Study: Churchgoers Say Sharing Faith Essential, Many Never Do ~ Three Articles

By Jon D. Wilke by Monday, August 13, 2012

When it comes to discipleship, churchgoers struggle most with sharing Christ with non-Christians according to a recent study of church-going American Protestants.
The study conducted by LifeWay Research found 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month, believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.
These distressing results came from an extensive discipleship research project focused on measuring spiritual maturity in individuals. Overall, LifeWay Research found eight biblical attributes consistently evident in the lives of maturing believers. Of those eight, “Sharing Christ” has the lowest average score among Protestant church attendees.
Three-quarters of churchgoers say they feel comfortable in their ability to effectively communicate the gospel, while 12 percent say they don’t feel comfortable telling others about their faith.
Despite a vast majority believing it’s their duty to share their faith and having the confidence to do so, 25 percent say they have shared their faith once or twice, and 14 percent have shared three or more times over the last six months.
The survey also asked how many times they have personally, “invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program at your church?” Nearly half (48 percent) of church attendees responded, “zero.” Thirty-three percent of people say they’ve personally invited someone one or two times, and 19 percent say they’ve done so on three or more occasions in the last six months.
“Many times we’ve been told new Christians are most active in sharing their faith,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.
“In reality people who have been a Christian longer have higher responses for Sharing Christ than newer Christians. While new Christians may find it natural to share their new experience, mature Christians do it intentionally,” said Stetzer.
According to Stetzer, “praying more frequently for the status of people who are not professing Christians is the best indicator of more spiritual maturity in the entire Sharing Christ factor.”
In the study, 21 percent of churchgoers say that outside of church worship services they pray every day for people they know who are not professing Christians. Twenty-six percent say they pray a few times a week. One-fifth (20 percent) say they rarely or never pray for the spiritual status of others.
“If you are going to be intentional about sharing your faith, praying for others is a great way to start. We often acknowledge the importance of prayer in people coming to faith in Christ, but we also found it has an impact on the person praying,” he said.
These findings are part of the largest discipleship study of its kind. Results from each of the eight attributes of spiritual maturity will continue to be released over the coming months.
To help pastors, churches and individuals measure spiritual development, LifeWay Research used the study’s data to develop a questionnaire for believers, called the Transformational Discipleship Assessment (TDA). This online evaluation delivers both individual and group reports on spiritual maturity using the eight factors of biblical discipleship. The TDA also provides helpful and practical suggestions on appropriate next steps for spiritual development.
“The Transformational Discipleship Assessment not only captures the literal action of verbally sharing one’s faith, but also measures how ready and willing a person is to do so. While most believers accept personal responsibility to share their belief in Jesus Christ with non-Christians, far fewer are seeking these opportunities,” Stetzer explained.
To learn more about the transformational discipleship research visit LifeWayResearch.com. The TDA is available at tda.lifeway.com.

Footnotes
Methodology: The survey of 2,930 American adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more was conducted October 14-22, 2011. A demographically balanced online panel was used for the interviewing. Respondents could respond in English, Spanish or French. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed +1.8 percent. Margins of error are higher in subgroups.

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Why Don’t More Christians Share Their Faith?
by Jack Wellman

Christians share their faith with others, don’t they? Believe it or not, this happens less frequently than you might think.

Jesus’ Commands

Perhaps the one thing that most disciples struggle with after they’re saved is sharing their faith with an unsaved person. They might love to serve in the church, they might regularly attend worship services, and they might even teach a class, but when it comes to sharing their faith with family or friends, it appears that they might be ashamed of the gospel. Obviously, the Apostle Paul wasn’t shy about telling others about Christ, writing, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16). Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world to make disciples, teaching them the same things that Jesus taught them (Matt 28:19-20), but not only if they felt like it…they were to go, despite how they felt about it. The things that they were to teach others are found in the four gospels today, and in other letters written by the apostles in the New Testament. We may not be able to go into all the world, but we can go next door, or to the person standing in line behind us, or by any other means God may divinely place us. Why don’t more obey this imperative command from our Supreme Commander? There are reasons, but none of them very good.  Go into all the world to make disciples.

Fear of Man

The Bible teaches that the fear of man is a stumbling block proves to be a snare (Prov 29:25). It prevents us from doing what we know God wants us to do. This self-inflicted fear muffles our witness, mutes our testimony, slost o many who know us might not even know we’re believers. We naturally tend to do things that will make people like us, rather than do what we know God wants us to do, and one thing is to present the gospel to people. The Apostle Paul had no choice but to preach the Word, writing, “if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Cor 9:6). Paul asks a few rhetorical questions like, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news” (Rom 10:14-15)! God opens doors that no man can (Rev 3:8), and the church knew that, gathering “together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they stayed there a long time with the disciples” (Acts 14:27-28). There is never any mention of any believer being silent about their faith; only rejoicing at how God was saving many hundreds and later, thousands. Being fearful about sharing their faith never occurred to them. They were more fearful of neglecting God’s commands than being afraid of rejection, scorn, and destroyed relationships.

