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1. Prayerful Character or Prideful Contempt?

Wes Peppers

Presenter

Wes Peppers

Pastor, Traverse City & Kalkaska, Michigan

Conference

Recorded

  • December 28, 2017
    9:15 AM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot she Y.C. Web dot org. Morning. As everyone. It's great to see you and even less to do I see so far. You are excited to be here you don't sound like it. That old me away and heavy on your belly this morning from breakfast or maybe those potatoes Well I'm glad to see you guys and we're going to get started here I was trying to find a clock on my from my phone that's what I was doing and I was standing there because I want to make sure there's no clocks in here I want to make sure that we are moving at a right direction. So we're going to take a little journey here I don't think that this subject has ever been covered at G Y C At least not as a whole summit or maybe somebody touched on it but it is a subject that I think. Has not been one this very popular in the last several years. But I think that as time as we're in and it's one that I think honestly God in His mercy has somewhat. Laid in the quiet for a while that makes sense and the last several decades but as we're getting closer to the soon coming of Jesus I believe that this is a subject that is increasingly relevant for God's people and those who are seeking to become like Christ. Is especially important and so we're going to take a very fair very balanced approach looking at this I'm not going to I'm not going to preach at you I'm going to give you the information and I'm going to invite you to make your own decision based upon the conclusions you find in the Bible Spirit of Prophecy science and many other things and so I'm excited to share this with you you're going to I hope that you'll pray for me because this week has not been the best week for me. Monday night Christmas I ended up in the E.R. I had a fever I was vomiting I had a migraine I had dizziness and it was really bad and so they gave me some medication and I came out on Tuesday I felt pretty good then yesterday I felt really bad again and they gave me some more stuff and I'm feeling better today not one hundred percent of better and then so with prayer that will help us how many believe that all right you all look a little bit unsure like what is exactly this guy going to say about this I'm not sure. And you might be skeptical and here I don't know what your background is I'm going to share a little bit of my testimony. But we're going to just see what the Lord has to say ultimately Amen I took off my suit coat because I don't seem hot in here to you guys and it's a little hot in here all right well let's have prayer. Before we. Dive into this I'll just tell you that the first two presentations are probably going to bleed over into the afternoon presentations and so. So we'll probably end up with four our I mean three in four today but that's OK will make it through and then tomorrow I have a very special subject I want to encourage you to be here for it's going to talk about competitive sports and the role of righteousness by faith how does it actually impact our direct daily relationship with gone and so that's going to probably be the most powerful one that's going to wrap up all these other ones so how many of you know what church shopping is I'm you know what that is what is it. You know you're going to different churches and what's a problem with church hopping. You're not grounded and you're you're not becoming an actively involved in your local church you're not you know some people I say some very talented people in the local church as a pastor I would ask them to do certain duties or take certain offices and they would say oh no pastor we couldn't do that because we're going to be here we're going to be there we're going to be everywhere right so as church hopping a very good thing to do if you want to strengthen your local church where you think so there's a very similar thing called seminar hopping. You get my point right so I want to encourage you don't just if you don't want to be in this one find Go now and find another one but don't jump to every seminar because you're not going to get the greatest blessing the greatest busser we've found if you stick with one while you're here and then listen to the rest on audio verse or whatever that makes sense but if you're just getting a P.C. and a piece there it's not going to be as great a benefit to you so I'm hoping that if you're in here you're going to stay in here I mean you're committed to that now so sure you're right all right but we'll see how it goes well let's have prayer together and then we're going to die then I think I've told you everything I want to tell you ahead of time that I'm sick and. It's a popular becoming a popular not a popular subject but a relevant subject and I think you'll see why it's very very important and I think it's much broader and much deeper than most people realize so let's have a word of prayer and then we'll dive in OK Father in heaven we thank you so much for the opportunity to be here together. Such a relevant topic for God's people in this age in the final moments of Earth's history Lord we recognize that our lives need to be in harmony with Heaven's ideals Heaven's principles Heaven's culture and we pray today father that that would be the deepest desire of our own hearts that we would be one with you in heaven one with each other on earth and that we would seek to elevate and uplift humanity this is our prayer today and we ask it in Jesus' name amen. All right I want to recommend to you a resource much of this talk of there is a D.V.D. that is I've done it's Little Light Studios I only have one of these and I think they're here and they may have some there at the booth I don't know but if you go online and type in competitive Christianity you can either find it online for free or you can get the D.V.D. somewhere another one I want to recommend is a book called wounded in the house of his friends who've ever seen this book no one ever seen this book is by Ron Duffield a very accident book and there's another book that he has called the return of the Latter Rain and he's about to come out with a part two and I highly recommend those books this book right here has several chapters that deal with this subject and some of the stuff I present tomorrow will be based out of this book and so I want encourage you to get that book and read it it's very powerful very fascinating All right I want to share my testimony just a little bit earlier how many of you grew up the Seventh Day Adventists group Devin us home. That's most of you hum of you did not grow up to some of them and us all right that's a very small majority of you among minorities should say I'm among the minority here I did not grow up in the Seventh Day Adventists I've been in the church now for about fifteen years I grew up my first encounter with admin acidification was at Andrews University for my master's degree so growing up in elementary school middle school high school community college and state university I was in secular public school. In or I started playing football when I was in sixth grade they had spring training preparing you for junior high football and seventh grade and so I went out for spring training and I became I was one of the biggest kids in my class so very quickly became a very good football player a very kind of a star athlete and I when I moved into my ninth grade year I weighed two hundred ten pounds and I was the biggest kid in my class and I was the only freshman in high school to letter and football you guys know what that means right when you have a letter it means that you get to play a certain amount on the varsity team and you have the letterman jacket you get the letter that says you're cool so all the other guys in ninth grade walk around with letterman jackets without a letter my high school was Douglas' high school so we had a D. and I was the only one the have the letter right and so I thought I was cool so between my ninth and tenth grade year I wanted to get very big and I wanted to grow and I wanted to get stronger and so my college or my my football coach he played college football and in college football he actually took steroids and he told me though that when they didn't have one he and his buddies didn't have the funding the money they needed because you know when you're in college or poor eat a lots of ramen noodles and that kind of thing but he said when they didn't have money to buy steroids they would buy this stuff it's called calf starter and calf starter is in our New York cost room is it's the first milk of mammals and when a a baby is born it has to get that first milk from its mother even from humans and it's very high in vitamins and crude fat and these kind of things that are essential to to just kind of ignite the body systems right well when Cowles in the column destry when they're giving birth they can often die so if the mother dies while giving birth that happened my grandfather had a farm and happen many times the cattle man will give the calf artificial cost from calf starter and it's a powdered form and it's high in fat protein carbohydrates and and it really will put the weight on you right but if you notice on the front of the bag what type of picture do you see if you see a person. You see a cow which means that calf starters intended for what cows not humans but guess what youngun. And desiring for ambitious as I was I wanted to get big and strong I didn't have money for steroids so what did I buy I bought cast starter so I went down to the local feed store and I bought a big bag of calf starter for ten bucks so you look at me like maybe I should try this don't even think about it I had testicular cancer in two thousand and nine and ten and I think that's what cause it probably anyway so I would make these big milkshakes and I would put like several scoops of ice cream I would put like two or three glasses of vitamin D. whole milk about six roll eggs a couple tablespoons of peanut butter and bunch of other stuff kind of like that and then I would put several scoops of calf start and I would blend that thing up and I would drink it morning noon and night and over the course of my ninth or tenth grade and then from ten to eleven grade I really did grow and tenth grade I was two hundred thirty pounds by the time I was a junior I was two hundred fifty pounds are not that tall of a person about six foot and there I am on my junior high school football team there I am with all of these guys to the left of me are seniors and I was always is good or better than them might senior year I weighed two hundred sixty pounds and in my junior and senior year I made all state all county all area I was just about everything and anything I tell you in regards to this is not anything that I'm like overwhelmingly proud of now it's not like I'm boasting in it because the reality is I could care less about it these days but just I'm just giving you an idea of where I was OK so my bench press my soon year was four hundred fifty five pounds. My squat my senior was seven hundred pounds my leg press was eight hundred pounds and so I actually still hold the school records and the county record for weightlifting and Marshall County Alabama and you know now I work out just to stay in shape and I've made it a point that I'd never bench press more than one hundred pounds so you're like I can bench press one or it's not that hard you can do it anybody can do one hundred pounds but I make it a point not to do more than that I just do a lot of high reps OK And so but that's where I was I mean I was huge I was also very fast and so my forty yard dash was about four point eight seconds which is very quick and that was as fast as some of our running backs and so I was very big I was very strong I was very fast I was very quick and I was kind of the star of the whole community of the whole area here is the newspaper of Birmingham News ninety seven one thousand and seven which I knows on time ago but there is my name there as all state office of team this is the area newspaper where they would pick the best players from each school and bring them together for a kind of a football preview before the season and I was being recruited by a number of schools a major universities Division one schools I mean Florida Gators were sending me letters wanted me to come to their camps the University of Tennessee which I grew up in Alabama so I don't know what's those schools would be here I guess Arizona or something but. Alabama I went to an