How to Understand What the Purple Prince Referred to as “This Thing Called Life” (Gospel Light Minute X #368)

This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #368 titled, “How to Understand What the Purple Prince Referred to as ‘This Thing Called Life’.” 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.

We are all aware of problems in this world. Everyone knows what it is to be weary, to be disappointed, and to struggle. And we have a feeling that we were not meant for this. We are all searching for some solution to the problems of life.

The question is, why are you unhappy? Why do things go wrong? Why is there illness and sickness? Why should there be death? Those are the questions with which the Bible deals.

The Bible talks to you about your unhappiness. Some insist that the Bible, far from being practical, is really very remote from life. But nothing in the world is as practical as the teaching of the Bible.

In order to answer questions about you, the Bible starts in the most extraordinary way: 

“In the beginning God…” Continue reading “How to Understand What the Purple Prince Referred to as “This Thing Called Life” (Gospel Light Minute X #368)”

The Only Way to Get to Heaven (Gospel Light Minute X #367)

This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #367 titled, “The Only Way to Get to Heaven.” 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.

“My father was a wise man and he always explained it like this,” my friend began. I had just finished sharing the way to Heaven with him, but it was clear that the philosophies of his father were deeply embedded in his mind. Unfortunately, those thoughts were not according to divine truth.

He went on: “My father said that going to Heaven is like going to New York: there are many ways to get there, and it doesn’t really matter which one you take. As long as you sincerely follow the way you believe, it will get you there.”

“You are right,” I quickly replied, “about going to New York, but you are completely wrong about going to Heaven. The only map to Heaven, the Bible, clearly presents only one way to get there. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” It is not true that there are many ways and He is just one of them. Nor is it true that Jesus plus something else is the way to Heaven. Continue reading “The Only Way to Get to Heaven (Gospel Light Minute X #367)”

The Hopeful Christian in Hopeless Times, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #49)

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TEXT: 1 Peter 1:3-9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The Hopeful Christian in Hopeless Times, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #49)
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The most powerful thing we have learned so far from this passage is that we as Christians have a cause and reason to hope even when we are facing negative situations. Perhaps, right now, you are thinking of a situation or circumstance that you could not imagine yourself being hopeful in. However, we saw last week that the Christian can “greatly rejoice” even when being afflicted by many temptations, trials, and troublesome situations. One reason why we can be hopeful is that our trials, our temptations, and our troubles have a purpose. This is what we will look at today.

Peter writes, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” This verse tells us several things about the troubles we face in life. Continue reading “The Hopeful Christian in Hopeless Times, Part 3 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #49)”

The Hopeful Christian in Hopeless Times, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #48)

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TEXT: 1 Peter 1:3-9

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

The Hopeful Christian in Hopeless Times, Part 2 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #48)

Last week, a pastor and church family in Florida held a funeral for the pastor’s three daughters who were killed in a car crash as they returned from a church convention. A fellow musician who was traveling with them as well as the woman who lost control of her truck, causing the crash, died as well. None of us who have children can imagine losing one child, much less losing all of your children in the same day in such a tragic manner similar to how Job lost his children all at once. One daughter was starting a fashion line, one was about to sign a record deal, and another was getting ready to go back to school to become a nurse. We can only begin to imagine the heartache and hopelessness that this pastor and church family must feel at this time. How can they have hope at a time like this? We find the answer in God’s Word.

Last week, we learned that one of the reasons we have hope in hopeless times is because we have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven” for us. No matter what happens in this world, no matter how hopeless things seem, we have an inheritance waiting for us in Heaven. In Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful glimpsed a sight of their inheritance as they were on the straight and narrow way. The Bible tells us about this inheritance — our eternal union with God and peace in Heaven where there will be no more strife, no more tears, and no more dying. And where we will be reunited with saved loved ones. That is what allows that pastor and church family in Florida to remain hopeful even as they go through what looks like a hopeless time.