Current Trend

Jon D. Wilke, in writing about churchgoers silence about Christ, said that 80% of churchgoers believe they are commanded to share their faith but only 60% of them (3/4ths of them) have done it only once over the last six months, and just about half the Christians who responded said that they have never once invited someone to church. [1] Does the fact that we don’t witness for Christ connect to the fact that only 21% of Christians pray for someone who is lost. Barna Research questioned believers and 73% are sure they’re commanded to be witnesses, yet less than half do…and less than half that group (48%) has never witnessed at all! [2] Since Barna has been tracking data on evangelism (in 1966), there has been a steady drop in the number of Christians witnessing, and this given the fact that there are more Christians today than in 1966. [2] One interesting fact was that the poorer the Christian was, the more likely they were to be evangelizing. I’m not sure why that is, but those who are richer tended to witness less. Perhaps it’s due to having more financial comfort and security than the poor, and the poor can more easily identify with those who are struggling.

Knowing the Gospel

You can’t share what you don’t know, so you must know the gospel well enough to share the gospel without a Bible. You might not be able to carry a Bible with you everywhere you go or have it at every moment you need it, so memorize key Bible verses and you’ll always have them with you. Maybe this is what’s keeping some from sharing their faith more, or it might be they’re living in sin and feel like hypocrites by witnessing for Christ. But it could be they don’t know what to say. A couple of verses destroy the false idea that most unsaved people have. Most believe they’ve done more good than bad, and that should be able to get them into heaven, however, Romans 3:10-12 puts a stop to that thinking. It says that none are good; not even, meaning there are no exceptions (Rom 3:10-12). Every one of us have fallen infinitely short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23), and the wages of eternal death will be paid out at Christ’s coming or after we die (Heb 9:27), “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). Jesus offers every one of us, one of two choices: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36), so people must know the gospel well enough to know that being a self-proclaimed “good person” is not good enough on Judgment Day (Matt 7:21-23). They must be able to tell others that only through Christ (Acts 4:12) can we have the righteousness that is required to enter the kingdom and escape the wrath of God (2 Cor 5:21).

Conclusion

It’s easier to witness when there are two of you. One can be praying while the other is speaking. Today, there are really good Bible tracts that you can hand out to people, leave in public places, and put in the places where people will be, but I believe it’s most difficult of all to witness to family because you stand to lose the most in relationships, however, let me remind you (and me!) that Jesus said the cost is high, and showing that said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). If we stop for a moment and look at people…look intently upon our lost family and friends…, and now, think about their eternal state without Christ, and that their eternity is forever fixed and will never, ever change. We might have more compassion and courage to tell them about Christ. When the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, wrapped up a class on evangelism, he said if these men could spend 5 minutes in hell, they wouldn’t need this training. They’d likely be jumping out of their chairs and running as to rescue someone from a burning house…which, in a way, it is. Like we once were, a stick snatched out of the fire, twice burnt, once saved; but only by the grace of God (Zech3:2). The stick couldn’t have saved itself. It needed someone else’s help. God doesn’t need us to save anyone, but He is pleased to use us as a means to do so. Who went to that trouble for you? Aren’t you glad they stepped out of their comfort zone?
1. Wilke, Jon D. Churchgoers Believe in Sharing Faith, Most Never Do. Lifeway.com. http://www.lifeway.com/Article/research-survey-sharing-christ-2012 (Accessed Dec 20, 2017).
2. Kinnaman, David. Is Evangelism Going out of Style? Barna.com/research https://www.barna.com/research/is-evangelism-going-out-of-style/ (Accessed Dec 20, 2017).
Here is some related reading for you: How to Evangelize Door to Door
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®

Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/why-dont-more-christians-share-their-faith/#ixzz5Fu25HwUG

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Churchgoers Believe in Sharing Faith, Most Never Do

Sharing Faith, Most Never Do

by Jon D. Wilke by Monday, August 13, 2012

When it comes to discipleship, churchgoers struggle most with sharing Christ with non-Christians according to a recent study of church-going American Protestants.
The study conducted by LifeWay Research found 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month, believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith, but 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months.
These distressing results came from an extensive discipleship research project focused on measuring spiritual maturity in individuals. Overall, LifeWay Research found eight biblical attributes consistently evident in the lives of maturing believers. Of those eight, “Sharing Christ” has the lowest average score among Protestant church attendees.
Three-quarters of churchgoers say they feel comfortable in their ability to effectively communicate the gospel, while 12 percent say they don’t feel comfortable telling others about their faith.
Despite a vast majority believing it’s their duty to share their faith and having the confidence to do so, 25 percent say they have shared their faith once or twice, and 14 percent have shared three or more times over the last six months.
The survey also asked how many times they have personally, “invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program at your church?” Nearly half (48 percent) of church attendees responded, “zero.” Thirty-three percent of people say they’ve personally invited someone one or two times, and 19 percent say they’ve done so on three or more occasions in the last six months.
“Many times we’ve been told new Christians are most active in sharing their faith,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.
“In reality people who have been a Christian longer have higher responses for Sharing Christ than newer Christians. While new Christians may find it natural to share their new experience, mature Christians do it intentionally,” said Stetzer.
According to Stetzer, “praying more frequently for the status of people who are not professing Christians is the best indicator of more spiritual maturity in the entire Sharing Christ factor.”
In the study, 21 percent of churchgoers say that outside of church worship services they pray every day for people they know who are not professing Christians. Twenty-six percent say they pray a few times a week. One-fifth (20 percent) say they rarely or never pray for the spiritual status of others.
“If you are going to be intentional about sharing your faith, praying for others is a great way to start. We often acknowledge the importance of prayer in people coming to faith in Christ, but we also found it has an impact on the person praying,” he said.
These findings are part of the largest discipleship study of its kind. Results from each of the eight attributes of spiritual maturity will continue to be released over the coming months.
To help pastors, churches and individuals measure spiritual development, LifeWay Research used the study’s data to develop a questionnaire for believers, called the Transformational Discipleship Assessment (TDA). This online evaluation delivers both individual and group reports on spiritual maturity using the eight factors of biblical discipleship. The TDA also provides helpful and practical suggestions on appropriate next steps for spiritual development.
“The Transformational Discipleship Assessment not only captures the literal action of verbally sharing one’s faith, but also measures how ready and willing a person is to do so. While most believers accept personal responsibility to share their belief in Jesus Christ with non-Christians, far fewer are seeking these opportunities.”
To learn more about the transformational discipleship research visit LifeWayResearch.com. The TDA is available at tda.lifeway.com.

