I recently heard the statement that the human race was roughly divided into two categories, the winners and the losers.
This statement is a lie which any authentic Christianity must completely oppose.
Jesus said in Luke 17:33, "Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it."
Look at what Jesus is saying here carefully because a lot of "christians" turn this on its head with a Gnostic theology, by saying that you just have to know the secret of how to be one of the "real" winners. This is what inevitably happens when you take a legalistic approach to the words of Jesus and Paul, completely missing the point because everything they said is opposed to legalism of any kind. The legalist can look at the above passage and think that this means that you can buy your way into heaven by throwing your life away whether literally as a martyr or symbolically by lobotomizing oneself to simply believe whatever someone tells you that you must believe in order to be saved.
If you reject this complete distortion of "christian theology" that frankly makes the gospel mean the opposite of what it is actually saying, then consider what must a theology be like if it truly opposes the statement that people are divided into the winners and the losers.
Well there is a trivial way in which this is done by simply saying that everyone eventually gets the same thing as in a universalist theology. It is a rather pragmatically meaningless theology since it is basically saying that eventually it doesn't matter what you choose or what you do at all. Besides that isn't what Luke 17:33 is saying at all, is it? On the contrary what Jesus says in Luke 17:33 indicates that what you do matters a great deal indeed.
Instead the issue in Luke 17:33 is about where your aim is -- it says that if you SEEK to gain -- that is if you are aiming to be a winner, then in the end you will lose. The ultimate prize is not something that you can wrest from life -- it is not an achievement at all. And thus the irony is that the one hope for getting the most valuable prize of all is by giving up. This is not a secret strategy either. You really have to give up and surrender it all into the hands of God. Getting this ultimate prize simply isn't something you can do for yourself and so your best bet is get out of the way. And that is why it can NEVER be an achievement in your life.
I also believe that there is some sense in which we are all winners in the end, but not because everyone eventually gets the same thing as in a universalist theology but rather because we all get what we choose to value. I mean think about it. How does everyone getting the same thing mean that they are all winners if people don't even want the same thing? Thus I think the reality is that that those who keep pursuing their heart's desire will eventually "win" by gaining it only to find that this is not all its cracked up to be, and thus the only hope is indeed found in giving up on this and surrendering your will, which allows you to find instead what God desires for you and that you will find is actually worth something in the end.
Is this somehow a winner-loser theology in different words? No. There are some very fundamental differences. Since this is never something you can look at as an achievement you are never in a position to look down on anybody as a loser. All you have done is given up, so that you no longer have to step on other people in order to suceed. It means that you have frankly given up on measuring people in terms of any kind of ultimate success or failure. It really means that you stop looking at people as winners and losers at all.