Alabama camp one time but then something happened my senior year you know I remember there was one school that I really wanted to go to and it was the school I ended up graduating from although not playing football but I my the school I wanted to go to remember that they used to call me every week and ask how things were going ask how. Practice was going how the games were going in you know what kind of how many tackles did you have how many blocks that you have and you know every week they would call after every game well my senior year we were playing our biggest rival of the year and every year that we played this team it would rain like cats and dogs right I mean it was just poor and this year though there was no rain in the forecast it wasn't supposed to rain but about three hours before the game started the bottom just poured out and it was raining so hard you couldn't even see your hands in front of your face I mean it rained it I mean it was so bad the field looked like a lake five minutes into playing we were all covered with mud you couldn't even read our jerseys That's how bad it was well just before half time I was running on a particular play and as I was running the whistle blew because something happened in the play ended early and as I was slowing down my foot stepped into a mud hole and when it did you know what happens when your foot goes in a mud hole what happens if suctions right it sticks so when I foot went in my body kept going forward but my foot stayed in the hole and when that happened my body twisted and my knees snapped and my coach was probably from about here to this brother here stand up for me right there brother my coach was from about here to there from me and he said he could hear it snap that far away he heard it pop and when I hit my back I just laid there and it was just I mean just like just this overwhelming instinct said you're done like that was it like you're finished. And so. They wrote an article about in the newspaper and sure enough I went to the physician the next week. I had an M.R.I. and all that done and they said yes your You've torn your A.C.L. and you've torn a bunch of the Niska us you have missed damage and you're going to have to have surgery I went to U.A.B. which is one of the most recognized sports hospice of best warts medicine hospital in the world in fact when I was there I mean remember Herschel Walker remember him Hershel walk all the old guys and Herschel Walker was one of the greatest running backs of all time look him up anyway he had had some kind of injury and he was there at the same time that I was there and so anyway my career ended my football career at my high school career and there I am after the surgery with my knee but I still went on to play college football in fact I played two years of college football and there were some smaller schools that were still interested in me in fact the school that had called me week after week after my injury stopped calling me my coach had told me they were actually at the game that I got her dad they my coach told me ahead of time he said they're going to be here to scout you and if you do well this game they're going to give you a full scholarship to come to the school it's called Jacksonville State University in Alabama and I was so excited and. Instead of doing well I blew my Neo So that's how it went but anyway I still played two years of college football and here's the article that was written about that here's my the article that's my on the left there my principal my high school coach my mom and my dad and signing my scholarship to go to Lindenwood University in St Louis Missouri we were the N.A.I.A. national runner ups who were number two. In the nation that year and you can see that circle there that's yours truly and I had even though I had. Blown my knee out and all that I still actually is well my senior year shortly after I blew my knee out I was bench pressing four fifty five and I put it up once and then I put up a second time and I tore my pectoral muscle from top to bottom it felt like if felt like pins popping it just went pop pop pop pop and it was like paper and when that happened all the strength left my arm and my arm fell down and the plates fell off this way and then they went that way and I was control of it but I did it once and. And so I had that problem as well but I recovered I was determined I played you know Rocky music you know I'm talking about that. Of the tiger and all that that was old stuff in my day so so you're like that's old it was old in my day too but I played that stuff and I worked out hard and I got myself back up to where I should be and I played two years of college football and so I was to sixty five you can tell there I wasn't the nicest guy on the on the team but there I was you know it was interesting my very first day of college football practice it was the worst experience of my life like we had these three a days where you would wake up at six in the morning breakfast at seven on the field at eight and we would have to run to we almost puked and then we would go in and get our clothes changed into our pads go up in practice from about nine till lunch then we went to lunch then they gave us about thirty minutes off then we came back and watched films for two hours then we had to put our pants back on and go out and practice again until supper go eat supper then come back and practice again and then at about eleven o'clock ten o'clock at night we took our pads off and ran some more to we did puke and then they sent us to bed three weeks in a row guys were falling out like crazy and I mean it was just terrible so my very first practice in college football the very first day there was this guy there and he was about my high maybe a little taller really skinny and he was a defense of lamb I thought How's this guy defensive lineman he's so skinny and so I had to go up against him I was the often sublime and I had to block him he was the defensive lineman he was going to. He was going to try to get past me when when we collided this guy grabbed me and he picked me up off the ground. And he carried me about ten or fifteen yards and then he just went like this and just planted me down and my feet were up in the air and he was on top of me that was my first play in college football and practice and I thought