Daniel Whyte III Preaches Adaptation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Sermon, “But If Not…”

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his sermon titled “But If Not…” at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on November 5, 1967.


TEXT: Daniel 3:16-18

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

——

In this passage, we find three Hebrew young men confronted with the command to bow before a great golden image that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Of course, bowing before any image is against the laws of God. However, the penalty for not bowing is being thrown into the fiery furnace and burned alive. Knowing the consequences, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego bravely refuse to bow before the king’s image and tell the king so to his face.

As they did what they did, they made it very clear that they knew that God had the power to spare them. They said that to the king: “Now we know that the God that we worship is able to deliver us.” They had experienced God in nature and they knew God as the creator. They had seen God in history. And they had seen God in their personal lives. They never doubted God’s power to deliver them.

But they also knew that God, in His sovereign reasoning, could very well choose not to deliver them. And they want the king to know that, despite this, they still will not bow. They say, “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” ‘But if not… But if he doesn’t deliver us, we still are not going to bow.’

The ultimate test of one’s faith is his ability to say, “But if not.” You see there is what you may call an ‘if’ faith, and there is a ‘though’ faith. The permanent faith, the lasting faith, the powerful faith is the ‘though’ faith. Now the ‘if’ faith says, “I’ll serve God if all goes well; if life is hopeful, prosperous, and happy; if I don’t have to go to jail; if I don’t have to face the agonies and burdens of life; if I’m never called bad names because of taking a stand.” That’s the ‘if’ faith. And a lot of people have the ‘if’ faith.

But, the ‘though’ faith is different. The ‘though’ faith says, “I will serve God even though things go wrong; even though evil is temporarily triumphant; even though sickness comes and the cross looms. Nevertheless! I’m going to believe anyway and I’m going to have faith anyway.” In the words of the Psalmist, “Even though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, even though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, the LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” Job got a hold of the ‘though’ faith when he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” The question is whether you have an ‘if’ faith, or whether you have a ‘though’ faith.

There is a reward that awaits those who have a ‘though’ faith. For the Hebrew boys, somehow that burning fiery furnace was transformed into an air-conditioned living room. King Nebuchadnezzar looked in there and said, “We put three in here, but now we see four.” God was his servants in the fiery furnace. Don’t ever think you’re by yourself. Go on to jail if necessary but you’ll never go alone. Take a stand for that which is right, and the world may misunderstand and criticize you, but you’ll never go alone.

Ludie Pickett wrote:

I’ve seen the lightning flashing,
And heard the thunder roll;
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing,
Trying to conquer my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of Jesus,
Telling me still to fight on;
He promised never to leave me,
Never to leave me alone.

Wherever you’re going, tell the world that you’re going with the truth. You’re going with goodness. You have an eternal companion. The world will look at you and they won’t understand you, because your fiery furnace will be all around you, but you’ll go on anyhow. But if not, I will not bow. May God grant that we will never bow before the gods of evil.

The only God whom we ought to bow before is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the God who delivered the Hebrew boys — the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “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.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “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 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 believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting 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.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

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

Actor David Oyelowo says “Being a Christian Has Been Invaluable”; ‘Voice of God’ has Guided him Throughout his Life (Gospel Light Minute #179)

David Oyelowo
David Oyelowo

He is a British-Nigerian actor who is known for several movie roles. He won a scholarship to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and finished his training in 1998. He played supporting roles in the films “The Last King of Scotland”, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, “Jack Reacher”, “Middle of Nowhere”, “The Paperboy”, and “Lincoln”. He also earned high praise for portraying Louis Gaines in “The Butler”. His TV roles include, “Spooks”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, and “Star Wars: Rebels.” He stars as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the biographical drama film “Selma”, for which he received a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama.