Footnotes
Methodology: The survey of 2,930 American adults who attend a Protestant church once a month or more was conducted October 14-22, 2011. A demographically balanced online panel was used for the interviewing. Respondents could respond in English, Spanish or French. The sample provides 95 percent confidence that the sampling error does not exceed +1.8 percent. Margins of error are higher in subgroups.

 

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Four Ways To Share Your Faith

Knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.   Philippians 1:17

Paul uses four different words in Philippians to describe the communication of the gospel.  He says we are to “speak” (Gk. lalelo) the gospel in our everyday conversation (v. 14).  We are to “herald” (Gk. kerussa) the gospel as a public crier would in the open air (v. 15).  We are to “preach” (Gk. kataggello) the gospel through formal preaching (v. 16).  Finally we are to verbally defend (Gk. apologia) the gospel through the use of apologetics (v. 17).  Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, let us not be ashamed of the gospel.  It alone can bring lasting change to a darkened mind.    -Sid Halsband

Lead me to some soul today, O teach me, Lord, just what to say; Melt my heart, and fill my life, give me one soul today.  -Will Houghton

Few American Churchgoers Familiar With ‘Great Commission’

 

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Few American Churchgoers Familiar With ‘Great Commission’
By PNW Staff April 05, 2018
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A new study conducted by Barna, in conjunction with Seed Company, on various aspects related to the spread of the Gospel is raising alarm bells.

The new report titled Translating the Great Commission makes the case that many Christians have forgotten one of the great exhortations of Jesus when He commanded all Christians to “go and make disciples of all nations”.

Every religion has a unique character whether it be for domination of the earthly realm, preservation of a nation or salvation of souls, and Christianity is distinctly the latter with Matthew 28:18-20 representing the clearest example of what is commonly referred to as the Great Commission.

Barna surveyed 1,004 church-going Christians from across the nation to arrive at their conclusions about the state of Gospel preaching, and while what they found leaves some room for interpretation, it also gives one pause to stop and consider the state of Christianity in America.

They found that 51% of respondents had never heard the term “the Great Commission” while another 25% claimed to have heard it but did not know its meaning. Another 6% of Christians thought they knew what it meant, but were not sure.

Only 17% of church-going Christians said that they both recognized and understood the concept of the Great Commission.

When framed as a matching exercise in which survey takers were asked to connect the term with corresponding Bible passages, 94% of the 17% of Christians who recognized the term were able to match it with the correct Biblical passage (Matthew 28:18-20), which leaves roughly 160 Christians out of every 1,000 who understand one of the central tenants of faith: to spread the Gospel to all nations.

The survey found that older church-goers were more likely to respond positively to questions regarding knowledge of the Great Commission (29% elders, 26% baby boomers, 17% generation X, and 10% millennials) but the Barna study authors were also forced to conclude that the use of the term itself could have been a key factor.

The authors speculate that some of the younger Christians may very well know that Jesus commanded all Christians to make disciples of all nations, baptize them and teach them to obey the commandments of the Lord, even though they might not use the term Great Commission.

The element of linguistic doubt across generations is the one major caveat of the study but, even correcting for that, there are significant percentages of Christians in every generation that neither recognize the term nor can match it to its Biblical passage—numbers that leave us to ponder the consequences for Christianity.

So, what can be done?

First, the term itself has become perhaps misunderstood due to linguistic drift. We seldom use the term “commission” today outside the military and I would venture to guess that a majority of young adults would struggle precisely to define the term by itself, even outside a Biblical context.

Many people need to be re-educated with what this term actually means to see this great mission as the cause of all Christian good in the world. Christians aren’t made for simply sitting in Church pews, they are made for creating disciples and bringing the kingdom of God to Earth. Care about social justice? Worried about racism, mass incarceration or a drug crisis? Want to help desperate immigrants or the destitute living on the streets?

The answer is the Great Commission. Just as the tax collector Zacchaeus in the Book of Luke who gave up half his wealth, when the Word is truly received transformative change is possible. Imagine how entire systems of injustice would fall away if we truly made new disciples who obeyed God’s Word to the letter? God’s Word is the most powerful tool for social justice and societal change the world has ever known, and this change of perspective is key.

