Recently my personal beliefs have been questioned in a public forum. Those responsible for raising these questions have done so as part of a larger agenda to cause harm to the organizations of which I have given my life’s work. Some of those attacks relate to the legal process, and since I believe it is inappropriate to comment regarding ongoing legal proceedings, the LeSEA Ministry will simply work through that process with full confidence that we will prevail. However, I feel compelled to address this personal attack, and I’ll begin with a question—a question I ask myself daily: What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?
I must confess, I am unavoidably human—imperfect, but also passionate… and I have no greater passion than for Jesus Christ.
When I read the Gospels, I encounter a radical Nazarene who shook the religious establishment. He heretically dined with outcasts, and had the audacity to call himself Lord—an outrageous claim that resulted in his brutal execution. On the cross Christ’s abandonment was absolute. He was alone, naked, dying… as far as the Roman Empire was concerned, the story ended there, for the world gazes upon Calvary and sees utter failure. And it is here that the resurrected Christ frustrates “intelligence” and destroys “wisdom.” As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1, the Christ event is a “stumbling block” and “foolishness.” To put it another way, the kingdom of God is not of this world. It is an otherworldy kingdom above every other kingdom, neatly summarized in three words: Jesus is Lord.
The lords of this world are not Lord. Eternal salvation is in Christ alone, yet it comes at great cost. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, and to accept this gift is to accept that in God’s Kingdom the first are last, and the last first.
There is room for every last one who would take up their cross, and follow. Jesus was never one for mincing words, and his message was clear in Matthew 7:14, “But small is the gate and narrow is the road” (NIV). Wrestling with the difficult simplicity of Christ’s commands is the seed of faith, and I believe faith itself is nothing more than following Jesus—and I strive to run! Everyone falls, myself included, but the making of a champion is the determination to get back up and push forward. The harvest is ripe, but laborers are few. I believe the time for reaching the untold billions yet untold is now.
There is no greater gift you can give than the words of Jesus—words that bring life, redemption, and reconciliation. There is no time for backbiting or petty insults. The work at hand is too important, our time too precious. One is either spreading the Gospel, or they aren’t. As Jesus taught in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (NIV).
I pray that when the Son of Man returns he finds faith on the earth—let me be counted as a follower of Jesus, for Jesus is Lord.
As for LeSEA, we continue to remain true to our founding principles, the evidence of which is our television and radio signals broadcast across America and around the world. My grandfather, Dr. Lester Sumrall, was a great hero of the faith, of whom I personally have the upmost respect. He was truly a pioneer in world evangelism, a legacy that continues to this day. Moreover, our Ministry is as strong as it has ever been, and we are so very thankful for the opportunity to tell millions of people about the saving love of Jesus Christ. Along with a local church, a daily feeding program for tens of thousands of children, Bible distribution and more, we are continually looking to expand our vision and outreach. We are grateful for the love and support of our donors, viewers, clients, friends, staff, and numerous members of the Sumrall family.
President & CEO