In an interview with the Telegraph UK, he is described as having an unwaveringness about him which can be ascribed to his Christian faith. He said, “my faith is a very visceral, conversational one that bleeds into everything. I was brought up as a Baptist. By 16 I was ready to leave church behind. It was a time when my hormones were raging and I was nursing a nice rebellious streak. I decided to try a different church for three months and God turned up in a dramatic way. From then on my behaviour and decisions have been driven by my faith.

As a devout Christian, he often prays on film sets. For the movie “Selma”, he said he heard a voice tell him that he would play the role of Martin Luther King, Jr. In an interview with The L.A. Times, he said, “I knew that voice [of God], because it was the same voice that told me to marry my wife, the same voice that told me to give names to my children before they were even conceived. This is how God has spoken to me in the past. And it’s what kept me going even though directors at the time didn’t want me.”

He said further, “I think it’s vital to have something outside your acting to keep you rooted in the real world, and help you fill the vacuum. If you have nothing else, it can be unhealthy. For me being a Christian has been invaluable: it simply means acting isn’t the centre of my life.”

His name is David Oyelowo. Continue reading “Actor David Oyelowo says “Being a Christian Has Been Invaluable”; ‘Voice of God’ has Guided him Throughout his Life (Gospel Light Minute #179)”

GLMX #180: Dr. King and the King of Kings

This message is important to me because I came to faith in Jesus Christ through the efforts of a white, independent Baptist church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, that for many years did not accept black members, but in the late ‘70s was led to start a black church while I was in the Air Force and stationed at Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, at the age of nineteen. As I interacted with the leaders and members of that church, and even the pastor of the black church plant, I heard some negative things about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that I had never heard before. Some people tried to discredit him by suggesting that he was not a true minister of the Gospel, and even that he did not have a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. They viewed him as just a mere social worker, with some even claiming that he was a Communist. Even some of the blacks in that young church did not think too highly of Dr. King.

I must admit that I did have concerns and questions about this matter because I was raised in the black Baptist church and the black Pentecostal Holiness church, with my dad being a Baptist preacher and my mother being a Pentecostal preacher, and yet I had never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ on how to be saved until I was nineteen-years-old, and a young man named Michael Lewis, who had gotten saved through this church plant that an all-white independent Baptist church had started, came to my dorm room and showed me what was commonly called the Romans Road to salvation from the book of Romans in the Bible. Up until that point, no one had asked me the question, if I were to die today, where would I go, heaven or hell?

Thankfully, the Lord allowed me to keep an independent mind about the matter through all of that, and I came to see Dr. King as God’s man for that particular time in this nation’s history to help deliver both blacks and whites in this country from the ignorance of racism and prejudice. I even learned later that Dr. King tried to get into a white conservative Christian seminary, but he was rejected because of his race. However, based on his words and his life, it seems as though Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did know the King of Kings — the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only that, but the faith, courage, and fortitude that he showed (and that he inspired others to have) as he led the very dangerous Civil Rights movement speaks of a man who knew Jesus Christ as his Savior and had an abiding faith in God.

According to the book, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, by historian Taylor Branch: In 1934, when a guest minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta made a strong pitch for the salvation of young souls, Martin Luther King Jr. watched his sister rise to make the first profession of faith in Christ. Impulsively, as he later confessed, “I decided that I would not let her get ahead of me, so I was the next.”

Also in his book, Strength to Love, Dr. King wrote: “Bound by the chains of his own sin and finiteness, man needs a Saviour (Jesus Christ). Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God.” We see here that, contrary to what some thought of King, he did not believe that man could get to Heaven by doing good works. He believed that he and everyone needed a Savior — Jesus Christ.

He also said, “Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight victoriously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.” That sounds like what Jesus Christ called being “born again” when He told Nicodemus in John 3:3 & 7, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”…

The Question God Asked Steve Smith: “When Are You Going to Start Playing for Me?” (Gospel Light Minute #133)

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

He is a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers. He played college football at the University of Utah. He was chosen by the Panthers as a third round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. He was selected to the Pro-Bowl five times and to the All-Pro three times. He is known as one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL. In 2005, he led the league in receiving yards, catches, and touchdowns. This same year, he was the NFL Alumni Wide Receiver of the Year, AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and the PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Having spent his whole career with the Panthers, he is the team’s all-time leader in total touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards. He currently leads all active NFL players in all-purpose yardage.

