Emma Raducanu’s tennis victory was stunning. It certainly makes history. One newspaper described her as having ‘gained immortality’.
No doubt she will be revered and remembered for a very long time. This is not, however, immortality.
Immortality means living for ever; and this also requires being unable to do wrong – unable to sin. Like God, in fact. And only God has immortality as a natural characteristic.
…the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power.1 Timothy 6: 15-16
Only one member of the human race has gained immortality: Jesus Christ.
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.Romans 6:9
Everyone else who has died remains dead. But the amazing gospel message is that God also offers us immortality and a nature like His.
… have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
This is the reward of Jesus’ true followers when he returns to the earth.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.1 Corinthians 15:22-23
While Emma may be famous for a very long time, none of us has yet ‘gained immortality’. But we can have it in the future if we really want it and become a real disciple of Jesus Christ: now.