Finally, we need to take the cause to heart. Yes, our personal relationship with the Lord is a fundamental aspect of faith. Yes, the Church is a central component of our lives. But at the forefront of it all should be the Great Commission to build the Kingdom of God one life at a time, creating thousands of new disciples everyday who can themselves keep the commandments and spread the love of Jesus further.

But this requires real action. It requires donating our resources, sacrificing our time and living bold lives of true Christian conviction in which we evangelize in both word and deed.

Matthew 28 is no vision of a lonely monastery. This active, outward-looking faith is truly the great mission of Christians here on Earth.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=2140#UWXkSt5yU07m4Zid.99

 

Jordan/Israel ~ 1987-1988 ~ Part 9

Day #9

We enjoyed another beautiful sunrise over New Jerusalem while eating breakfast at the Shalom Hotel.  We observed the Jewish people around us during breakfast.  As one observes the Jewish people in Israel, we share Paul’s burden of loving a people with such a great zeal, yet such stubbornness, unbelief, hardness of heart, and in a lost and unsaved state.

We entered Jerusalem today through the Jaffa Gate, just to browse.  We passed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  This church, as far as the Catholics are concerned, is where Jesus was crucified.

One proprieter in a shop was surprised I had only one wife – he had four wives.  Wives are still bought for camels.

We went into a memorial for the Jewish independence in 1948, called the “War of Independence Memorial.”  Then we entered the old synagogue of the Jews, the Hurva Synagogue.

Once again we passed the Byzantine Cardo (ancient Roman shop area).  Pictures were taken of the folks in our group at this locale.  (Pastor Grimes, James Taylor, Dawn Presti, and Jo Anne Abbott).  We went back to our hotel early in order to rest, and to pack for our long journey home.

Day #10

Today, Lord willing, we will proceed over the Israeli/Jordan border, catch our Royal Jordanian flight from Amman, Jordan to New York, and drive home to Stafford, Virginia.

We rode along “the old Roman road” to the border.  This was the most beautiful ride of the trip, and naturally, my camera is packed away.  We stopped above a Greek Orthodox Church, surrounded by DEEP canyons.  Wooden crosses were seen everywhere.  There was an aqueduct, and a cement path, and dirt paths.  We passed another of Herod’s palaces, his winter palace in Jericho.  Our road was narrow as we drove along the canyon called the Wadi Kelt.  If we veered off the road just a little bit, we would have plunged to our certain death.  We came to Jericho and saw a very rare occurrence indeed – rain!  We crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan under the usual intense scrutiny.  On the flight home, I sat next to a Lebanese American who was a Christian and we had a good conversation.  We had a refueling stop once again in Amsterdam, Holland.  On our stop in Amsterdam it was dark and stormy.  Once above the clouds though, we found daylight.  And likewise in our spiritual lives.  To the lost, life is dark and stormy and full of uncertainty after death.  But once we come to terms with Jesus Christ, we live in the sunshine, above our circumstances, with no fear of death – we even look forward to it.  Our journey came to an end.  It was like “a little taste of heaven.”  Until we really arrive in heaven though, all good things must come to an end.

Shalom, Pastor Steve

Billy Graham Passes On From Our Presence

Psalm 116:15 King James Version (KJV)Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Back in the 1930’s, a group of farmers in North Carolina prayed for the Lord to raise a vessel to take the Gospel around the world.  Among the farmers were the parents of Billy Franklin Graham, and little did they realize that the Lord would answer their prayer through their son.  At that time, Billy was a gangly youth, more interested in girls and becoming a professional baseball player like Babe Ruth.  While Billy was sowing his wild oats, he became saved at a tent revival with Mordecai Ham preaching.  He surrendered to the ministry while attending Wheaton College.  In his early years, he went into the woods and preached to the trees and to the wildlife around him.  He was called the human windmill because his arms were continually flailing in all directions while he spoke.  Billy started as a hellfire and brimstone preacher, warning people about the wrath of God.  Since then, Billy has preached the Gospel to more people than anyone else in history.  Over two hundred and fifteen million people have heard him preach, and he has spoken in one hundred and fifty countries.  He has counseled every president from Harry Truman to Barack Obama.

Like countless Christians, I have been to the Cove Training Center, and to the Billy Graham School of Evangelism.  Billy himself showed up one evening at his school for evangelism straight from Moscow!  I have also seen him preach at the Washington D. C. Convention Center in the early 1980’s.  He had a special anointing.  He said the three reasons his ministry was successful were prayer, prayer and prayer.  He was thrust into the public eye and into American conscience during his 1949 Tent Revival in Los Angeles, California.  The Los Angeles Times encouraged newspapers all over the country to “Puff Billy.”  The rest is history…  Two things happened prior to this watershed tent crusade.  1)Billy ran into Henrietta Mears, who straightened out his theology.  Billy was already influenced by the “all inclusive” message that said Jesus was only one of many ways.  Henrietta taught him how to trust the Word of God and all that it said.  2)Along with his famous mission/crusade team with George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows, they adopted what has been called the “Modesto Manifesto.”  They agreed that while on the road, they would never dine with a woman alone, they would walk circumspectly with a Christian decorum, and that they would handle their finances with integrity.  (Billy received a salary equivalent to that of a pastor of a Baptist Church in a large city).  Another thing Billy is noted for, is breaking down racial barriers in the 1950’s and 1960’s, as he had ropes removed from buildings where his crusades were held.

