Of the six billion people in the world, about two billion call themselves Christians. If each one of us could reach two non-Christians with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the work of world evangelism soon would be complete.
If only it were so simple! Unfortunately, politics, language and hostile religions create barriers to reaching large parts of the globe. Many so-called Christians are not truly following Christ, and many Christians are not serious about evangelism.
But if enough of us cry out to God, I believe He will send revival. We have seen proof recently in a pair of events organized by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in South America.
In drug-plagued Colombia, we presented evangelistic programs on national TV, and Christians mobilized to invite friends and neighbors to watch. In a country of 45 million, some 704,000 made commitments to Jesus Christ.
In Chile, crowds totalling one-third of the population of Temuco turned out for a Festival where I preached, overflowing the soccer stadium despite unseasonably cold and rainy weather. In a city of 300,000, more than 11,000 made decisions for Jesus.
Praise God! Anyone who has been praying for a spiritual harvest should be encouraged by those events.
The Bible tells us, “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38, NKJV). We need more laborers. But laborers can’t do it alone. Only God can soften hearts and open doors for the Gospel to reach the ends of the earth.
Our task is nothing compared to that of Jesus’ disciples–ordinary men without the resources, technology, mobility and freedom we enjoy today. Imagine what they must have thought when he commissioned them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15, NKJV). Yet within a generation, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the disciples carried the Gospel from obscure fishing villages in Galilee to the halls of Rome, the very center of their world.
In our generation, God could do it again.
That’s why I’m so excited about the upcoming year. I’ve seen signs that God is moving. At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, we intend to do everything we can to reach everyone we can–blazing paths, setting examples and stirring hearts for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We need to make the most of the resources God has entrusted to us. This year, Lord willing, we want to expand our TV outreach. We want to train many thousands of people–including children and youth–for one-on-one evangelism. And we will continue to preach the Gospel. My father is preparing for a major Crusade in New York City, and I am planning to preach at stadiums on five continents.
Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told His disciples that “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47, NIV). The Gospel is for all people and all nations. Not all will accept it, but all need to hear it.