Spectators or Spectacle?

Spectators or Spectacle

“For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display
at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena.
We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels
as well as to human beings”
(1 Corinthians 4:9).

A spectacle is a performance or public exhibition to draw attention or to entertain. It also refers to something that is a cause of scandal, astonishment, or admiration.

Paul says that God had put them, the apostles in the last place, and they became a spectacle for the world, for angels, and for men. In writing this, he had in mind the figure of the Roman gladiator, defeated in the Colosseum arena and condemned to a certain death. These gladiators were left naked for the grand finale, which included wild animals. The world, men, and even angels watched in amazement.

Paul defends himself before the church using irony, “according to the wisdom of Christ,” and “the madness of the gospel.” We are “fools,” “weak,” and “distinguished” (1 Cor. 4:10). With this, he sums up his present experience of hunger, thirst, inadequate clothing, wounds, fatige, and mistreatment. He concludes that they became “as the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world” (v. 13). They did not care about losing everything in order to win Christ and souls for Him.

Today we live in a large Coloseum, ready to witness the last act of the performance. Believers are often looked down upon, exposed to ridicule for their faith and faithfulness. On this stage is fought the finall battle between good and evil, justice and injustice, truth and error, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of earth.

Are we really a spectacle that attracts the people’s attention and draws them in?
Are we a spectacle for entertainment or for growth?
For condemnation or for salvation? To pass the time or prepare for the eternal?

We need to analyze, understand, and live in accordance with the end times of history, and be ready for the final battles of God’s great day.

“Those wo place themselves under God’s control, to be led and guided by Him, will catch the steady tread of the events ordained by Him to take place. Inspired with the Spirit of Him who gave His life for the life of the world, they will no longer stand still iin impotency, pointing to what they cannot do. Putting on the armor of heaven, they will go forth to the warfare, willing to do and dare for God, knowing that His omnipotence will supply their need” (Maranatha, p. 161).

Our time as spectators before men,
angels, and the world has ended.
Let us be a spectacle of salvation for everyone.

God bless you, be strong, be faithful…