Daily Devotional for Tuesday May 8, 2007
Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World
(Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, 1 Timothy 2:3,4, 2 Peter 3:9)
Let me start off by saying that I fully understand this is Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. There is nothing scientific about this list. It is highly subjective and complete with their biases and agenda. I know that. A perfect example of is the fact they left President Bush off of this list. It doesn't matter who the President of the United States is, he is without question one of the most powerful and influential people in the world, that isn't even debatable. The people at Time also took a shot at Christians by naming Amr Khaled, a Muslim televangelist out of Egypt to the list.
Having laid that foundation, let me say that in carefully studying who is and is not on this list Time has put out, they have supported and made the case I have been making for years now that there is no single Christian leader who is having much of an influence on this fallen world we live in. Missing from the Time 100 is an evangelical Christian leader. THERE IS NOT ONE! Now before you simply write this off to Time's anti-Christian bias, you need to really open you heart and hear this message today.
The fact is Time is right. There is NO Christian leader today who is having much of an impact or influence on this lost world we live in. I want you to please take your time and read this carefully since I want you to clearly understand this important message. Does this mean the work of those who serve the Lord is in vain? Does Time's list and this message I am sharing with you today say that those who are out there giving their lives for the Gospel are wasting their time? NO, OF COURSE NOT!!!
Never forget that the Bible tells us God's Word will not return void. As I have told you often over the years, there is nothing we do for the Lord that is in vain. Every prayer, every act of service, every financial sacrifice, ALL that we do in His name and for Him has eternal worth and value. If it was not for those who serve the Lord, this world wouldn't be a place anyone would want to live in. Those who serve the Lord are the light and the salt of this world. We are the spiritual glue that keeps humanity from totally falling apart! Every year millions of people around the world get saved and will be forever in Glory because of the tireless efforts of those who know Jesus and serve Him. God's people ARE making an impact and having influence over millions of lives around the globe every single day.
So collectively we do have incredible influence in this world as we live our lives and take the Truth of God's Word and the hope of Jesus Christ to the world we live in. Our work for the Lord is not in vain. However, there is nobody, not one single Christian leader who is truly having a major influence over this world and the culture. Out of the billions of people on this planet, out of all of those who have given their lives to serving the Lord, not one has emerged that the world can point to and say this person is a true voice for Biblical Truth and has the credibility to influence and change lives worldwide. With the world as "small" as it has ever been due to satellite television and radio and the Internet, now more than ever there should be at least one person the world can point to.
For many years that person used to be Billy Graham. However, as Dr. Graham has aged and the culture has changed, his crusades have really become little more than giant church meetings. If you study how a Billy Graham crusade is put together, they are the product of years of organizing the local church community in the area where it is held. That is the same formula others who hold crusades have also adopted. The notable Christian pastors, speakers and musical artists of our day all have conferences and concerts that are almost exclusively attended by the Christians who follow them. There is nothing wrong with these crusades, conferences, concerts, and events since the Body of Christ needs to be ministered to. The problem is none of these types of events are ever marketed to or geared to those outside the Body of Christ and thus they have virtually no impact or influence over the lost.
Some may point to Pope Benedict, however, as the head of the Roman Catholic Church he has no real influence over Christians who are not part of that church and even less over those who are not Believers at all. Many will mention the well known Christian TV and radio preachers and authors of our day. Again, their influence is really limited to that very small niche audience made up almost 100% of Believers who watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio, and read Christian books. They are virtually unknown outside of the Christian community since their programming and marketing strategies are geared towards people who are already Christians. The few isolated cases of those who have impacted large numbers outside of the church have been with very tame motivational and social messages that leave out sin and the ultimate challenge to repent and surrender your life to Christ and Him alone. Sin and sacrifice don't sell!
There is a reason people hold crusades, conferences, concerts and write books geared to the Christian community. There is a reason you have ZERO Christian leaders on secular TV and radio with the goal of reaching the lost masses. MONEY!!! It is very expensive to take the Truth of God's Word and the hope of Christ to those outside of the Body of Christ, to an audience who won't send you offerings or buy what you are trying to sell. So rather than fight for the souls of men as we have been commanded to do, most who serve the Lord have taken the path of least resistance and simply settled into preaching to the choir and reaping the huge financial rewards that go along with doing the same thing to the same people year after year after year. Rather than invest millions of dollars into souls, they invest millions into buildings, planes, and lavish lifestyles. Rather than figure out how to fight the devil for souls, they figure out how to come up with more creative ways to generate donations.
What upsets me is that because we have no real voice in the secular marketplace, the masses have flocked to the voices of people who aren't there to serve the Lord. They gravitate to people like Rush Limbaugh, who claims to be a Christian but is on the air to entertain and educate people about politics, not minister to them. They gravitate to people like Sean Hannity, who while a Catholic, condone sins like homosexuality and is so confused he thinks people in the Mormon cult are Christians. They gravitate to people like Bill O'Reilly, another Catholic who has bought into the universalist lie from hell that all good people will get to Heaven. They gravitate to people like Glenn Beck who is part of the Mormon cult but lies to people that he is "born again," which of course is an impossibility!