He says of his faith, “I accepted Christ in a boiler room in Tampa Bay in 2003. I accepted Christ, but I didn’t understand the responsibility, or understand the full lifelong commitment, the true covenant between a believer, myself and—with Christ. And so I was kind of lukewarm, I was straddling the fence. I kind of looked for (it) when I needed it, but when I didn’t need it, just kind of shoved it to the side.”

With talent, pride, and a chip on his shoulder, he often got into arguments with other players and teammates. During the 2010 season, he decided to change that. After taking a long look in the mirror, he said, “I really just did not recognize the man, the young man, in the mirror. I didn’t recognize him, I didn’t see it, I didn’t like what I saw; vain, egotistical, and self centered. The world revolved around me. And, it was only important thing at that time was me. And that’s not how real life works. That’s not what it’s about. That’s not what a husband ought to think, ought to be, that’s not what a father ought to be.”

He says that’s when he was faced with a question from God. He said, “God just really broke me and asked me that question that I think everyone has in different ways. Which was, ‘You’ve played this game long enough for yourself; when are you going to start playing for Me?’ That was a question that hit home.” It was then that he decided to rededicate his life to the Lord.

He said, “You can have your bank account at Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, every big business, but on that weekend, they aren’t open. At midnight when you’re broken, that bank account isn’t going to help you. God has been in my life whether I’ve known it or not, and been looking out for me the days that He knows, He’s known. And He’s been there in the muck and the mire. For me, He’s redemptive; He’s that Father that even when your dad is striking out, He’ll hold you.”

His name is Steve Smith.

Three Types of Fathers to Thank God For

PART 1: 

PART 2:

Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message #123

TEXT: Ephesians 6:1-3

The Bible commands us to honor our fathers and our mothers. And, today, on this Father’s Day, we are going to honor those whom God has placed in our lives as fathers. People down through the years have attested to the benefits that they received by having a father in their life.

Billy Graham said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, un-praised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The thing that I admire most about my dad is his genuine Christian character. He is a man of real integrity, deeply committed to moral and ethical principles.”

Jim Valvano said, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”

Today, we want to thank God for and honor the good fathers in our lives, but before we get to that, we must recognize the fact that there are a lot of bad fathers, a lot of men who have chosen not to fulfill the role of a father to their children. We constantly hear about it in the news, on radio talk shows, and on television. It has rightly been called the “epidemic” of fatherlessness. This epidemic is especially evident in the black community. We have young people who walk across the graduation stage, get their first job, get married, or reach some other level of success in their lives, and each time they turn around and say, “Thanks, Mom.” Why? Because they didn’t have a good father in their lives. So, we want to briefly deal with the negative side of this coin on this Father’s Day.

As a preface to these three types of bad fathers, notice this verse from one of Paul’s letters. First Timothy 5:8 says, “If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” Now, this verse does not apply only to fathers, but I believe God is saying to men today, ‘How can you call yourself a Christian, if you have abandoned your responsibility in the home? If you have abandoned your responsibility as a father?’

1. The first kind of bad father is the father who won’t stay.

2. Then we have fathers who stay, but who do not care.

3. Finally, we have some fathers who stay, who care, but who do not discipline.

With that being said, let’s turn our attention to the three types of good fathers that we want to thank God for and honor and celebrate on this day. Actor Will Smith was once asked about the problem of fatherlessness in our society, especially in the black community. He said, “There’s so much negative imagery of black fatherhood. I’ve got tons of friends that are doing the right thing by their kids, and doing the right thing as a father — and how come that’s not as newsworthy?” We don’t want to make the mistake of overlooking the men who are doing the right thing as a father to their children. And we thank God for those fathers today.

