He is a retired NHL ice hockey player. After being drafted in 1998, he played professionally for the New Jersey Devils, the Phoenix Coyotes, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New York Rangers and the Minnesota Wild from 2000 to 2014. In 2003, he scored the game winning goal and earned his first Stanley Cup playoff game. He helped the New Jersey Devils earn their third Stanley Cup championship. In college, he played for the varsity quad, helping the team win two back-to-back state championships in 1994 and 1995. He now serves as a studio analyst for the NHL Network and a post-game analysts for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In an interview, he describes growing up in church but sports was his number one interest and goal. He said, “My young life included a lot of sports. We would go to church on Sunday, but it got to a point when that quickly got overtaken by hockey. As a child, hockey became my No. 1 thing over everything else, and I missed a lot of time at church.
“It wasn’t until I was 18 and had been drafted into the NHL that I first started struggling. Making it to the NHL was always a goal of mine, and I started questioning what would happen if I didn’t make it. Hockey was so much apart of me and in my mind that I thought it determined whether I would fail or not as a young man.
“I met my future wife at about that age, and she would question me about my faith and my relationship with God and I couldn’t answer those questions. I didn’t understand what she meant by a personal relationship with Jesus.
“At age 19, after going back to church and making it more of a priority, I gave my life over to the Lord. It has been a work in progress, and I’m growing each and every day. Faith has helped in a lot of ways, with my career and my life, as far as giving me a perspective on things and a freedom to play the game without being scared to fail.
“There are still times I struggle with making my career determine whether I’m a success as a man or not. But as I’m growing with the Lord and spending time with Him, it puts things in perspective. There have been challenges with just making it to the NHL and then maintaining that career. I’ve had to change my game, but the one thing that stays true is what I can do as a teammate that would reflect the image of Jesus. There is not going to be any selfishness in my game or putting me above the team. That’s something I would like to leave behind as a player, and that only comes from the Lord.
“I know that hockey is a pretty physically demanding and tough sport. But there have been some great Christian players who played the game the right way and just as hard as anyone in the history of the game. I think once you experience Jesus, there is a fierce passion and desire that comes along with that; there’s nothing soft about it.
“Faith gives you the ability to bounce back up, dust yourself off and go at it again, to fight that fight every day, whether it’s in life or on the ice. It’s given me the ability to play with reckless abandon and approach the game as one I want to have fun with. It’s given me the freedom to not fear anything, and that’s something only the Lord can give you.”
His name is Mike Rupp.
This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Mike Rupp gave his life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “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.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “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.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.