by Evangelist Koji Honda
This was but the beginning of a life of soul winning that the Lord has allowed me. I have also done hospital evangelism. While praying with a church worker, who was sick, there was with her in the same room a young woman, who was sick with T.B. I also dealt with her and she repented of her sins. After I baptized her she gave me a small packet, wrapped in a newspaper. She said, "Open it later." Upon returning home I opened it and saw a beautiful photo of a dancing star. It was the same girl.
She told me that since the Lord had saved her from her life of sin that she wanted me to burn this photo, a reminder of her days of sin. She led fifty of the hospital patients to the Lord, as well as leading her own family to Christ. Her younger brother is a saved member of my church. Several years later she had a glorious homegoing, looking forward to the day when she would see Jesus face to face.
I have seen God save Japanese drunkards too! While I was in Mikage in Kobe one of the worst drunks came to see me. He inquired, "If I believe on Christ, can I stop my drinkng?" I replied, "Yes, Christ can save you and change you." We prayed together and he made his decision for Christ. The neighbors were surprised to see his changed life. Formerly he had gone about as a crazy person hitting people. His wife, who had wanted to commit suicide, came to the church and became saved. He became a pillar in the church and his three children became Christians. Today he is forever safe with Jesus.
Yes, the Lord can also save a Japanese killer! A Christian lady asked me to visit this young killer in the Kobe prison. He was a teacher, who fell in love with one of his students. He wanted to quit this affair but she wouldn't let him. Therefore as they were walking along a lonely country road he killed her with a pocket knife. I was able to lead him to the Lord. Three years later he is still living a model Christian life in the prison.
Yes, the Gospel is able to save a Japanese idolator too. In my church there was a saved young man, whose wife was unsaved. She worshipped her dead ancestors before her Buddhist god-shelf. She placed flowers, water, and rice before them. However her little gold idol could give her no help when her child was born with an asthmatic condition.
In answer to our prayers the Lord healed the child. From that time the mother became a believer in Christ. She brought her Buddhist god-shelf and tablets of her dead ancestors and we burned them. She entered into a happy earnest Christian life. However, she became hospitalized, and even in the hospital gave forth a radiant testimony to those about her. However, one day very suddenly, with the glory of the Lord on her face, she received a call to go to a land where there is no more sickness or pain.
Such is the power of the enemy in Japan that some of her unsaved relatives said that her death was a punishment from the gods because she had burned her Buddhist god-shelf. In the midst of the midnight darkness of idolatry God has not forgotten Japan. Those who have been saved are but the firstfruits of a great multitude that God is going to save [Reader, please note this very important prophecy by Pastor Koji Honda, given years ago in 1958, but now coming to pass in 2007, I believe--Editor Ronald Ginther]. Yes, the power of the Gospel, which knows no racial barriers, is able to save Japanese sinners too.
Since stepping out in faith and obedience to the Lord, the church has grown even tho I have been absent for over 50% of the time. It is now Kobe's second largest church.
It has been a step of faith and work of faith, but God has not failed. He did not fail to supply me with clothes right after the war, when all of my clothes were stolen by a seeker, to whom I had given a night's lodging in my tent. He has not failed now. In every crusade God has blessed and saved souls. He has swept aside the opposition and has manifested His glory.
In the great soul winning Amagasaki Crusade where there were about 1,000 in attendance every night, an interesting thing took place. One of the cooperating missionaries brought my former English teacher from Fukui to the meeting. He heard the Gospel and made his decision to quit his life of sin and accept Christ as his Savior. He has since become baptized.
In the City of Matsue the Lord showed forth His glory by sending over 1,000 every night for the five nights. There were about 1,000 who came forward in both of these Crusades to make decisions for Christ. The man in charge of the auditorium in Matsue said that this was the first time in the history of the building that a continuous five night meeting had been held. He had expressed his own unbelief by saying that he had felt the crowds would get smaller and smaller, instead of getting bigger and bigger every night as they did.