1. The first type of father that we thank God for is the father who stays.

2. The second type of father that we thank God for is the father who steps up.

3. The third type of father that we thank God for is the father who stands in.

+ Plus, listen to the Chicago Mass Choir as they sing “Mighty Good God” and Anthony Evans singing “Just Like You”

GLMX #148: In the Name of Love

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/95671-glmx-148-in-the-name-of-love.mp3]

In 1984, the Irish rock band U2 released a song titled “In the Name of Love.” The song is a tribute to people who gave their lives because of their love for something that mattered more to them. The first lines of the song go like this.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come he to justify
One man to overthrow

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

Early evening, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?

These lyrics refer to the soldiers of World War II who fought and died for the sake of Europe’s freedom as well as the pacifists who opposed the war because of their love for peace at all costs. The line about the man “washed up on an empty beach” likely refers to Roger Casement, an Irish nationalist who fought human rights abuses in the Congo and Peru. He was put to death by the British government in 1916. The song is also a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, because of his efforts, through love and nonviolence, to end discrimination against blacks in America. All of these people died because they loved an ideal and they loved people more than they loved their own lives.

The song is also about Jesus Christ who was “betrayed with a kiss” and willingly went to the cross to die for the sins of the entire world. In John 15:13, Jesus Christ told his disciples, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

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.” Jesus Christ, as God’s Son, willingly came down from Heaven, took on the form of a human being, and died on the cross for our sins all because of his great love for us. He did not come down and die for us because we were good people, or because we were rich, or because he was trying to get us to worship him. He came down and died for us only because he loved us and because he did not want to see us die and spend eternity without him. As U2 sings, what more could he have done in the name of love?

+ Plus, listen to U2 singing “In the Name of Love”

GLMX #72: What Dr. King Said About the KING of Kings

Click the play button below to listen now.

MP3 Download Link: Click here.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was living, and even after he died, some people tried to discredit him by suggesting that Dr. King was not a true minister of the Gospel, and even that he did not have a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but that he was just a mere social worker. However, from direct quotations from his lips, it seems as though he knew the KING of kings–Jesus Christ. Dr. King said:

From his personal testimony–In 1934, when a guest minister at Ebenezer made a strong pitch for the salvation of young souls, Martin Luther King, Jr. watched his sister rise to make the first profession of faith. Impulsively, as he later confessed, “I decided that I would not let her get ahead of me, so I was the next.

“Dr. King also said: “Bound by the chains of his own sin and finiteness, man needs a Saviour (Jesus Christ). Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God.”

“Only through an inner spiritual transformation do we gain the strength to fight victoriously the evils of the world in a humble and loving spirit.”

“We cannot be truly Christian people so long as we flaunt the central teachings of Jesus: brotherly love and the Golden Rule.”

“The church today is challenged to proclaim God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to be the hope of men in all of their complex personal and social problems.”

Dr. King made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The question now, is, have you?

+ Plus, listen to Christ Tomlin and Lecrae singing “Our God”

A Greater One than King is Here

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MP3 Download Link: Click here

Sunday Evening Evangelistic Hour #26

Today, Daniel Whyte III takes a look at the greatest man who ever lived.

+ Plus, listen to Vashawn Mitchell singing “Nobody Greater”

GLM Show 6: Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I Just Want to Do God’s Will”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I Just Want to Do God’s Will” — These are words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s last sermon, spoken the day before his death. They succinctly sum up this influential leader, his message, and his life’s mission of serving God. (From the American Tract Society.)

Click the play button below to listen now.

MP3 Download Link: Gospel Light Minute: Martin Luther King, Jr.: “I Just Want to Do God’s Will”

GLM Show 3: Dr. King and the KING of Kings

Many people tried to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr. by saying that he was not a true Christian. Today on the Gospel Light Minute, Daniel Whyte III gives several quotations from Dr. King’s own lips which show that he really did know the KING of Kings.

Click the play button below to listen now.

MP3 Download Link: Gospel Light Minute: Dr. King and the KING of Kings