How do you honor the life of a man who has led 75 million souls to the Lord? It is with great humility that I add my poor voice to the chorus of gratitude currently going up around the world for the life of this mighty man of God.
I only dare to write out of duty. If it were it not my duty I would remain silent, but the Word of God shows us how fitting and proper it is to bestow honor where honor is due. The fact that he is a fellow evangelist makes it doubly my duty to write. I ask for your patience with my feeble attempt.
There are many details about our brother that you will not see in this article. That is the right of others who were much closer to him, and who have far more right to speak about his life.
My focus in honoring Reinhard Bonnke shall begin with these words of Paul in Second Timothy, Chapter 4: “6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
Reinhard lived his life always ready to be poured out. He fought a good fight. He should be given honor as a war hero every bit as much as any preacher. In remembering war heroes we instantly remember one overriding fact: They gave their life. One cannot give more than their life. Paul was telling us that he was ready to give his life as an offering.
Standing before massive crowds in Nigeria and numerous other dark places in the world is neither glamorous nor comfortable. Hanging one’s soul between God and indescribable demonic power exacts a toll that lukewarm preachers cannot begin to understand. He was first a hero of war, and thus, he must be honored for making the ultimate sacrifice.
Now let us turn to the force that drove his life. Much has already been said about this. One of the forces that is most mentioned in referring to Bonnke’s exploits, is the fire of the Holy Spirit. I believe that is what gave him strength. But something else drove him. And by telling you what I think, I risk overstepping my authority. But I must take that risk.
Reinhard Bonnke was driven by the greatest love for lost souls I have ever seen. Let me talk about love for a moment. The Bible grants us these familiar and immortal words: 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Faith and hope are awesome things. Why then is love given supremacy? Because love will keep going when everything else gives up. Love never fails—never fails to find a way—never fails to get up again, no matter how beaten down and drained, and love will pay any price.
Look at these simple words to understand love: “For God so loved the world that he gave…” The Father gave the crown jewel of heaven. The beloved and only begotten Son. When Reinhard saw that, felt that, imbibed that, he became capable of giving everything he had to win the lost. I believe this drove his life more than anything else.
He loved God so much that he took upon himself the single most dangerous quality you can accept from God—to love the lost as Jesus loves the lost. And because of that, he became unstoppable. No one dared to tell him that anything was impossible.
The astounding miracles that restored limbs, raised the dead, cast out devils and healed every disease that crossed his path was solely because he knew that miracles would win more souls.
While others may have gloried in signs and wonders and even corrupted their purpose, this was impossible for Reinhard Bonnke, because it was love that drove him to the supernatural. Love drove him to give God all the glory and never to take it for himself. He would never do anything that would impede the anointing of the Spirit from winning more souls.
Love found the energy for him to keep going when his body screamed for him to stop. Love was the bulldozer that powered him to destroy limitations on soul winning and blast upward to new heights of what an evangelist can do to harvest souls.
Do you dare remember this man with mere honor and hollow accolades? His life calls forth fear and trembling for any ministry that operates on lesser fuel. We remember rightly, we honor him only, by taking up his sublime challenge to love, and by that love, to do greater exploits to win lost souls than we could otherwise ever have imagined, had there not been such a man, with such a love.