to myself What in the world I'm I doing here and met leave the say this guy was an all-American defensive and he was really good I didn't know that and I thought he looked so small right so anyway that was my first experience now after two years I quit I was an atheist at the time and that's a whole nother story but my testimony is almost committed suicide after I played college football and then when I came out of that I ended up doing some amazing fact study guides and it saved my life and so I'm in the church today after this shortly after I went to the ministry but as I trace back I can tell you for sure that guard was already working in my life when he began to give me a distaste for for for playing football is very interesting to see that as a traceback as some of you are your eyes are already dropping. And we have even Gunstar you guys better wake up OK I know it's hot in here but I don't know if they've got some air we can turn on anyway so college football or football sports in general competitive sports you know it's very interesting that people are willing to go to great extremes to support the things that they love isn't it isn't it isn't it true and people are willing to do some of the most wild things some of the most crazy things that we wouldn't think of doing any other time yes and you know people are the sit in extreme weather conditions they'll sit though they'll spend extravagant amounts of money I mean some of the tickets to some of the premium gains will cost you thousands of dollars not counting the airfare in the hotel and all that just the ticket itself cost you thousands of dollars and you look at some of these pictures and you know you start to wonder is this a game or is it is it a religion or do you think and I mean look at this guy he does his he's got a soccer balls there and this was an ad that was done not too long ago very interesting to anybody know who that is as Kobe Bryant now you see this little ad right here it's an ad for Nike you see that word right there right under his name what does it say supernatural Now if you notice what does he have right there on either side of him what does he have to have wings and wings would typically symbolize what a what an angel. And then you look at the ad notice what he says I'm chasing want perfection now that's always a common phrase in sports and I'm tracing perfection I want to be perfect but notice what it says I'm chasing perfection to have supernatural performance question is could there be. Our competitive sports just a game where they just something that we do or is there something supernatural be behind the bigger picture. Is there something that's a part of the great controversy that maybe many times we don't realize because we are expecting when we think of things that Christians should avoid or think of things like you know like zombies and evil stuff I mean sports really aren't evil they're not bad they have a lot of great good about them right I mean isn't that I mean that's the case that's May And so that's what we're going to explore today you know. Young people you know you see little leagues have ever seen little leagues and you know kids are getting involved in sports younger and younger I mean they didn't always used to have Pee wee sports so used to be that you could only get into sports when you were in junior high school actually high school even really college university and then it moved to high school and then moved to junior high and then we started in peewee and I've met I've talked with numerous athletes and in fact some of my friends that started way back when they were in P.V. like four and five years old and by the time they were seniors in high school they were just burn out and their bodies were wore out by the time they were seniors and so it seems like they're starting younger and younger and younger is that really the best we're going to take a look at that you know it's very interesting to see if you go to Little League. Games who gets who gets more riled up. The parents or the kids you know the kids are like What are you talking about the parents like ah I met remember I did baseball thing for a summer for a little league and then I thought I had to quit because I thought some of those people are going to kill me I mean these guys were threatening me that I was I knew nothing about baseball my best friend tried to get me to go do it with him and I said I don't want to do and he said all please do it's like twenty bucks a game so I did it and I was making all kinds of bad calls and they were so mad at me but anyway you know competitive sports may be very popular and it seems like today that if you are not involved in that it's a very much a western culture thing that it's an un-American thing to not be interested in sports as a not I mean how many would agree with that and that's that's the culture that we live in the talk about friendly competition Well we're going to see what it said about that many people say there are so many positives to it but you know people will find something positive for anything that they want to do I mean they just will mean you can you can be like mass murder and somebody would find something positive about it right and so if you want to do it you're going to find something positive but when you start to look a little deeper when you look at some of the gruesome injuries that come along with it some of the character traits that come along with it you start to wonder really what I mean just look at some of these pictures of various athletes that have been wounded or hurt through the years and they may be popular and very American but the question we want to ask today is are they are they biblical something is going on here and we see there but are they Christian and biblical. That's the question we want to ask I mean there's no doubt about it that a pop can better sports a very American and very much a and grain part of our Western culture but the question we have to answer today and throughout the course of our Symon are is are we living under an American culture yes we are but what's our greater culture is the greater culture of the American culture or is the greater culture have in sculpture that makes sense all right so let's let's keep going here is it God's plan for his last day people now we're going to look at