The local pastor, who was in charge of making the rental arrangements also felt that five nights were too long until Eddie Karnes, my personal secretary, and close missionary friend, said, "If only one soul is saved during the five nights, it will be worth the $20 a night that it costs to rent the hall." From that time faith was on the rise and the Lord surely did honor that Crusade.
Yes, God has not forgotten Japan. In the Matsue Crusade we gathered every morning for a 6:00 A.M. prayer meeting in the old chapel where Barclay Buxton had worked so many years ago. On the fourth morning practically everyone in the meeting was in tears.
One night a young girl came to me with a troubled look upon her face and asked, "Does God really forgive sins--real deep sin?" I said, "Yes." She then told me of how she had committed a most sinful act and actually wanted to die. I spoke to her from God's Word and assured her that the Lord would forgive her. Later I got a letter from her telling of her new found joy and peace.
"Do the converts last?", you may ask. The following story proves that the Holy Spirit is well able to take care of those who make decisions for Christ. Out of 180 names that one of the churches received 130 of them showed uop the following week at a special welcome service that was held for them. A month later the attendance of that church was still doubled. Much of the credit for this wonderful piece of follow-up work goes to the Navigators, who did such a splendid job in the Matsue Crusade.
When Japanese got saved, they too learn to give to God. One new believer came to the same pastor and said, "I have never given anything to the one true God before, but here is a small offering of 2,500 yen (about $7."
Just last month the Lord blessed in the Hikone Crusade. The town was a former castle city where the Christians were persecuted some 300 years before. One night a former principal came to the meeting. His heart was full of anger and hate. He had entered a false cult, but could find no peace for his soul. He said, "Can Christ solve my problems?" I answered, "Christ died to purify your heart." "Really," he replied. The next night he told me that as he was returning home all of his burdens left him. "Guess I'm saved," he said. The same night he brought his two teen-age sons with him.
No, God has not forgotten Japan's unreached lost! After I returned to Kobe I got a letter from a student in Hikone, who had been a problem child. He had gotten into sin. His father was dead and he was grieving his poor widowed mother's heart. He wrote, "Thank you for telling me to believe only in Jesus. I did and now I am saved. I wanted to tell my classmates of Jesus, because they need to become Christians."
In the Kyoto Crusade God blessed with 170 sinners coming forward to make decisions for Christ. Others were in tears. Missionaries and pastors came together in a great unselfish effort to win the lost of their city for Christ. The prayer meetings had a revival-like atmosphere about them. God is moving in Japan. There are almost one million Japanese living today, who at this time next year, will be beyond the hearing of a Gospel voice. They will be in eternity! But, where? Christians everywhere, please PRAY for Japan's unsaved millions. Please PRAY for me. I am attempting to bring pastors and missionaries together in city-wide crusades on a platform with the Word of God as the foundation. II Timothy 3:16 is my platform--"ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INFSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS."
NOW IS PERHAPS JAPAN'S GREATEST OPPORTUNITY FOR EVANGELISM! I CANNOT REACH THEM ALONE! I NEED YOUR HELP! I NEED YOUR PRAYERS! SACRIFICES HAVE BEEN MADE IN JAPAN--BUT THESE ARE NOT ENOUGH. JAPAN IS A MODERN NATION. WHILE IT IS TRUE WE CAN EVANGELIZE FOR A FRACTION OF WHAT IT COSTS IN AMERICA AND CANADA, IT ALSO TRUE THAT ANNUALLY ALMOST NOTHING IS SPENT FOR EVANGELIZING THE UNREACHED MILLIONS OF JAPAN. HAS GOD FORGOTTEN JAPAN?
NO! EVERYWHERE I HOLD THESE CRUSADES SOULS ARE SAVED. THIS IS WHY GOD HAS CALLED ME TO REACH THE CITIES OF JAPAN FOR CHRIST WITH A BIBLE MESSAGE. WILL YOU STAND WITH ME? WILL YOU PRAY WITH ME THAT THE FORGOTTEN LOST OF JAPAN WILL HAVE THEIR OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR THE GOSPEL JUST ONCE BEFORE THEY PASS INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD?--Koji Honda, Evangelist in Japan
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