Proverbs 24:16: Quitters and Winners

By David J. Halter

I. Introduction:

A. A perfect analogy for the church.

1. “Winning isn’t everything, it is the only thing”?

2. Society today places too much emphasis on winning at the cost of spiritual values.

3. If an athletic coach does not win, he loses his job.

4. “Quitters never win and winners never quit!”

B. Our lesson:

1. Old and New Testament winners and quitters.

2. Attributes of a winner and a quitter.

3. Applications for Christians and the church.

II. Discussion:

A. Bible quitters:

1. Lot’s wife (Gen. 19:26; Lk. 17:31).

2. The unfaithful spies (Num. 13:31-33).

3. Some of Jesus’ disciples (Jn. 6:60-66).

4. Demas (2 Tim. 4:10; Col. 4:14; Phile. 24).

5. Judas (Jn. 13:18-27; Matt. 26:14-16,20-25; 27:3).

B. Bible winners:

1. Joshua and Caleb (Num. 13:30; 14:7-10).

2. David (1 Sam. 17:45-51).

3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 3:14-19,25,27).

4. Paul (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

5. Apostles (Acts 4:18-20; 5:28-29).

C. Characteristics of a loser, quitter:

1. Always negative, can’t be done attitude (Num. 13:31).

2. Excuse hunters (Prov. 20:4; 26:13; Lk. 14:15-24).

3. Blames failures on others (Gen. 3:12,13; 1 Kgs. 18:17-18).

4. Refuses to face problems (Jon. 1:1-3).

5. Cannot make up his mind, hesitates (Gen. 19:15-16).

6. Procrastinates and puts off (Acts 24:24-25).

7. Wilts under pressure (Matt. 13:20,21).

D. Characteristics of a winner:

1. Always positive, can be done attitude (Num. 13:30; Phil. 4:13).

2. Never hunts an excuse, sees what needs to be done and sets about to get it done (Gen. 42:1,2).

3. Is not afraid to fail, does not blame mistakes upon others, accepts full responsibility for own actions (Prov. 24:16).

4. Faces up to problems, does not run away from them (Psa. 11:1).

5. Does not hesitate when knowledge of the truth is his (Acts 8:36-38).

6. Does not procrastinate and put off, recognizes that today is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

7. Comes shining through when under pressure, persecution (Acts 21:11-15).

E. Applications for the church, Christians:

1. Many who quit going to church or who change congregations every few years manage to blame someone in the church.

2. Many who do not attend the services of the church faithfully are excuse hunters:

a. I was too tired, we got in late last night.

b. Company came to the house, and I did not want to embarrass them by leaving for church.

c. I don’t like the way the preacher preaches, he steps on my toes all the time.

d. The seats are too hard (I actually heard this one! – DJH).

e. The building is too cold, hot, etc.

f. I’m too ashamed to go, I know I am in sin and my conscience bothers me because I know I’m I wrong.

3. Many are like the prodigal son who wasted his substance in riotous living, too busy in pleasure.

4. Winners, however, plan their time around the Lord’s kingdom:

a. Such as company coming; wonder why company never come between some folks and church (Jn. 1:45)?

b. Never too tired to go to worship (2 Pet. 2:2).

5. Winners are always the ones to be depended on to support meetings, church discipline, visiting, teaching, etc.

F. Conclusion:

1. What are you? A winner or a quitter?

2. Truly winners never quit, and quitters never go to heaven!

Guardian of Truth XXXII: 21, p. 660
November 3, 1988