Billy’s theology stumbled in his latter days, as he made appearances on the Larry King show and Larry baited him, trying to remove him from the belief that Christ alone saves.  I wrote the Billy Graham Evangelic Association (BGEA) about this and much to my amazement, one of their public relations (PR) personnel responded to me.  He said I was right, and that Parkinson’s Disease was affecting his thinking, and that Billy did not really believe all that he said.  To this day I believe his response.  I responded that his family and friends should keep him away from those who desire for him to water down his message of the Gospel.

Billy’s effectiveness was due to his living an exemplary life of Jesus Christ, and his unbelievable humility.  99% of preachers/pastors could not handle the ministry that Billy had without falling into the sin of pride, lust and coveting.  Praise the Lord that his son Franklin sounds just like his dad, and every time I hear Franklin, I hear his father also.  Billy left this planet at daybreak, Wednesday, February 21, 2018.  He is now at the place that he always preached about.  The first thing Billy said he would ask God is:  “Why did you pick me to preach to so many people all around the globe?”  May I close with Billy’s signature words that he shared with everyone:  “God loves you.”  Amen and amen.  I am happy for Billy’s legacy, his faithfulness, and the continuation of his ministry.  Yet I miss his presence already.  Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.  Billy faithfully preached the message of “salvation through faith in Jesus Christ” and is a prophet without tarnish.  Now Billy is hearing the Words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.”    All Because Of Him, Pastor Steve  <><

Billy Franklin Graham 1918-2018

Pray For Revival In America!

 

Prophecy In The News

Billy Graham, Influential Evangelist and Friend to U.S. Presidents, Dies at 99
February 21 2018

The Rev. Billy Graham, one of the most influential religious figures in U.S. history and a trusted adviser to decades of U.S. presidents, has died, according to the Associated Press. He was 99.
Graham was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease since 1992.
For decades starting with Harry Truman, Graham would be seen at the side of U.S. presidents as he served as a valued counselor, during both their brightest days and their sleepless nights. “People in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to,” the evangelist said in 2011.
As a religious figure, Graham extended his influence beyond the Southern Baptist community to become a respected figure around the world. “Billy Graham stood in the glare of public scrutiny with U.S. presidents and other heads of state more than any other Christian leader,” wrote Stephen Rankin of the “Confessor-in-Chief” in 2014.
Noting that technology had made it possible for an evangelist to preach to everyone and anyone, he said, “It has literally become possible to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world.” And, that the evangelist did: On his website, it was claimed that Graham had “preached the Gospel message to more than 215 million people in over 185 countries.”
William Franklin Graham was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Nov. 7, 1918. As a youth, he dreamed of playing baseball, but after studying at Bob Jones University, the Florida Bible Institute and Wheaton College, he began his career as a pastor in the Chicago suburbs. He was soon preaching about Christ to eager servicemen returning from the carnage of World War II.
In July 1945, he became a preacher for Youth for Christ International, a crusade that combined traditional values, patriotism and some modern razzle-dazzle.
Emphatically patriotic and disdainful of communism and other “isms,” Graham proved to be the right person for an unsettled age, drawing large crowds. In 1949, he drew national attention with an eight-week crusade in Los Angeles.
“Billy Graham seemed fated to reign as the unifying figure behind evangelical Christianity,” wrote Barbara Cady in “Icons of the 20th Century.” “No one was more energetic and wholesome, no one more staggeringly handsome and charismatic.”

