Here is your weekly newsletter created for listeners and friends of
Paul Heil's "The Gospel Greats" syndicated radio program.

The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter
Published April 17, 2018

In This Edition

Paul's Epistle
"Touching The Future"

We've been asking a lot of "big" questions lately, and here's another one to think about: What have you done – or what will you do – today to advance the cause of Christ?

Have you ever considered that what you do for Christ today – what you tell someone about Him, what you do to spread the Gospel – might impact others for years, perhaps generations, to come?

Back in 1934, Mordecai Ham was a well-known Independent Baptist evangelist. His revival services, especially throughout the South, brought thousands of people to Christ. One of them – at a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina – was a young man named Billy Graham. (I'm guessing Ham had no idea the young Graham was in the audience that night. Why would he?)

That same year, at a prayer meeting in Charlotte, a man named Vernon Patterson prayed that "out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth."

God used Ham's preaching and Patterson's prayer to do just that, in the person of Billy Graham.

But God used others, too. Consider Elner Edman, and his brother, the one-time president of Wheaton College, V. Raymond Edman. The brothers were vacationing in Florida when their golf caddy – a student at Florida Bible Institute near Tampa – greatly impressed them. That caddy was Billy Graham.

The two Edmans encouraged Graham to attend Wheaton, where his mother had wanted him to go. But, he said, he couldn't afford it. So they even offered to pay Graham's first-year tuition at Wheaton. Graham accepted. And that proved to be a turning point in his life as he prepared for a much broader ministry.

Notice that God used many different people – many more than just those mentioned above – to prepare Billy Graham for the unique ministry that God eventually gave him. But every soul touched by Graham's ministry in succeeding years was an extension of Ham's ministry, Patterson's prayer and the Edmans' benevolence. Each one of them touched the future for God in a mighty way through Rev. Graham's ministry.

Now, think back. How did you come to Christ? Was it under the preaching of some particular individual? Perhaps it was a pastor, a Sunday School teacher, a godly parent, a Christian camp counselor or even a Christian neighbor or friend. Whoever it was, their faithfulness in sharing the Gospel resulted in an eternal difference in your life. You were changed forever!

What would have happened to you if that person had not followed the Holy Spirit's guidance and led you to the Lord?

Now consider... You have an obligation to pass it along. Yes, you!  Parents, for example, have a special obligation toward their children to "bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4b), following the teaching of Proverbs 22:6 – "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." It starts in the home, but it goes far beyond that.

So, we come back to the original question. What can you do today to advance the cause of Christ? Who can you talk to who needs a Savior? Who can you help bring to a saving knowledge of Christ? How can you support the spreading of the Gospel?

Back in 1983, the Gaither Vocal Band recorded a song called "Passin' The Faith Along"1 – which is exactly what we're talking about here:

     "The runner of a relay finds in his baton
      Purpose for the running and strength to carry on
      We hold within our grasp the faith that makes us strong
      And like the relay runner we seek to pass it on...2

Songwriter John Mohr then adds,

     "Countless generations of saints have come and gone
      A spark ignites as an ember fades and the flame continues on..."3

Today's Christians, of course, rely on what they were told about Christ by previous generations of Christians. Tomorrow's Christians will be affected by what they receive (or don't receive) from today's Christians – from you, from me.

When you "pass the faith along" to someone you will be "touching the future" — not just for that individual, but for each of the people he or she might subsequently bring to Christ as a result of your faithfulness. And one of them, perhaps – only God knows – could be the next "Billy Graham."

- Paul Heil

1. "Passin' The Faith Along," written by John Mohr, Jonathan Mark Music ASCAP. From the Gaither Vocal Band LP "Passin' The Faith Along" on Dayspring/Benson.
2. ibid. verse 1
3. ibid. excerpt from verse 2

Comments on this?
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A printable version of the Epistle above is linked from our newsletter archive page.
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Coming on the broadcast the weekend of April 21st & 22nd, 2018:

All Listener Favorites Edition!   Except for our Featured Artist selections, all of the songs on this broadcast will be introduced by listeners who called our Listener Favorite Call-In line when it was open recently. You'll find their comments about their requested songs quite interesting.

Featured Artists:  Our Featured Artists on this program will be the Taylors with songs from their just-being-released CD entitled "Faithful Again." Siblings Jonathan, Chris and Suzanne will tell you about some these songs and why they're so meaningful. Listen especially for the title song, "Faithful Again," as well as the "radio-friendly" song, "Love Still Flows." Please join us for our visit with the Taylors.

Who can YOU invite to listen this weekend?
Click here to hear the audio announcement regarding this next program.
Click here to find a local station carrying The Gospel Greats program.

From the broadcast the weekend of April 14th & 15th, 2018:

Our Featured Artists on this program were the Hinson FamilyWeston and Christy Hinson and their daughter, Jordan (Jordy). Songs featured were from their current CD, "The Light Just Came On." Weston's voice, especially on songs such as "A Stone's Throw Away," is very reminiscent of the voice of his father, the late Kenny Hinson. And with that "sound" and their song selection, they certainly are carrying on the Hinson family tradition. "Say The Word" was a powerful song that you heard on this program, telling familiar Bible stories from a different perspective. More info about them can be found on their website or you can email them.

