This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #399 titled, “If This Wicked Man Can Go To Heaven, So Can You.” 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.
Amazing. It’s the only way to describe the incredible transformation that took place in the life of John Newton. Newton was born in London in 1725. His mother died when he was seven. His father sent him to sea at age eleven. Working first as a cabin boy and then a deckhand, John was exposed to a life of drunkenness, profanity and immorality — and he embraced it. Soon, John surpassed his peers in outrageous behavior. Sharp-witted and sarcastic, he wrote offensive songs mocking the ship’s officers and expressing his contempt for their authority. He amused himself by inventing new swear words and leading his peers on reckless and dangerous escapades. He frequently deserted his post. Still in his teens, John was briefly enslaved on an African plantation and nearly died. But instead of sobering him, the experience only served to strengthen his rebellious spirit.
This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #372 titled, “Where Do You Think You Are Going?” 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.
If you’re like me, there’s nothing better after a busy day than settling into a favorite chair and just sitting still. But did you know that even while sitting still, we are still traveling thousands of miles per hour? Because of the earth’s rotation and its movement within the solar system and galaxy, we are hurtling through space at unimaginable speeds.
It’s amazing that we can be moving at such a high rate of speed and not be aware of it. But, in the same way, there are many people today who are speeding through life unaffected by how quickly they are approaching eternity.
This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #360 titled, “How to Quench Your Thirst in 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.
Happiness, contentment, and peace of mind are the most longed-for and sought after things in all the world, and few there are who ever really find them. All around us people are searching madly for these precious treasures without success. Psychiatrists tell us that an ever-increasing number of people are aware of an inner emptiness in their lives. Their problems — personal and social — seem to increase faster than solutions can be found to solve them.
Is this all simply evidence of the emptiness of those who try to live without God? Man’s struggle for wealth, fame, and pleasure will not bring him the contentment and happiness that he yearns for. Yet, with a restlessness that is pitiful to see, people are searching from one thing to another, always hoping to find rest and satisfaction in some future accomplishment or possession.Continue reading “How to Quench Your Thirst in Life (Gospel Light Minute X #360)”→
This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
On September 27, 2017, Hugh Hefner met God.
The man — who lived in a $200 million mansion, who had a net worth of $110 million, and who built his life and business empire on the pursuit of pleasure — epitomized the wealthy barn builder of Jesus’ parable — the man who said he would “take his ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”
While the rich man of Jesus’ parable sought pleasure and fulfillment through money and material success, Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy Enterprises, sought pleasure and fulfillment through sex. He claimed to have been intimate with over 1,000 women. But according to a Vanity Fair article, this pursuit of sex stemmed from him growing up in an unaffectionate home which created a “need to feel loved that became the key to his life.” Later on, when he found out that his wife had committed adultery while he was in the army, he said, “It was probably the most devastating experience of my life. I think it gave me permission to live the life of pleasure I have lived.”
But, did Hugh Hefner find the love he was looking for? No, he did not. At age 85 he admitted, “I think that what I’m probably doing is avoiding being hurt again. I never really found my soulmate.” Of course, in the process of seeking pleasure, love, and a soulmate, he hurt many other people and left a trail of shame, shattered lives, sexual perversion, venereal disease, aborted babies, and all the other consequences of sin.
Whether he realized the consequences of his actions before he died, we do not know. But, at the end of his life, he was still seeking his own pleasure. He arranged for his ashes to be interred beside iconic actress and model Marilyn Monroe, the woman who appeared in the first edition of Playboy. He said, “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is an opportunity too sweet to pass up.”
Unfortunately, Mr. Hefner likely won’t be spending eternity with Marilyn — at least not in the way he thought. Instead, he has to answer to God for the life he lived and the sins he committed. Romans 14:12 says, “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” The thing most people don’t realize is that God wants us to be able to give a good account to Him. That’s why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins, taking our punishment on Himself, so that when we stand before God, we can say with confidence that Jesus is our Savior, that our sins have been forgiven, and that we have a home in Heaven. It’s called the Gospel. A Gospel which the Chicago Tribune investigative reporter and former atheist Lee Strobel shared with Hugh Hefner.