But, Peter isn’t done telling us about our inheritance. You might say to yourself, ‘How can I be sure that I gain this inheritance? How can we as Christians be certain that we will reach the incorruptible and undefiled future that God has promised in His Word?’ Peter tells us that it is not our perseverance that ensures that we gain this inheritance, but it is God’s power that ensures that we gain this inheritance. He says we “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…”

The hope of our Heavenly inheritance is certain because we are kept by the power of God. It is God’s power that enables us to endure and to persevere to the end. It is God’s power that saves us and continues to keep us saved. If salvation was in our hands, and if we could lose our salvation, many of us would have lost it a long time ago. But, thanks be to God, the security of our salvation is in God’s hands, and He has promised that nothing and no one can take it away. It is His power that causes us to persevere through faith unto salvation. That is why we can have certain hope of Heaven. We obtain it not by our own means but by God’s power. F.B. Meyer said, “To have been told that our inheritance was reserved in heaven could have yielded us little comfort, unless that assurance had been followed and capped by this, that the heirs also are being kept for its full enjoyment.” Just as the rewards of Heaven are being reserved for us, we are being preserved for those rewards.

Now, this is where the rubber meets the road: the text says, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice…” Rejoice in what? Rejoice in the hope of Heaven. “…Though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” Peter is saying that while we are undergoing “heaviness through manifold temptations” we can still rejoice because of the hope of Heaven.

The hope that the Christian has is not a Pollyannaish perspective on life, one of absurd optimism or unreasonable cheerfulness. In this life, we have to face the fact that, sometimes, bad things do happen — even to Christians. Peter acknowledges this in the lives of his readers when he says, “if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.” The word translated “need” is the Greek word “dei” [DAY] which means “it is necessary” or “there is need of it.” The word “heaviness” in Greek means “to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, or to cause grief.” The word translated “manifold” literally means “of various colors” or different kinds. And the Greek word translated “temptation” in this verse means “a trial, a testing, or a proving.” It also means “adversity, affliction, or trouble, sometimes, sent by God and serving to test or prove one’s character, faith, or holiness.”

When we put all of this together, we see that, in the Christian life, it is often necessary for us to face sadness and grief caused by trouble, adversity, affliction, and trials of many kinds. Our brothers and sisters in Florida are facing such grief right now. But we must not lose sight of the first part of this verse. It says, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice although now for a season…” To put it simply, Peter is saying, ‘You can greatly rejoice because trouble won’t last always.’

The trouble, adversity, and trials that cause sadness, grief, and anxiety in our lives will only last for a while. They won’t go on forever. We can have hope today because, once we get on the other side — once we reach the inheritance that is promised to us, all that we have suffered in this life will appear as nothing compared to eternity.

It is likely that you are facing some difficulty in your life today — some trouble, some adversity, some trial — and this difficulty is tempting you to lose faith and give up hope. However, if you place your faith and hope in God — the God who is preserving you and keeping you, the God who is holding you up in the midst of your difficulty — you can keep the faith and you can hold on to the true hope that all Christians have

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If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

True Hope in Hopeless Times (Part 4)

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Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #161

TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Over the past few weeks, we have been looking at the topic of true hope in hopeless times. Last week, we looked specifically at Jesus’ command to “let not your hearts be troubled.” We can do this by choosing not to let our hearts be troubled, by choosing to believe in God, and by choosing to believe in Jesus Christ.

Today, as we continue with this theme, we are going to look at how the Christian deals with death. Death is all around us. People who were here yesterday are not here today. People who got up this morning will not be here tonight. You might have plans for this day that you will never get to fulfill because death will come knocking.

President William McKinley was the third American president to be assassinated. He clung to life for several days after he was shot. Towards the end, as his life slipped away, his wife started crying and screaming, “I want to go too! I want to go too!” With his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his final words: “We are all going.”

Yes, we are all going. And it is likely that you will see and hear about a lot of people who go before it is your turn to go. Let’s look at how we, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to handle death. We are going to do this by focusing on three key words in our passage — Sorrow, Sleep, and Spirit.

1. Sorrow. In First Thessalonians, Paul writes to a group of Christians who were particularly enthusiastic about the Rapture. They were eagerly awaiting Jesus’ return. However, when Jesus did not return as fast as they thought He would, and some of their number died, they began to worry. Paul writes to them and says, “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

2. Sleep. Why is it that the Christian does not have to sorrow over death? Because for the Christian, death is not final. Death is, as Paul termed it in verse 13, a “sleep.” This sleep refers to the status of the physical body of the believer. When you are asleep, you are out of touch with your physical environment, and that is what will happen to your body when you die. It will be put in the ground, and it will be unable to communicate with its surroundings using its God-given senses.

