We had an amazing time at our Preach the Word Prophecy Conference this past weekend at Harvest. What a lineup of speakers we had, including Tim Lahaye, Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, Skip Heitzig, and Joel Rosenberg.
You can order a set of every message from the conference on CD, DVD, and mp3 by clicking here. We will also put up video clips of the event on YouTube, Vimeo, and Harvest.org in the coming days.
Mosab Hassan Yousef
A surprise guest that we were able to secure at the last minute was Mosab Hassan Yousef. Here is a description of him from his book, The Son of Hamas:
Before the age of twenty-one, Mosab Hassan Yousef saw things no one should ever see: abject poverty, abuse of power, torture, and death. He witnessed the behind-the-scenes dealings of top Middle Eastern leaders who make headlines around the world. He was trusted at the highest levels of Hamas and participated in the Intifada.He was held captive deep inside Israel’s most feared prison facility. His dangerous choices and unlikely journey through dark places made him a traitor in the eyes of people he loves–and gave him access to extraordinary secrets. . . . After a chance encounter with a British tourist, he started a six-year quest that jeopardized Hamas, endangered his family, and threatened his life.He has since embraced the teachings of Jesus and sought political asylum in America.
Behind the scenes
Working undercover for Israel, Mosab had the code name “The Green Prince”: green because of the color of the flag of the Palestinian people, and prince because he was the son of one of the founders of Hamas, and the heir apparent.
Mosab saved many Israeli and Palestinian lives, as he provided information that helped thwart terror attacks in the Middle East.
One of the things that struck me backstage was the unity we have in Christ, despite how different we all were.
Upon meeting Mosab for the first time, Lt. Gen. Boykin said, “I used to hunt people like you.” But they gave each other a hug, embracing a common faith in Jesus. It was a thrill to see Joel Rosenberg, a Jew, embrace Mosab Yousef, a Palestinian.
It reminds you of the truth of the Scripture that says, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). I might add, neither Jew nor Palestinian, as well.
We will feature some segments of my interview with Mosab over the next few days.
Oh sure, I know you have heard this before. But it’s really true. All around us are signs of the times reminding us of this important fact.
So, to help us to be prepared, I want to tell you about two things.
1. I have just released a new book on the topic, titled Signs of the Times.
In this book, I identify certain signs the Bible told us to look for that would alert us to the fact that Christ is coming back again. Things like increased earthquakes, economic instability, and the increasing isolation of the nation of Israel.
You will find all the latest current events in the news looked at through a biblical lens.
If you want to know more about getting your own copy, click here.
2. The Preach the Word Prophecy conference is happening this weekend at Harvest Christian Fellowship.
We are gathering together some of the leading experts on end time events, including:
Joel is the New York Times best-selling author of many books on end times events. He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Nightline, CNN, C-SPAN, and Fox News Channel.
Joel, who is Jewish, will bring us an important perspective on what is happening in the Middle East today.
Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin (Ret.)
Lt. Gen. Boykin was one of the original members of the U.S. Army’s Delta Force. He was ultimately privileged to command these elite warriors in combat operations.
Later, Lt. Gen. Boykin commanded the U.S. Army’s Green Berets, as well as the Special Warfare Center and School.
He will bring us a unique military perspective on prophetic events, and talk about militant Islam in the world today.
Tim is a noted author, minister, counselor, and nationally-recognized speaker on Bible prophecy. He is the president of Tim LaHaye Ministries, founder of the Pre-Trib Research Center, and also conducts evangelistic Bible Prophecy Conferences throughout the United States and Canada.
He is also co-author of the Left Behind book series, which have sold more then 80 million copies.
Tim will focus on the rapture of the Church and what it means to us today.
Skip is the Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel of Albuquerque, which ministers to more than 14,000 people each weekend and was named the fastest growing church in America in 1988 and 1989.
Skip is going to give us the big picture overview of what the Bible says about what is happening in our world today.
Even if you cannot attend this conference in person, you can watch it online at Harvest.org.
So fasten your seat belts and get ready, because Jesus is coming!
John MacArthur, one of the greatest preachers alive, is always willing to speak his mind about what the Scripture teaches. I have many of his volumes in my library and am honored to count him as a friend.
In addition, John was one of the featured speakers at our recent Preach the Word Conference.
He recently posted an article on the topic of the frank discussion of sex in the pulpit and more that caused quite a stir. This article was brought to my attention, and I was asked my position on what he said.
My response was that I am in complete agreement with it. In fact, I wrote a similar blog post on the topic about six weeks ago.
So, here is that article for you to read again.
Reverence or Relevance?
March 11th, 2009 Posted in Pastor’s corner, sermons
It seems to me that for some we have lost the “fear of the Lord,” even in the Church.
There was a time when things were perhaps too uptight, and one spoke in whispers in the Church, and laughter was rarely heard. But today, many churches, in their attempt to be thought of as “cool” or “contemporary,” they have lost their focus.
I am not suggesting we attempt to be irrelevant and uncool, but my question is “Have we traded reverence for relevance?”