The Hinson Family CD featured on this program, "The Light Just Came On," is available from our mailorder service, Springside. Just call 1-800-38-MUSIC to order. Call by Friday, April 20, 2018, ask for the "Featured Artist Discount," and get 20 percent off this item. You can order easily from our webstore by using this link to go directly to this item. Note, too, that our "Featured Artist Discount" applies to any other currently in-stock recordings by this artist. While ordering online, when you get to the "Checkout" page, find the "Special Instructions" lines near the bottom, type in "Featured Artist Discount - 20 percent" to get the discount. Note that the discounted price will not be reflected online or in your first confirmation e-mail, but it will be applied here when the order is processed and before it is charged or shipped.

Congratulations to our two Grand Prize winners in our recent 2018 Great Annual Giveaway. They are:

Congratulations, too, to our other winners. CDs for 200 winners are in the mail. And Singing News magazine will be providing sample issues (printed or digital, as requested) for at least 500 entrants whose entries were drawn at random. And everyone who entered correct and qualifying entries will be getting a special catalog in the mail, complete with a page of special discounts just for giveaway entrants. Thanks again to everyone who entered our 2018 Great Annual Giveaway.

On the Headline Update I mentioned that John Whisnant (formerly of the Whisnants, now a pastor and operator of WCIS Radio) is also now open to accepting solo singing dates. You can find out more on his website.

For the song list from this broadcast, click on the link below.   (PDF viewer required.)
Hear last weekend's Headline Update report about your favorite artists by clicking on this link.

Shelia Shares

This week I'm sharing my space with Ken Board, a long-time missionary to Japan (and listener to The Gospel Greats program). Ken is a warm, gentle pastor who has served many years in Japan. His book, "The Amusings Of A Missionary," is a collection of stories from his life, as well as that of his family and church family. I hope you enjoy Ken's story and sense of humor, as well as a godly reminder.

- Shelia

"Wally And Crosby"
by Ken Board

We have a puppy at our house now. It's a Beagle named Crosby that someone gave to my son. Crosby has two favorite pastimes. One is gnawing on things. Crosby will gnaw on anything he can reach. His other favorite pastime is playing with our cat, Wally. When Crosby and Wally are playing, it is a sight to see. For a while Crosby will chase Wally around the house. When Wally grows tired of this game, he will turn and face Crosby. Crosby will pretend to bite Wally, and Wally will rake his claws over Crosby's nose. Crosby will let out a painful yelp and back up, but he's a tenacious puppy,. So after a few seconds, he will head for Wally again. No matter how many times Wally scratches him with his claws, Crosby will soon go after Wally again.

When Wally has had enough, he will climb up to some spot where Crosby can't reach him. Crosby will howl and beg Wally to come down and play with him, but Wally just ignores Crosby and settles down for a nap in his place of refuge.

From time to time Christians will meet with similar experiences. As we fight a spiritual battle with a tenacious enemy, our soul and spirit become exhausted. When we feel that we just can't endure any longer, let's follow the example of Wally and go to a high place where our enemy can't reach us. That "high place" where we are safe from the attacks of the enemy is God's throne of grace. "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16)

When we read the Gospels, we see that the Lord Jesus went often to that "high place." For example, in Matthew 14:23 it is written, "And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray." We can see the Lord going to that "high place" also in the first chapter of Mark, and in the fifth, sixth and ninth chapters of Luke.

When we undergo the constant attacks of the enemy and draw close to the limit of our endurance, let's take refuge in our Savior who spoke these words that give us peace and hope. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

Comments on this?
(To ensure that we get your comments, please use that address and do not simply hit "reply" on your email program.)
A printable version of the "Shelia Shares" above is linked from our newsletter archive page.
Note: That same page includes a link to the audio version of this "Shelia Shares" and a "Share" button for sharing this column on Facebook.

On the Lighter Side

Easy Answer

A tourist stopped a local in a village he was visiting and asked, "What is the quickest way to the lake?" The local thought for a moment. "Are you walking or driving?" he asked the tourist. "I'm driving." "Well," the local said, "that's the quickest way."

Short Stuff

Too Much Information

An applicant was filling out a job application at the county jail. When he came to the question, "Have you ever been arrested?" He answered, "No." The next question, intended for people who had answered in the affirmative to the last one, was "Why?" The applicant answered it anyway: "Never got caught."

The Card

A little boy in a store had been pawing over a stock of greeting cards for some time when a clerk asked, "Just what is it you're looking for? A birthday greeting, message to a sick friend, anniversary or a congratulations to your mom and dad?" The boy shook his head and answered, "Got any that look like a blank report card?"

Tee Time

My five-year-old nephew wanted to caddy for my brother's golf game. "You have to count my strokes," my brother told him. "How much is six plus nine plus eight?" "Five," answered the nephew. "Okay," my brother said, "let's go."

Jury Selection

An important and very well publicized murder trial was soon to begin. In preparation for the trial, the tiresome jury selection process took place, each side hotly contesting and dismissing potential jurors. One prospective juror, Dan O'Keefe, was called for his question session. He was asked, "Property holder?" Dan replied, "Yes, I am, Your Honor." Then he was asked, "Married or single?" Dan responded, "Married for twenty years, Your Honor." Then the judge asked, "Formed or expressed an opinion?" Dan stated with certainty, "Not in twenty years, Your Honor."

Are You Ready?
1 Thess. 5:2-10; Matt. 24:44; Luke 21:34,36
Free Gift
Pray for the President!
Until next Week...Keep Looking Up!