For Graham, the Bible was universal truth, and Christ represented the path to salvation. “Choose this day the road to travel into eternity,” he preached. “Don’t think there are three choices — yes, no and wait — for you may never have another opportunity.”
The idea that a high-tech modern world could undermine these truths was repellent to him. “The great all-prevailing Truth stands for time and eternity,” he preached.
Even if there was nothing particularly new about his message, it resonated with many.
“What Billy Graham may have revived in modern times, above all,” wrote Paul A. Carter in 1974’s “Encyclopedia of American Biography,” “is revivalism itself.”
“When he appeared on the national scene at the end of World War II,” Carter continued, ‘Graham’s style of evangelism — fervent, vivid, Biblical — was widely believed to be a quaint survival of folk religion soon destined to disappear. Graham has quite clearly shown otherwise.”
Television expanded his reach, as did the more than 30 books he wrote. His preaching would take him around the globe, even behind the Iron Curtain amid the Cold War. He visited American troops during wartime. And his evangelism would take him to Washington, where Graham was a counselor to American leaders.
“Graham’s meetings with every President since Harry Truman were no accident: Both the preacher and the presidents had their reasons — sometimes spiritual, sometimes political, usually both — for getting together,” wrote Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy in Time magazine in 2010, after President Barack Obama paid a visit to Graham.
In 1952, Graham became the first to hold formal religious service on the Capitol steps. That was part of a five-week crusade in Washington and a heady time for Graham and other modern evangelists.
“If I could run for president of the United States today, on a platform of calling the people back to God, back to Christ, back to the Bible, I’d be elected,” he said, according to William Martin in “With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America.” “There is a hunger for God today.”
Though Truman was the first to welcome Graham to the Oval Office, Eisenhower was the first president to get close to him, seeking Graham’s help with an inaugural prayer. In turn, Graham helped persuade Eisenhower of the merits of holding a National Prayer Breakfast, which began in 1953. Graham would counsel Eisenhower after a heart attack and, years later, as he was dying.
Different presidents had different reasons for connecting with Graham. Ronald Reagan, for instance, was a friend, dating back years before he became president.
“My father has never sought really to be the friend of presidents,” the Rev. Franklin Graham, his son and successor, said in 2004. “It has just happened to come his direction.”
Graham offered guidance during tough times. President Gerald Ford discussed his plans to pardon Richard M. Nixon, President George H.W. Bush invited him to the White House at the start of the first Gulf War, and President Bill Clinton sought Graham’s counsel during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Perhaps most dramatically, Graham counseled President Lyndon Johnson soon after the assassination of President John Kennedy. “In their first visit, scheduled for 15 minutes but stretched to five hours, the two farm boys who had ridden their talent, ambition and energy to the pinnacle of their respective professions found they had more to offer each other than either had ever imagined,” according to “With God On Our Side.”
Graham frequently visited Johnson at the White House and his ranch in Texas. “Johnson struggled with doubts about his salvation,” Rankin wrote. “On one of many car rides around the ranch, he parked the car and asked Graham to share the gospel with him once again. ”
In 1965, Johnson asked Graham to go to Selma, Alabama, to help calm racial tensions there. Graham would officiate at LBJ’s funeral in 1973.
President George W. Bush credited Graham’s guidance for leading him to faith in Christ, and Graham would serve as a witness to his character. “I believe in the integrity of this man,” Graham said late in the 2000 campaign. “I’ve known him as a boy. I’ve known him as a young man. And we’re very proud of him.”
In 2010, Obama visited Graham at his home in Montreat, North Carolina. Obama later recalled the visit: “91 years old at the time, facing various health challenges, he welcomed me as he would welcome a family member or a close friend. This man who had prayed great prayers that inspired a nation, this man who seemed larger than life, greeted me and was as kind and as gentle as could be.”
Because of his reputation, Graham was someone who connected the dots in Washington. When GOP presidential nominee Nixon wanted to convey a message to President Johnson in 1968, it was Graham who did so. When a newly elected Georgia governor went to Washington, it was Graham who introduced Jimmy Carter to President Nixon.
Carter had met the evangelist when he was working in 1955 as a Graham volunteer on behalf of integration in Georgia. Early in his public life, Graham had become a supporter of civil rights, holding integrated crusades in otherwise segregated places.
“In 1953, after the sponsoring committee of his Chattanooga crusade balked at his demand that seating be open to all, he went to the crusade tabernacle and personally removed the ropes marking the section section removed for blacks,” according to “With God On Our Side.”
In 1957, Graham encouraged Eisenhower to send troops to Arkansas to compel the admission of black students to Little Rock Central High School. Graham also preached with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., though Graham’s abhorrence for the disorder of public protest would keep him from attending events such as the March on Washington.
Graham consistently professed neutrality in political matters, though there were times that didn’t seem to hold true.
In 1960, for instance, Graham was clearly supportive of Nixon, his longtime friend. He was troubled by Kennedy’s liberalism and wary of having a Catholic president.
Nixon lost, but Graham remained close to him and after Nixon was elected in 1968, Graham was a strong presence in Nixon’s presidency. The two frequently discussed political and theological matters, and Graham clearly backed Nixon during his 1972 reelection campaign. “You know how I love you,” Graham told the president in a 1973 phone call after a Nixon speech.
Watergate tainted Graham’s legacy a bit. For one thing, Graham was overheard making anti-Semitic remarks on one of Nixon’s Oval Office tapes. (Graham apologized when the tape surfaced.) For another, he remained a steadfast supporter of Nixon deep into the scandal. “When the worst came out, it was nearly unbearable for me,” he later said of Nixon’s deceptions.
Graham did have his critics. Some progressives objected to his conservatism on social issues and found his viewpoint tainted by his relentless anti-communism. He would also find himself criticized by fundamentalists who thought his outlook too generous to those of other faiths. “To this day,” wrote Bruce Bawer in the 1997 book “Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity,” “fundamentalists despise Graham as a sellout because he affirms the value of Catholic and Jewish faith.”
Regardless, there was no doubt that he had done much to shape spiritual life in America. His many honors included a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded in 1983 by Reagan. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
In 1955, Graham placed in the top 10 of the Gallup Poll’s most admired men in America. In 2017, he was still on the list, tied for fourth with Sen. John McCain and Elon Musk. It was Graham’s 61st time on the list, by far the most ever.
“He has reached out to all people — black or white, American or foreign, man or woman — for opportunities to serve God,” Jimmy Carter said in 2007. “My testimony is that I am just one of tens of millions of people whose spiritual lives have been shaped by Billy Graham.”
The evangelist’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, died in June 2007.
“As I look back,” Graham wrote in 2012, “I see how God’s hand guided me. I sense His Spirit with me today, and most comforting is the knowledge that He will not forsake me during this last stretch as I am nearing home. If that doesn’t give me a sense of hope, nothing else will.”
Reported by: David Cohen – Politico
By Prophecy in the News| February 21st, 2018|Tags: Christian News, Dies at 99, Evangelist, Friend to U.S. Presidents, Prophecy News, Rev. Billy Graham

1)Mohammed : Arab Muslim became Christian Paul…Testimony 2)Sunni Muslim Sandra encountered with Truth.. Beautiful Testimony

Other Testimonies Of Muslims Being Won To Christ:

Smart Ex Muslim Preacher Girl…God’s Love @ Hyde Park, London  Part 2 /2 Below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EiGYVP8VoE

 ….and they go on and on and on.  Go to You Tube and enter Testimonies From Muslims Who Became Christians.