A and a guiding text I hope you brought your Bibles you have your Bibles with you. Are you bored. OK good collage chapter three. Collage unstamped or three. And you can call it the book of collisions early because it deals with all kinds of issues that were in the church at that time but it causes chapter three. We're going to find our guiding text for the whole seminar clauses chapter three verses one before you got it oh I got it all right because it's three Verse one it says if then you were raised with Christ how have you were raised with Christ amen or you want to be at least. Seek those things which are where where is that haven't we're Christ is sitting at the right hand of who've gone set your mind on things above not on things on the earth for you died and your life is hidden with Christ in whom OK So let me just read verse four when Christ Who is your life appears then you will also appear with him in glory. So the Bible says Set your mind on things above not on things on the earth that's pretty simple right I mean it's Christians isn't that what we're supposed to do I would agree with that yeah so the question we have to ask is and with the thing we have to figure out is are the competitive sports something that is from above or is it something from the earth and if we can answer that then the then the the the understanding becomes very simple correct it becomes very easy to determine what we should do so that's our guiding texts notice this home if you're familiar with this seventh Avenue is fundamental beliefs for with that if you've never read those I would highly encourage you to read them but notice what it says here it says we are called to be a godly people who think feel and act in harmony with the principles of heaven like Look let me just say it this way if a person chooses to not follow the Bible chooses not to be godly and they choose a path that is opposite of that which had been what half of them do they have a right to do that yes or no do they have a right can they do than can you just rebel against God If you want to discard give you freedom to do that sure it does doesn't. But if you're going to live as a Christian then like what a novel idea to actually live as a Christian that makes sense are you with me you know that you can't you can't say I'm going to live as a Christian and then and then have all kinds of of based principles in my life that are going to lead me to live a life that's anything but Christian that makes sense and you follow that font so so if we're going to call ourselves Seventh Day Adventists than one hundred you agree that we should strive by the grace of God to be a godly people who think feel and act in harmony with the principles of have me think that's a good idea if we're going to call ourselves some of them Honest I mean would not be the case for the spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christ like purity health and joy in our lines God has an ideal for your life you realize that and whether the rather you believe it or not whether you experience it or not will be your choice you have to choose that for yourself. But if you choose to believe that and if you choose to adopt God's law and his rules and his principles as your own then you will I will guarantee with my life find the greatest joy you've ever known in your life you'll find much greater joy than anything else this world can produce are you with me I mean that's I'm telling you I know that from experience this means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty why should it meet the highest standards why why does it matter very simply because we're striving to become like Who or striving to become like Christ and God wants us to have joy in our lives and who better to know what will bring you joy than the one who made you your the one who made you instead we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ who desires our wholesomeness joy and goodness are to thankful we have such a great God that once that for you Are you happy about that now maybe you say well I have an experience that was probably because you haven't chosen it or if you have chosen it at one point you're not continuing to choose it. Notice this this is a great statement it says Seventh Day Adventists above all people should be patterns of piety wholly in heart and in conversation to them and then in trust of the most solemn truth ever committed to morals they look for the soon return of Christ in the clouds of heaven if we really believe that should that impact the way that we live or do you think I think so for them to give the world the impression that their faith is not a dominating power in their lives is to greatly dishonor gone let me ask you a question what in atheists looks into your life as a Seventh Day Adventist Christian do they have a right as a nonbeliever to see Christ in you yes or no or anything. Should is it is that their rights should or should they be able to see Christ in you what do you think like like do we are we indebted to the eight The S. and all the pagan religions and all the unbelievers a separate set or are we indebted to those people as Seventh Day Adventists who have the truth of God for the last days I mean we really do believe that you don't believe that come to my sermon on Sabbath morning we have the truth and I don't say that boastful and arrogantly but you search the world over and there is nothing that makes more sense intelligently emotionally spiritually and biblically than the seventh heaven it's message we have the truth so when those people look into our lives are we indebted to reveal to them Christ what do you think so they ought to be able to see that we owe that to them or do you think I think so why is my thing doing this I. Think I'm hitting the wrong sorry. It is me I'm Tony he's been after me all week. All right there we go so let's let's take this balance I don't want to come in here beating up on the subject you understand but am very passionate about it I have a deep experience with it and we want to just take all the all the elements let's look at some quick definitions I mean you're familiar with Webster's dictionary in the out and the eight hundred twenty eight notice these definitions from long ago this is very interesting a sport is that which diverts and makes merry play and game. Mock or