As far as we know, Hugh Hefner didn’t realize that the love he was looking for is the unadulterated, unconditional love of God, that the soulmate he was seeking is Jesus Christ, and that the pleasure he desired could only be found in eternal life in Heaven. All other avenues, no matter how much enjoyment and excitement they bring, eventually fail. You don’t have to live the kind of life lived by Hugh Hefner and so many others who were influenced by his misguided notions of sex and pleasure. You can find love, salvation, joy, and pleasure forevermore in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Allow me to explain further.
First, you must realize and admit that you — just as myself — are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Our sin nature is the reason why we do not get along with each other on earth.
Second, you must understand that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” — spiritual death and physical death. We die physically and go to the grave because of sin and we die spiritually and go to hell because of sin.
Third, you must understand that you are on the road to hell because of your sins. 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.” The Bible says 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.”
Fourth, you must accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Fifth, you must accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Because of God’s love for you, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for your sin. 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.” Because God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for our sins, we can live with God in Heaven for all eternity after we die.
Finally, with these facts in mind, you must repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 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 are willing to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please pray with me the following prayer to seal your decision once and for all: 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 I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and 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 and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you 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 new-found 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.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God bless you!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.
Today, we turn our attention to the phrase, “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” We all like pleasure. Just the word “pleasure” fills us with the idea of good times, ease, enjoyment, and relaxation. The Greek word used for pleasure in this passage is philhedonos. From philos, meaning love; and hedone, meaning pleasure. Hedone is where we get our word “hedonism” from. Hedonism is the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the most important pursuit in life. It is the old philosophy of “eat, drink, and be merry.”
Now, there is nothing wrong with pleasure if that pleasure is obtained by good and righteous means. For example, sexual sin is pleasurable, but it is still wrong. However, the pleasure you gain from working hard and being able to enjoy a time of relaxation and rest is good. So, pleasure itself is not wrong. Pleasure is just a feeling. What God has a problem with is people loving pleasure more than they love Him — the One who gives everyone the ability to experience pleasure. Scientists tell us that there is a particular part of the brain — the locus acumbens — that allows us to experience pleasure. Do you know who put that particular piece in our brains? God did. He wants us to experience pleasure, and first of all the pleasure of knowing Him. So, God is not against pleasure.
Our passage today is speaking of the self-absorbed, self-gratifying activities of those who are not saved. They seek pleasure alone; they live for pleasure. They fill their lives with parties, events, food, “good times,” and expensive vacations. Even the work they do is done with the aim of being able to experience more pleasure in the future. Again, there is nothing wrong with these things; it becomes wrong when you love the pleasure you can experience more than you love God.
There is an addiction epidemic in our society today: people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, and pornography. Why do people become addicted to such things? Ultimately, they are seeking pleasure. They want to experience a certain feeling or a certain high again and again, and so they keep going back to whatever it is that gives them that feeling. A doctor and a researcher were called in by the Veterans Administration Hospital in Los Angeles to help them determine whether cocaine addicts could actually recover. The problem the hospital was having was that they would hospitalize young men for cocaine addiction. But after six months of treatment they were released, and within one day they were re-addicted. Even after all that time, these young men remembered the pleasure, the high, they got from cocaine and they went back to it. Our society is in the throes of addiction to pleasure.
Now, listen to these words from Philippians 3:18-19: “For many walk [who] are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” Paul here is writing to believers, and he is speaking of those who are in the church yet who do not follow Christian teachings. Paul calls these people “enemies of the cross of Christ,” and describes them as having four characteristics.
(1) Their end is destruction. This means that the lifestyle that they engage in will ultimately prove to be to the detriment of their physical lives, and if they are not saved, they will ultimately be destroyed in Hell. All sinful pleasure ends in destruction.
(2) Their god is their belly. This phrase means that their chief concern is their own pleasure and satisfaction. It is not just talking about food here, although that is included; but their lifestyle is typified by the pursuit of temporal enjoyment. They are not concerned about God or the things of God — only themselves.
(3) Their glory is their shame. These people who claim to be Christians take pleasure in those things which they should be ashamed of. They wear those things as a badge of honor. We have preachers in the church today who wear fancy clothes, drive fancy cars, and live in mansions, while the people they are supposed to be leading and loving are struggling to get by. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.
(4) Their mind is set on earthly things. Many Christians are trying their best to build up their little, earthly kingdoms with absolutely no thought for heavenly things. They are seeking their pleasure down here on earth while forgetting that greater, eternal pleasure could be theirs in Heaven.
