Technological Advancements “For Such A Time As This”

The world has changed so much since I was diagnosed with ALS way back in 1996. Sitting here in my bedroom paralyzed for the last twenty years, I’ve mostly been an observer of these changes. In the opinion of this observer, some changes have been good, others have been bad.

I’m fascinated by the evolution of the Internet and Smartphone technology. In 1996, my cellphone was big, bulky, and only able to make calls. There was no such thing as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and Amazon was a little start-up selling books. Only one percent of the world’s population had Internet access. Today, the overwhelming majority of the world has Internet access, and there are more than 3.5 billion Smartphones in use.

I don’t think we can classify the Internet and smartphones as good or bad. They are merely tools. It’s what we do with them that becomes good or bad.

This COVID-19 pandemic introduced us to Social Distancing. As someone who’s been grounded to my room for the last two decades, I’m an old pro when it comes to social distancing. I am very thankful for this tool known as the World Wide Web. Even before starting this blog eight years ago, I was communicating with people all over the world.

I began connecting with people overseas ten years ago when I became an Online Missionary with Global Media Outreach. GMO was founded by a former Apple executive named Walt Wilson. With Steve Jobs, Walt was on the team that developed the Macintosh computers. The ministry shares the Good News through ads on social media in over 200 countries. To do this, they’re using over a hundred different domains in 50+ languages. They also use SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so one of their sites comes up first when people search using words like “God,” “Jesus,” “Bible,” or “Christianity.”

When someone clicks one of the ads or opens one of the sites, they are presented with the Good News. Afterward, they’re asked if they’d like to want to commit to follow Christ or learn more. If they click yes, they are connected to one of the thousands of Online Missionaries speaking their language. They might be connected to a paralyzed guy in Texas who can’t speak at all and is typing them with an eye-tracking computer. (If you want to see where GMO is making connections in real-time, click here).

Today, most of the GMO contacts are via cell phones, but when I started ten years ago, it was primarily computers. One of my first contacts was a woman in Sudan who walked three hours twice a week to use a computer at an Internet cafe. She was so eager to learn more and grateful for GMO and the easy to understand discipleship resources they provide.

Another contact was a young man in a Muslim country who committed to follow Christ after reading the Gospel message on a GMO site. His father and uncle were highly respected leaders in their town, and they were furious when he told them he was a Christian. His father threatened to stop paying for his college, thinking this would make him recant. When he refused, his father and uncle threatened to kill him. The last time I communicated with him, he was hiding out at the home of a moderate Muslim friend. He was already sharing the Gospel with his friend and with others.

Many of the people who haven’t heard the Gospel live in Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, North Korea, and other countries that missionaries don’t have access to. GMO can provide them with discipleship materials and digital Bibles.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19).

People have asked me why some Christians feel the need to evangelize. The short answer is – because Jesus told us to. That should be enough, but it’s also because those who have believed the Good News want to tell others. Last week, a friend emailed us and told us that Kroger has toilet paper. We were happy to hear that news. Regardless of what we believe, most of us want to pass along good news. Forgiveness of sins and the offer of eternal life with Christ is the best news in the history of the world! How could we not tell others?

(Jesus said) “…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14).

In Matthew 24, Jesus was telling His disciples the signs of the end times. It’s such an amazing prophecy when you put in the context of that time. He said “this gospel” thirty-five or forty years before Matthew wrote his Gospel. Jesus told this small group of disciples that the Good News would be proclaimed to the “whole world,” and to “all nations.” At the time he spoke those words, it’s estimated that the world’s population was around 300 million. Today there are 7 billion people on earth. With automobiles, planes, and especially the Internet, our generation is the first with the ability to fulfill this prophecy. And we will!

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, GMO was sharing the Gospel with an average of 350,000 a day. Since the pandemic began, they’ve been averaging 500,000. But they can handle two million per day. The only thing keeping GMO from reaching more people with the Good News is support to purchase more ads. If you can help with even a small gift to GMO, click here.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19).