mockery would come tension was Smurf to represent by any kind of play is that some very virtuous not exactly does it a game an exercise or play for amusement or winning a stake and antiquity or ancient times games where public diversions are contests is that as spectacles for the gratification of who of whom of the people so in other words I'm putting on a display for whom for others now as Seventh Heaven scripts are we called to be spent Are we a spectacle this Paul say to the universe what do you think we're spectacle aren't we but not necessarily need to be that kind of a spectacle What do you think All right another one competition the act now you just you just read this and see what what impresses your heart the act of seeking or endeavoring to gain what another is endeavoring to what again at the same time rivalry mutual what strife for the same object all soul strife or superiority. A state of rival ship what do you think that sound like Christian values to you not exactly not exactly a competitor one who seeks and endeavors to obtain what another seeks or who claims with another claims a rival and what does that last word a want an opponent should do we have any opponents in Christianity. What opponent do we have in Christianity. We have the adversary knowing we have the adversary All right so there's many claims that people make and one of the claims is that sports build character how many of you have heard that before I move you said that before I've said that many times in my day and fact there were character traits that I learned from sports I will not try to deny that at all I learned hard work I learned discipline I learned many things but we're going to find out I'm asked this question later is it possible to find those things sent to discover those things without the dangerous harms of competition have you have heard that a glass of wine a day as very helpful for your health right you've heard that people say that you just alcoholic wine you realise that all the benefits of the red or the alcoholic wine can be also found where and grape juice right or grapes distrait grapes So what do I need to drink the wine to gain the benefit of gaining the harm or should I just drink the juice and get the good without the bad right does that make sense that's what we want to figure out so a sportsman is defined as someone who can take a loss or defeat without complaint or victory without gloating and who treats his opponents with fairness generosity and courtesy a question for you when you think of all the athletes that you know professionally collegiately varsity level local level all the athletes that you can think of that you know how many would would you say the majority of them can have this type of response to loss and defeat or the opposite I heard opposite does anybody say anything else the most people fit that category who are competitive sports know they don't I mean somebody might make a case in fact sixteen hundred male high school seniors were analyze as the effect of participation in a riot of sports this is what they found from that study out of sixteen hundred male high school seniors most had increased aggression I can testify that that's true in my life increased irritability reduced honesty all these things were true in my life decreased self-control Very true very true I still I still struggle with temptations and battles that that. Were able to develop that of were developed in those younger years that make sense those things that I developed there those habits style at times are still a struggle for me today if we participate in something that increases aggression or irritability even just a little bit is it preparing us for heaven or reducing our preparation which would you say. You guys are going quiet again you guys awake. Which one it's reducing Isn't it can we consciously participate anything to the glory of God that will decrease our ability to maintain self-control What do you think ha. You get kind of quiet I don't know if it's conviction or you're just shy but. I would say no when you it would make sense to me scientific studies show the athletes generally score higher in the areas of dominance pride egotism and aggression and multiple psychological tests very interesting studies also show that nineteen percent of violent crimes sexual crimes were committed by male athletes even though they only made up three point three percent of the male student body is then Interesting think there's a correlation there I would think I would think we were trained to be violent it can spill over into your private life time cross it made that statement now in this picture that's not my wife that's my sister on the left and my nephew there who's now about ten or eleven this picture was taken several years ago but when I was growing up I even though I didn't take steroids and I wasn't violent I was very nasty to my sister like I never physically abused her like punching her but I was always aggressive towards her I always wanted to overpower her and I used to chase her through the house and I would push her down and I would trip or and I would put her head on the floor and just hold there I mean she's like you know one hundred ten pounds I'm like two hundred sixty pounds I'm just laughing and I'm like smashing her cheeks into the floor I take a pillow and I would just beat her up with a pillow and push her around and she used to get so mad at me that she would go into the kitchen and get a big butcher knife and chase me through the house with it this is when my mom was in there and and so I would laugh and I would run from her for a while and then when I got tired of running I would just turn around and she would be like this with a knife and I would grab her hand and just shake the knife out of her hand and then just Tripper and push her down again I mean she's to get so mad I'm surprised that you know if she was not mentally stable that she might have done something worse to me in my sleep or something but anyway I mean I'm telling you that that that activity increased my aggression even towards those that I was supposed to love and protect and those that I cared about so it's sports build character then the more we compete in sports the better our characters should become. Would that make Would that make the case I mean would that be the correct