Grace vs. Works
In 1990 I spoke on Red Square in Moscow to tens of thousands of people on their Easter day. I gave the invitation to receive Christ and about 95 per cent of them then raised their hands indicating that they had invited Jesus into their lives. My message was broadcast live to an estimated 160 million.
Later that day in Moscow I met an intense, chain-smoking man who was very much an entrepreneur and whose cosmonaut friend had received Christ during my invitation while watching on national television. I asked him where he was on his spiritual journey -- if he was ready to make the same decision his friend
had made earlier.
He cut me off very short, blurting, "Look, I'm a busy man, I don't have time for religion. I work day and night to make money. My responsibilities are great and I'm just too busy to get involved in religion."
He made it very clear that he was satisfied with his life. As a matter of fact, he said, "My ticket to Heaven
is the fact that I am publishing millions of pieces of literature, including Bibles and all kinds of materials like the Four Spiritual Laws."
I was suddenly gripped with the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9. I asked him to read the verses aloud, which he did: "For by grace you are saved by faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." As he read, "Not of works, lest any man should boast," his face lit up, and he said, "Not of works, lest any man should boast. That's what I'm doing -- I'm boasting about what I'm doing." It was obvious that the Holy Spirit had touched his mind and heart.
I said, "Would you like to pray that prayer right now and receive Christ?" And he said, "Yes, I would."
We bowed and prayed, and at the conclusion of our prayer, in which he received Christ, he embraced me and then he embraced me again, and he kept turning back to Ephesians 2:8-9, saying "Not by works, lest any man should boast." He would laugh, and he would read it again, and laugh, as he realized what a great
discovery he had made. He had made an incredible discovery -- for by grace are you saved through faith.
Before I left, he must have given me ten hugs because he was so excited. It was the joy of the Lord, of a man set free.
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.