Share Your Faith Daily

Acts 14:6-7 King James Version (KJV)
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.

The real mission field is just outside our front door.  It isn’t always overseas or on the other side of the equator.  We have neighbors, friends, colleagues, even family members, who need the Saviour and need Him now.  I pray that I will find the courage today to speak to one of them; to humbly remind them that they need to be saved, that they can be saved, and how to obtain God’s salvation through repentance and faith.   -Rick Morse

When He has found you, tell others the story; That my loving Saviour is your Saviour too.  -S. O’Malley Clough

*****************************************

Acts 16:30-31 King James Version (KJV)
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 

Pray For Revival In America!

Three Ways Lottie Moon’s Calling Was Centered in Christ

Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Is Collected Throughout December.  The Following Article Reveals Lottie’s Great Heart For Christ:

Three Ways Lottie Moon’s Calling Was Centered in Christ
Daniel Slott | December 13, 2017
Given what I know about Lottie Moon from reading her missionary letters and seeing her through the eyes of historians, it’s safe to say she wouldn’t like being the focus of this article, but I think she would agree with what it says. Hopefully . . .
Lottie Moon is most famously associated with the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® (LMCO), an offering that she helped start by sending letters from China to her constituents in the States. Her challenging words and inspiring message paved the way for a special offering collected in December that funded the appointment of new missionaries.
But it was not just her words that affected change; it was that coupled with her example—a life fully devoted to Christ. As I study the life and ministry of Moon, I see three primary motivations that drove her with Christ-centered passion.

Calling to Christ, Not Self
Lottie was raised in a life of privilege. She was well educated, excelled in academia, and was acutely aware of the challenges women faced, especially on the mission field. When she received her call to foreign missions at the age of thirty-one, she knew the difficulties she would encounter as a single woman on the field.
She was not opposed to marriage, but she also would not let her singleness stop her from faithfully following her calling. Her relationship with a former Baptist professor, Crawford Toy, is well documented, but there were two things about a relationship with Toy that caused conflict: calling and theology. It’s rumored that Toy sought appointment as a missionary to Japan at one point. Moon, discerning God’s clear focus for her to serve in China, did not oblige.
Furthermore, and more importantly, was Toy’s leaning towards liberal theology. Moon, the strong-willed, conviction-led woman that she was, could not reconcile Toy’s stance on evolution with the veracity of Scripture. She chose faithfulness to God’s Word over matrimony. When asked if she had ever experienced romance, Moon replied, “Yes, but God had first claim on my life, and since the two conflicted, there could be no question about the result.”
“She trusted God’s sovereignty, knowing the God who calls men and women to the mission field is the same God who brings a husband and wife together.”
Moon didn’t see singleness as a detriment to the work. She trusted God’s sovereignty, knowing the God who calls men and women to the mission field is the same God who brings a husband and wife together. Instead of forcing something she desired, she trusted God and sought to be used by him where she was. On July 7, 1873, Moon was appointed as a single missionary to China at the age of thirty-three.

A Calling to Christ, Not Comfort
Moon’s first few years in China were rough, but nothing compared to the hardship that would come. Even during the first Sino-Japanese War (1895), Moon would make regular trips to rural areas to share the gospel, learning that evangelism was the work she came to love. Believing she could have a greater impact to share Christ, she gave up access to Western comforts in urban China to move inland, where she was likely the first foreigner with whom the locals had ever interacted. There, she engaged in pioneer evangelism—sharing the gospel with people who have never heard it before. It was a bold move for a single woman at that time.
She took on the living habits of the local culture—another revolutionary move—by wearing Chinese robes and leading a simple life. After a while, the insults of “foreign devil woman” began to fade, and she was accepted as the “Heavenly Book Visitor” who “loved us.”
“She was driven by the joy of knowing she was fulfilling God’s purpose on her life.”
She had every opportunity to eradicate hardship by withdrawing from the field and returning home, but that was not God’s call on her life. Instead, she doubled-down, by God’s grace, and gave away all she had to tend to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. She was driven by the joy of knowing she was fulfilling God’s purpose on her life, saying “Surely there can be no deeper joy than that of saving souls.”

A Calling to Christ, Not Fame
Lottie was laser focused on the spiritual needs of the people, not on the circulation of her name. If she would have had a Twitter handle, her constituents in the States would have woken every morning to a feed lit up by requests on behalf of the people she served. Her focus was on others, not herself.
Her goal was action, not popularity, unless it meant the renown of Christ. This type of sacrificial giving was lived out daily in a context that most of us will never understand. She faced poverty and hardship at every turn, and it was Christ who sustained her.
She was motivated by a God-centered, God-given, and God-inflamed passion to name Christ where he had not been named. Her charge to the church was not “come and be like me,” it was a charge to remember the sacrifice of Christ who “paid it all.”
Lottie knew she had been saved by the grace of God and that her life was not her own. Her calling and motivation was centered in Christ. She was driven by her love for Christ and a passion to see his name known. For thirty-nine years, laboring in China, Lottie embodied the spirit of LMCO—Christ-centered sacrifice that fuels the work of missions.

