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Heed the world’s distress signals, Anne Graham Lotz tells BWA leaders

WASHINGTON (BP)–Like the rescue of U.S. pilot Scott O’Grady when his weak signal was picked up after he was downed over Bosnia in 1995, Anne Graham Lotz told more than 500 Baptists they need to listen to the many distress signals people send, however weak, and put them in touch with the Savior who can rescue them.

Lotz, a Bible teacher, author and daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, spoke March 9 in the concluding session of the Baptist World Alliance’s March executive committee meeting, which focused on plans for the BWA to move in April from its present headquarters in McLean Va., a suburb of Washington, to Falls Church, Va., some five miles away.

Lotz praised the BWA, which she said “puts up signals around the world and puts people in touch with Jesus Christ,” and she urged her audience to support the BWA and “pour everything you have into the work of those who put people in touch with the Savior.”

Using the biblical story of Noah who obeyed God and built the ark of safety from the great flood recorded in Genesis 6, Lotz described Noah as an example of one who walked with and obeyed God while living in a wicked world.

“God’s heart is just as broken by the wickedness of the world today as it was in the day of Noah,” Lotz said, noting that God is warning the world through men and women who belong to him to share the gospel.

Lotz listed various things which break God’s heart in a world “that does not compare with God’s standards. … There is no righteousness, no truthfulness, no godliness.”

Like Noah, who worked long years and faced unusual circumstances to build the ark, God is calling Christians to be at work, Lotz said. “Noah gave everything he had to the work,” she said. “Everyone who walks with God works for God. You can’t walk with God and be complacent.”

Lotz urged her audience to be obedient as Noah was. In collecting the animals, “God gave Noah an impossible task,” she said. “We do the possible and leave the impossible to God … and the truly impossible is to change anybody’s heart and mind, as it is the Savior who does that.”

Noah was also an example and a witness to what he believed when he entered the ark, and Christ’s followers likewise must be witnesses for God even when people do not listen to what God says.

“In my life I serve the Lord because of God’s call on my life, but also because of the example of my parents and grandparents, ” she said. “My grandfather got up at 4 a.m. every morning to pray and many times I saw him on his knees. This is also true of my mother. I saw my father not only preach to crowds, but share the gospel one-on-one.”

In spite of being “politically incorrect” in his time, Noah walked with God “and we must do that too,” Lotz said. “Nothing you do is more important than your personal walk with God, obedient to his will and surrendered to his will. … Then you begin to learn the mind of God. Judgment is on his mind and salvation is also on his mind.”

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  • Wendy Ryan