As we come to the end of the year, I am reminded that we are simply that much closer to our Lord’s return, the “glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13, NKJV).
The Scriptures tell us the latter days will be marked by increasing conflicts, wars, and disasters (Matthew 24:4–8), and recent events remind us how fragile and perilous our world really is.
Just a few weeks ago, North Korea fired deadly artillery shells on a South Korean island, leading to the deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier and joint military exercises with a nervous South Korea. Within days of that incident, hundreds of thousands of top-secret cables from U.S. diplomatic sources were published, revealing the backstage drama and tension of seeking to maintain peace and security in an increasingly unstable world. The cables highlighted the nuclear ambitions of Iran and its rapidly growing threat to world peace.
Meanwhile, the fight against terror shows no sign of abating, as Islamic extremists spread their hate around the world, indiscriminately killing thousands of victims. The war in Afghanistan enters its 10th year, and our troops in Iraq are still in harm’s way.
None of this should surprise anyone who follows Christ and has a biblical worldview informed by the Scriptures. The Bible says that the heart of man is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and from that depraved heart flows an unending desire for greed, power, and control. That’s why world peace will never happen. “Nation will rise against nation” (Matthew 24:7), not peacefully coexist.
While the world futilely pursues political and economic solutions to problems that stem from sinful hearts, believers in Jesus Christ are to be focused on proclaiming and sharing the hope we have in Him: “This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
I want to encourage you to be intentional about preparing for the Lord’s return by being faithful in studying His Word and in prayer, and by walking closely with Him. I also urge you to be intentional about sharing the love of Jesus Christ with people you know.
At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, we will be busy proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom around the world in this new year, starting in Haiti in early January, India in February, and Liberia in March.
In Haiti we will proclaim the Good News at a stadium adjacent to the largest homeless camp in the country. I was in Haiti just a few weeks ago, and my heart was broken as I looked into the plaintive faces of so many suffering people. Hundreds of thousands of people are still homeless, there is filth and rubble everywhere, and the recent cholera outbreak has brought even more misery and death.
What the people of Haiti need more than anything is the sure and certain hope found only through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s a hope that never disappoints, even in the direst of circumstances. Pray for me as I proclaim Christ, for the safety for our teams, and for the local churches who are working together with us for the sake of the Gospel.
Haiti is not the only broken nation desperate for hope. Liberia, a West African country with historic ties to the United States, has emerged from a brutal civil war that lasted a decade and cost a quarter of a million lives. People across Liberia are open to the Gospel, and churches there have invited us to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ at a Crusade in March. Pray that many people will turn to “God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1).
I continue to feel an enormous sense of urgency for the souls of men and women as we enter the coming year. Though the cable leaks exposed the private thoughts of a few individuals for the whole world to see, the day of God’s judgment will be much worse when “God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Romans 2:16).
The Bible says that a day is coming when the hearts of men and women will be laid bare before a holy God. “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). For the believer whose sins have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, there is “no condemnation” (Romans 8:1), but for those who have not believed, there will be only a “fearful expectation of judgment” (Hebrews 10:27). What awaits is Hell, eternal punishment, and separation from God.
Pray for us, and as God leads you, we ask you to consider supporting us on a regular basis if you can. We appreciate the prayers of the saints and are grateful for those who share in the harvest of souls through their gifts and petitions.
In coming days, I want to encourage you to keep your trust in the Lord Jesus. Despite the trials and tribulations that mark this age, He says, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The Lord is always “our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
May our Sovereign God richly bless you in 2011.
Are You a Generous Giver?
We need people like you to ensure that the ministry of BGEA will continue for generations to come. Please donate online today and thank you for your support.
You Can Make a Difference
God works through people like you to change the world by the power of the Gospel.
The needs in Haiti are enormous, urgent, and ongoing. Your gift of $50, $90, $150, or any amount to the World Emergency Fund–Haiti can help keep Rapid Response Team chaplains in Haiti to share the love of Christ with suffering people, help in restoring ministries destroyed by the earthquake, or help with the Festival of Hope next month that will proclaim the love of Jesus amidst the chaos and hopelessness that characterize Haiti today.
Across the country and around the world, people urgently need the Gospel. With your prayers and support, we are proclaiming Jesus Christ everywhere we can. Your gift of $40, $100, or any amount can help bring the Good News in upcoming months to spiritually hungry people in countries such as Haiti and Liberia or to North American cities such as Milwaukee, Denver, Winnipeg, and Los Angeles.
OUR GIFT TO YOU
Christians sometimes forget that the power of the Gospel is not just for salvation, but is meant for our entire lives. In his insightful book Living the Cross Centered Life, C.J. Mahaney unfolds the amazing potential available to those who keep the Gospel the main thing–every day. When you give a gift to BGEA at this time, we will send you a complimentary copy of the book as our thanks.