Al Gibson has tracked the ministry of Christ For All Nations (CFaN) for many years, first as a young man attending Reinhard Bonnke crusade meetings and conferences in Africa to a recent Fire Conference at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. He has always been inspired by Reinhard’s passion for Jesus and faithfulness to the call and it was a great privilege to meet up with him in Washington D.C. and interview him for the GOD TV Guide.
Al Gibson: For many years you have taken a fiery message of salvation and repentance to the nations… what fuels the flames of evangelism that burn so deeply in your heart?
Reinhard Bonnke: What drives me is the Great Commission; which Jesus Christ gave as a final instruction to His disciples before He ascended to Heaven. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”? He commanded all believers – and that should be the heartbeat of every Christian. If we truly believe that a soul without Jesus is eternally lost – then we cannot be idle – we have got to do something. The desperate need of a lost world overwhelms my heart and keeps me going for God.
Al Gibson: Even in the face of major obstacles? How, for instance, did you feel when your 34 000-seater tent was blown apart by a hurricane when you first started doing mass crusades?
RB: Some people thought that because the tent was destroyed, my ministry was over, but the Holy Spirit told me this would happen two days before and gave me such peace in my spirit that I could not explain. “Henceforth, My glory shall be your canopy and your praises shall be the masts”, the Lord told me and I have travelled with that invisible tent ever since. It’s cheaper to pitch and to transport and it’s much more extendable!
Al Gibson: And like you have often said, “Jesus turns a minus into a plus.”
Reinhard Bonnke: Yes indeed!
How does Reinhard Bonnke lead someone to the Lord?
Al Gibson: How would you encourage people to be more effective in their witness particularly in introducing Jesus to friends of another faith.
Reinhard Bonnke: The Bible says that “Whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” and I constantly preach to people of all different religions about Jesus, who He is, and the salvation He came to bring. He didn’t just send salvation, He came to bring it Himself. I tell them that we are all sinners who need a saviour and Jesus personally made it possible for all our sins to be forgiven and for our relationship with God to be restored.
Salvation is Jesus and Jesus is salvation. It is an act of God, not of clever persuasion. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement and confirms the spoken Word of the Gospel in a personal and powerful way. Once someone has heard the Gospel, He leads them to respond by repenting of their sin, which means turning away from the old sinful lifestyle, towards Jesus Christ, who forgives them.
Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “I will come in” and that is an iron cast promise, because Jesus always fulfils His Word. If a person prays with all their heart, their life WILL be changed because Jesus WILL come in and take control.
Al Gibson: Could you give an example of how to lead someone in a prayer of salvation.
Reinhard Bonnke: Very simply, a salvation prayer must contain certain elements. The person needs to acknowledge that they are a sinner, and are facing a lost eternity. That Jesus loves them and died in their place, taking their punishment upon Himself. That they now come to receive this offer of salvation. You then need to lead them in repentance of their sins and in a commitment to turn away from evil to the Lord Jesus, asking Him to come into their life. Then you need to encourage them, that Jesus Christ is now their Lord and Saviour if they believe this in their heart and confess it with their mouth.
I believe with all of my heart that for the first time in history we have a genuine chance to win our whole generation for Jesus Christ. This is not done by some super evangelist here, and one super evangelist there, but I believe that God wants to raise a whole army of His people.
AG: When you pray this prayer in your crusades, thousands, even millions respond, and many testify to have been healed. Tell us about that.
Reinhard Bonnke: Yes, we see people by the millions receiving salvation in Jesus Christ. For example recently, in one single week, 3.4 million people completed decision cards for salvation. You see, If we preach the original Gospel, we are bound to have original results! When we look at the Resurrection Gospel proclaimed in the book of Acts, it was not a case of mental persuasion or argumentative preaching, it was proclamation confirmed by the signs and wonders. Healings authenticate the message of the Gospel and my experience is, that after I have prayed the prayer of salvation, the same things that are described in the book of Acts begin to happen as I pray for the sick.
I remember a man from another religion who had a daughter that was born deaf and dumb. When I prayed for the sick, just a simple prayer from the platform, he stood with his daughter in a crowd of 500 000 and suddenly she heard and spoke. He said, “My god has never done anything for me, look what Jesus Christ has done”? and went home to destroy the idols in his house. As a result, his whole household came to salvation, so you see the miraculous, plays a key role in the success of the Gospel.
Al Gibson: Do you think television also has a role to play in evangelism?
Reinhard Bonnke: Oh yes. We have to empower more believers for evangelism. I am believing that the Lord Jesus will step out of the television screen and minister directly to many different people, anointing them for evangelism and putting a flame on every head. If only one percent of born again Christians in this world, would catch the fire… we would have thousands more evangelists which would have a mighty impact upon our generation.
What GOD TV is doing amazes me and I believe that the sky is the limit. GOD TV will continue to grow and play a major role in world evangelism.
Al Gibson: Your famous battle-cry “From Cape to Cairo, Africa shall be saved” still rings out today… Do you really believe nations can be saved?
Reinhard Bonnke: I believe with all of my heart that for the first time in history we have a genuine chance to win our whole generation for Jesus Christ. This is not done by some super evangelist here, and one super evangelist there, but I believe that God wants to raise a whole army of His people. So my desire is not just to have our crusades, but we want to paint this world red, inspiring God’s people to become activated by the Holy Spirit, truly receive that evangelistic anointing, becoming proclaimers of the Gospel and as they proclaim the Gospel, the Holy Spirit will confirm it and multitudes will be saved.
While I have a vision for the whole world and Europe is on my heart, I saw a vision of a blood-washed Africa, and that remains my focus. I have therefore been in almost every country in Africa except some in the Muslim north, where I have found it difficult to get a visa but it blesses me that GOD TV is there and I know they do a mightily effective work. Perhaps we can win North Africa without needing a single visa.
For more information about Reinhard Bonnke visit: Christ For All Nations (CFaN) – the ministry of Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda