Ankerberg Monthly Letter March 2015 - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Ankerberg Monthly Letter March 2015

Last September I traveled to India and met with pastors at a Media Summit in Mumbai. One of the pastors who attended that conference sent me a letter last week with photos of Christians in his church who were being persecuted for their faith.

One photo showed a dead man lying face down in the dirt, with his face bloodied, and a Bible placed on his back. He had been asked to burn his Bible. They killed him when he refused. His blood was smeared on the pages of his Bible and they left him with his Bible on his dead body. My friend asked if we would pray for this man’s wife and three children. He also shared about one of his church planters in Bihar who was beaten mercilessly and his church vandalized.

In the northern part of Iraq, children are being taken from their families and asked to deny Jesus. When they refuse, Muslims cut off their heads. As we broadcast into 206 nations we are hearing the stories of how fellow Christians across the world are being persecuted. I often feel frustrated that we can’t do more to help these dear people.

But here is what we can do. First, God calls us to pray. Pray that God would intervene and protect Christians across the world. Pray that God will provide the comfort only He can give to wives and children who have lost their father and husband. I also ask you to pray that God would use our television programs to encourage and strengthen Christians living in persecuted areas.

Christianity is officially restricted in 53 countries and persecution exists in many others. But through television we are bringing the good news of Jesus to people in these nations each week.

Here is the kind of response we are receiving. One viewer shared:

“After a recent program, I got down on my knees, confessed my sins, repented, and asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. Thanks to God’s grace and mercy, you showed me His love. I am a new Christian because of your efforts!”

Another man wrote:

“I just want to thank you for helping me find Jesus. I have been agnostic for over 20 years and your show helped me to see the light. I just want to say God bless you all.”

A Christian leader in India wrote:

“The window for gospel opportunities in India is getting narrower. I have been travelling to northeastern parts of India recently. When I shared about the resource content that your ministry has [our App and website], people wanted to use the resource tools.

“I am blessed by your ministry and the work you’ve accomplished. My prayers are with you, your loved ones and your ministry.”

These folks are not alone. We receive regular messages from around the world from those who have come to know Christ and grow in Him as a result of our programs.

We are now broadcasting on television across India in Hindi, Telugu, and Tamil. In December, God opened the door for us to begin broadcasting in English on God TV to over one billion viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia in prime time.

Now God opened a door for us to broadcast across Russia. Beginning this month, The John Ankerberg Show will begin airing in the Russian and Ukrainian languages across all of Russia, Europe, Asia, and North America on CNL, a Russian television network. Here are some facts I did not realize:

  • Russian is the seventh-most spoken language in the world (more than 250 million speakers)
  • The country of Russia covers 9 times zones, more than any other nation
  • 5 million people speak Ukrainian in the Ukraine and neighboring nations

We felt led by God to broadcast in both Russia and the Ukraine because   geopolitical events in these nations reveal a great need to present and defend the gospel as quickly and widely as possible. Please pray God will use our television programs, our website, and app to reach people with unique content available nowhere else.

This Month on Television

This month, we are making available two new series, featuring 6 programs with New Testament scholar Dr. Darrell Bock entitled: “So You Don’t Fall Away from the Faith” and “Questions the World Will Ask about Your Faith.”

Why are 3 out of 4 American young people raised in church leaving the faith when they enter adulthood? One of the primary reasons is because students face highly trained professors who often try to persuade them of alternative views regarding God, Jesus, the Bible, and the history of Christianity.

To help answer these professors, I’ve invited renowned New Testament scholar Dr. Darrell Bock to be a guest on our program. He is one of the world’s top historical Jesus scholars, and is an authority on the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.

He answers such questions as: How do we know that the New Testament books are the best historical evidence there is for what Jesus said and did? Was the message Jesus preached changed over time by the early Christians? How did the early Christians come to believe that the Apostles books and letters were to be considered Scripture? Who decided which books would become part of the canon?

Second, this month we are also providing two new study guides with extensive notes that parallel our two television series for your personal or small group study.

Third, as part of our special package this month I am going to include three additional important television series. They are:

“The Battle to Dethrone Jesus”: Could the apostles and companions of the apostles have written and persuaded people of a completely new story about Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? The 4 programs in this series feature Dr. Daniel B. Wallace and Dr. Darrell Bock.

“What about the Missing Gospels and Lost Christianities?”: Is the traditional Christianity we were taught in church true Christianity? What about the missing gospels that have been discovered? What do popular books like The Da Vinci Code (that sold more than 81 million copies) claim about Jesus? What historical evidence refutes their assertions? The 6 programs in this series also feature Dr. Darrell Bock.

“A Response to Bill O’Reilly’s Book Killing Jesus—Part One and Part Two”: Dr. Gary Habermas and Dr. Darrell Bock critique Bill O’Reilly’s view of Jesus portrayed in his book and new upcoming movie that Bill O’Reilly says “will break new ground in chronicling the life of the most famous human being who ever lived.” The Killing Jesus movie will premiere globally in 171 countries this year.

All six of these important television series, containing 22 half-hour television programs, plus the two study guides, are available this month in a special package. Please see the enclosed insert for details or to request resources individually.

Coming Soon on The John Ankerberg Show

Please pray God will help us with a new series I just finished filming with Dr. Stephen Meyer who received his PhD in the philosophy of science from Cambridge University. I asked him to explain why many of today’s scientists are rejecting the standard textbook theory of evolution—known as Neo-Darwinism—that students are taught in high school and college textbooks. You will love this series.

Second, we have also filmed another new series that answers many of the questions being asked about radical Islam in America and Europe. I believe many Christians do not understand the goals and objectives of Muslims who follow the teachings of Muhammad in the Qur’an and Hadith literally. I’ll share more details on this series soon.

Let’s Reach People Today

I do not know how many more days we will have the opportunities we have right now—to share the gospel with others. But I know we cannot do this alone. Your help has brought us this far. Your continued prayers and gifts will make all the difference in our going forward. Please remember our ministry in your prayers and giving this month.

For the sake of the Gospel,

Dr. John Ankerberg