On the Hot Seat

mack brownThere are always coaches who are “on the hot seat,” or in danger of losing their jobs. Sometimes a coach loses his job security because of some infraction(s) off the field, such as Bobby Petrino at Arkansas last year (I personally have never seen a seat get so hot so fast). In other cases, coaches find themselves on the hot seat because they have lost too many games. For example, while Texas head coach Mack Brown has been a model citizen, he is widely thought to be in his last season at Texas, because his win-loss record in recent years has been poor, and Texas has started poorly this year. (Brown could turn things around this year, but he had better hurry.)

Many coaches who are on the hot seat because of losing games are not lazy. Some have done their best and succeeded in the past, but due to circumstances seemingly out of their control, the job security is gone. Mack Brown, for example, won a national championship as recently as 2005 and nearly won another in 2009. He has proven himself in the past, but for whatever reason, he is no longer succeeding. It may not be his fault. There are speculations about the reasons for this (“Mack’s too old,” “Mack’s gotten too comfortable,” “Mack lacks the right players,” “Mack is behind the times,” etc.). The reason does not appear to be that Brown is no longer trying—it’s just not working any more.

Compare the insecurity that haunts many coaches with the security that comforts the Christian. A faithful Christian, one who is trying his best to follow the word of God, does not have to be concerned that circumstances which are out of his control will cause him to be lost. John writes:

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9).

If we are faithful to God, God will be faithful to forgive us and keep us in fellowship with Him. Despite all of the negative things that happen in life, including the troubling opinions people might have about us, there is no hot seat for the faithful Christian (Romans 8:31-39). This is because there is no condemnation created for us (Romans 8:1). God knows our hearts even if everybody else misjudges us (Isaiah 29:13; 1 Samuel 16:7).

It is possible for a Christian to walk away from the Lord and be lost,1 but this need not happen. Jesus insists that nobody can force one of His followers to leave him (John 10:27-28).

If Mack Brown is let go, it is highly unlikely that Texas will ever re-hire him—at least not as the head coach. But if a Christian leaves the Lord, he can choose to return and the Lord will welcome him home.2 This is one message of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), and it is mirrored by other New Testament passages (Acts 8:14-24; Galatians 6:1; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:1-7).


  1. Wayne Jackson, “Can a Christian Ever Be Lost?,” Christian Courier, https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1131-can-a-christian-ever-be-lost (2013); ibid., “Can a Sheep Stray from the Fold?,” https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/622-can-a-sheep-stray-from-the-fold (2013). 

  2. See ibid., “Are Apostates from the Faith beyond Repentance?,” https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/682-are-apostates-from-the-faith-beyond-repentance (2013). 

- 2017