But what would you say to Lance Armstrong if you had the chance to share the gospel with him? That’s not a theoretical question for one of my good friends, Jed Coppenger, who had the chance to share the gospel with Armstrong back in 2006:
We asked Lance Armstrong if he is a Christian and he told us no. We shared the gospel with him and told him that, as Christians, we’re on board with his fight against cancer. We told him that we’re not just against certain manifestations of death, but the whole thing. Since Jesus has overcome death in all of its ugly wholeness, we’re all about taking on death itself.
I’d like to tell you that our witness about Jesus knocked Lance off his bike, like Paul on the way to Damascus. I’d like to tell you that he prayed to receive Christ and is now applying to Southern Seminary to study for the pastorate. But the story’s not that dramatic. Lance didn’t respond in repentance and faith. He graciously dismissed us. He may not have listened to the gospel, but what happened next sure turned my attention more closely to it.
Lance Armstrong is in need of the same gospel as every sinner in the world. A gospel that helps us look beyond ourselves to the shed blood of Christ. When it comes to attempting a gospel of works, there is no such thing as spiritually “performance enhancing drugs.” Instead, it is only by trusting Christ that we experience the saving gospel of grace.