Speaker 1: You’re listening to Evangelism with Johnny Hunt, a podcast from the North American Mission Board that equips you and your church to share the gospel. Now here are your hosts.
Kevin Ezell: Hello, Pastor, this is Kevin Ezell, and I’m here today with Johnny Hunt. Thank you so much for listening to this podcast on evangelism. There are so many incredible events that are taking place right now that have people thinking about the end times or just life itself and the brevity of life. Brother Johnny, I know just recently Kobe Bryant, sadly, and his daughter were killed in a helicopter accident, and it was amazing hearing so many celebrities and so many sports stars talk about his life, but also about his death and having them think about life after death.
Johnny Hunt: You know, Kevin, one of the statements that you have used so much here at NAMB is talking about the hope of the gospel, and it’s in times like this that the one word that really sustains us is the word, “hope.” I often tell the story that my family member, great friend of NewSong, Eddie Carswell, wrote a song and I’ve referred to it so much, but it moved me so deeply that I could hardly talk to him on the phone to tell him thank you for it.
But it was simply entitled, “hope changes cverything.” I encourage our listeners to Google NewSong’s Hope Changes Everything and listen. Pull it up where it gives you the lyrics and listen to the lyrics of that song. That’s really the gospel. It will not be long now. We’ll be celebrating Good Friday all over the world. The highest attendance of any given day, anywhere in the world will be Easter Sunday. Really, Easter Sunday is about one overarching thing—the hope of the gospel. That not only did Christ die to make a way for us, but also he rose from the dead. That is what gives hope to our hearts and to the gospel.
Johnny Hunt: So as we listened, all of us, to the different broadcast on television of a service of Kobe and this daughter Gigi, and to hear from his precious wife and the other children, to see them there, and gosh, I come from Wilmington, North Carolina, the home of such a great basketball star.
Kevin Ezell: Michael Jordan.
Johnny Hunt: And to see him just weep. Really, everyone did their best to offer one thing. That is hope. Really, the greatest hope that was spoken of in the service that we were privy to hear on television was that they’re together now, and that we have not seen them for the last time. It’s not just that. I mean, I was in Nashville yesterday and as we flew in, I knew we were coming from Atlanta, we’d be coming from the east, as we went in to land and I saw the (tornado) devastation and it was reminded again and prayed for families. Twenty-five people had no way of knowing that they would see death.
Johnny Hunt: Just a moment ago in our prayer time with our staff, we remembered our great friend Rob Jackson, went to be with the Lord last night and praying for Tammy and for his children, and for First Baptist church, Dover, Florida. So, things happen. We never know. We do know this—we know that it’s appointed, unto man, once to die, and then the judgment. So we know that everyone that’s alive is going to live somewhere forever, and what a privilege it is to know that we can offer hope through all mighty God and that the greatest manifestation of himself is his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Next to that is the word of God, the very living word of God, that we can offer the hope of the scriptures and the hope of our savior in the Lord Jesus.
Kevin Ezell: Absolutely. Well, and also, of course we have the outbreak of the coronavirus and the fear and the panic and just not knowing, it brings so much doubt and uncertainty in the life of somebody. What would you say to a Bible believing members out there who are looking in a way to … now is a chance to have those gospel conversations because they have so much fear and anxiety around them, whether it be at work or you know, the uncertainty of the day. What would you say?
Johnny Hunt: Well, one thing that we don’t want to do is come across as being insensitive. We’ve got to be sensitive. We’ve got to pray. We’re praying for God’s protection, praying for God’s wisdom to all those and CDC and every other network that is helping to keep us informed. But we honestly can say that it’s not our words, but the words of the one who created every person who’s ever breathed the breath of life, would simply say to us, “Fret not.” He would encourage us to allow him to replace fear with faith.
No, we don’t know where this will end. We’re all, again, back to that same word. We’re hopeful that it will end sooner than later. But regardless of what happens, we can place our faith in Christ, and he sustains us in the times of uncertainty and in the times of the unknown. So we don’t know what the future holds, but it’s a well-worn proverb, we know who holds the future. So I would say to my Christian brothers and sisters, first of all, please be considerate of those that are suffering, and lead your church to pray. Then also even as we’ve done here at the North American Mission Board, in our own home, take all the precaution areas you possibly can to keep a safe environment.
But beyond that, I believe we can trust God with our smallest needs, and yes, even with our greatest needs. With those, we think we know how they’ll turnout, and with those we don’t know how they’ll turnout, we can pray that God, being the Prince of Peace, would rule and reign in our hearts. It’s so good to know that the fruit of the Spirit is not contingent on circumstances but on who Christ is. So I can have peace in my heart even in the midst of times of uncertainty and turmoil.
Kevin Ezell: Part of the job of pastors prepares people to deal with the curve balls of life and the uncertainties of life, and that example, in your daily walk, but also looking for opportunities to share your faith. So, Pastor, thank you so much for listening to us today, and we’d love to hear from you on how God is using you to lead your church in evangelism, or how your church may be making an impact in your community so we can provide those opportunities or those ideas for other pastors. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for listening today. We look forward to seeing you next time.