Warning: long post ahead.....
Pardon the blurry shots, I had to take photos without flash, as I didn´t want to disturb the sermon
It was so cool getting to see him in real life!
For those who have not heard of him, he´s like a legend. The Christian version of a Hollywood A-lister. Probably on par with Billy Graham. Ok, haven´t heard of Billy Graham, then he´d be to the Christian population, what Brad Pitt or George Clooney is to the movie world.
A spiritual high-flyer Evangelist, whose sermons and rallies have resulted in more than 55million people (?!?!!) giving their lives to God all over the world. That´s like almost 16 times the population of Singapore and more than half Germany´s population!
This was one of the times when I had to go to church 1 hour earlier, to ensure that we got a seat. (Bel, I think I begin to understand what it means for you to queue up when you go to church in Singapore!) It was like half of Germany came and people rushed in as soon as the doors opened.
The crowds.... Notice that guy on the extreme right?
At first I had my reservations about going for his sermon, because I thought that most "evangelistic" sermons are meant for people who don´t believe in God, or who are searching etc. However, boy, there´s so much wisdom in what this guy said that I managed to get some nuggets of wisdom and truth.
These are some things that spoke to me:-
1)Many people think that they still have their whole lives ahead of them, so why would they need God? Hence they procrastinate searching for God, the meaning of life etc until its really "necessary".
By that I mean, when one is old, ill, you know, phases of life when one starts to question if life on earth is all there is to it. An analogy would be like that of a runner whose finishing line comes only when he´s completed the race.
However the reality is that the line that separates the present and eternity is not a goal line. Its a line that runs parallel to our lives. Analogy would be like running parallel to a cliff and the probability of going over the edge at any pt in time, in just as high now as it is when we are 80.
Eh, I don´t know if you understand what I mean. But that really caused me to pause and think.
It´s like BOY! That´s so true! Like the recent rampage by a 17-yr old boy in Germany in a school that resulted in the deaths of 15 people. More info here. Life is so fragile!
2) This guy has AWESOME stories to share! Rescue from death (literally)....
He was in Africa, visiting prisoners on the death row.
Some of them heard about the gospel and received Christ into their lives and were so filled with joy that they were singing and making music using the chains that bounded their hands and legs together.
Reinhardt was at the back watching them when God told him that the leader of the pack (a huge, tall African guy), say P. would be released and would become an evangelist, proclaiming the word of God.
Reinhardt was puzzled and questioned God again if he really heard the right thing, because these men were probably murderers or have committed some really serious offences that deserved capital punishment.
God said, "Yes". So, Reinhardt went to P., told him what God said and P. found it hard to believe it because he was always the third person to be beheaded. The executioner would hang the prisoners on the tree and once they died, he would cut off their hands and legs to remove the chains.
P.was always the 3rd person and every time the executioner came to him, he would say that he was exhausted. Hence P managed to live for another month, until the executioner came back again one month later, with the whole process repeated.
Long story cut short, Reinhardt went to the governor, pleaded for the life of P, telling the wife of what God told him. Governor´s wife demanded a bribe that Reinhardt paid for the U.S. education of her sons in return for the life of P, to which Reinhardt rejected. Wife got pissed off, left in anger. Reinhardt was so certain that P would be the first to be executed the following month.
Went home, prayed, cried out to God.
One month later, he received news that P. was released from prison and wanted to go to Bible school for 4 years and needed financial support. To which Reinhardt happily agreed to help.
Ohmigosh.....aren´t you so full of awe when you hear something like that? He has written quite a couple of books and in one of them, I think its called "The power of God", he relates the story of P. and his experience with the government.
Can find out more at http://www.cfan.org/