By PAUL J. SCHARF, M.Div.
Editor in Chief
On Tuesday of this week we concluded four days of honoring the memory of Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, who died on Feb. 16, 2016. One word that came up repeatedly within the tributes that we ran for him was a simple but powerful one: impact.
Impact can function as a noun or a verb. According to Merriam-Webster, the noun form has this “full definition”:
a: an impinging or striking especially of one body against another
b: a forceful contact or onset; also: the impetus communicated in or as if in such a contact
: the force of impression of one thing on another : a significant or major effect
There is no question that Dr. Ryrie’s life made an impact—literally upon the entire world—for Christ in the 90 years he lived. Reading these tributes to him should cause each one of us to examine the impact that we are making.
The banner above reminds us of the powerful impact that an athlete may make upon the field of play. The Apostle Paul used an athletic analogy to describe the impact that he intended to make for Christ when he wrote these words in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
How do we make an impact for Christ? We do so by sharing the gospel (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14-20) and by preaching and teaching the truths of Holy Scripture (cf. 2 Tim. 3:10-17). Think about those who have made a distinct impact upon your life, and hopefully you, like me, will see those same major points of emphasis. On that basis, consider Hebrews 13:7:
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
As in athletics, the timing of one’s impact is everything. Stopping a running back for a one-yard loss on the first play of the game is nice, but will not alter the outcome of the contest. Execute that same play at the goal line with no time left on the clock, however, and you will create a memory that will last a lifetime. Knocking the baseball out of the park during batting practice is impressive, but getting that hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth is the stuff of which legends are made.
Furthermore, just as on the gridiron, the clock is ticking down, and every second is precious. Once that clock shows nothing but zeroes, the game is over.
Every indication tells us that we are, likewise, far closer to the end of our spiritual contest in this church age than we are to its beginning. In that light, consider the magnitude of these pertinent verses:
- “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” (Rom. 13:11)
- “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Cor. 10:11)
- “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:15-16)
In my first blog post for Dispensational Publishing House, four months ago today, I wrote: “DPH is uniquely poised to make a significant impact for the cause of Christ, to the glory of God, at this strategic time in which He has placed us.” Though I believed these words then, I am now convinced of them on the basis of my experience, having seen the response to the early efforts of this new publishing company.
People are hungry for the truth of Scripture—interpreted literally, grammatically and historically, the way that Dr. Ryrie did it—presented with clarity and boldness directly to this spiritually dark and decaying world. There is before us the opportunity to make an enormous impact!
What type of impact are you seeking to make for the gospel of Christ, to the glory of God, at this prophetically-strategic time in the history of the world?
Dispensational Publishing House seeks to provide information and resources by which we can work together to multiply the force of our mutual impact many times over.
Consider yourself part of the team!
Copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 “Impact,” <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/impact>; Internet; accessed 24 Feb. 2016.
 “On the Need for Dispensational Publishing House,” <https://dispensationalpublishing.com/dph-info-and-insights/on-the-need-for-dispensational-publishing-house/>; Internet; accessed 24 Feb. 2016.