Thanks!

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on April 27, 2020, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 80 Comments.

  1. Hi Bill,

    Isn’t it awesome how the Lord uses everything in every age to reach people, technology, illness, war, peace, etc. How different would this COVID been ten years ago. Have a great week.
    In Christ,
    Gary

    Like

  2. Bill you have done what very few have. In your weakness you find strength, courage and joy for life. There is no man that walks on earth that I have more respect for. You consistently set the standard for Christian living! I know that you are just being you never trying to be special. Its you love of God and mankind that drives you. I am so glad that God brought us together so many years ago. I am thankful for you Mary and the opportunity to watch your family grow.
    I love you and all of family!
    Kyle

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Bill and Mary, was catching up and just wanted to say hello. Please know that I remember you two often in my prayers (Oh, Happy Mother’s day, Mary!). You and your ministry are such a blessing and may our Amazing Lord bless you richly and “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” ~Debbie. (I’ll be back to catch up again…) ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on thotsfromgeorge and commented:
    Read this for Holy Spirit led inspiration, for serving Jesus Christ, and sharing His Gospel. None of us have a reason for not obeying the Great Commission from Jesus Christ. We may have excuses, but we do not have good reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing about this ministry Bill. It is an amazing way to share the Gospel of Christ, the best news possible. Sharing this Good News is something we are all to do, and we are all able in one way or another.
    Bill, your love for Jesus has obviously grown you into being a disciple of Christ, answering His call by saying, “Here am I Lord, send me”. And you have proven that a person does not physically have to travel thousands of miles from home base in order to be a missionary in a far off land. With technology today, spreading the good news can be faster and inexpensive, if people with a love for Jesus Christ, a love for people and not wanting any to suffer for eternity, also having a heart sensitive to Holy Spirit, an obedient spirit and heart

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments, George. You named the reasons we should be motivated to share the Gospel. I believe the Bible, which means I believe what Jesus said about hell. I don’t want anyone to go there because I didn’t tell them.

      Like

  6. Kelly Sharpe

    I know that ministry!! Great Word, Bill!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Bill and Mary,
    Book 2 is done!!
    The approval copy has been ordered. It won’t be long now!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So good to read this blog, Bill. Like you, I just want to share with as many people as possible about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
    Blessing on you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bill, this is so encouraging to all of us as you show how we can still share the Gospel and be part of the great commission, even during a time of physical distancing.
    Blessings to you & Mary ~ Wendy Mac

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Hi Bill, great post. Very inspiring. I knew you worked with missions overseas but didn’t know it what it was called. Continue to pray for you and yours daily. I can’t do a lot but I can POST AND PRAY. For God’s glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Why do Christians want to share the gospel?”? What I don’t get is Christians who DON’T feel any need to share. As you say, good news is almost impossible to keep to yourself. What a great ministry you’ve been doing, Bill.
    God is using technology to reach places we couldn’t imagine a few years ago. Since the pandemic, the “JESUS” Film Project hasn’t been able to do their usual work of bringing the “JESUS” film into small, remote villages, where people could see and hear the gospel in their own language – and often the whole village would come to faith in one showing. In answer to prayer, the Lord showed them other ways they could reach the unreached, and April 4 I heard that they had arranged for the film to be aired on SIX secular stations in TURKEY on Easter!
    I (and I’m sure many others) prayed for them to be able to show it in more countries, and by Easter I heard that it was scheduled to be aired in 72 countries, including unlikely places like Iran, China, Pakistan, India, Sudan … ! So, billions of people, cooped up and isolated, had a chance to experience the gospel, many for the first time, and respond in the privacy of their homes.
    As you say, it’s what is done with the technology, and God did a lot this past Easter.