3. Spirit. This is another reason why Christians do not have to sorrow about death. Second Corinthians 5:8 says, “to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” When you die, your body goes down into the grave, but your spirit leaves your body and goes instantly to be with Lord. In reality, you never truly die. Your spirit is always alive, and when your body sleeps, your spirit will go on to do what the Westminster Catechism says is the purpose of man — “to love God and enjoy Him forever” — with the added benefit of being in the actual presence of our Savior Jesus Christ in Heaven.

We must always remember that Jesus Christ conquered death when He rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, so we do not have to fear death as the world fears death. We do not have to sorrow over death as the world sorrows over death. Thank God, we have true hope to cling to in the face of death.

True Hope in Hopeless Times (Part 2)

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Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #155

TEXT: Philippians 3:20-21

On last week, we began talking about hope — particularly the hope that believers have in these hopeless times. First, we looked at some misnomers about hope. Some Christians would tell you that their hope is in salvation, in death, or in Heaven itself. However, we saw from Scripture that none of those, though they may sound good, are the true hope of the church. Second, we saw from Scripture that our hope is a Person — Jesus Christ. And, third, we saw that our hope also involves an event surrounding that Person. That event is the Rapture when Jesus Christ snatches Christians out of this earth and takes them to be with Himself. That is a wonderful thing to look forward to.

Certainly you have watched a well-made action movie or read a well-written thriller. One of the things the movie director or writer tried to accomplish was to keep you in suspense at all times — to keep you on the edge of your seat or with your finger on the corner of the page ready to find out what happens next. Well, that is what the true hope of the church ought to do for us. We ought to be on our toes, eager with anticipation about what happens next. John Calvin said, ‘Be prepared to expect Him every day, or rather every moment. In his writings about the Rapture, Paul means to hold all believers in suspense.’

Today, I want us to look at three more aspects of the hope that we have — three things that we have to look forward to in the Rapture.

1. We look forward to the Rapture because it means being like Jesus. Philippians 3 tells us that “we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” When the Rapture takes place, it involves a change that will cause us to receive glorified bodies like Jesus’ glorified body. John says, “We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”

2. We look forward to the Rapture because it means being with Jesus. To show you this, we must turn to John 14. In this chapter, Jesus tells his disciples, In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Listen to those words — “Where I am, there ye may be also.” When the Rapture takes place, it involves the church being taken out of this world in an instant and being taken to where Jesus is.

3. We look forward to the Rapture because of the certainty of the promise. Look again at Jesus’ words in John 14. He says, “I will come again.” He doesn’t say, “I’ll think about coming again” or “I might come again.” He doesn’t even say, “I will send my angels to get you.” No, He says, “I will come again.”

The reason why the church has true hope in hopeless times is because we are looking for the return of Christ and the Rapture of the church. We look forward to that great event because we know that at that point we will be like Him and we will be with Him forever. It’s a guarantee — it’s a promise — that no one can take away. Billy Graham summarized this hope well when he said, “Our world is filled with fear, hate, lust, greed, war, and utter despair. Surely the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the only hope of replacing these depressing features with trust, love, peace, and prosperity.”

True Hope in Hopeless Times (Part 1)

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Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #154

TEXT: Titus 2:11-14

There is a lot of talk about hope in our world — and based on the terrible events that frequently occur, it seems impossible to continue living without that essential ingredient — hope. Six years ago, one of the catchwords of a certain presidential candidate’s campaign was “hope.” Last year, when Francis was selected to lead the Catholic Church, someone called him the “pope of hope.” People of diverse backgrounds and upbringings from all around the world are looking for hope — something to cling to when they reach the end of their rope in life and suddenly find themselves in freefall.

The Church of Jesus Christ has been identified as a bearer of hope to the world. Today, I want us to look at the subject of hope in the Bible so that we, as followers of Christ, will know what it is we are hoping for and how that hope ought to inform our everyday lives. (We certainly don’t want to be like that presidential candidate and be bearers of false hope, and we all know that there is no hope in the pope.)

1. First, today, I want us to look at some misnomers about hope. Believe it or not, many in the church who say they have hope do not have a biblical hope. They are confused or ignorant about what the Bible says they should place their hope in. Let’s look at some of these misconceptions.

2. Our hope is a Person. Listen to what Paul writes to Titus, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

3. We are also hoping for an event. Look once more at verse 13. It says, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing…” That is an event that will take place involving Jesus Christ. The church is hoping for Jesus Christ and what He will accomplish at the glorious appearing. We are waiting on a Person and what He will do when He comes.

That is the true hope of the church, dear friend — the Person of Jesus Christ and the event called the Rapture.