I never had the opportunity to meet Evangelist Bonnke in person but I encountered him through his writings and the messages he preached. I was awed by his earnestness, his zeal, his passion for the lost, and his courage to fulfil his calling. His proclamation of truth was from a place of knowing Jesus and His love for humanity so intimately that he could intimate it with clarity. I thank God that as a young man, I have found out about him and his ministry, Christ for all Nations.
I thank God that this man heeded the call and decided to document his life in a book (Living a Life of Fire) so that we can experience the same grace he experienced and walk in that blazing flame he so passionately exuded all his life. If you desire to be used of God to reach your world for Jesus, I recommend that you obtain his books and messages. His Full Flame Film series (available on http://www.gettheflame.com) is a must-watch for you.
Evangelist Bonnke fought a good fight. He ran the race. He finished his course. It’s our turn. He passed the torch successfully.
You know, two days ago, I watched a message entitled, “The Judgement Seat of Christ” (I recommend it for you) by his successor, Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, and I thought to myself, “How will Heaven be like when rewards are being disbursed by Jesus Himself?” I’m thrilled by the fact that this great evangelist successfully transferred the reins of the leadership of his ministry and as such the great work God started with him continues still. Glory to God!
If you do not know Evangelist Bonnke, here’s an extract I retrieved from an e-mail I received from his ministry a day before his passing:
Born in Königsberg, East Prussia, Germany in 1940, Reinhard committed his life to Jesus at the tender age of nine and soon after began telling his family he would one day serve as a missionary in Africa. In 1967, he and his young family answered that call and moved to the mountain kingdom of Lesotho, nestled deep within South Africa. Initially he was frustrated by the slow pace of salvations. But it was there that God began to give Evangelist Bonnke dreams of a map of Africa covered in the blood of Jesus and the voice of God declaring, “Africa shall be saved!”
This led him to change his approach from classic “church” ministry to large-scale evangelism. He took a leap of faith, rented a stadium… and only 100 people showed up. However, it was 100 people plus the Holy Spirit. In that first meeting, one of the attendees was miraculously healed. Word quickly spread throughout the community and by the closing session, thousands had come to hear Bonnke’s clear, impassioned preaching of the Gospel. That was just the beginning.
God continued to kiss the ministry, and in 1974 Evangelist Bonnke organized his efforts under the name, Christ for all Nations. Since then, more than 78-million people have made registered decisions to follow Christ at a CfaN Great Gospel Campaign. He has preached to some of the largest crowds ever-gathered – up to 1.6 million in a single session. Countless churches throughout the continent (and world) are pastored by leaders who first received Jesus during a Reinhard Bonnke sermon. Millions have been discipled by the more than 35 books he has written. Whole nations have turned toward godliness as a result of his courageous proclamations of truth. It is not an exaggeration to say that God has used Evangelist Bonnke to change the course of history.
In the mid-2000s, God gave Evangelist Bonnke the foresight to – in his words – “know that the baton has to be passed on to the young generation. This ministry is not my private property. It is all by God’s grace.” At the time, Daniel Kolenda was supplementing his income as a church-planter and pastor by moonlighting in the CfaN book warehouse. On a “chance encounter,” Reinhard met Daniel when walking through the office. The Holy Spirit prompted Evangelist Bonnke to ask the young man to be his personal assistant. Recognizing God’s favor and anointing on his life, Evangelist Bonnke transferred ever-increasing leadership responsibilities to Evangelist Kolenda. In 2013, Daniel Kolenda became Lead Evangelist and CEO of CfaN, though he continues to draw on Evangelist Bonnke’s experience and friendship. Evangelist Bonnke currently enjoys an active retirement that includes writing, speaking engagements and continued conversations with church leaders around the globe. He and his family do ask for your prayers as he recently underwent bone surgery – a result of age-related health issues. Still, his contagious joy and overflowing love of Jesus influences everything we do at CfaN. We remain proud to follow him as he follows Jesus.
The real question is: “Is what you’re loving for worth Christ dying for?”