    Blessings to you and Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved reading this Bill – thank you. I had wondered how you did what you did online 🙂
    You are going into all the world Bill, I love how God has taken what the enemy meant for harm, and has used it for good through you – while I do not believe God orchestrated, or even condones your illness, I do believe He is getting pay back on all you have lost with souls won through your activity – all of whom you will be able to dance with in Heaven where you will meet, hug, and celebrate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Beth. I totally agree with you about ALS not being God’s will, but, as you rightly said, He can use our trials for good. We see examples of this thoughtful the Bible. I can’t wait for that day in heaven!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. We do love to share good news, to let others how we’ve been helped or blessed. That Jesus has told us to share His good news out of His heart of love and passion, His choice to love us in spite of all our brokenness is a privilege. Thanks for sharing a little more of your journey, my friend. For sharing with others the only hope that is real in this sad world. He alone makes it possible to experience true joy. Thanks, Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. GMO is new to me. So glad to know you work with them. I can’t think of a better online missionary than you. Thanks Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What an inspiring message, Bill. I had no idea about GMO. I had no idea it existed, and that must be how many feel that don’t know Jesus when they don’t know he exists! Lately, I have noticed that when we do online church that more people are seeming to tune in than walked through the door, what a blessing the pandemic has given the opportunity for people to share their individual church sermons with 1 person, that person 2 people and so on. The message is getting around! Thank you, once again, for lifting up my heart and spirits. Love and hugs to you and Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for being and online missionary for GMO and spreading the Good News!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Blessings and more blessings are falling. No one can stop the gospel of truth from reaching wherever our Lord wants it. Praying for more good things during these difficult times. He is able through us to spread the good tidings all around – for His glory and our joy. Much love and blessings to you and Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Bil and Mary, you are in my prayers morning and night. I hope you’re working on your book! Many blessings of all kinds with much joy and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Your post about GMO intrigues me…just looked them up and God-willing will fill out an app tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Glory be to God. we have no excuse to share the good news of the gospel. thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Never knew about GMO. You remind me that we all have a part to play in sharing the good news and God uses each one of us. Inspiring post, thank you for sharing 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  22. ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Bill, I can tell you for certain, without question, smartphones are good. They just have a dark side that must be guarded against.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you, Jim. I posted about this years ago, back in the 80s, at two in the morning, I was flagged down by a 20-something woman who had been raped after her car broke down. I don’t think that would have happened if she had a cell phone.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. If I knew about GMO and your participation with them, Bill, I forgot. What a fantastic ministry! And you’re right: it is the perfect medium for such a time as this–when millions are so limited in opportunity to hear the gospel, and when COVID-19 is forcing more people than ever to consider their mortality. You’ve told the previous commenter, smzang, that you can’t do a lot, but you can do something. I beg to differ. Between your blog and GMO you ARE doing a lot, my friend! And praise God for every seed you’ve planted, and every seed that is growing to produce more seed!

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Thank you for your messages. Have a blessed day! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Thank you as always Bill and Mary, for your inspiring witness to our Lord. Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Wonderful ministry Bill. I’m so blessed by your Writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  28. An awe-inspiring post, Bill. The work of GMO is to be applauded. Your own reach has been enormous.

    In these times, when the fields are white for harvest, can there be a more compelling task than sharing the Gospel? Christians — whether their reach is great or small — are called to share the love of Christ.

    May you be blessed as you have so richly blessed others, Bill.

    Your friend,

    A. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Your post remind me of a quote by Dwight L. Moody.
    “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
    By your examples, you and Mary are an inspiration to so many to be those kind of men and women. Thank you for the glimpses into what God can do through us, despite our limitations. Hugs to you both, my friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. An amazing ministry, Bill. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Amen, awesome ministry! Fulfilling the Great Commission is what it’s all about! God bless you and your family, Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. It’s always good to hear from you, Bill. The reason I blog is to share God’s Word. I can’t imagine having anything else that interesting to blog about 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  33. For someone who’s grounded you have flown like the angels. Thank you for telling about this ministry. I thought I knew most all of them!

    Liked by 4 people

  34. It is humbling to realize how much one (or two, or a whole bunch working together) can do.

    Liked by 3 people

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