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.
One of America’s greatest heroes is a man named Louis Zamperini. He was an Olympic distance runner, a World War II prisoner of war survivor, and an inspirational speaker. He died this past year on July 2nd at the age of 97. His life story has been told in a new film titled Unbroken, which was directed by Angelina Jolie and is set to be released in December 2014.
While the movie focuses on Louis’ life as an Olympic track star, a soldier, and a prisoner of war, it does not focus on a very important part of Louis’ life — how he came to believe in Jesus Christ as his Savior and how he found peace and satisfaction in his life. Back in 2003, Louis told his story on CBN.
As the son of Italian immigrants, he said he was constantly teased in school, and his “whole life became a life of getting even.” He was quite a trouble-maker as a young man — stealing beer, cheating in school, and constantly getting into fights. One day, his brother, who was the chief of police, and his school’s principal got together and convinced Louis to take up track, and that is how he became a world famous distance runner.
In 1941, Louis enlisted in the U.S. Army and was shortly thereafter sent to the Pacific theater during World War II. During a search-and-rescue mission, Louis and his fellow crew members crashed into the ocean. After 27 days on a lifeboat at sea, they were attacked by a Japanese plane. Miraculously, none of the three men was hit by a single bullet. On day 47, the three survivors landed on the Marshall Islands and were captured by Japanese forces. Louis was moved around to several prisoner-of-war camps until the end of the war when he came home to a hero’s welcome.
Back in the United States, Louis fell in love with Cynthia Applewhite and proposed to her only ten days after their first meeting. They married, and the couple had a little girl. However, Louis started having nightmares about his time as a prisoner of the Japanese. He often woke up thinking he was strangling one of the prison camp captains who was especially cruel to him. One night, he nearly strangled his wife in his sleep. During this time, he had also begun drinking heavily again.
One day, someone talked Louis’ wife, Cynthia, into going to hear evangelist Billy Graham. Cynthia went to the event and gave her life to Jesus Christ. However, when she came home to share the good news with her husband, he refused to attend a meeting with her.
Louis admitted that with his drinking and his mental anguish, his wife had every right to divorce him. However, she told him, “Because of my conversion, I’m not gonna get a divorce.” Louis was happy about that and eventually decided to go to a Billy Graham meeting with his wife.
Louis said Billy Graham “talked about one person only, the person of Jesus Christ, for 30 minutes. He read the Scriptures. ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ ‘The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Well, I knew I was a sinner but I didn’t like the idea of someone else reminding me. If anyone had ever asked me if I believed that Christ was the Son of God, I would have said yes. My whole life I believed it, but [in] the heart [I didn’t]. I knew somehow if I’d believed it in my heart, my life would have been different. So I knew I didn’t possess the Savior but I still didn’t want to do it. I think the best description to that is the Bible says that men prefer darkness rather than light. Here I was preferring my rotten life to the light. Then I started having a flashback to the life raft and prison camp, all those thousands and thousands of prayers — ‘God spare my life through the war, and I’ll seek You and serve You.’ I kept thinking I came back from the war alive, and I never even thought about those prayers. I never tried to keep one prayer.”
That night, Louis gave his life to Christ. He said, “I got off my knees and somehow I knew I was through getting drunk. I knew it. I also knew that I forgave all my guards. I think proof of that is I had nightmares every night about [them] since the war. The night I made my decision for Christ, I haven’t had a nightmare since — 1949 till now! That is some kind of a miracle.”
Louis eventually went back to Japan and spoke with many of his former captors. Some of them even gave their lives to Christ as well. Louis said, “I believe with all of my heart that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose. Christ told us in the Scripture, ‘I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life.’ Christ is the way to God. People are always seeking truth; the truth is Christ, and He’s the life. I think our eternal life starts now by faith in Jesus Christ. That is the strength we live by, and death no longer has a sting…not to the Christian.”
Dear friend, Louis Zamperini’s story is indeed an inspirational one. But, I want you to notice that Louis did not find complete peace or satisfaction through his great accomplishments as a distance runner or as a war hero. He found his greatest peace and satisfaction when he gave his life to Jesus Christ. Louis is not alone in that experience. Many accomplished and successful people have stated that their greatest satisfaction comes from knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior and being loved unconditionally by God.
You can have the same peace and satisfaction in your heart and life today if you will simply do as Louis Zam-pe-ri-ni did and give your life to Jesus Christ. God wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to fill the empty place in your heart that you have sought so long to fill. He can do this today if you accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Saviour. When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that Christ comes to live inside of us. With Christ living inside of you, you will have the peace, love, joy, happiness, and fulfillment that you desire. On top of that, you will have eternal life, and you will go to Heaven to be with God after you die.
Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Are you willing to make the simple decision to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour today? The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
The Bible also tells us in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you want to be saved right now, you can pray a short prayer to let God know that you are making this all-important decision. Just repeat after me and mean it from your heart.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. 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. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever so that I can have your peace and assurance about my life today and my eternal future. 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 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.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Broken” by Lecrae (ft. Kari Jobe)
If you have been paying attention to the news recently, you will know that the past two weeks have been filled with terrible, chaotic events.
In Colorado, what experts called a once-in-a-thousand-years flooding event caused by torrential rains swept away roads and bridges, isolated towns, killed people, destroyed 1,500 homes, and at one point, left 1,200 people unaccounted for.
Mexico also experienced terrible flooding, as both coasts of the country were hit simultaneously — in the east by Hurricane Ingrid, and in the west by Tropical Storm Manuel. The resort town of Acapulco was cut off by floodwaters; landslides blocked the main highway leading from the city; hotels had to ration out food and water; 40,000 tourists were trapped with no way to get home; and 55 people lost their lives in the disaster.
This week, Japan was also hit by a major typhoon which forced 400,000 people to evacuate their homes, left two people dead, and hundreds more injured.
And how can those of us in America, and particularly those in Washington D.C., forget how this past week began. Residents of the nation’s capital were just getting into the groove of their work-week when we heard the news that a gunman had opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard — which is supposed to be one of the most secure locations in the country — less than three miles from the White House and the Capitol. Sadly, that situation ended with 12 innocent people being killed and eight more wounded.
On Thursday, 13 people, including several children, were wounded in a drive-by shooting at a park in Chicago. Chicago continues to have the highest homicide rate of any city in the United States. This week alone, 5 people were killed and 23 people were injured.
And on Saturday, Muslim gunmen from an extremist group in Somalia opened fire at a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Over a thousand people who were out shopping and enjoying their weekend fled the mall, but at last count, nearly 60 had been killed and over 170 were wounded.
Those are just the events that garnered major media coverage. There are countless other tragedies that happen every day that don’t receive the glare of the cameras and that don’t affect as many people, but are just as heartbreaking. For example, the five children who all died in a fire at a house in Ohio, or the fourteen-year-old Georgia girl who was kidnapped by robbers who decided to take her because her family didn’t have any money for them to steal.
When we look around at these calamities, these tragedies, that happen in the world, it is easy to see why people are worried, anxious, and afraid. It is easy to see why people are searching for peace and stability in the midst of these chaotic events. We ask, How can I be peaceful? How can I be joyful? How can I not fall into depression?
Well, Jesus Christ gave several promises to His disciples that speak to this very issue.
+ Plus, listen to Laura Story singing “Perfect Peace”
It is estimated that more than 20,000 people were killed in the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Damage to nuclear reactors may have disastrous long term effects. Japan’s prime minister has called the earthquake his country’s worst crisis since World War II.
Meanwhile the worldwide recession and the unrest in countries across the Middle East have caused great concern among many people. Tornadoes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters have killed thousands more and left many homeless and hopeless.
These are indeed historic days in which we live. When disasters and wars erupt, people often ask about their relation to the end of history. After Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Holy City, His disciples asked Him in Matthew 24:3, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
Jesus responded with six different signs that would precede His Second Coming, and the end of the world. To what degree are they being fulfilled in our day?
+ Plus, listen to Kari Jobe singing “Revelation Song”
Over the past couple of months, the world has been hit by disasters like never before. Just think back, and you will remember the devastating earthquake in New Zealand, and then the horrible earthquake which was followed by a crushing tsunami that hit Japan. From the disaster in Japan alone, over 12,000 lives were lost and countless thousands were displaced and left without homes and other necessities. In the United States, massive flooding along the Mississippi River has cost many people their lives and their homes. And just this past week, a deadly outbreak of tornadoes swept across the midwest region of our country causing catastrophic damage in places like Joplin, Missouri. Already, over 500 people have been killed by tornadoes this year.
And we’ve heard of other disasters as well — killer tsunamis, devastating earthquakes, massive hurricanes, raging floods, and out of control fires. Nature has dealt staggering blows to the earth and its people over the years. Many of these events happen without warning.
Each year millions of people are faced with the daunting destruction caused by the forces of nature as they storm into their lives. The impact on our families, our cities, and our country may occur in just a few minutes, but dealing with these overwhelming disasters continues long after the initial catastrophe.
Natural disasters are beyond our control. We cannot prevent them and run away from them, but we can turn to God for help in times of trouble. Although we can’t prevent disasters from happening (many times we can’t even issue warnings in time) there are some things coming that we can prepare for now.