In Acts 17, Paul preached Jesus and the resurrection to Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. Their response to all that they heard was, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” When Paul explained the Gospel, some heard and mocked, while others listened and believed.Hearing and listening to God’s Word is the first step on the path to saving faith.
The Gospel writers give a vivid portrait of Jesus traveling from town to town, proclaiming the kingdom of God and preaching the Word. In Mark 4:23-24, Jesus teaches, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.... Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.” Jesus is explaining the pattern of conversion. Hearing God’s Word leads to understanding; understanding leads to believing, and believing leads to salvation.
This is why we teach directly from the Scripture. Each month, hundreds of letters and email arrive from people who represent every walk of life. The stories they tell, however, are the same—how one day they randomly came upon Truth For Life. When they heard the teaching, they began to listen. For some, it was the first time they’d heard the Gospel. For others, they were hearing God’s Word in a way they’d not heard it before. For others, they heard instruction that they’d long since abandoned, yet found themselves drawn to with renewed interest.
When the Word of God is proclaimed, the Spirit of God works in a transformative way in the hearts and minds of those who listen. Some who hear will mock or dismiss the Truth, just as Paul described, yet others will become committed followers of Christ. It’s always important to remember that we have no authority over conversion. This is the work of the Holy Spirit alone. But we are called to scatter the seed of God’s Word as far and wide as we can, knowing that God will do the rest.
To be a sower of seed is a high calling and an extraordinary privilege. It’s a privilege that we jointly share in the ministry of Truth For Life. Your prayerful and financial partnership makes it possible for the Word of God to reach the ends of the earth every day of the year. We’ll never realize the full scope of the harvest, but we know that God’s Word does not return void—“And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
As we close in on the end of the year, let me express my gratitude for all you do to make Truth For Life a source through which millions can listen and through which many will be saved. A large number of the letters and email thank us for offering the teaching free online and “at cost” on CD and DVD. But this is only possible because of your generous underwriting of the teaching’s distribution. As we look to end 2016 in a solid financial position, please know that your giving goes directly to teaching the Bible on the radio, and freely online and through the mobile app.
On behalf of our small team here, and so many grateful listeners in vast corners of the world, thank you!
With my love in the Lord Jesus,