Go Ye Into All The World…
It probably was in the mid-70s. We had been on television for a timeframe of approximately five or six years. That particular morning I was in the room that we had built onto our house to serve as an office. We had just gone on radio with The Campmeeting Hour not so long before, and now television. I was seeking the Lord about the telecast, asking Him for direction as to what we should do.
You must understand that during those days, television was a lot different from what it is now. Many things that are done now by computers were then done by hand. In other words, it was not simple, and it was not easy. I can still remember the place in the room where I was standing and seeking the Lord when the Spirit of God spoke to me and said, “I want you to put the telecast on in every country in the world that will accept it, and translate it into the language of the people.”
To say that I was taken aback would be a gross understatement. As far as I know, no one in the world was doing such a thing at that time.
This was a monumental undertaking, and to be sure I did not jump immediately, so to speak. Day by day I continued to seek the Lord, and He continued to deal with my heart. To be frank, I pulled back from it simply because I knew how difficult it would be. As well, I knew that we lacked the knowledge that we should have for such a task. Where would we go to get advice and counsel as to how this was to be done? I did not have an answer to that simply because no one else was doing such a thing.
The first language we did was Spanish. All of the Central and South American countries speak Spanish with the exception of Brazil. We were ultimately to translate into approximately twenty different languages.
We still do that type of work at the ministry, but not on the same scale we did then—it’s much simpler to translate a one-hour program per week, than it is for programming that goes twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
We were finally able to do what we were trying to do, as the Lord had provided the people and some know-how.
I don’t really know why Guatemala was chosen. You must understand that whenever one went on television in those days in one of these countries, it covered the entire country. There was no such thing as cable then, or at least very little. It was all stations that went to other stations all over the land in whatever country in which we were televising.
Why we chose the country of Guatemala I do not know, but that was the first one. At a given point in time, we scheduled a crusade in Guatemala City. It was to be conducted in the stadium which would seat approximately 45,000 people. To be frank with you, I thought we were a little bit out of our minds—45,000 people? I didn’t dream at that time what the telecast was doing. But when the Lord said to do this, He of course knew exactly what He was doing.
Donnie and Jim Woolsey set up the crusade. I kept saying to Jim, we won’t have a thousand people there, so what are we doing with a stadium that will seat 45,000? He laughed at me and said, “You’ll see!” And I did see.
Look What The Lord Has Done
The crusade was conducted on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday afternoon. The stadium was completely filled the first service, and actually filled every service. Thousands of people responded to the altar calls those three particular nights. Then I began to know what the Lord had done, and why that He wanted the telecast aired in these respective countries.
What I’m about to say is strong, and some may disagree with it, but I believe it to be true:
In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, the Lord gave us, I believe, the largest harvest of souls that had ever been seen. I believe as well that we saw the largest number of believers baptized with the Holy Spirit that had ever been seen, witnessed, or known. I realize that is a powerful statement, but I believe it to be true.
I also believe that the Lord is going to give us one more opportunity to reach this world for Christ. The Holy Spirit demands that every person have the opportunity to hear the gospel. They may not receive it; actually, most won’t. Nevertheless, whenever they stand at the great white throne judgement, the Holy Spirit demands that they had an opportunity to hear, whether they accept or not. Sadly and tragically, the far greater majority of individuals down through the many centuries past, never had the opportunity to even hear one gospel message.
At this present time, I am told by our computer department that, if they so desire, some two billion people can tune in the SonLife Broadcasting Network. And yet my heart bleeds for the balance of the world that doesn’t have an opportunity to hear.
What Are You Saying?
No, I am not saying that we are the only ones preaching the gospel. Far from it. But we are one of the few preaching the gospel, meaning that much that goes out is not the gospel. And if you know anything about the Word of God, and I’m certain that you do, then you know what I’m saying is true.
The message of the cross is the gospel of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:1-15; I Cor. 1:17-18, 23; 2:2; Gal. 6:14; Col. 2:5-10). In other words, I firmly believe that the message of the cross is that which the Holy Spirit is presently saying to the churches. Jesus told us to be careful that we hear and heed what the Spirit is saying to the churches. He said it seven times, so we know that this is of extreme significance (Rev. 2:7, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).