george_hancockstefanA few weeks ago, I was traveling on a Sunday morning from Atlantic Highlands to Washington, DC to visit my daughter.  I left around 6:00 am in order to get to Washington, DC for an 11:00 a.m. Worship Service.

Driving on a Sunday morning, I wanted to find out if there if there is the possibility to listen continuously to a Christian program.  While there is not a single station that can be heard from New York to Washington, I was very pleased that as one Christian station/worship program faded I could find another one.  There were powerful sermons, interviews, soloists, and choirs – all praising God because it was the day of rest and gladness, the day when God’s children come to worship Him.

After the trip, my mind was wandering in two directions–I gave thanks for the fact that we are so blessed to have so many radio stations that broadcast the Word of God and I wondered what we should do with this abundance.

When I grew up in Eastern Europe, I remember the first time that I heard the voice of God being proclaimed over the radio. It was in the year 1958. We found out that there was a Christian program being broadcast in Romanian on Trans World Radio from Monte Carlo.  This was a short-wave broadcasting station. In our church, only one person had a short-wave radio.  We went to his house and listened attentively – young and old.  God was speaking to us in our language through this radio program.

Later on, after I finished my theological education, I worked for close to 10 years in a missionary society and one of my responsibilities was to create Christian programs that were broadcast over the BBC, Radio Free Europe, Trans World Radio and HCJB (Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings) from Quito, Ecuador.  When I preach in Romanian churches in the United States, I often meet people who tell me that they have heard my voice on the radio many decades ago when they gathered around their radio to listen to the Christian broadcasts. They gathered in secret to listen to broadcasts from foreign lands, because religious broadcasts were not allowed on radio stations in Eastern Europe.  All of that has changed within the last 20 years.  There are now many Christian stations where there were none before.

My second thought reminded me of a conversation that the Lord Jesus Christ had with the people who heard Him.  He told them that in the Day of Judgment, it will be easier for the city of Nineveh than for them because the Ninivites heard the prophet Jonah once and they repented, but they heard Jesus Christ so many times and did not repent.   In the Day of Judgment it will be easier for the Queen of Sheba because she heard of the wisdom of Solomon and came to find out for herself if it was true.  A greater person that Solomon was in their midst, but they did not pay attention to Him.

We have been blessed in this country so that we can hear the Word of God in so many ways. There are Christian bookstores, hundreds of Christian publishers, radio stations, and TV stations. There is an abundance of ways in which the Word of God is being proclaimed.

During this Thanksgiving Holiday, I praise God for the abundance of ways in which the Word of God continues to speak to us.  At the same time, I am frightened because of what Jesus will say about what we have done with His Word. Jesus concluded many of his sermons with this phrase, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 14:35a)