I want to begin this letter by saying I am very humbled and honored that we have such an incredible community that we have come to know throughout the years. I cannot get over what God has done in the ministry as a result of your help during the last weeks of December and the first two weeks in January in providing audio Bibles for people overseas.
This new year I believe we are going to present to you some of the best TV programs ever with such guests as Dr. Stephen Meyer who is shaking the scientific world with his new book “Return of the God Hypothesis” which deals with such topics as “The Origin of Life,” “Big Bang Theories,” “The Fine-Tuning of the Universe,” “The DNA Enigma,” “The Information Explosion in the Cambrian Fossil Record,” and much more.
Other guests this year will include Anne Graham Lotz, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, Lee Strobel, and Dr. Hugh Ross. But we will begin this month with the topic that many of you have requested regarding “The Rapture of All Christians” with Dr. Ed Hindson, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, and Dr. Ron Rhodes. After that, we will examine The Book of Revelation.
Audio Bible Outreach Update
But for a moment, let me talk to you about how important last month was.
I want you to take a moment and think of what we accomplished. As a result of your prayers and gifts, 8,306,183 people are listening to audio Bibles in listening groups in 45 nations, in 251 different languages every week. These are real people that have never had a Bible in their own language before. But thanks to you, they do.
For the first time, these people are listening and hearing things from God’s Word that they had no way of hearing before. And most importantly, they have heard the gospel. Approximately half of these people or 4,150,000 people have become new believers in Jesus.
You and others in our TV audience have provided these audio Bibles. Without you, they would never have heard the gospel. They probably would never have gotten saved. What you have done is no small thing. Life is short, eternity is long.
8,306,183 people are a lot of people. Compare it with the number of people that attend your church, or to the people that live in your city. Then you can get the sense of how many people you have helped us reach.
I believe Jesus is incredibly pleased with the gifts you have given so we could provide these audio Bibles to people overseas through Faith Comes by Hearing workers. How do I know? Because Jesus is the one who commanded all Christians to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). And you have helped us reach people in very hard-to-reach places.
In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Why is what you have done so important? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
He also said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
These verses tell us that there are not many paths to Heaven, only one. Jesus says He is “the way.” And the way to Jesus is open only to those who admit they are sinners, put their faith in Jesus as the one who paid their sin debt while on the cross, and invite Jesus to come into their lives. He promises to place the Holy Spirit into their lives to give them new desires and the power to follow Him.
When Morgan Jackson first came into my office and told me that out of the 7,140 languages spoken in the world, there were 4,000 language that still had no Bible in their language, I couldn’t believe it.
Then when I asked him how people reacted when they finally got a Bible translated, printed, and put into a book form in their own language, he told me the majority of those people, sometimes 90%, could not read their own language. They were illiterate. So, they still did not have a Bible that they could understand.
So, Morgan told me he was working with the Bible translators to make an audio Bible. When translators finished translating a Bible, Morgan would send a team to some foreign country to try and find enough people in that language to make an audio version of the Bible. When they finished, that language would be put on an audio Proclaimer.
And that’s where you and I come in. I remember asking Morgan how do you get the word out to people that you need money to pay for providing these Audio Bibles free to people in different countries? He told me Faith Comes by Hearing had no radio program and no TV program. So it was hard, and they needed help.
I said, “Let me put you on our John Ankerberg Television Program to show Christians in America and Canada and in 200 countries around the world, about the opportunities to provide Audio Bibles in different languages to people who have never heard the gospel. I never dreamed when we first started that we could reach over 8 million people in 45 nations. But God has blessed our efforts and I am greatly thankful for many of you who have responded.
When we get to heaven you and I will get a chance to meet the people who heard the gospel and accepted Christ because we got involved in providing these Audio Bibles. And I believe God will reward each one of us accordingly. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me” (Matthew 25:40).
In talking to many of you, I know that some of you have lost loved ones to some disease or tragedy, some of you are facing hard times financially, some of you have family problems. You are wondering how you’re going to make it this year. I have wondered many times how we were going to continue the ministry.
Airtime is extremely expensive, and for many years I didn’t know where the help would come from. It came from God. I tell my staff almost every week, that our Lord is the one who makes everything we do at the ministry work. As Jesus said, “Without me, you can do nothing.” So, when challenges come, we get on our knees and pray.
I would like to end this letter with some verses that may be just what God wants you to hear to encourage you. God knows where we are at and listens to our prayers. Here are some of the things he promises.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
For those still waiting to hear,
John and Darlene Ankerberg