Gospel Light Minute – Caeleb Dressel (#280)
He is a two-time Olympic Champion and a thirteen-time World Champion American freestyle and butterfly swimmer who specializes in the sprint events. He currently represents the Cali Condors which is part of the International Swimming League. He won seven gold medals at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest and a record eight medals, including six gold, at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships in South Korea. He won two gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and currently holds the world records in the 100 meter butterfly (both long course and short course), 50 meter freestyle (short course), and 100 meter individual medley (short course).
He holds the American records in 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle and in 50-meter and 100-meter butterfly (all long course). He also holds the short course records in 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 200-yard individual medley, and formerly in the 100-yard breaststroke. In June 2020, he easily qualified to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in four events and is favored to repeat as a multi-gold-medal winner.
As Challenge News documented in a 2019 feature on this history-making swimmer after he broke one of swimming great Michael Phelps’ world records, he is quick to give God the glory for all his accomplishments:
He is not hard to spot during [swimming] events because he usually has a Scripture reference written across his face. The verses change with each event but a favourite one for the 23 year old is Isaiah 40:31: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” This is also the inspiration for the large eagle tattoo on his left shoulder. “It’s the reason I’m in the sport, not just to go fast times, but to inspire people and show them where I find my happiness with what God’s given me,” he said in an interview after U.S. Nationals in 2015.
However, he says that his faith and his talent in the pool have both encountered setbacks he has had to learn from.
Being brought up in a Christian home, he committed his life to Jesus at a young age but during high school he struggled in his commitment to God. “I wrestled with some mental demons during that time,” he admits. In fact, that period in his life got so tough he almost gave up swimming altogether. For six months, he stopped the sport but when he returned, he brought back a renewed love and commitment for swimming and his faith in Christ. “Coming out of that, I started swimming again and really just put all my trust in God and knowing that He’s going to take care of everything for me, good or bad,” he shared.
Since moving away from home, he says that his Christian faith has become more personal to him because he knows that his beliefs are grounded in the Bible and not just adopted from his parents. “I really learned a lot, and I learned to see the light at the end of the tunnel and trust what God is doing, whether it be a rough point in your life or a top pinnacle in your life. You’ve just got to take pauses and really trust what He’s doing,” he told the Baptist Press in 2016.
His perseverance and trust in God have helped him to break world records and earn over two dozen gold medals in his career. “It’s what I’m meant to do,” he says of swimming. “I found my passion for the sport. I really love the sport. You get to meet a whole bunch of new people. You get to create new relationships. You get to share some of the best memories of your life with these people. Swimming is my life and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is what I’m supposed to be doing, and God gave me the talent and I’m going to do [it] for Him, myself and my family and all my friends.”
His name is Caeleb Dressel.
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 Caeleb Dressel trusts in Jesus Christ for salvation, 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!