Welcome to Class 75 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young men. I am Daniel Whyte III, chairman of the National Association to Save Young Black Men in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men”. We are using that book as the text and its study guide to guide you through the course. The study guide was developed with the help of Jamie McCallum (M.Div, Truett Theological Seminary), Charles Garrett (M.Div, Southwestern Theological Seminary), and now my youngest son Danyel Ezekiel Whyte who is in his third year of college. This course is for all young men, but especially for young black men and young men of color who oftentimes have a “difficult journey” in this great country called America. I call this class “the Ramp” to the Highway of Success because my goal is to get you on “the Ramp”. As a man, you ought to be able to make it from there. Out of respect for you as a young man, my job is to get you on the ramp and point you in the right direction, not to tell you all the details once you get onto the highway of success. With God, you can do great things.
— Let’s Pray —
This is part 6 of our lesson titled “Oh, The Mistakes I’ve Made.”
If the young woman became pregnant, that created another set of problems, which are self-explanatory. One problem came up that haunts me to this very day—and it has been over thirty years now since it happened. I was seeing this one girl for sex repeatedly. To be honest, we were having a lot of fun together—until she got pregnant. We were very young— about fifteen. We both decided that it would be best to get an abortion. Somehow, I came up with the money and she and I went down to the doctor’s office and had the baby aborted. For some strange reason, the doctor wrapped the aborted baby in a napkin and gave it to her. Once we got in front of her house, we both looked at the aborted baby boy after which we placed him in the woods across the street from her home. Believe it or not, we both continued having sex and we did not stop until I got one of her best friends pregnant. Fortunately, for the child and for our own consciences, her best friend kept the baby. Later in life, after I got saved, I learned that what that young woman and I did was murder an innocent child. Every now and then, I think about that baby buried in the woods across the street from her house, and the guilt and shame is painful. The moral of that story, if you will is, when you break God’s law, God’s law has a tendency to break you.
Again, remember this verse! “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” —Galatians 6:7 3.
Even if you actually have children out of wedlock and things do not work out between you and the baby’s mother, as a father and as you get older, you suffer the pain and heartache of not having the privilege of loving and raising those children. Every now and then you will feel guilt and shame regarding that as well. So, young black man, do not have sex outside of marriage because trouble is sure to come.
Joe Carter of the Gospel Coalition writes:
What should Christians do if they have a child out of wedlock? The first step it to seek, if necessary, God’s forgiveness for having sexual relations outside the bonds of matrimony. As John Piper says, “sexual relations belong only in the safe, holy, beautiful sanctuary of a marriage covenant between one man, one woman, while they both live. So, the presence of a child in the womb outside marriage is either the result of being sinned against in rape or the result of sinning.” (Piper also adds, “it is crucial that every Christian and every church make clear that any stigma to pregnancy outside marriage is because the pregnancy signifies previous sin, not because the pregnancy is sin.”) Second, the couple should stop cohabiting and, if possible, get married—even if one partner is an unbeliever. As Russell Moore says, “Even in repentance, you cannot simply “move on.” You are now, and forever will be, the father of her child. She is the mother of your baby You had a responsibility not to entangle yourself with an unbeliever. You had an obligation not to violate God’s command for sexual chastity outside of marriage. But you have done these things and you can’t turn back time. Your only question now is whether, in addition to being a fornicator, you will also be an orphan-maker. The Scripture also tells us we are to give to everyone what is due. What is due to the woman you have impregnated and the child you have conceived? The answer, I believe, is what our Father God models for us: provision, protection, and covenant faithfulness. A child is meant to have two parents, a mother and a father. Love this woman, and love this child.” Third, if marriage is not a viable option (e.g., one partner refuses to get married), both parents have an obligation to support the child. As Paul tells us, one who does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue lessons in our next class.
In closing, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people I grew up around said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, 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.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.