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Evangelism: National & International continued

I just thought of another reason the pre-evangelism approach must also be used, as well as that of straight evangelism--the moral obligation of Christianity. RMS Titanic knew there were many icebergs out there. Radio reports were coming in all the time to that effect. We Christians have the perfect prior knowledge--prophetically speaking--of the massive collision coarse man's Titanic society is on with the prophecied "iceberg" of the tribulation. We must not fail to send out those "radio reports." God takes this obligation very seriously. Ezekiel 33:1-9 states, "The word of the Lord came to me: 'Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against the land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to ward the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword come and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.'

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself." You might say that our moral obligation to both pre-evangelize and evangelize the known world is summed up in what God said to Ezekiel here. God's statement here can be applied either way with equal moral force.

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come" (Matthew 24:14).

Now we've got a good idea of what evangelism is, where and how we get the power to evangelize, and we have looked at a few effective tools of evangelism. It's time now to zero in on the evangelizing goal Jesus gave us to accomplish, and how we may be able to achieve that goal--in spite of the doctrinally disunited condition we find the body of Christ in. You know, when I think of all the petty secondary doctrinal differences that separate the Christian fellowships and denominations which make up the body of Christ, I found myself seriously wondering how in the world Jesus would accomplish Matthew 24:14 using this same divided and disunited body of believers, called the body of Christ. We can't even agree on what Jesus meant by his statement "this gospel of the kingdom" found in Matthew 24:14! Then I saw what Campus Crusade For Christ International was doing with the JESUS Film Project. Many of us, from Worldwide and many other Christian fellowships have been under the misconception that the gospel couldn't reach into the poorer and less educated peoples, especially those who are totally illiterate and uneducated. I also remember that Mr. Armstrong used to marvel at the ability of modern radio to spread the gospel far and wide, or at least his concept of the gospel. Other Christian fellowships were sending missionaries into these poorer regions, but language was always a barrier to a better understanding of the gospel for these people they were trying to reach. In this 20th century, while our missionaries were struggling to preach the gospel effectively in areas where it was not well known, areas where 95 percent of the world's population lives, we were overlooking a unique evangelizing tool--a combination of modern technology and our ability to translate and understand every language spoken on this earth--the modern movie! Then came the "JESUS" film! It was capable of reaching people where they were at. Language was no longer a problem! And beyond that, Campus Crusade had now made the film available to over a hundred other mission organizations. This was a film that could help the entire body of Christ. It needed to be shared. Another thing that makes the JESUS Film's method of preaching "this gospel of the kingdom around the world" desirable is that it can be interdenominationaly supported and distributed without doctrinal differences getting in the way. Says respected evangelist Billy Graham, and I quote, "In Matthew 24 Jesus declared that prior to His second coming to earth the gospel of the Kingdom would be preached to the whole world. Perhaps God is using this film JESUS, as one of the means to hasten the day when "every knee shall bow" before our great King."

God gave Bill Bright the vision of producing the film on the life of Jesus. Hundreds of millions of people have viewed this film of the greatest life ever lived, in more than two hundred different languages; and it is the prayer target of Campus Crusade to show the film to five billion people in 271 languages and 1,000 dialects by A.D. 2000. What could not be accomplished through the printed word, and through distribution of the written Word, is dynamically being accomplished by the showing of the "JESUS" film in over 200 languages around the world! The previous letter about the showing of this film in southern Africa clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of this film as a means of evangelizing and preaching the gospel around the world.

Matthew 24:14 states, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached to all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come." What end is Jesus talking about? Read the next verse. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place...then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains..." (vs.15-16). So we see by Jesus' own discourse given here to the apostles, that following right after the worldwide proclamation of "this gospel of the kingdom", the tribulation, or World War III starts. This war, as prophecy shows, lasts only three and a half years, and is cut short by Jesus Christ's dramatic return to save mankind from genocide. Now the question is, as I raised before, "How in the world can a disunited Christianity get it's act together and support the proclaiming of the gospel of the kingdom around the world in a unified manner so that it can be accomplished as Jesus wants it accomplished?" No one Christian fellowship or denomination possesses the resources, financial or otherwise, to do the job alone. Neither do they possess the unity to even agree to what Jesus meant by the statement, "this gospel of the kingdom." Some think it means what he was talking about in Matthew 24. Others think he was talking about the gospel of Christ which Paul taught about in Romans (which Matthew 25 briefly describes). Some think it is a combination of Matthew 24 and 25, which is in reality a single discourse given by Jesus starting in Matthew 24:4 and ending in Matthew 26:1 (with Matthew 24:14 right in the middle). About all we Christians can agree upon is that a film which gives the exact dialogue of one of the gospel accounts of Jesus' life would be preaching the gospel which we could all agree upon as being the gospel, containing Jesus' own words as he spoke them, and the account of his life, death, burial and resurrection to immortality. Thus this "JESUS" film is interdenominational. It's preaching around the world can be commonly supported by all the various Christian fellowships and denominations which make up the body of Christ. So do we want to accomplish Matthew 24:14 as Jesus said we would? I hope that is our desire no matter what Christian fellowship we belong to. There aren't many evangelism tools we all can use in common. And we certainly don't possess the resources for any one of us to go it alone. If any one of you is interested in learning more about supporting this means of evangelizing, I strongly suggest you order a copy of the "JESUS" film for yourself. Accompanying it will be Paul Eshleman's I Just saw JESUS, a book which describes this film in action--evangelizing, spreading the gospel of the kingdom around the world. You can order online at: or order by mail at: The JESUS Film Project, P.O. Box 628222, Orlando, FL 32862-9841. (For you members of the Worldwide Church of God, you well know the central overriding goal of the Worldwide Church of God was to preach "this gospel of the kingdom" around the world. Now Mr. Billy Graham has shown us a way in which we can pitch in with the rest of the body of Christ to accomplish that very goal--in its' new covenant application! How wonderful! Maybe our collective goal as a Christian fellowship hasn't been taken away after all. Maybe it has been expanded and enhanced by all the new things the Lord has brought us into an understanding of. As we refocus our understanding of God's Word, as he has led us to be able to do, there stands the central overriding goal we had originally, bigger and better than ever before! Praise the Lord, for he is good!)

