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Pastor, Televangelist Charles Stanley Dies at 90 - He Only Had 1 Goal in Life, And We Should All Have It, Too

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Thirteen years ago, pastor Charles Stanley laid out the game plan for the rest of his life.

“I have one goal,” Stanley told an audience in 2010. “Get the truth of the gospel to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, as simply as possible, in the power of the Holy Spirit and to the glory of God.”

By the time of his death Tuesday at age 90, Stanley had made good on that pledge with an evangelistic ministry that reached from his home pulpit in Atlanta to viewers and listeners around the globe. His “In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley” broadcasts were translated into more than 50 languages and carried on 2,600 radio and TV stations, according to The Christian Post.

Stanley’s death was announced by In Touch Ministries on Instagram.

“This morning at the age of 90, God called our beloved pastor, Dr. Charles Frazier Stanley, home to heaven.

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“Dr. Stanley lived a faithful life of obedience, dedicated to teaching others how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Now he is receiving the joy of his soul — seeing his Savior face-to-face.”

Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship wrote about Stanley’s death on social media. “Charles Stanley went to Heaven today,” Laurie said.

“He made his mark on this world for the Gospel and his incredible teaching of God’s Word. … No doubt, he has already heard Jesus say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.'”

 

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Troy Miller, president of the National Religious Broadcasters, said in a statement that Stanley “leaves behind a lasting legacy as a torch-bearer and trailblazer of Gospel ministry and Christian broadcasting.”

It’s hard for Christians not to have conflicted feelings about the loss of a believer. Of course, we rejoice for the one who is now “away from the body and at home with the Lord,” as we’re told in 2 Corinthians 5:8. But as those who remain behind on earth, we feel the loss deeply.

The world has lost many well-known pastors and evangelists in recent years, including Billy Graham, Luis Palau and Ravi Zacharias, to name just a few. Many other famous Christian leaders are in their 70s and 80s, and their ranks are dwindling.

Which makes it hard not to be concerned as we look around and wonder: Who’s going to fill their shoes? Who is going to bear those torches and follow those trails blazed by those who have gone before? There are critical battles to be fought and won.

Stanley led the charge back in the 1980s, when he served two one-year terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

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“Stanley was part of the SBC’s Conservative Resurgence, a movement that led to a rejection of the progressive theological trends that dominated other Protestant churches in the United States,” The Christian Post reported.

Those “progressive theological trends” have not diminished in any way; if anything, they have gained steam, creating increasing conflict and division with each passing year.

And most importantly, there’s the game plan Jesus left behind for his followers — the Great Commission, laid out in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

There’s no indication that Jesus was only addressing the superstar evangelists when he spoke those words 2,000 years ago. He was talking to all of us.

So how do we do it? How do we join Stanley in getting the gospel out to those who have yet to hear it, as the Lord commanded us?

The answer — or one of the answers — lies in something else Stanley said during that 2010 appearance.

“When I think about the things that God has done and people ask me why, my answer is very simple,” he said. “Just do what God tells you to do next.” Or, as Elisabeth Elliott so often said, “Do the next thing.”

Get alone with God and spend some serious time asking for direction. Then, get out there and get busy.

We may not have 90 years, as Charles Stanley did. But however many years we have left, we could do a lot worse than follow his game plan.

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.




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