Evangelist Reinhardt Bonnke was a spiritual colossus whose heart was ablaze for God. His heart was also red-hot with passion to see lost people saved and come into relationship with the living God.
Might there be a connection?
Before Bonnke went home to heaven not long ago, he entrusted the reins for his Christ for All Nations ministry, which registered almost 80,000,000 decisions for Christ, to a young man named Daniel Kolenda. When you're with him, you notice that same connectivity between passion for Jesus and compassion for those who are still in spiritual darkness.
Recently Kolenda and I reconnected for four Here's the Deal podcasts on the Charisma Podcast Network. Lean in and listen upon completion of this article that you might imbibe some of his spirit and if you're a pastor or parent hopefully impart some of it to those young people whom you long to see ablaze for God.
Going From Religion to Reality
CfAN (Christ for All Nations) has a legacy of 48 years evangelizing those abroad steeped in spiritual darkness. The ministry engages in massive open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most dangerous, difficult and remote locations on earth.
When I appeared on CfAN's internationally syndicated TV program, they gave me a CD/DVD package called Holy Ground. It captured live praise and worship from a gathering of hundreds of thousands of African people together under the canopy of heaven.
I received the gift over two years ago, and I must admit that almost every single morning, I play the musical offering in preparation for my day. I often visualize the throng of people expressing their fervent adoration for Jesus on that expansive, open field. It's a jaw-dropping experience to view this on the accompanying DVD.
When I inquired of Daniel about his spiritual journey and how he transitioned from mere religious involvement to a dynamic relationship with Jesus, he told me it was when he was plunged into the midst of the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida. There he had an encounter with God that catapulted him into a new dimension of devotion to Him.
"Young people need an encounter with the living God and His manifest presence!" Kolenda shared enthusiastically. "They need to be in an environment where the Holy Spirit is moving, not just church attendance."
Kolenda has five sons and daughters in his family, and he encouraged pastors and parents to "keep interceding on behalf of their loved ones. Be like the widow that kept on knocking and persevering till the intervention came!"
Kolenda will tell people in conversations that our children cannot inherit God's holy fire—they have to meet God for themselves! But we can live the life to inspire them, steer them into situations where they can have an encounters with God and encourage them in friendships with peers who know and enjoy God.
For those young people we know and want to steer in the right direction, CfAN offers a three month "evangelism boot camp" where young evangelists-in-formation can be equipped and transformed by the power of God. But Kolenda is quick to say the students are not just classroom trained, but sent forth abroad to put their training into practice on the mission field.
"Can it be dangerous? Absolutely! But we make sure everyone knows if you're not called and ready to be stretched in the challenge, don't go, cause there's no turning back!"
'Live Before You Die!'
Because CfAN's ministry is committed to accurate recordkeeping, Kolenda will share that he's had the privilege of leading more than 22 million to Christ through their evangelistic campaigns. He and his team believe God wants them to train God's ambassadors in evangelism so they can reach 150 million in the next 10 years.
A most encouraging book Kolenda wrote to spiritually fashion young people for being "fishers of men" is titled Live Before You Die. I heartily recommend it, especially to give as a gift to challenge your sons and daughters to go for the gold in the kingdom of God.
For my part, I offer the availability on YouTube of the five free 20-minute videos in the inspirational series Loving Lifestyle Evangelism. May God use it in your life and in the lives of those you love to impart a vision for the adventure of evangelism characterized by courage, compassion, boldness and a naturalness to set you free.
Harvest Time and Hearts Ablaze
Jesus told us, "the harvest is the end of the age" (Matt.13:39b, NKJV).
He also stated, "Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest?' Listen! I say to you, 'lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest'" (John 4:35).
One more from the one who gave His life to save us from our sins: "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Luke 10:2).
If you believe like Daniel and I do, that we are living at the end of the age, with the return of our Lord drawing near, let's align with His purpose for a massive harvest as each of us does our part. Let's pray for our young people to be moved upon by the Holy Spirit as we cooperate with God in the process.
Here's the Deal: "Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring good news of good things!'" (Rom.10:13-15).
Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 50 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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