The Most Important Thing Happening Today
SOMETIMES IT CAN BE hard to notice a miracle, even when one happens right in front of you. While preaching on a Wednesday night at Family Worship Center, my husband gave an excellent illustration of this very thing.
He was teaching from I Samuel, describing the Prophet Samuel’s mission - instructed by God to anoint the next king of Israel. He told of all that was happening in the world of that day - the grandeur of governments and the innovations and progress of nations - God’s focus, His eye, was on one shepherd boy, the person He wanted anointed as king. Yet, this obscure selection about to be made by God’s prophet went virtually unnoticed by everyone, including Israel.
Think about that for a moment. As far as the Lord was concerned, David’s selection was the single most important event happening in the entire world because it ensured the continued lineage of the coming Messiah. But Samuel almost missed it; he had his eye on Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab.
“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (I Sam. 16:7).
Not one person would have chosen David to be anointed as king, except God. Only God knows the heart. God chose David for one of the most important positions on the face of the entire earth, and for all time, because a thousand years later, the Saviour would come through his lineage.
As the angel said to Mary: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God” (Lk. 1:35).
In that same message, my husband likened the importance of David’s obscure selection to what is happening in the church today. He said, “I believe this with all my heart: I believe what is taking place now in the church - this Message of the Cross, Jesus Christ and Him crucified — I personally believe that it is the single, most important thing that’s going on in the entirety of the world today.” Then he asked the congregation, “How does it feel to be involved in the most important thing in the world?”
My husband and I believe that nothing is more important than a soul being saved or a life being changed. Back when we were holding crusades, nationally and internationally, there was no way we could reach people in the most remote areas of the world. But the Lord has made what was impossible then possible now using SonLife Broadcasting Network (SBN). Today, we’re able to look into these television cameras here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and reach millions upon millions of people — by television, by the Internet, and by radio - people who have never even heard the gospel preached before. Ladies and gentlemen, this network - from the way it came about to its constant growth - is a miracle.
I feel like I need to share with you what is happening as these SBN programs are going forth because we’re asking for help to support this ministry, and people need to know the results that are being reaped around the world.
Here at the ministry, we see these results every day. Emails, letters, and phone calls pour into our office daily from people testifying about how blessed they are by SBN. A handful of those are printed in this magazine every month, but I wanted to share a few more with you that were especially moving to me. I think we need to be more vocal about what the Lord is doing through this network and in the hearts and lives of our viewers. Testimony is powerful; it helps build the faith of others, and I want these testimonies to show you exactly what your help - your giving, your prayers, and your support of this ministry and this network - is doing for people around the world.
YES, ZOEY, JESUS CHRIST IS REAL
In January, we had the distinct privilege of leading a little 9-year-old girl to the Lord on a live broadcast of Frances & Friends. It was one of the most precious things that we’ve ever had happen while on the air. The little girl’s name was Zoey, and she had her mom help her call during the time we were taking questions. She said, “My cousin told me this year that there’s no Santa Claus, and I believed on my life that there was, so how do I know that there’s not no God, if that’s not a fairy tale?”
We explained to Zoey that Santa Claus is a fairy tale, but that the Lord Jesus Christ is very real, and that she could be assured of that by the testimonies of so many lives being transformed every day by the love and the power of God.
I asked Zoey if she wanted to be saved. Before she said yes, you could hear her little 9-year-old heart reaching out to believe as she asked again, “So, just because Santa Claus is not real, Jesus really is real, right? Because Santa Claus, I never seen him, but I never seen Jesus, but Jesus really is real then, right?”
We assured her again that Jesus was real, and Donnie asked her if she wanted to receive the Lord. She said yes, and Donnie started explaining to her how he would pray, and she would repeat the sinner’s prayer, believing the words. When she told Donnie, “But I never done much sins,” he reminded her that all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
As Donnie led Zoey, line by line, through the sinner’s prayer, you could sense the Spirit of God working on that little heart through the phone line, moving her to tears as she prayed. After she said the last line, “I am a new creation in Christ Jesus,” our praises to the Lord were interrupted when we heard Zoey holler out, “Mommy, I just got saved!”
Anyone listening to the program that day - saved or unsaved - got to hear the miracle of this little girl receiving Christ into her heart. This is that for which we labor. This is what SonLife Broadcasting Network is all about.
Incidentally, this precious conversion happened on the exact same day that Islamic terrorists gunned down 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris. But, praise the Lord, in the midst of such violent acts, the Holy Spirit was still moving in the world, drawing people to the Cross. That’s what SonLife Broadcasting is doing: shouting the message of the Lord Jesus Christ from the housetops so that people like Zoey can answer.
BIBLES RECEIVED IN INDIA
At the first part of every month, we dedicate one day of live airtime on SBN to take in donations that are used to purchase Bibles for pastors in other countries. Each month, we focus on one or two specific regions for this outreach. In the spring of 2014, we sent 10,850 copies of The Expositor’s Study Bible to India, where they were distributed to local ministers. Keep in mind that 80 percent of the 1.2 billion people who live in India are Hindus. Less than three percent are Christians. That’s what makes this email we received so special. It reads:
Dear Brother Swaggart:
I am the national director of Scripture Union India, an organization that ministers among children, young people, and families. I have been in the publishing ministry specializing in Bible reading notes for 22 years.
Recently I received a copy of The Expositor’s Study Bible, published by you and your organization. My family and I find it very useful as a guide to study the Word of God, and it also helps us to understand the text in a different perspective.
Our organization received 150 copies of it from one of my friends, and [we are] distributing to all our staff who are working all over India.
We, from our ministries and families, thank you for having invested a lot of money, time, and energy in publishing this study Bible and giving it as a free gift. It is my sincere prayer that God should bless your ministry. It is needless to say that your product is useful and educative to all our personal lives.