Daniel Slott is an IMB training strategist in East Asia where he serves on the student strategies team developing training for student and young adult missionaries. He is the author of The Christ-Centered Life: 31 Discipleship Letters Explaining How the Gospel Shapes Foundational Christian Practices, Values, and Beliefs to Be Centered in Christ. You can find him on Twitter @DanielSlott and the East Asia student team @eastudent.

Who Was Lottie Moon? / Who Was Annie Armstrong?

Why the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering Is Collected at Christmas

David Brady | December 6 2017

For Southern Baptists, Lottie Moon and Christmas go together as naturally as presents and wrapping paper. But many of us have not considered the reasons we connect Lottie Moon and our Christmas offering to international missions.
Lottie’s earthly life both began and ended in December. She was born on December 12, 1840, and she died seventy-two years later on December 24, 1912. Those dates strengthened her connection to the annual offering for missions, but they are not the reason the offering is received at Christmas.

Quite simply, the reason we have a Christmas offering for missions is because it was Lottie’s idea. She advocated for it thirty-five years before her death. Lottie wrote many letters from China, some of which were published in the Foreign Mission Board’s journal.
Lottie was a woman with numerous gifts, but none was greater than her ability to write with clarity and conviction. Many a spark from Lottie’s pen in northern China lit a fire in the United States. The spiritual power of her words motivated countless women and men to greater involvement in getting the good news of Jesus Christ to the unreached.
“The spiritual power of her words motivated countless women and men to greater involvement in getting the good news of Jesus Christ to the unreached.”
One particular letter, written on September 15, 1887, had a profound impact that resonates even today, 130 years later. Lottie had been reading the minutes of the Southern Methodist Woman’s Missionary Board. She was deeply impressed that those women gave six thousand dollars to missions during the course of the previous year.
This substantial sum was significantly greater than anything Baptist women were giving. She noted their efficient organization, but the secret of their financial generosity lay in their spiritual commitment to prayer and self-denial.

Rational Reasons for a Christmas Offering
These Methodist women set aside the week before Christmas to pray for missions and practice self-denial in the spending of money on personal wants and needs. The prayers increased their desire for Christ’s kingdom, and their self-denial increased their funds for generous giving to the spread of Christ’s gospel.

Lottie, who was never above using guilt trips for the right reason, looked at the Methodist plan and giving and wrote, “Doesn’t this put us Baptist women to shame?” She then gave us the clear rationale for scheduling the proposed missions offering at Christmas, writing:
Need it be said, why the week before Christmas is chosen?
Is not “the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of The Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?”
Her letter was published in America in December of 1887. Lottie’s idea might never have gotten off the ground, however, had it not been for Annie Armstrong. Annie, who lived in Baltimore, Maryland, was a leader of the new Woman’s Missionary Union.
She took Lottie’s suggestion and gave it legs. In the following year of 1888, the first Christmas offering for missions was scheduled. Annie wrote—by hand—one thousand letters to promote the offering. She also sent out thirty thousand offering envelopes and thousands of other supporting materials. Everyone was thrilled with the result: $3,313.25!

The Christmas Offering Broadens
Initially, the proceeds were focused on funding “helpers” for Miss Moon, but the scope of the offering grew. For decades it was known as “The Christmas Offering for China.” Gradually, its proceeds began to be used beyond China in other mission fields.
Lottie’s death on Christmas Eve of 1912 further solidified her connection to the offering. The year after Lottie Moon’s death, her memory was called forth to stimulate greater missions giving. Finally, in 1918 the Christmas offering received another lasting link to Lottie.
In that year, the venerable Annie Armstrong spoke from her retirement, “It was Miss Moon who suggested the Christmas offering for foreign missions. She showed us the way in so many things. Wouldn’t it be appropriate to name the offering in her memory?” Southern Baptist women loved the idea, and Lottie Moon’s name was permanently affixed to our Christmas offering for foreign missions.

Through the years Lottie’s life and words have continued to inspire Southern Baptists to greater giving of our lives and money to the cause of Christ. She wrote:
I wonder how many of us really believe that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” A woman who accepts that statement of our Lord Jesus Christ as a fact, and not as “impractical idealism,” will make giving a principle of her life. . . . How many there are among our women (and I would include men), alas! alas! who imagine that because “Jesus paid it all,” they need pay nothing, forgetting that the prime object of their salvation was that they should follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ in bringing back a lost world to God . . .
So this Christmas, in response to God’s great gift of his son Jesus to save sinners like us, may we fervently pray and generously give in order for others to be introduced to him.

David J. Brady is the pastor of Christ Community Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Mount Airy, North Carolina. He was born in Guyana and raised in Belize, where his parents served as Southern Baptist missionaries. David is the author of an evangelistic book entitled, The Gospel for Pet Lovers. He is currently working on a book of short historical biographies of missionaries who have served with the Foreign Mission Each time one lands, the city of more than 28 million opens its arms to a little more diversity, and each time, for Todd’s team of 12 IMB missionaries who have served with the Foreign Mission Board (today known as IMB).

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