General in the Faith: Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, thank you for leading the way!

Post by the Husband

It was at my wife’s Indonesian church that I first remember seeing him in real life.

When he was on the pulpit, you knew that there was something special about this man.

He wasn’t especially large in stature, but his frame seemed imposing somehow.

He wasn’t particularly handsome, nor was there anything physically special about him.

Indeed, He had a strong German accent, and would speak each syllable with great force.

He was speaking as if we were people in a burning building and he was yelling: “Fire! Fire! Get out of here now!”.

The urgency was palpable.

Indeed – as an evangelist – he spoke with earnest belief that salvation was hanging in the balance, and he was going to do everything he could to tip you into heaven.

Yet it wasn’t even the passion with which he spoke that made him special.

No.

There was something more.

Something that transcended the delivery of a powerful gospel message.

It was the touch of the Spirit of God that made him special, or what some Christians would call “the anointing”.

It was the power from on high that would penetrate through intellectual entanglement that people like me often get into. 

Look, we spend our time pondering the merits of Calvinism vs Arminianism. We wrestle with specific verses about “speaking in tongues”, church governance, tithing vs giving, and a myriad of other important topics. Yet the anointing of evangelism upon Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke’s life was able to simplify the gospel to its core.

We knew there is a God who wants to save a dying world.

Yes, there is a place for all of the doctrinal dissections that need to occur so that our Christianity is biblically solid.

But we are not to use that as an excuse to do a lot of thinking and discussing, but not a lot of reaching the lost.

Spending years getting “deeper” in the Scripture and praying can merely be a fancy way of procrastinating what God has actually called us to do.

The second time I saw him in person was at a Christian conference.

This time, he was just as fiery in his demeanour, but he did not hide the fact that he preferred to be preaching to the lost for salvation than to be preaching to thousands of comfortable Christians.

His intention at this time was clear: to get us to be less comfortable and to be bolder in evangelizing the world.

His tone was in no way patronizing or negative, he just wanted to pass on the mantle of anointing onto us so that we could do some of what he had been doing.

He made it clear to us that we couldn’t just talk about evangelizing. We shouldn’t just pray for the lost.

As Reinhard had said many times, we have to “pray, then do”, then “pray, then do”.

It’s like walking he would say: “left leg, then right leg, then left leg, then right leg. Pray, and then do, then pray, then do, then pray again”.

How true is that message for us today!

We have two extremes, those who pray without ever doing anything. And then those who do a lot, but never pray.

Both are wrong.

Those three words “pray then do”, transformed my way of thinking. It was some potentially complicated biblical doctrine summed up in 3 words.

The anointing on his life also produced an amazing clarity and focus.

His clarity of communication flowed into his preaching to the lost, but also in how he would encourage the Christians.

As he often stated emphatically; his entire life purpose was to “plunder hell and populate heaven”. Although not all are called to be evangelists, we are all called to evangelize.

What then is our “calling”?

Can I summarise God’s calling on my life in such a concise statement?

Are we also not called to plunder hell and populate heaven?

Now that this great general of the faith has left us, let’s do our best to imitate him.

Let’s be pray-ers and do-ers, have clarity, and deliver the gospel message knowing that people’s eternal lives are counting on it.

Mr Reinhard Bonnke. Rest In Peace.

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