ATLANTA — Seminars are taught on how to have a full and meaningful life. Books are written to tell us how to find purpose and success in the time allotted us in this world. People search the world over to find the secret, the mystery, and the hidden truth to triumphant living.
It is very likely that a conversation with Naresh K. Malhotra would be quite sufficient to help one discover the path to a purpose-filled life. Malhotra believes that when we are in Christ and walk with Him, God will make us everything we were meant to be. He believes that when we are who God meant us to be, we can make a significant difference in this world. We can’t be what we are meant to be apart from Christ. But through His empowering grace in us and through us we can truly be change agents for God and His kingdom bringing glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Malhotra is Senior Fellow, Georgia Tech CIBER and Regents’ Professor Emeritus, Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a prolific author and accounted as a marketing legend. His accomplishments in academia as a scholar and teacher are widely heralded in colleges and universities in America and around the world. He is also an ordained minister of the Gospel and president of Global Evangelistic Ministries, Inc.
Malhotra was born in India and raised as a Hindu. At age 25 he came to the United States to get a Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo. While in college he was exposed to the Bible and on March 19, 1978 attended the morning worship service at the Metropolitan Chapel of Buffalo and professed his faith in Jesus Christ.
God immediately put a hunger in Malhotra’s heart for the Bible and in that first year as a Christian he read the Bible through. He continues to be an ardent student of the Word of God, spending substantial time in Bible study and prayer on a daily basis.
In 1986 Malhotra was an associate professor at Georgia Tech and offered the opportunity to be a chaired professor (above the rank of a full professor) in a prestigious university. He agonized over accepting the position because he had not heard from the Lord regarding what he should do.
Searching for, and getting direction
Malhotra recalled, “I needed wisdom so I went to the book of Proverbs. I also learned that Dr. Jerry Falwell had preached 31 sermons on Proverbs at his church in Lynchburg, VA – a sermon for every chapter – and I got alone with God and those sermons one weekend and heard every one of them.
“Those sermons were helpful, but it was not until the Holy Spirit quickened Habakkuk 2:3 in my spirit that I got my answer. That verse says, ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ I believed God used that verse to tell me, ‘Wait here at Georgia Tech. Don’t move.’ So I called the other university officials and told them that I was not coming.” In retrospect, that turned out to be the right decision.
In 1987 Malhotra made a serious commitment to accept God’s call to launch an international evangelistic ministry. The marketing professor stated, “Interestingly, God has used Georgia Tech and other universities to open doors and present incredible opportunities for my ministry.” For example, one school in La Plata, Argentina invited him to come and teach there, and they were willing to set up speaking opportunities for him in local churches. The miracle is that these people were not even Christians but as high ranking university officials were well known in the community, God used them to open big doors.
“I preached in the First Baptist Church, La Plata there on Sunday morning and when I gave the invitation for those present to trust Christ, the university officials who were sitting in the front row were the first to respond. God has orchestrated amazing stories like these in many parts of the world; and the Lord deserves all the glory.
“In 2007 I was ordained as a minister of the Gospel by my pastor Dr. Charles F. Stanley and God gave me a vision to see one million people pray to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He also gave me a strategy.
“That strategy was to preach the Gospel in public schools (elementary, middle, and high schools and universities) in those countries where it is possible to do so. In 2009 I retired from Georgia Tech and launched Global Evangelistic Ministries, Inc., and began to share the Gospel in public schools in many part of the world. Frankly, I thought this was a life-time vision; sometime in my lifetime God would bless me to see that many people pray to receive Christ as their Savior. However, the Lord did exceedingly abundantly and in less than four years He surpassed this goal of one million.
“This is the LORD’S doing. It is marvelous in our eyes (Ps. 118:23).”
In fact, as of December 31, 2015, Malhotra has documented in independent reports 1.54 million people praying to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. Each report is signed by multiple local pastors and Christian leaders with whom he works and all these reports are posted on his website. This is a rich website and you will be blessed by visiting it. Over the years, Malhotra has preached the Gospel in 35 countries, most of them he has visited multiple times.
Malhotra testified that when he has a question he can always find the answer in the Bible. When he was attempting to find specific direction about his calling to evangelize he found his answer in Jeremiah 16:16: “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.”
The teacher/evangelist explained, “I knew that it was my calling to be a hunter, not cast a broad net as a fisherman, but to be like a hunter and specifically target public schools and universities.”
Little things become big things
So, when and how was the vision to preach in public schools born?
In 1989 Malhotra was preaching in the Casa Roca Church in Bogota, Colombia and 32 people responded to the invitation to receive Christ. After the service, as he was greeting the people, a woman came up to him and asked him if he would go to preach to 12 poor children in a small school two hours from Bogota.