So, this issue of loving pleasure more than loving God is not only in the world, but in the church as well. Did you know that for every dollar spent on missions, Americans spend $600 on luxuries? Data also shows that every year Americans and Canadians combined spend more money on tobacco than both countries have spent on missions since the discovery of America. We love ourselves and what we can get more than we love God and the gospel that still needs to be given to so many.
Dr. Archibald Hart, a clinical psychologist and Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, once shared a conversation that he had with a pastor. He said this pastor told him, “I can’t find pleasure in anything anymore. I used to enjoy preaching, but I just don’t find pleasure in it… And what scares me most of all is that I don’t seem to be able to take any pleasure in God anymore.” How many of us in the church today are like that pastor? We don’t really find joy and pleasure in God and in the things of God. Maybe we did at some time in the past, but now it is just a drudgery, and we are just going through the motions.
The Westminster Catechism asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?” And the answer is simply, Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.” If you are not doing that — glorifying God with your life and finding pleasure in your relationship with Him — you are really not living.
So, what is the solution for those of us who love pleasure more than we love God? Jesus Christ has some words for us as well. In Revelation 2, He told the church at Ephesus, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” This church had left the love of God and the love of Christ; other things had taken its place in their hearts. And, then, Jesus Christ says to them: “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent.” There is a cure, there is a remedy for the excessive love of pleasure. It is repentance. We ought to look back on how things used to be between us and God, and then repent of our present-day sin of loving pleasure more than we love Him.
Since the death of Andrae Crouch, we have been singing his songs in our services here. One of the songs that he wrote is titled “Take Me Back”. Allow me to share some of that with you now, because that is what many of us need to do.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord
To the place where I first received you.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I
I feel that I’m so far from you Lord
But still I hear you calling me
Those simple things that I once knew,
Their memories keep drawing me.
I must confess, Lord I’ve been blessed
But yet my soul’s not satisfied.
Renew my faith, restore my joy
And dry my weeping eyes.
I tried so hard
To make it all alone
I need your help
Just to make it home.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord
To the place where I first received you.
Take me back, take me back dear Lord where I
100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #38 | with Daniel Whyte III
TEXT — Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
There are so many people who go through life searching for satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, and contentment. People pursue more money, more success, more education, and better relationships, all in an attempt to fill an emptiness that they feel inside their hearts and souls. These people are searching for meaning and purpose in life. Almost three thousand years ago, a man who we often refer to as ‘the wisest man who ever lived’, struggled with this same pursuit. His name is King Solomon, and he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in which he documents his search for meaning in life.
Some people have said that the Book of Ecclesiastes is a very pessimistic book. But we must understand that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes from the perspective of someone who was living under the sun, S-U-N. Anybody who lives only for this life will come to the same conclusions as Solomon did. However, if you live above the sun, S-U-N, in the Son, S-O-N (that is Jesus Christ), then you will come to the conclusion that life is very much worthwhile. In fact, Solomon gives us a glimpse of this kind of life at the end of his book when he states the following: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Chuck Swindoll said, “Ecclesiastes presents us a naturalistic vision of life—one that sees life through distinctively human eyes—but ultimately recognizes the rule and reign of God in the world. This more humanistic quality has made the book especially popular among younger audiences today, men and women who have seen more than their fair share of pain and instability in life but who still cling to their hope in God.”
The passage we just read is a summary of the various ways in which King Solomon attempted to find that meaning in life. From this and other passages in the Bible, we can identify six paths which Solomon pursued to find what he was searching for. After searching out all of these various paths, Solomon came to the same conclusion repeatedly — they all were “vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
The word “vanity” is a very interesting word. The original Hebrew word is “hebel” and it means “vapour or breath”. Therefore, something that is a vanity is something that is passing or short lived.
Today, let’s look at three of the ways Solomon searched for meaning in life, and how each of these ways failed to provide what he was searching for. Many people today search for meaning in the things we will discuss as well, and sadly find that these things do not provide meaning at all.
1. First of all, Solomon found that pleasure does not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.
2. Secondly, Solomon found that much accomplishments and achievements did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life without God, and people today find the same.
3. Third, Solomon found that wealth and material possessions did not bring meaning or satisfaction in life and people today find the same.
+ Plus, listen to the Walter Hawkins and Family singing “Jesus Christ is the Way” and Deitrick Haddon singing “Sinner’s Prayer”