones.

They say hurtful things and transfer their aggression to people not responsible for their loss.

Every player must understand that no team is immune to defeat. However, one must rise up even after falling and keep pressing forward. We must also obey God’s Word that says our speech should always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that we may know how we ought to answer each one (Colossians 4:6)

READ MORE: Is my baptism still valid if I continue to sin?

Becomes an idolsoccer bible verse

Some people’s love for football has become an obsession.

The love for the game has occupied their hearts and leaves no room for anything or anyone else.

The football game and star players have become some fans’ idols.

People literally worship them by erecting their statues, having their images all over the walls of their homes, and spending a huge sum of money watching them live, buying their jerseys and other kits.

The game and players have replaced God’s love in their hearts and even stopped them from serving God and attending church services.

In a nutshell, football has become an idol, a demigod in their lives.

God warns us to not worship another god, stating that He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14).

The sin of idolatry attracts God’s wrath and punishment, which can spill unto one’s children, to the third and fourth generations (Exodus 20:3-10)

READ MORE: Is eating meat on Friday during Lent a sin?

Can a Christian play football professionally?is it a sin to play football

Yes.

A Christian can play football and utilize the extensive media coverage and millions of football lovers to preach the Gospel of Christ, spreading the Gospel unto the uttermost part of the earth where their feet cannot reach (Acts 1:8).

Some players have successfully spread the Gospel by displaying godly inscriptions such as Bible verses and Biblical phrases on their shirts after scoring a goal or winning a game.

They can also use the football game as an avenue to build godly characters like perseverance, hard work, team spirit, etc.

How to use football to spread the Gospel of Christis playing sports a sin

The world is evolving daily.

Believers must learn to adopt new and creative ways to spread the Gospel of Christ, as that is one of their core responsibilities, according to Matthew 28:19-20.

Churches and other Christian groups have done tremendously well in taking the Gospel to the hinterlands, prisons, hospitals, orphanages, etc. But little has been done in the area of sports and football. 

Football is the greatest sport in the world.

According to statistics, around 1.5 billion people watched the 2022 World Cup.

Can you imagine Christ being preached to such a large crowd?

Definitely, heaven will celebrate like never before because at least thousands of souls might be saved. Therefore, Christians must see football as an opportunity: a land full of ripe souls to be harvested to God’s glory and the shame of the devil.

We must see opportunities in this sport and utilize it to our advantage for the expansion of God’s kingdom. 

Here are some ways churches, Christian groups, and individuals can use football as an evangelism tool to preach Christ to souls. 

Football ministry teamwhat does the bible say about football

Many high schools and universities have hacked the use of sports to give young people a platform to grow their leadership skills, exercise, compete, and even launch their careers in the sport they excel and are interested in.

However, churches have not really tapped into sports to reach out to people, especially young chaps who are full of energy and looking for where to channel it.

Churches can create football teams and then utilize them to share the Gospel.

For example, players can be taught and encouraged to pray before and after training.

The church can also organize short Bible studies and sermons before training and matches.

They can also allow players to share testimonies with their teammates and spectators to encourage more young people to accept Christ and live for Christ.

Invite guest speakersis playing games a sin

Football enthusiasts always have a star player they look up to, whether as an inspiration to become a superstar like them or for admiration.

As a church or Christian football team, you can invite a Bible-believing football star to motivate players and share their testimonies.

Stories from people like this will give football lovers a fresh perspective on God and will let them know that it’s possible to be a Christian and famous.

It will also influence those who have not made up their minds about giving their lives to Christ to do so. 

Football stars are known to shape culture.

They influence how people dress, cut their hair, and act.

Those who are believers can also influence people to use any opportunity presented to them to preach the message of Jesus Christ.

Prayer and devotionsbible verse for soccer players

Short Bible study sessions and prayers can help inspire players to understand the spiritual significance of football.

Coaches or youth pastors can teach players and spectators about the Bible’s position on training and goals. 

They can compare football goals with the ultimate goal, which is making heaven.

They can also compare winning tournaments’ trophies with the crowns God will give those who live holy and righteously when they get to heaven.

Lessons like this can help football players understand that God is interested in their physical and spiritual development.

It will also open their eyes to how God uses things like football to teach eternal principles and truths.

Prayers of confession of sins and altar calls can be made for people who want to give or rededicate their lives to Christ.

Faith-based football tournamentsWhat does the Bible say about playing football

A group of people closely monitored and targeted by the enemy are the young people.

This is because they have strength and time.

So, once they are converted into the kingdom of darkness, they wreak much havoc in the world because they are driven by youthful exuberance. 

However, when these sets of people have something productive taking their time and energy, they will hardly be influenced to be involved in harmful vices. But many young people are idle, and the devil has given them work to do, like, selling drugs, robbing, raping, etc. 

Faith-based football tournaments are one of the best ways churches can engage young people, making them productive and setting them up for greatness in the future.

Churches can organize football matches among communities and utilize it to teach about Christ. Other teams can be invited so they, too, can hear God’s Word.

Football Bible StudiesIs it a sin to be a football fan

This is a simple but powerful way to spread the Gospel of Christ, build people spiritually, and allow people to share their stories and spiritual journeys. 

Football Bible Studies is a platform where football enthusiasts are invited to share spiritual principles based on their passion and participation in football.

Football players and lovers can talk about how the game or sport has enhanced their spiritual journey and impacted their walk with Christ. 

It is an excellent way to teach people about using football as an outreach opportunity and understanding how to balance the sport with family, work, and God. 

Mission tripsIs it okay for Christians to play sports

There are communities where football is the major sport.

These communities usually gravitate towards activities that involve football and show great interest whenever they see jerseys and sports enthusiasts.

As a church, organize mission trips to these areas to connect with members of the communities.

Organize friendly matches, sports clinics, and evangelistic activities. Collaborate with local churches to reach out to people living in remote areas. 

To make the football matches more memorable and impactful, give to the needy in the communities. Share food items, jerseys, shoes, and the Gospel of Christ.

By doing this, you are also following the biblical principle of giving. “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good.” (Mark 14:7)

Should Christians Be Involved

Believers must use every means to fulfill the Great Commission.

We must adopt a new strategy to gain more ground in the circular world and win it over for Christ.

God is interested in everyone, including football lovers.

We must transform their passion for football into love for Christ, righteousness, and holiness.

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