A WORD ON OVERWHELMING RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL
COMMITMENTS TO THE LORD
It is my firm belief that we can never know on this earth who sincerely repents and believes in Jesus Christ as Lord, and who does not. We cannot know if our spouse, our children, our pastor, our friends, or if anyone is really saved. No one ever really knows how many are actually born into God's Kingdom, except God Himself. We can only know about ourselves, because Romans 8:16 says "His Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God."
We at David Stockwell Evangelistic Association (DSEA) are committed to doing our best to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in God's power, knowing that He will do His work. The late Dr. Bill Bright said, "We must present the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and leave the results to God."
It is my considered opinion that people in third-world countries seem more serious, more broken, more open, more repentant, and more real in their decisions to come to Christ than are most of those whom I have observed making decisions in American churches week after week.
PRAYING THE SINNER'S PRAYER
We are committed to sharing with others what God has done after each of our evangelistic mission campaigns, so that the Body of Christ can rejoice with us, and pray for people who indicate that they have sincerely prayed the Sinner's Prayer.
This is one of the reasons that we do not report to you that a certain number of people were actually "saved" or that there were a definite amount of "salvations," but rather, that this many "prayed the sinner's prayer," or "made salvation decisions," or "prayed to receive Christ." The people to whom we have preached, and to whom we are referring, did indeed make a public indication of their desire to follow Christ by either uplifted hand or by coming forward during an altar call; some have made a public commitment by positive verbal response, after having heard a clear communication of the Gospel and an explanation of what it means to belong to Jesus Christ by one of our DSEA team members. But, we cannot know the depths of their sincerity nor of the condition of their deepest “heart of hearts” toward God.
However, I am totally confident in God's desire to bless when we go out in the Name of Jesus Christ and tell the life-changing message of the Gospel. And actually, the bottom line for our ministry is obedience to God in every area of our lives, and in going out to proclaim the Gospel. We believe in faith and stand on the authority of the Word of God, knowing that God, Who is the Lord of the Harvest, will glorify Himself through us, and will draw people to Himself as we lift up the Lord Jesus Christ!
OUR EFFORTS AS WE MINISTER
In our mission projects, in hundreds of venues such as schools, churches, prisons, orphanages, clinics, hospitals, refugee camps, small and large communities and neighborhoods, government agencies, and through city-wide outreaches, rallies, conferences, personal witnessing and other evangelistic efforts, our DSEA teams are able to give a clear presentation of the Gospel to many thousands of young people and adults from all walks of life – students, teachers, administrators, doctors, nurses, lawyers, government officials, policemen, farm workers, orphans, indigents – all kinds of people.
In some places, though rare, less than 10% of people in attendance at our events respond to the Gospel message. But, overwhelmingly, in most places, more than 90% of those people indicate their sincere desire to follow Christ, having received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through these evangelistic efforts, and having prayed the Sinner's Prayer. Our teams are diligent about asking many individuals in every place wherever possible whether they have understood the things we have preached, whether they have prayed the Sinner's Prayer, turned from their sin, and received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The overwhelming response is, “Yes!”
To God alone be the Glory!
When Jesus Christ came into my life, when I was 17 years old, He saved me, and He changed me. I was reared in church and was baptized as a child, but, like many people in our churches today, I wasn’t really saved. Through the influence of my godly mother, and that of a teacher and coach who challenged me to really live for Christ, and through the testimony of others who knew Him and followed Him, I came face to face with my own sinfulness.
I attended a local evangelistic crusade, and heard Evangelist James Robison preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the first time, I really understood what Jesus did for me on the Cross. When Jesus showed me my sinfulness, and His great love for me – when I repented of my sin and accepted Him as Lord and Savior, He came into my heart and gave me eternal life. He gave me a deep desire to follow Him and serve Him with all my heart.
As I have traveled the world, preaching the Gospel as a God-called, God-equipped evangelist, I have gone out with confidence in Jesus Christ Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). I am standing upon the Word of God, which is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12), knowing that the work of salvation is not mine, but is the work of God because of His great love for us (John 3:16).
We know that it is not God’s will that anyone should perish, but that all men should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
We know that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict people of sin, righteousness and judgment. (John 16:8)
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…” (John 11:25-26)
Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in...”
Jesus said, “He who hears My Word, and believes in Him Who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” (John 5:24)
Jesus said, “If I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all peoples to Myself.” (John 12:32) Jesus was speaking of being lifted up on that Cross, of giving Himself as a sacrifice for our sins, of conquering sin and death, making it possible for us to be made right with God and to live with Him forever. He was also speaking a promise that can be depended upon – that wherever and whenever we lift up the Name of the Lord Jesus, people will be drawn to Him.
The scripture also tells us in Romans 10:8-10, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
My confidence as an evangelist is not in myself, but in the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Truth of Who He is, and what He did on the Cross. We go out to tell people about Him in response to His command in Matthew 28:18-20, which says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You can help send us out to do the work of evangelism in two specific ways:
1) Would you PRAY… that we will have more spiritual power as we go out to minister the Gospel in other countries? Pray for those who will hear the Gospel, perhaps for the first time, during this next year of ministry? Pray for those who have already indicated through prior evangelistic events, that they want to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior? Pray for our NEST (National Evangelist Support Team) Evangelists in other countries, who are doing the work of follow-up and discipleship in areas where we have preached and ministered the Gospel?
2) Would you, through our ministry, consider helping our NEST Evangelists in these countries? Your help would make it possible for them to continue in their work of teaching, training, discipling and encouraging those who want to follow Jesus. They are reaching many people with the Gospel in their countries as they travel and preach to those whom we cannot reach.
My life verse is Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes…” The Gospel IS the power of God, which leads to salvation. If we are faithful to preach the Gospel, truthfully, clearly, unapologetically, with conviction, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, then we can be confident that we have done all we can to be true to the commandment of Jesus Christ found in Matthew 28:18-20.
We are depending upon Jesus, Who is utterly and completely faithful; His very Name is Faithful and True. Stand with me, and stand with our ministry, as we seek to GO and TELL the wonderful Good News with the authority of Jesus Christ going out with us, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of this world. Then we will rejoice throughout all eternity in the mercy of Jesus Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit, Who agreed together and saw fit to grant repentance to untold millions of sons and daughters, and allowed us to be part of His magnificent plan.
With love and joy in my heart, I leave you with these powerful words from a hymn that is very special to me, which expresses my heart and feelings so very well…
WHEN I SURVEY THE WONDROUS CROSS
When I Survey The Wondrous Cross
On which the Prince Of Glory died;
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast
Save in the death of Christ, my God;
All the vain things that charm me most
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See, from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all!
Words and Music by Isaac Watts
Your friend and partner in the Gospel,