This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #389 titled, “How a Key Principle of Karate Helps You Understand Getting Your Soul Saved From Hell Through Jesus Christ.” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
Most people are familiar with Karate, a martial arts form of self-defense. Its origin dates back many centuries ago, when Chinese monks developed Kung Fu. In the 1600s, this system of self-defense was imported to the tiny island nation of Okinawa. Under the dominion of the Japanese Samurai, all weapons were banned to keep the people of Okinawa in subjection. For protection from their oppressors, the native people learned to use their farm tools as weapons, and over time perfected Chinese boxing into its present form we know as Karate.
The creed of all true Karate practitioners is this: I come to you with only karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor, be it a matter of life or death, right or wrong, then here are my weapons, karate, my empty hands.
He is a professional basketball player who played college basketball at Texas A&M University. He played for the San Antonio Spurs in the Summer of 2010 before signing with a Polish team for the rest of the season. During this same year, he was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team as well as the All-Big 12 Third Team. In 2011, he signed with the GasTerra Flames of the Netherlands and was named a PLK All-Star. From 2012 to 2013, he played for teams in the Ukraine, China, and South Korea. In 2014, he signed with the Wellington Saints in New Zealand and was named a New Zealand National Basketball League champion.
He said of his faith, “There have been times in my life that I was told that I could not achieve something, and at those times I have looked to my favorite lifeline from the Bible: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ This promise from Philippians 4:13 has guided me and energized me. It reminds me that I can face any life challenge with Jesus Christ. Therefore, to have a relationship with Christ is to have enough. I attribute my success to my faith in God and our relationship, and my strong family values [from the Bible]. And I always hold close to this folk proverb: The smarter a man is, the more he needs God to protect him from thinking he knows everything.”
This past week a terrible thing happened to a Malaysian Airlines flight that was supposed to land in Beijing at 6:30 am on Saturday morning — the airplane simply vanished. No signal, no distress call, no evidence of what took place. The plane simple disappeared. The flight, which was carrying 239 people from 13 different countries, stopped communicating with air traffic controllers in Malaysia and Vietnam. Although the worst is feared, no one knows for sure what happened to the plane.
The shock of this unexpected occurrence — which left dozens of family members who were waiting in Beijing for the plane’s arrival distraught, angry, and afraid — reminds us of the suddenness of life. One moment all can be going well, the next moment, tragedy strikes and our world is upended. We tend to trust technology, advancement, and progress, but a plane that simply vanishes shakes our belief in any certainty that we may have in this world. It reminds us of the Bible’s words, “What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
Such events cause us to soberly remember that our lives are fragile. We are not special. We are no better than the people who got on that flight — people with families, homes, dreams, aspirations, and careers. We, too, can be here one moment and gone the next. We can pass from life to eternity in an instant because of some unexpected, tragic event that is totally beyond our control. Such events remind us that we need to be ready for what comes after death — our eternal destination.
I hope and pray that all of those who boarded that ill-fated flight are in Heaven with God. We cannot know that for sure, but what we can know for sure today is whether or not you and I would go to Heaven if we happened to be killed in a sudden, shocking tragedy this week. Today, you have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour so that you can know for sure that you are going to Heaven whether you die suddenly and unexpectedly or whether you die naturally after living a long life.
MUSICAL SELECTION: Jeremy Camp singing “There Will be a Day”
This past week was certainly among the most turbulent weeks America and the world has ever experienced. It began on Monday, at the Boston Marathon, when a joyous event was turned into a scene of terror. Three people who had gathered with many others to cheer on the runners as they crossed the finish line were killed by two bombs that exploded on the sidewalk. One of those killed was a restaurant manager, another was a young Chinese college student, and the third was an eight-year-old boy who was there to cheer on his father. 183 other people were injured, many of whom had to have legs amputated because of the blast.
This past week, poisoned letters were also sent to President Obama and a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. Thankfully, these letters were intercepted before they reached their destinations.
On Tuesday, a massive earthquake struck the Iran-Pakistan border. The quake was so powerful that it was felt across the Middle East and Asia from Dubai to India. 34 people died from this earthquake.
On Wednesday evening of this past week, a fire broke out at a fertilizer company in a small town in central Texas. Volunteer firefighters rushed to the scene. While they were fighting the fire, a huge explosion occured. It was so powerful that it registered as a small earthquake. 14 people, including the firefighters, have since been confirmed dead, many people have not been accounted for, and dozens more are without homes or material belongings.
Finally, on Saturday, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck a region in southwestern China. At the latest report, over 200 people are dead from this quake and over 6,700 people have been injured.
Many people recognized that so much tragedy in such a short period of time seems unusual. Two CNN reporters even referred to the Boston Marathon bombing, the West, Texas explosion, and the poisoned letters sent to President Obama and a U.S. senator as being similar to biblical plagues that seemed to be hitting the country all at the same time.
The terrible loss of life that struck the world this past week is both astounding and heart breaking. All of the people who died from events that were beyond their control have one thing in common. None of them thought they were likely going to die that day. They were living their lives just like you and I are doing today. They just wanted to go to work, go to school, go to the store, and spend time with their family and friends. They wanted to enjoy a fun sporting event with other residents of their city. They wanted to spend a peaceful evening at home eating dinner or watching TV. Yet, all of them were here one moment and gone the next. In the space of a bomb blast, an earthquake, or an explosion, they each passed from life into eternity.
Such events should cause us to soberly remember that our lives are just as fragile. We are not special. We are no better than those people who died this past week. Hebrews 9:27 says that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” We, too, can be here one moment and gone the next. We can pass from life to eternity in a moment of time by some unexpected, tragic event that is totally beyond our control. Such events remind us that we need to be ready for what comes after death — our eternal destination.