Let the thirsty ones come-anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge (Revelation 22:17).
In 1962, Dr. Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision International, conducted a citywide campaign in Tokyo. He asked me to be responsible for the student phase of the crusade.
There were more than 500,000 college students in Tokyo, so for more than a month I spoke to hundreds and sometimes thousands of students almost every day. I presented the claims of Christ on many campuses and challenged the students to receive Him as their Savior and Lord.
Thousands of Japanese students responded by indicating salvation decisions. However, some objected, saying that Jesus' message was not for the Japanese. Christianity was for the Western world, they said, but not for Asia.
When I explained to the students that Jesus was born in the Middle East, that He grew up there, and that He carried out all of His earthly ministry within just a few miles of His own home, they were surprised. As they learned that Jesus was closer to them both culturally and geographically than He was to me, or to the Western world, many were much more willing to listen and to consider His claims.
The Gospel of John, chapter 14 and verse 6, records the claim which Jesus made for Himself: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me" (NLT).
Detractors may complain that such a view of God is too exclusive, too narrow. Jesus knew this, and still emphasized, "You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it" (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT).
The way is narrow, in the sense that Jesus is the singular door through whom all must pass. However, it is broad in the sense that it is open to all people in every country, everywhere, and free! "Let the thirsty ones come -- anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge" (Revelation 22:17, NLT).
It is not through any religion or any religious leader that we find the way to God. Jesus alone bridged the chasm between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. He made the way for the gentle old Hungarian woman, for the hungry boy in Kenya, for the day laborer in China, for the busy executive, for the poor, orphan and widow, and for the kings and rulers of earth.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.