For instance, you have preachers talking in great detail about sexual issues, ranging from programs to have “sex every day for seven days” to more extreme versions in which they speak very graphically about specific sexual acts from the pulpit.
The cussing preacher
Then you have the “Cussing Preacher” syndrome. The pastor thinks it’s cool to use profanity in the pulpit so people will see him as one of them.
Is this all really necessary? I don’t think so.
Look, I have been a pastor for 35 years, and we have never had a problem reaching our culture and seeing people come to Christ. I am all for being real and authentic, but I also stand up on the platform to speak God’s Word.
1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God” (NIV).
We are also told in Scripture to watch what we say. Speaking of the tongue, James writes, “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God’s likeness. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:9-10 ESV).
The early Church had it right
The early Church, the Church of the book of Acts, had it right, of course. And let’s not forget they “turned their world upside down” (see Acts 17:6). Do we ever need that today!
These first-century believers were filled with both joy and the fear of the Lord.
Acts 2:46-47 tells us, “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people” (NKJV).
This phrase “gladness and sincerity of heart” literally means “with unaffected joy!” I love that–they were not afraid to express joy in their faith.
But there also was a sense or reverence and awe among these believers.
Acts 2:43 says, “Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (NKJV).
What is the fear of the Lord?
It does not mean you should be afraid of God. To fear God means that you have a healthy respect or reverence for Him. Another translation describes it as “a wholesome dread of displeasing God.” In other words, I love God so much that I want to do all I can to keep from displeasing Him.
Look, I am all for relevance. We need to make sense to the people we are reaching. But let’s not lower our standard in order to extend our reach.
Let’s not trade reverence for relevance.
I think for us to seek to live godly lives is very relevant, and very different than what this world has to offer. That’s how we will turn our world upside down, instead of the world turning us upside down.
I wanted to let you all know about a few things going on this weekend.
First of all, there is my weekend column at WorldNetDaily. This week, I talk about prayer, particularly in light of our having recently elected a new President.
To read that, click here.
We also have a long-form weekend devotional available, which you can sign up for at harvest.org. This week’s devotion is on one of the keys to spiritual growth.
To read the weekend devotion, click here.
This Sunday at Harvest
I have asked James Merritt, one of our Preach the Word Conference speakers to be our special guest in the pulpit on Sunday. It is sure to be a blessed service, as James is a powerful communicator of God’s Word.
Speaking of Preach the Word, we are going to post some highlights of the conference soon for your viewing and listening pleasure. Find out for yourself why many have described this as the best conference they have ever attended.
Franklin Graham is coming!
Also, mark your calendar, because Franklin Graham is coming to speak at Harvest on Sunday, November 30 at 6:00 P.M., Pacific Time. This service will be webcast live, and musician Phil Wickham will also join us.
This is something we have been doing for years as we were one of the first churches to participate in what has now become an international phenomenon, Operation Christmas Child. This is a project where you fill up a shoebox with toys and a personal letter, and they are sent to hurting children around the world with a gospel message.
I have personally seen the joy on the children’s faces when they open their box and discover what is inside.
To see more about Operation Christmas Child, click here.
Hey everyone! We just wrapped up the Preach the Word Conference. What can I say, but it was amazing!
I have had many people tell me it was the best conference they had ever attended!
How can you go wrong with the lineup of speakers we had? Every one of them spoke from his heart and years of ministry experience. I wish you all could have been there.
We will make DVDs and CDs available in the future, as well as the ability to download it.
I hope to give you a few clips to “whet your appetite” for what we all saw and heard the last few days. We tried to have a bit of fun in our video blogs, and many of you seemed to enjoy that.
From the heart of a grieving father
If you listened to our A New Beginning radio broadcast (or podcast) today you know that the title was “From the Heart of a Grieving Father.” Many have contacted us letting us know that it really stuck a chord.
If you want to listen, click here. We will be doing another couple of days on this theme, so stay tuned.
I am thankful for any good that can come out of what has been the hardest time of my life. I so miss my son and I know that he would have loved this conference. But of course, he is at his own “conference” in heaven, if you will, and he has access to the greatest men and women of God who ever lived.
Most importantly, he is there with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Check out this recap video for all of our Harvest Crusades events in 2008. It’s a bit different than ones we have done in the past and it really gives a bigger picture of all the Lord did this last year through our Harvest Crusades.
To see the video, click here.
That’s all for now. Talk to you soon.
The Preach the Word conference is finally here. I am really looking forward to meeting pastors, teachers, and those who just feel called to communicate God’s Word to this generation.
We are going to hear from some of the most effective preachers alive today (present company excluded, of course). I am personally looking forward to hearing what these men of God have to say.
I will be there with an open Bible and notepad–better yet, a computer screen, ’cause I can type faster than I can write now!
Remember us in prayer. We will try to post some special video and other features for all of you in the blogosphere.
Harvest Crusades 2008 Year in Review
We had wonderful and very challenging Harvest Crusades this year for obvious reasons. Here is our Crusade recap video that highlights some of what the Lord did in Southern California, Philadelphia and New York City. It’s a little different then our normal recap video, so let me know what you think.