How urgently are funds needed to provide for the various translations that are needed to reach the over five billion people on this earth? I quote from pages 90-91 of I Just Saw JESUS, "We drove a few kilometers farther, and the driver stopped the car. Together we walked several yards off the road to a clearing where a chilling sight silently told its story. A pile of sun-bleached skulls lay clustered together. These men and women had not died of starvation; they had been executed for stealing food during the famine. The pyramid of skulls lay in the scorching sun, a constant warning to others.

I picked up a skull in each hand, touching the reason for JESUS. How many of these Karamajong had had the chance to hear...before it was too late for them? More than seven years have passed, but the funds we need to translate JESUS into their language still have not been provided. Until someone cares--enough to give--the few faithful missionaries in Karamoja will have to continue the struggle to feed a spiritually hungry people alone."

This massive job of fulfilling Matthew 24:14 is spanning the globe, but it is solely driven forward by contributions coming in from the various Christian fellowships and denominations that care to support this interdenominational group of believers called Campus Crusade For Christ International. Jesus gave the assignment to every Christian. In proper fashion of adding like Scripture to like Scripture, lets read it again. Matthew 24:14 is talking in context with the end times, when mankind would possess the ability to kill all life on the planet (read Matthew 24:21-22). It is not talking about this gospel of the kingdom being spread around the world in earlier times of the church era, but the times we find ourselves in right now. So what is Jesus' assignment for us? We have to take this assignment in context with the general assignment which he gave to the church to be carried out over the millennia, which is Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." And Acts 1:6-9, "So when they met together, they asked him, 'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?' He said to them: 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on [upon] you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.' After he had said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight." Now let's read Matthew 24:14 again, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." If any one of you doubt about the times we live in as being the end times, all you need do is look around at the weapons of mass destruction we have around us. The world's finite ability to feed the ever-growing population is another problem that will find a solution in mass famines, also predicted in Matthew 24. A European super-state has also been prophesied to come on the scene at the time of the end. I won't get into that here, but if you wish to research that further, Chuck Missler's Koinonia House ministry has an interesting two cassette tape series titled IRON mixed with CLAY, The Emergent European Superstate. This can be ordered online at:

The times we live in are indeed serious. It is not the time for Christians to be sleeping. Jesus warned us to be watchful, doing his work, and not carousing about. Jesus made this statement specifically for us in this day and age where we have the ability to destroy all life from off this planet: "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the earth. Be always on watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:34-36). Many of us need to open our eyes, and start doing his work. For some of us, that means supporting other Christians and Christian groups who are on the front lines of evangelism, groups like Campus Crusade For Christ International, or any other group which is doing a similar work.

Our reward is drawing close. Let us not grow tired or weary in well-doing. Let us wake up if we have been sleeping spiritually, before it is too late, like Jesus warned in Luke 21:34-36. Jesus spoke another warning that applies to luke-warm Christians, in Matthew 7:21-22. He stated, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers!'" The ones Jesus is talking about are the ones who hear his words, but don't do them (Matthew 7:24-27). Another key area of Scripture where Jesus warned a group of Christians about luke-warmness is found in Revelation 3:14-21. The final era of the Christian church was prophesied to be a church that was spiritually drousy--lukewarm. This era would be a church era that would be physically rich in goods, their physical needs satisfied. This very Church era being talked about in Revelation 3:14-21 lives on into the great tribulation--World War III! They were probably too busy pursuing their own pleasures to be interested in pursuing the things that please God. What pleases God? Jesus said basically, "My pleasure, my joy, is to be doing the Work of God." What Work was that? We just read about it. Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 24:14; Acts 1:6-8--EVANGELISM!!!

[To read some really exciting excerpts from Paul Eshleman's book I Just Saw JESUS, CLICK HERE. These excerpts show the "JESUS" film in dynamic action, depicting some really phenomenal results. Learn how "this gospel of the kingdom" is being preached around the world by these "JESUS" film teams. Matthew 24:14 is starting to be fulfilled before our very eyes, in a way few of us suspected it would or could be. If you don't believe me, CLICK HERE, and see for yourself.]

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