People gravitate to these voices since they deal with most issues in our world and in people's lives from a conservative, family values point of view. People are starving for someone who will speak for them and express how they feel on a national stage . The sad reality is that none of these voices will EVER take a real Biblical worldview or stand for Christ on the issues, but why should they, that is not their job! What do these voices all have in common? They have a national platform in the secular media! Want to hear something else? On the Time 100 is Rosie O'Donnell, Tyra Banks, and of course the queen of the false hope merchants herself, Oprah. What do these three all have in common? THEY HAVE A NATIONAL PLATFORM IN THE SECULAR MEDIA
I love you and care about you so much. As arbitrary as the Time list of the 100 most influential people in the world may be, the truth in that list is those who have a platform in secular media DO have influence over millions of people, for good or bad. I can't tell you why there is nobody in the Christian community who has been willing to take on the secular media to bring a Biblical worldview to the masses. From my experience over these past 4 years I do know it is not a popular message, it is expensive, you take lots of abuse, and to be effective you have to make great sacrifices. But don't our lives belong to the Lord and hasn't God called us to reach the lost?
Please be praying for me today. This Time magazine list has only turned up the fire inside of me. Over this past weekend I finalized a deal with a local advertising agency to represent the Liveprayer TV program once we get back on nationwide to sell the advertising within the program we will need to sustain the program long term. They are convinced that if the gay cable network Logos can find advertisers, if the gangsta rappers can find advertisers, if Howard Stern can find advertisers, they can find enough advertisers for the Liveprayer TV program. They have also told me that while having a 6 month cushion would be nice, they are confident as long as we can get the program back on the air for one quarter, 13 weeks, they will have the advertisers lined up we need to financially support the program as long as we get good ratings, and that has never been a problem.
That means we need $2.8 million to cover the air time and production costs of the program for 13 weeks. We can be back on the "i" Network with 4 weeks lead time. So we have all the pieces of the puzzle, the key now is to find the right person or group who will take this bold stand with me to raise the $2.8 million we need for that first 13 weeks and the program will be back on a national stage, only this time to stay. It will be the only "live" hour-long daily program in the nation to bring a real Biblical worldview to the issues we face in our world and that people face in their daily lives. This program will compete with the false hope Oprah and Dr. Phil put out over the airwaves each day. It will compete head-to-head with people like Rosie. It will go where Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly and rest will never go, to the Bible as our final authority and to faith in Jesus Christ as the ONLY hope for this world and each person!!!
For those who have been following Liveprayer for any length of time you know my heart. There is only one thing that drives me each day and that is SOULS! The Internet and secular TV are the best vehicles we have today to reach the lost and hurting masses with God's Truth and the hope and love of Christ. Many people have made great sacrifices over the years to help me reach tens of millions of people worldwide and to be in this position. For those who are going to send me foolish emails accusing me of doing this for money or ego, save yourself the time. If you think there is anything enjoyable about being abused when you are out shopping or eating dinner at a restaurant with your wife, or in having people send you letters and emails with death threats, you need to think again since you clearly don't have a clue
Also, I have done the Liveprayer TV program at 1 a.m. every Monday thru Friday for the past 51 months now. That is right at 1100 programs without missing any. The TV program is only a small part of what God has called me to do to serve Him each day through Liveprayer where I take less than $1,000 a week in pay. To find someone who has been called by God, has been blessed with the ability to even do such a unique program that is entertaining enough to attract a decent audience in competition with other secular programs while impacting people's lives for Christ, and who will be there night after night, week after week, month after month, year after year, would easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Wonder how many programs even those in Christian TV would do without getting paid for it? Again, I do it for one reason, to save souls!
I am believing God that we are very close to a major breakthrough and that He is leading the right people to help me overcome this last hurdle in getting the TV program back on nationwide to give Christians a bold, visible, uncompromising, single voice to declare God's Truth and the love of Christ to the lost and hurting masses. As easy as it would be to simply do what everyone else is doing and focus all we do on those who are already Christians, I can't. It would make my life so much easier, but God has called me to stand in the midst of the marketplace to declare His hope to the lost and hurting. I am sure some of the Old Testament prophets would have loved to sit in the temple and wear the beautiful robes, dine on the best food, and live a life of luxury, but God called them to reach out to those who were lost and without hope, even though most of those people did not want to hear their message and despised them for reminding them of their sin.
I could care less about being on Time or anyone else's list of the world's most influential people since it is not the applause of men I look for, only the "well done" from our Lord when I stand before Him one day. The fact is, I know that through Liveprayer.com and having the Liveprayer TV program on a national stage each day, God will use this vessel called Liveprayer to not only impact millions of lives for eternity, but I believe in my heart to bring this nation to its knees and to repentance. Difficult days are ahead. People will be more confused than ever as these final days of human history begin to unfold. Now more than ever we need to be in a position to influence the lives of the masses with the only Truth and hope there is. May Almighty God continue to bless us as we are faithful and obedient to the mission He has called us to, and may He bless each one who He has called along side to help me in prayer and with their financial sacrifice to bring His Truth and hope to this world!