logic if sports build character than the more I do sports the better my character ought to be out to become less aggressive less irritable more honest if sports truly build character or do we find that to be the case we should expect that with a higher level of competitiveness the less we would see athletes involved in violent activity right I mean if that's truly the case and that's way it ought to be but how about some of these professional athletes think of Mike Tyson and all the years rape and assault Scottie Pippen does mystic assault Tiger Woods adultry Kobe Bryant was accused of rape O.J. Simpson murder Michael Vick drugs and violent crimes Ray Lewis murder I mean these are just a handful of many many of these professional athletes are accused of violent crimes and so forth and Americans love it. I mean you'll see you'll see the case of a of an accused professional player on the news while we have soldiers dying around the world that you never hear about people don't want to hear about that stuff they want to hear about the bad conduct of players and the harder the bad the worse they are the more they love it I mean you know then it's Rodman's always been a standout he's the one of the most interesting people I've ever I've ever known but anyway the heart of the hit the more vile the actions the greater the applause and the cheer kind of sounds like something similar to the ancient days of Rome where they used to throw people at the lions and the more violent it was the greater the people cheered doesn't it I mean how many you want to go to a theater and watch lions tear people apart even any takers today and yet we still do the very similar thing with sports this morning so two conclusions proven by scientific research is that one sports do not in most cases build character anybody would you would agree with that this morning after what I showed you you would agree with that today and then secondly sports can actually cause a decline in character so like you know let's just say I have a certain amount of character and then I go and play sports it's not that my character will stay the same it doesn't build character but it would actually decrease my character makes sense all right now what's interesting friends is that what science is proving true today after more than one hundred years of competitive games what science is proving today the prophet that we have in our church a white knew a very long time ago and want us this is from the book admin it's home it's Page five hundred it says some of the most popular amusements such as football and boxing have become schools of brutality this was in her day and it's much worse now they are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome the love of domination the pride in mere brute force the reckless disregard of life or exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling Now she knew a long time ago what science is discovering now how do I Maybe you think that's amazing because most people weren't saying that her day it's like they weren't saying that smoking is bad for you but she did alright Colossians three and verse eight if you look at that text with me notice what the apostle Paul says here he says in verse eight but now you your cells are to put off all these anger wrath malice blasphemy filthy language out of your mouth. Do you find that those elements you can you find those elements in church Yeah. What you think and hypocritical people can you find all those elements which are you definitely going to find those on a Sunday afternoon and I fell again. Or an N.B.A. game or do you think and if we're called to put off those things do we really want to place ourselves in a position in a place where those things are not just practice but actually praised and promoted and I don't know yet that you have to answer that question for yourself I know what the answer is for me you have to ask them for yourself well what about less violent games I mean yeah football is violent What about basketball and soccer and baseball that kind of thing notice what she says is very balanced it's very wonderful she says other athletic games Same same thing Agnes home page five hundred other athletic games though not so brutalizing are scarcely less objectionable because of the excess to which they are carried It's not that the thing in itself is necessarily the worst but it's because of what it leads to make sense it's now not saying that baseball is in itself evil but it's not exactly the best how do you want something that's really good how have you be willing to exchange that which is good for better I mean you would take say you have the better but now I'd like to have the best so let me have the best that's what we're looking at here that makes sense what is good what is better what is best. They stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement thus fostering a distaste for useful labor in other words if you don't like to go out and plant a garden or dig a ditch or some kind of useful labor because your heart that is so boring to you because your heart is so stimulated by this over here is that problematic what he's saying because you tell me you tell me going to that N.B.A. game or that major league baseball game or that college football game or whatever how does that fit you for usefulness in life if you can tell me that I'll shut up now and you can go to another seminar retract everything I say how many have ever watched the whole game I mean I know you have but why do you feel after that game. Do you feel like going to study the Bible for a couple hours or do you feel emotionally and spiritually kind of drained. Physically even drained How have you found that to be true yeah you can be honest so OK It kind of drains you know doesn't it. And it says they it's because we're stimulated for pleasure and excitement rather than than true joy right so we develop a distaste for useful labor a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities they tend to destroy a relish for life's sober realities and it's tranquil enjoyments What does she mean by that the reach the sober reality of duty and the things that God has called me to do and with my life the things that God has actually called me to do and not the things that I'm striving to do for my own pleasure does that make sense yeah and so