"FOR THIS CAUSE...!"
What do you say to the national leaders of the five major religions of China? That question faced me last August when I was invited again by the Chinese ambassador to an historic meeting in Washington D.C.
Our diplomatic host, Mr. Hu Yongtao, first secretary of the embassy, introduced a group of American religious leaders to the Buddhist, Moslem, Taoist, Catholic and Protestant leaders of the People's Republic of China. For two days we held fascinating discussions led by an American Jewish rabbi, Arthur Schneier, of New York. We learned of exciting changes by the Chinese government opening the door to the unprecedented new freedoms of religious belief and practice in China!
The leaders spoke of the need for mutual respect and cooperation between the different religious faiths of China and the United States. We learned much about the distinctive differences, and yes, similarities of each faith. All in all, I sensed a sincere desire in each leader to see mankind elevated from misery, poverty and pain to a higher level, and the world lifted to a true and lasting peace.
Yet, all the while, I was itching to open the Word, take a text and PREACH! Ah, what a dilemma -- knowing that we have the true answer to ALL of earth's sorrowing cry! In the midst of my frustration, the precious Holy Spirit whispered a truth that much of the Church has forgotten -- and that is:
Now, before you faint and need smelling salts, let me explain. Let's, first of all, go with the Apostle Paul to Mars Hill in Greece. He was invited to speak to a great forum of philosophers and religious leaders about his new faith -- the Christian faith. His message was simple and yet profound:
So, what did Samuel do?
Read the story again of Paul's powerful and eloquent witness of the faith of Jesus Christ -- it is thrilling! But notice please -- he did not recriminate them nor demean any of their other gods nor their faith in them! Too often, well-meaning, but unwise, Christians speak harshly against other religious faiths. All this does is drive their adherents and followers away in anger, and in most cases, closes the door to ever reaching them with the true faith of Christ.
The truth is that there is much truth and moral goodness in virtually all of the non-Christian religions. We must, like Paul, simply lead them into the next truth of our faith and the words of Jesus Himself who said:
I know this may sound strange coming from old "scare-the-hell-out-them Crouch," but the truth is this -- Jesus did not commission us to convert the world to Christianity! His last words to us were:
We cannot save or convert anyone! That is what the precious Holy Spirit revealed to me so sweetly -- THAT IS HIS JOB and His alone! All we can do is BEAR WITNESS to the glorious truth that we have received. HE, THE HOLY SPIRIT, WILL DO THE REST!
And, you know what? Suddenly, I am relieved of a terrible burden. Much of the Church is wringing their hands -- "Have I won my quota of sinners today? Did we baptize enough this year? Have I scared the hell out of our TV viewers this program?" NO! The questions should be, "Have I lifted HIM high today? Have I told of HIS love? Have I been HIS witness to others?" Jesus Himself made it clear for all time:
As I write this letter, I am in Jerusalem with about 250 or our fellow TBN Partners. Today, we visited the empty tomb. I read from Matthew 28: JESUS IS ALIVE! He has risen just as He said! The women were the first to see Him and worship in awe, joy and wonder. But, in that passage, six times, we read: "GO QUICKLY AND TELL...GO TEACH...GO BRING...GO TELL -- that He is risen!" The angel said it -- Jesus said it -- the women did it! Praise the Lord -- WE ARE DOING IT!
To our dear Partners I said: "From today on, you have a new commission -- you have seen it with your own eyes -- THE TOMB IS EMPTY -- GO TELL! Tell your neighbors, tell your co-workers, tell your butcher, baker and candlestick maker -- HE IS ALIVE!" Whether or not you have seen the empty tomb, you can trust the witness of thousands of us who HAVE SEEN -- believe us, IT IS EMPTY! Hallelujah! Let's all go quickly and tell!
Besides our personal witness to others, and by the way, YOU will reach many that even Christian TV will not reach, there is a powerful way for all of us to TELL our world about Him -- YOUR TBN!
This is Praise-A-Thon renewal month. Your pledges and gifts keep this ever-expanding NETWORK ON THE AIR! Together, we are TELLING MULTITUDES via fifteen satellites, nearly 1,500 TV stations, shortwave radio, long wave radio, DBS, MMDS, wireless cable, regular cable and the international Internet! Praise the Lord!
Can Jan and I count on you one more time? Oh, I know you have given, prayed, encouraged and blessed us for over 27 years of incredible spiritual battle! This is truly YOUR TBN!
Dear Partners, CHINA is opening! INDIA is on the air and growing fast! We are getting calls, letters and e-mails from all over the world! The European satellite is literally blowing our minds! From many nations that would NEVER permit us to build a TV station, the calls are coming! Glory be to God Most High, WE ARE TELLING THEM by the most powerful technology known to man -- SATELLITE CHRISTIAN TELEVISION!
Shall we tell on? The answer is up to YOU. Jan and I will burn out FOR THIS CAUSE. Will you? As you receive this letter, our great week of Revival Praise-A-Thon will be in full swing. Please phone in your pledge, or use the enclosed card to make or renew your support for your TBN.
We love you more and more as we near the finish line -- come on, let's hit the tape in VICTORY! Remember, FOR THIS CAUSE, God has raised us up!
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