He prayed, “God, I will go where you want me to go, but if it takes two hours to go and two hours to come back and 45 minutes to speak to 12 children, is that a good use of my time?”
I sensed that God replied, “If you think you are too big for the little things, you are too little for the big things.”
So, Malhotra told the lady, “I will go speak to the 12 children if the teacher of the school will go with me to do door-to-door evangelism for the rest of the day.” That day he not only led the 12 school children to Lord but the international evangelist also saw 300 other people come to faith in Christ in door to door evangelism.
After a busy day Malhotra was waiting to go back to Bogota when he saw a new building at the foot of a hill, inquired about the building, and was told that there were some large schools there. The former Hindu, now Christian evangelist, later went to the first school and got permission to go to each classroom to talk to the students. A teacher was appointed to go with him. He preached in the first classroom and there was a tremendous response.
In the second classroom there was a similar response as practically all the students prayed to receive Christ, but the woman assigned to go with him got angry. She stormed into the principal’s office and persuaded the principal to have Malhotra leave the school. As a traditional Catholic, she was upset with the Gospel message.
Not easily discouraged, Malhotra went to another school and the principal told him to come back at 3 p.m. However, the principal deceived him, because the school closed at 2 p.m., so he was not able to talk to the students there.
Malhotra knew he had heard from God and was not dejected. He stood outside the school and was talking to a security guard when he heard voices singing. He learned that the music was coming from an all girls’ school of 700 students. He proceeded to go to that school and found the principal of the school to be more amenable than the principal he had encountered earlier.
Malhotra explained, “I told the principal about my academic credentials and my career as a professor and she granted me permission to speak to the gathered student body. The man with the microphone was reluctant to relinquish it and I had to convince him that the principal had given me permission to address the students.
“When I presented the Gospel and gave the invitation I think almost all the 700 girls prayed to receive Christ. They just poured out their hearts to the Lord. As it turned out the man with the microphone was a Christian and he thanked me profusely for my message and told me that there was a college that met in the same building from 7 p.m.-midnight and asked me if I could stay and talk to the college students.
“I told him that I would stay and speak to the college students if he would get the college principal to give me permission to do so. I received permission to go from classroom to classroom and the principal provided a lady to accompany me from room to room. We had a great response in the first two classrooms, but after the overwhelming response of the students in the second classroom the lady assigned to accompany me began to cry uncontrollably. I thought about what happened in the previous school; and whispered a prayer that it would not happen again.
“However, she said, ‘These tears are tears of joy. For seven years I have been weeping over our school and praying for God to send an evangelist to come to and speak to our students. You have no idea what this means to me.”
Malhotra responded, “Sister, be of good comfort. I have come in response to your prayers.”
The former Georgia Tech professor went to 23 classrooms that night. Each classroom had about 50-60 students and 90 percent of them prayed to receive Christ. By 1 am Malhotra saw much more than 1,000 students pray to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord! That was the first time in his ministry to see more than one thousand people pray to receive Christ in a single day.
Results from prayer
He stated, “God showed me three things of great importance on that day: First, it is important to reach the poor people of this world. Since then, that is a significant focus of our ministry. Second, there is nothing more important to an evangelism ministry than prayer. We were there in that particular college because of the prayers of one woman. God constantly reminds me that the results come from prayer. Third, the potential of preaching the Gospel in public schools is incredible. Importantly, the vision to preach the Gospel in the public schools was born that day.
“We saw 136,000 pray to receive Christ from 1987 to 2009, but since 2009 we have seen more than 1.5 million people, mostly students, profess faith in Christ.”
He concluded his remarks by saying, “It is tragically sad that in the United States we can no longer go into the public schools. We must remember that as goes the spiritual condition of the nation so goes the nation. That is why we have started a radio ministry here – to reach the people of America.” Naresh Malhotra’s radio program can be heard over WAEC 860 AM, Atlanta’s Inspirational Talk Radio, each Monday and Thursday from 5:30-6 p.m. and on Sunday from 2:30-3 pm.
Malhotra’s advice to every person is a s follows. “If you have not yet accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, do so right now! If you are a Christian, determine the unique call of God upon your life and then pursue that with passion and obedience.”
The global evangelist is writing a book about discerning and responding to the call of God. He has already written and copyrighted four of the twelve chapters and is very excited about this book.
Naresh and his wife, Veena, are members of Atlanta’s First Baptist Church where he also serves as a deacon. The Malhotra’s have two grown children, Ruth and Paul. Ruth works for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Paul is a graduate of Liberty University, is currently pursuing higher studies online at Dallas Theological Seminary, and doing volunteer work for RZIM.
A conversation with Naresh Malhotra will convince you that God can use you to make a profound difference in this world for Jesus Christ. Malhotra may be contacted through his website or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.