thus the doors open for dispensation and lawlessness to its terrible results what would be a train call enjoyment I mean there's lots of things what would be that kind of enjoyment canoeing what else hiking what else. Biking what else swimming what else time with friends gardening Yeah I mean just going out and working in the yard mowed the grass I mean like it's amazing how when I was able by the grace of God to detach myself from being over stimulated by those things how much more I enjoyed the things that God has designed to bring true restoration to our lives when we do them make sense. Are you guys doing OK We got about five minutes of the break you did OK OK. All right so many people asked the question Can it really be that bad I mean are the release are those competitive sports or that I mean like I would rather my kid be involved with playing league soccer or or football or you know whatever then I would have been then a gang out there doing drugs and doing that kind of a thing and my point in my my answer to that is I would too I would too but then my other question for you would be would you rather your kid be out there or are you yourself would you rather find more fulfillment in your life by doing those things or doing something that's going to actually make you useful for the Kingdom of God that makes sense for missionary service for something greater a greater purpose in your life than just winning a game or becoming dominant over someone else notice what it says here from this pamphlet one forty five it says when there has been a departure from the right path it is difficult to return I would not say that competitive sports are as much of a departure from the right path as drugs and alcohol OK but is it God's ideal for me yes or no probably not so if I get one percent off the path the further I go down that path what happens to my path it gets further and further away from the one from the ideal right and when I get further away from that ideal it's harder to do what it's harder to come back to it it is difficult to return barriers have been removed safeguards broken down one step in the wrong direction prepares the way for another what we what we do once we more readily and naturally do again and to go forward in a certain path be it right or wrong is more easy then to start it takes less time and labor to corrupt our ways before God than to engraft upon the character the habits of righteousness and truth in other words this you can you can let yourself just drift along in life and it takes no effort. Are you with me you know this culture is so sweeping and has such a strong current that all you've got to do is just let yourself go and you just flip on the T.V. you're just going to be like I mean you can just you can just zone out for hours and days I mean I remember when I was addicted to video games I've had a lot of addictions in my life I played a video game one time for three days and two nights without going to bed and all that sleeping I skipped my classes there was some new game was civilization something and I was playing this game for days in my college years for I skipped classes three days and two nights I played a game I paid my roommate to go make me a sandwich so that I wouldn't have to get up and go in there to get something to eat or give him five bucks I said go make me a sandwich he brought it back and I ate a lot of plate I mean like you can just drift in life and it's going to take you places that you don't want to be but in order to live godly lives it takes some effort it takes some resistance to the culture that we are so absorbed in what he thinks and the challenges that we're so absorbed in it we don't even recognize it so so when I ask him to really be that bad but I would respond with is it really that spiritually helpful that's my question in response to that is it really that bad no it's not the worst thing in the world but too much of it can lead to some of the worst things in the world. Will indulgence in these sports give men a desire to know truth and righteousness will it keep guard in their thoughts will that lead them to inquire how is it with my soul what leads you to answer those questions today would you be able to answer those questions without that if further away if it leads us further away. Then as Christians do you think that we should avoid it what do you think. Is a drawing us closer or further away from Christ and a further away is should we have voided What do you think I mean you answer you have to answer for yourself and most cases competitive sports don't build character but they do reveal character they do reveal character All right we're going to stop there and take a break what have you thought so far we have about one minute anybody has a quick question I'll take some questions from hopefully in the next one yes. Ultimate Frisbee I don't explain to me what it is I know it for his re golf is. What do you call it I don't know you know I'm talking about Ultimate Frisbee I don't I mean I've heard of that but I I'm not a Frisbee guy so. Yeah. Yeah those kind of games I encourage them to talk about that I'll talk about like like I want you before you break a new story modern So I'm not going back in there because the. What I'm not saying is that we shouldn't play ball on the talk about that coming up OK but what's the balance OK so so so don't don't get the idea that I'm just saying you should never throw a football you understand that everybody with me and so we're going to talk about all the stuff that's why you got to keep coming back yes brother one more question I will take a break. Oh you were just raising your hand all right well let's have a word of prayer and then we'll take our break and then I think we're back at eleven thirty right one thirty right let's pray Father we thank you so much for the opportunity to be here together last your Holy Spirit to be with us Lord as we break we pray that you will draw near to us and that you open continue to open our hearts and minds to the truth you want to have in Jesus' name amen. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C S A pretty ministry and the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so when Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot she Y.C. Web dot org.

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