Let the Earth Hear His Voice

Greetings, grace and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. On behalf of our executive planning committee and the convening committee that has already been introduced, it is my privilege to join Bishop Jack Dain in welcoming you to this International Congress on World Evangelization. ln one sense, this Congress has been fourteen years in planning. It was here in nearby Montreux, Switzerland, fourteen years ago that a small group of us met for several days of prayer and discussion about the task of world evangelization. Partly as a result of that meeting the Berlin Congress was held in 1966 under the auspices of the religious journal, Christianity Today, whose editor, Dr. Carl Henry, was chairman of that Congress. Since Berlin a number of regional congresses have been held – at Singapore, Bogota, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, and other places. Almost all of the major countries of the world have had a congress on evangelism in the last eight years. Three years of intense prayer and careful planning have brought us to this moment and in the providence of God, I believe that this could be one of the most significant gatherings, not only in this century but in the history of the Christian Church. During the last few years, we have heard many voices. We have heard the voice of the philosopher who often raises more doubts than certainties, who would rather seek than find, who doubts life’s meaning. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We have heard the voices of the psychologists and the psychiatrists with their commendable attempts to unravel the mysteries of human behaviour and the human mind. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We have heard the voice of the men of war, the military, the defence ministers, telling us that the path to peace and safety lies in the missile silos, nuclear submarines, orbiting satellites, and laser beams. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We have heard the voice of the diplomat shouting peace one day and warning of war the next day. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We have heard the uncertain voices of modern theologies that speak of a dead God and point us to the wandering stars of moral relativism, linguistic analysts who shred the biblical faith, and religious syncretists who take Christ from his solitary throne and deny his uniqueness and place him in the pantheon of popular deities. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We’ve often heard the voice of the politician with his all-too-often false promises. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We’ve heard the voice of the economists with their dire predictions of inflation, depression, and world famine. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We have heard the anguished voice of history, crying out from a crucible of pain, telling us lessons that we never seem able to learn. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

We have heard the voice of Satan himself, lying, flattering, oppressing, afflicting, influencing, destroying, sowing discord, spreading false doctrines, and gathering his forces for another massive assault against the Kingdom of God. We are gathered in Lausanne to let the earth hear his voice.

Perhaps the Apostle John foresaw such a say as this: “And they sang a new song saying, ‘You were slain and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people; and nation; and you have made us unto our God kings and priests.’” We are gathered to hear his voice.

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Dr. Graham, Montreat, North Carolina, USA, is an internationally-known evangelist.

Date: 10 Nov 1974

Gathering: 1974 Lausanne