Summary: Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel? Felt like walking away? Quitters never win! Too many Christians give up when it gets tough. Don’t ring out! Stay in the fight.
Don’t Ring Out
Ring bell 3 times.
It is called Hell Week. The soldiers are pushed to their limits physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are forced to operate with little to no sleep. They are put through evolutions or exercises that exhaust them and stretch them. Obstacle courses, underwater swims, forced hikes, are only a sample of what the Seals endure. There are only two ways out of Hell Week. The first way out is to complete the 5 days of grueling training thus graduating into the Seals. Or the second way, and the more opted choice, is to ring out. On average 70% of the candidates ring out prior to completion. The pain is too much. They lack the endurance. Their minds begin to play tricks on them. The obstacles are too high. The lack of sleep clouds their thinking. They can’t handle the pressure and the stress and 70% of them walk forward and ring the bell. They ring out.
RING THE BELL THREE TIMES.
They quit. They give up. They give in. They fail. They bale out. They fail to complete their mission. They refuse to stay the course. They face the tough circumstances and they crumple choosing to quit. They ring out.
II. Examples of Ringing Out
We should have known it wouldn’t be easy. For some reason we actually think that this thing called Christianity will be a cake walk. It will be an easy journey. No problems. No challenges. Nothing we can’t handle. We should have known better. There are so many examples that prove otherwise.
He was described as a man after God’s own heart, a man who has lived his whole life passionately pursuing God’s presence, a man who has lived a life of worship, but the test comes. He is supposed to be in the battle. He is supposed to be in the war. It is the time that the king is to be engaged in battle. Instead David is standing on a balcony watching a beautiful woman as she baths. And he rings out. (RING BELL THREE TIMES)
He had the opportunity of a life time. He could join one of the greatest missionaries in history on one of his mission’s trips. He could see the sites. He could witness the miracles and the conversions. He could help with the masses. But instead Demas quits and runs home to mommy. He gives up. He Rings out. (RING BELL THREE TIMES)
She was powerful. Her Bible College had 1500 students. Her services were attended by 20,000 people. Her impact and influence in Hollywood was so far reaching that actors came to her meetings and got saved. She began a denomination called the Foursquare Church. It was the 1920’s and Amy Simple McPherson was anointed. But she died of a drug overdose after staging her own kidnapping. She couldn’t finish the course. She rang out. (RING BELL THREE TIMES)
He was only 17 when it happened. He had longed to preach but was never given the opportunity. Finally, on a Wednesday night his pastor after finishing his sermon handed him the microphone. His instructions were you can preach after I am finished and dismiss and if anyone stays you can talk to them. 17 students stayed to hear this 17 year old young man begin to scream at the top of his lungs, “I love Jesus”. Evan Roberts’ loud declaration of love for Jesus erupted out of that small gathering and launched the Welsh Revival. It was one of the greatest revivals to ever hit the world. In the first year of revival over 100,000 were converted. The crime rate dropped, drunks were reformed, pubs reported losses in trade. Bad language disappeared and never returned to the lips of many – it was reported that the coal mine pit ponies failed to understand their born again owners who now spoke without curse and blasphemy – even football and rugby became uninteresting in the light of new joy and direction received by the Converts. The revival swept the world for 10 years, but Evan only lasted 3 years. After three years he was burned out. He began to write books denouncing the very move of God that he had helped usher in. He threw in the towel. He gave up. He rang out! (RING THE BELL THREE TIMES)
He impacted my life. He listened to my heart. He laid his hands on my shoulders when I ran into the altars of my teen youth camp to pray and seek God. He stayed up late with me and my friends in the dorms. He laughed with us, cried with us, and ultimately he pushed us towards God. He was a man of God. He was a local church pastor who took time out of his busy schedule to be our counselor. Don Green was one of my heroes. But over the course of a few years after those camps he grew weary. He fell away from his love of God. He became a mortician instead. See the contrast. Instead of one who brought life he now dealt in death. His marriage crumbled. He gave in. He gave up. He rang out. No longer in the ministry. No longer my hero. No longer in the race. (RING BELL THREE TIMES)