Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Jonah 1: 2 KJV
The powerful verse of warning taken from the prophecies of Jonah is the impetus and the foundation of Evangelist Bill Keller's "Jonah Project." Bill says the Jonah project is "a huge vision, from a huge God." The scope of Keller's project is enormous but everything he has done so far is not only on a large scale but has a prophetic and radical approach that is anything but the religious status quo.
The purpose of the Jonah Project says Keller is "bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to every soul on the face of the earth and give each person the opportunity to accept the Lord as their Savior by faith." The other main goal of this ambitious project is to call the United States back to God and the truth of his word.
Keller has been helping his 2.4 million subscribers with the Word of God for nine years. He engages over 700 retired pastors to help answer the 40,000 daily emails. Together thy have answered upwards of seventy million prayer requests and received over three million "praise reports" which are testimonies of how God has met their needs in various ways.
Keller was airing a live call-in program on a CBS affiliate in Tampa, Florida starting in 2003. He has aired on an ABC affiliate and PAX TV as well. Presently his LivePrayer program is live on the Internet every evening between 10-11 EDT Monday through Friday. While it sounds like Keller is just another preacher with some healthy TV coverage there is one major difference in his broadcasts that makes the LivePrayer ministry absolutely unique.
The difference is that he has offered his programs within major secular networks to reach the lost instead of the Christians. Not only is this the very essence of the gospel but Keller says that is what he plans to do with all his outreach and is what puts the Jonah Project in a class by itself among all evangelistic ministries of the day.
Other ministries seem to appeal to the rank and file of Christianity thus procuring a base from churches and other ministries that will buy books and products, attend gatherings and events but few outside of the inner circle are receiving any ministry. This kind of ministry is self perpetuating but can hardly be thought of as the fulfillment of the great commission and the words "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations" Mt 28: 19
Like the prophet Jonah who nearly 3000 years ago refused to preach against the city of Nineveh until God punished him, Keller has had a similar experience. At the age of twelve Bill accepted Christ as his savior and received a call to serve immediately after that. After he "ran from God" like Jonah, Bill had his own "great fish" to swallow him up. Keller says that fish was the "U.S. government." Keller spent 30 months in the belly of that fish serving time for insider trading. Following that Keller said "I decided that it would be much better to obey God than run."
Now, 18 years later God has renewed Keller's calling and refreshed the vision to call this nation and the entire world and each person in it to repentance. This is why The Jonah Project is involved in obtaining contracts for the LivePrayer TV program to go "live" again for one hour five nights a week entirely on secular TV outlets. Additionally the Live Prayer radio broadcasts will be simulcast on the LivePrayer website for worldwide distribution. The networks involved in the simulcast will be announced on September 8, 2008.
It is the push to put the gospel message on secular media that makes The Jonah Project so highly unusual. Keller says he doesn't want to "preach to the choir" or produce no more than a series of "Christian infomercials" that offer the gospel and a slew of books and products to those already part of the church.
Calling the nation back to God includes ending the slaughter of 4,000 unborn children every day in this nation and the insidious practice of men marrying men and women marrying women. The end of abortion and the breaking of the push to crush the God given tenants of biblical marriage between one man and one woman are foremost in Keller's call to repentance. Bill says we are making a serious mistake in depending on political leaders to renew the nation. It is up to the people of this country to return to their God given heritage and repent in order to save our nation.
Keller says that the first thing people can do is pray like never before but he says we must also "act." He urges all those who want to be a part of the Jonah Project to go to the LivePrayer website and register or sign up. An email program is also underway in which those who sign up can use a prepared email to send to everyone on their own address book or list of friends. It is a hands-on participation that allows those who have previously said "I know it's bad in the country, but what can I do about it" to have something they now can do about it.
Will it work? When enough individuals set their minds to something history has shown that "anything is possible." Bill Keller urges everyone to recognize that "this is your moment." He understands that we live in a world where time is premium and people hardly have a moment for anything besides what they are already doing. Keller believes that a vision dies unless it is shared and engaged by others who if they are willing can change the course of a nation and offer salvation to countless thousands of lost and wandering souls across the globe.
Can it work? Look at what happened to the city of Nineveh when they took Jonah's message to heart from Jonah 3: 10 NIV. "When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened."
Copyright ©2008 Rev. Michael Bresciani