By Franklin Graham | October 03, 2014
What is the worth of a soul?
Jesus said that a human soul is worth more than the whole world. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, who recently passed away, often shared this motto: “Take advantage of unexpected opportunities.”
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36–37, NKJV). There’s nothing more valuable—a soul is eternal, and its worth is beyond measure. A soul is so precious to God that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross, making our salvation possible. Jesus paid the price so that people could have the opportunity to repent, believe on Him, and have eternal life.
We are instructed in God’s Word that “He who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). At BGEA we invest in winning souls for the Kingdom, and friends like you are our partners in this work. In the last couple of months we have held major evangelistic Crusades in Pittsburgh and Toronto. We are also moving into final preparations for the My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham outreach across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
In Pittsburgh we gathered in the CONSOL Energy Center where the Pittsburgh Penguins play hockey, and more than 25,000 people attended the Crusade. One of them was a 62-year old man named Russ who came with a deeply troubled heart. He was weighed down with the burden of years of sin, and he thought he had remained in sin and avoided God for so long that forgiveness might be out of reach. But as the Holy Spirit worked in his heart through the music, testimonies, and message, he realized there was hope even for him.
“This is it,” he said out loud during the first words of the invitation and then headed forward. A counselor talked and prayed with him, and then Russ prayed. Immediately he felt overjoyed. The counselor later said he could visibly see Russ’s shoulders straighten up as the years of burden lifted off his life.
In Toronto, a very diverse international city, our Crusade was translated into six languages—Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, and Russian. Each night, the arena normally used by the basketball Raptors and hockey Maple Leafs looked like a United Nations event.
A Christian named Jonathan, originally from Hong Kong, was a Cantonese language counselor. He helped a 32-year-old Vietnamese man on Sunday give his life to Christ.
On Saturday, he counseled and prayed with a Chinese woman visiting Toronto from China. She didn’t speak Cantonese, but the two found common ground in Mandarin, and the woman prayed to receive Christ in repentance and faith. God hears in any language.
Each night during the invitation, as the Holy Spirit worked in hearts, so many people came forward to make personal decisions for Christ that the arena safety team had to close off the floor area. Counselors moved up into the aisles to care for the overflow of those who wanted to pray.
Many Toronto-area pastors shared with us about how wonderfully encouraging it was, to them and to their churches, to see such a response. “Everything was worth it—all the hard work—because we are seeing the harvest,” one pastor said.
One of the amazing new things God has done is to expand the reach of our Crusades through the Internet. People who aren’t physically attending the event are viewing it live online, and the Holy Spirit is working.
Both the Pittsburgh and Toronto meetings were broadcast on the Internet, and people from an astounding 149 countries around the world watched on their computers, tablets, or smartphones—even more watched online than crowded into each arena—and thousands responded. All told, more than 65,600 people attended the events in person in the two cities, and at least 116,900 people from across North America and all over the world logged on to hear the music and Gospel message online. Some who viewed and listened online did so from countries where we cannot go in person to proclaim Jesus Christ.
Lesson Learned from Chick-fil-A Founder Truett Cathy
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, a wonderful Christian businessman, just passed away. He was a friend, and I attended his funeral. One of his life sayings was “Take advantage of unexpected opportunities.”
We have a tremendous opportunity coming up to share the Good News with friends, neighbors, and loved ones all over North America as part of the My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham outreach this fall. And the opportunity is not just with those who are unchurched—there are many studies showing that among those who attend church, a noticeable percentage do not yet understand what the Bible says about eternal salvation.
Last fall, tens of thousands of people from all over North America let us know they made life-changing decisions for Christ as a result of the My Hope outreach. We heard story after story from every part of the country about people giving their lives to the Lord in repentance and faith because of what God did in their hearts while they watched the My HopeDVD film in church or at a church-sponsored event. Now we are producing a compelling new film called Heaven for My Hope 2014.
The 30-minute program includes a never-before-released message on Heaven from my father, interwoven with real-life stories of people whose lives have been completely transformed by the power of the Gospel.
Pray for people you personally know who need Jesus Christ in their lives and then ask God to help you figure out the best way to invite them to see Heaven, perhaps at a showing at your church or a gathering you arrange. And be sure your pastor knows about My Hope 2014 with Billy Graham and the Heaven film that is available for pre-order now at no charge. For more information about the outreach, or to pre-order the film, visit MyHopeWithBillyGraham.ca.
The work of evangelism God has given us to do takes the support and partnership of people like you—the need is urgent, and we can only do it with your prayers and financial help. The Lord Jesus told us that there is great rejoicing in the presence of the angels in Heaven over even one sinner who repents. The salvation of a soul matters forever, for all eternity.
That’s the best investment we can make with our time, our prayers, and our resources. Thank you for all you do.
May God richly bless you,