Praise God. This effort was a direct result of our monthly Bible-thons, so when you give in our Bible-thons each and every month, this is where your money is going — to people like this dear brother in India. You may never see this man or all the others who benefit from these outreaches this side of heaven, but when we all get there, you’re going to have a lot of people come up to you and say, “Because of you, I found the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour.”
Now, my husband is the face of this ministry. He’s the minister up there preaching the gospel, and people recognize him. But he could not do what he’s doing without you behind him as a very supportive team helping to finance this gospel going out. You’re not going to be overlooked; the Lord knows what you’re doing. You will never know in this life, but in the life to come, you will know what you’re giving to SonLife Broadcasting Network produced.
TWO WOMEN WHO DECIDED TO KEEP THEIR BABIES
During one of our recent share-a-thons, a young lady called in to make a donation of $300 — the money she had been saving up to have an abortion. Like so many in her situation, this girl was young, scared, and didn’t know what to do, but after listening to our programming and praying with someone on our prayer line, she decided to keep her baby. Praise the Lord! This child will now live and not die; that is a miracle.
Our stand on abortion is very clear. We believe that life begins at the time of conception; the moment a baby is conceived, that baby becomes a human being — a living soul. To purposefully end that life during any stage of pregnancy is murder. Thank the Lord that there is mercy and forgiveness for anyone who has had an abortion, who comes to God with a repentant heart. The Cross of Christ is the only remedy for the brokenness and guilt caused by abortion.
Right now, our middle grandson and his wife are expecting (it will be our eighth great-grandchild) and when they had the sonogram done, that little baby’s face looked just perfect; you could see its little hand. Looking at that, I wondered how anybody could stand up and lie—and that’s all it is, a lie - and tell anyone that that baby is not a baby - that it’s not a human being. That child is already there, the features are already in place, and that little soul, that little spirit, is in that baby’s body.
As joyful as it is to receive a call from a girl deciding to keep her baby, it’s equally heartbreaking to hear from women who made the choice to abort. The guilt and regret of their decision deeply affects them personally and, on a larger scale, our nation.
It’s been 42 years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in America. Since then, it is estimated that more than 56 million abortions have been performed in this country alone. That’s two generations of American women raised with the right to choose. Thankfully, the abortion rate is beginning to decline, very slowly, with reports showing more millennials as pro-life.
During a recent pro-life march, one college student explained why. She said, “I think one big reason is because our generation is the one that’s missing so many people because of abortion. There are many people, college age, who have siblings who were aborted. There are people missing in our lives because they were never given the chance to live - siblings, friends, maybe even people we would have married. We mourn them, and we resolve to stand up for their God-given right to life so that others will not share that same fate.”
On a recent episode of Frances & Friends, we had a call from Sharron, who gave us her perspective on abortion. In the 1970s, Sharron found herself in a troubled marriage and pregnant. She didn’t want the baby and for three months, tried to get the required doctor’s approval to get an abortion. At three months, she felt the pregnancy was too advanced and carried the baby to term.
Sharron said, “What we think is right, God has another plan. That baby was born, and that baby saved my life. That baby gave me so much joy in the hard times I was going through. That baby was my peace. That baby was my joy. Every day I would come home from a hard day’s work, struggling, and that baby would give me a smile that would just change my whole life. We need to think, not about the position we’re in, but you don’t know what God has planned for us. That baby could be our saving grace, no matter what we’re going through at the time.”
I appreciated Sharron telling us her story on air because I know it ministered to other young women who may have been contemplating an abortion. Sharron was absolutely right: we just don’t know what God has planned for us, or what He has in store for that little life entrusted to its parents, but if you will let the Lord help you, you can be assured that His plan will succeed.
TODDLER CHOOSES “HALLELUJAH” OVER MICKEY MOUSE
This next email we received just blessed my heart, and I believe it will bless yours as well:
Brother Swaggart, I’m writing you about a special 3-year-old who watches you on television all the time. His name is Justin, and he really admires you - who you are and what you do for Jesus. He lives with his great-grandparents and has a lot of adversity that’s facing him through his life. His mother is on meth; his dad is on drugs as well. Now he has a birthday coming up in a few weeks, and my family and I were going to take him to Disney World and to SeaWorld. When we told him about it, he told us he didn’t want to go see Mickey Mouse, that he wants to go see “Hallelujah,” that’s his nickname for you. Justin said he wants to hug you, not Mickey Mouse. Brother Swaggart, if [there is] any way possible that we could come to a service to see you and let him hug you so then he will know that there is really hope in Jesus. I would much rather that he has a hero in a man that loves Jesus than in a mouse that cannot tell him about Jesus.
Isn’t that amazing? This child is just 3 years old, but that’s what the Spirit of God does. We can’t do that, but the Spirit of God ministered to that little child who doesn’t have a mother (she’s on meth) and the father’s on drugs. Thank God, his great-grandparents are letting him watch SonLife Broadcasting and instead of this little life being destroyed and heading for destruction, this child can grow up knowing the Lord and doing great things for God and have a great life. That’s what our Lord Jesus Christ does.
Going back to my husband’s message from that Wednesday night, he spoke to the supporters of this ministry and reminded them that God has chosen them for a specific task. He said, “You must understand the importance and the significance of your place and position that God has at this time in history. He has chosen you for what you do; don’t take it lightly because anything that God does is extremely significant.” As you can see from these testimonies, the Lord is moving mightily through SonLife Broadcasting Network. I invite you to join with us and be part of what the Lord is doing. It may not look like much to the world, but it could very well be the most important thing happening in the church today.
Paris attack: http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/10/world/france-paris-who-were-terror-victims/index.html