NRB 2024 Opening Session Focuses on Gospel Unity

NRB | February 29, 2024 | NRB News

On Tuesday evening, Feb. 20, the NRB 2024 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tenn., kicked off with the Opening Session celebrating NRB’s 80th anniversary and highlighting an overall theme of Christian unity.

Attendees took in keynote remarks from James E. Ward, Jr., Chairman and CEO at Total Living Network, and Jonathan Falwell, Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church and Chancellor of Liberty University.

“As we celebrate NRB’s 80th anniversary, we see God’s providence toward NRB in the past and in the future,” said Troy A. Miller, NRB President & CEO. “As NRB’s history makes clear, we are stronger together.”

Ward delivered an inspiring message based on John 17:21–23, addressing how unity in the world is only possible through the unity of believers.

“Unity is the mortar that binds individual bricks together to create something of value,” Ward said. “Unity makes the church of Jesus Christ valuable to the world.”

Ward noted some of the common sources of disunity in the world, aggregating them under the label of “victim thinking.”

“Victim thinking destroys unity in the Church of Jesus Christ, our nation, and in our world,” Ward said, “keeping the most powerful organization in the world, the church of Jesus Christ, fragmented, disjointed, and impotent in a time when the world desperately needs a unified dwelling place of God to believe that the Father sent His Son.”

In these days of what Ward calls ideological warfare—a war of ideas and identity—he addressed the question of how to address irreconcilable differences in the world. Before the church can reconcile the world to God, Ward called for reconciliation among believers.

“We have a sin problem and not a skin problem in our nation today,” Ward said. “It’s a heart infection that has to be addressed. The zero-victim mindset is this: The only innocent man who ever lived suffered the greatest injustice the world has ever known. He lovingly and sacrificially died for the people who murdered him. That’s the power of the love of God. That’s the power of the gospel that can change America to bring unity and healing to the church into the world.”

Jonathan Falwell also delivered a gospel-centered message from 2 Peter 3:14. His underlying call to the NRB gathering: “There’s one thing on which we must stand together, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Falwell admonished the audience of Christian communicators to remember the important opportunity and power they have in preaching the gospel around the world.

“Because of that great responsibility that God has entrusted to us,” Falwell said, “we have to make sure that we are diligent, careful, and focused that we don’t mess it up, because there’s a world out there today looking for the opportunities to take us down.”

Falwell warned Christians to ensure that their lives reflect the gospel message, rather than being more interested in self-promotion.

“We must stand up as testimonies and witnesses of the gospel,” Falwell said. “The world is looking for an opportunity to discount the church. Let’s stop giving them a reason.”

Falwell concluded by exhorting believers to preach the Scriptures boldly without fear of causing offense.

“If the Bible says, without Christ, you’re going to spend eternity in hell, then offend them and tell them how much God loves them,” Falwell said. “Offend them, and let them know that Jesus died for them. While the wages of their sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. That’s offensive. But it’s the best news they’ll ever hear.”

To celebrate NRB’s 80th anniversary, a mini-documentary commemorating NRB’s history and the Christian broadcasting legacy premiered at the Opening Session. Click here to view the documentary.

Opening Session attendees also enjoyed musical segments by FOR KING & COUNTRY and Journey Worship Co.

The session was sponsored by the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT).

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