July News Update

What gives you joy that won’t go away? I believe lasting joy comes when you know you have had a part in a person placing their faith in Jesus and beginning to walk with Him.

As a Christian leader, I find joy knowing you understand the reason for Jesus’ Great Commission. You have shown God has put a deep desire in your heart to give audio Bibles to people so they can listen to Jesus and have a chance to hear and respond to the gospel.

I believe your actions last month greatly pleased our Lord. You obeyed His command to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). You have joined with other Christians who have realized God really wants us to go into all the world and tell people what His Son did for them while on the cross.

God loves the unsaved and wants them to spend eternity with Him. But sometimes it is tough to get the message out.

I told you on TV that I almost did not air our series with Morgan Jackson. The COVID-19 pandemic closed church services. Many states imposed different quarantine rules. Our staff worked because we are classified as “media.”

Each week we air in all 50 states, across Canada, and 200 nations worldwide. We had to check the temperature of each staff member every day, and everyone stayed in their own office. We brought Morgan Jackson to our studio to tape the programs, but did you know he had to stay in quarantine for 14 days when he flew back to his state? I appreciated his sacrifice very much.

Second, it was a time when millions of Americans were out of work. I wondered, is this really the time to ask people about helping us reach those in other countries?

When America feared the pandemic the most, we were forced to cancel three other series. 90 percent of airlines were not flying their usual routes, and we certainly did not want to endanger any of our guests.

One night, as I was praying about what to do, I read Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:31-40:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another.…

Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I thought about the many people dying during the pandemic. The virus has spread to 184 countries. People in many of these countries do not have the medical resources we do.

The very work you have helped us with the last three years is also one of the reasons I decided to go ahead with these programs. Your gifts have made it possible for 3,529,514 people in 40 countries who speak 120 languages to listen to audio Proclaimers in listening groups each week.

The worldwide average of people who listen to one audio Proclaimer is 90 people. 45 of those people will become new Christians. That means in the last three years 1,764,457 people have believed in the Lord, and we are currently discipling 3,529,514. 

In my next letter, I will share how many audio Bibles you have given that are in the process of being sent out to different countries. But those of you who have given, please remember your gifts have also been matched. The number of people who will come to Christ in listening groups has doubled. The Lord knows what you have done, and I know He is pleased.

I have quoted Romans 10:14-15 to you several times, but I have not quoted the last part. It says:

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 

You have sent audio Bibles to places where there are no pastors or churches. I believe the last part of this verse applies to you. God loves those willing to go into these difficult areas and bring the Word of God to unsaved people. He knows what you have done, and will reward you as He chooses.

People are being saved, churches are being started, and requests are coming from all our listening groups asking for more audio Bibles. This is exactly what we wanted to see happen, and it is happening.

After making the decision to record the programs, God gave me great peace. Yet four weeks before Morgan came to our studio, our city of Chattanooga experienced tornados that damaged hundreds of homes and buildings.

Most of my staff had no electricity and no Internet for nearly a week. Our office had electricity, so we went there during the day just to get warm. For several days we were without internet and phone service and could not communicate with our ministry friends.

Eventually we got the power restored, and the Internet came back on. We edited the first TV program but could not believe what happened when it did air. The night the first program aired, our telephones went out because of technical problems beyond our control. Every person who tried to call in that first night received a busy signal. No one got through. Thankfully, our website worked, and many of you got through that way.

When the second program aired on TV, we had a tremendous response. I was so thankful to God. In our 40 years of television ministry we have never had all the phones go out.

In our first program, we told you what God is doing in Peru. At the end of our series, I am going to replay this very emotional program with Morgan Jackson, Director of Faith Comes By Hearing, who shares how he and his brother Clay felt when they heard one of their best friends had been murdered in Peru.

I am hoping that during this series, because of your gifts, we will reach four million people who will join audio Bible listening groups around the world. This is a project God is using to change lives for eternity. Never forget you are an important part of all that has been accomplished in a very short period of time.

Think of all the people who have been reached. If we gathered all of them into one place, it would be larger than a major American city. Half of the people who have listened to the Word of God have come to faith in Christ.

This month I am going to ask you to join me in providing audio Bibles for Peru, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, the Philippines, and Uganda. God has provided some generous donors who have promised to match every gift you share for the audio Bible for these countries.

If you wish to give a gift, there is still time. You may call us any day, 24 hours a day, at 1-800-805-3030, or you may go to our website at jashow.org, where we have a secure place for you to give your gift.

Thank you for all you have done. I am so thankful that God has given us your friendship and prayers. We love people who care about seeing people saved and discipled.

For those still waiting to hear,

 

John and Darlene

 

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John Ankerberg Show Staff

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