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From the Archives | Chuck Smith: Man of Impact Part 3

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2023 3:00 am

From the Archives | Chuck Smith: Man of Impact Part 3

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 28, 2023 3:00 am

See the fascinating story of Chuck Smith and more on the big screen this February: 


In the concluding episode of this classic interview, Pastor Greg Laurie interviews Pastor Chuck Smith on the origins of the Harvest Crusade. Seeing a successful and thriving Bible study, Pastor Chuck had an idea: What if we made this a larger outreach event? And over three decades later, these large-scale evangelistic events continue.

Other topics addressed include:

  • Pastor Chuck’s health challenges
  • Regrets, memories, and wishes
  • Pastor Chuck’s favorites
  • A performance of “The Love of God”

This interview originally took place in 2012 and aired on radio that same year. Pastor Chuck Smith went to be with the Lord on October 3, 2013. 


Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
Cross the Bridge
David McGee
Discerning The Times
Brian Thomas
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Sam Main
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Cross the Bridge
David McGee

Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to Chuck Smith asked me to come down and do a Bible study at his church where he pastors Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. And around 1989, a Monday night Bible study that I did, and it was largely attended by young people, and the place was packed out, and young kids were coming to Christ as 50, 60, 70 a week.

It was quite amazing. And Chuck had this vision, and he came up to me with this idea, Greg, why don't we take what the Lord is doing on Monday nights to a larger venue? And I said, well, what do you mean? He said, you know, sort of like a Billy Graham crusade. And then I asked him where he wanted to do it, and he said the Pacific Amphitheater, which is a large venue not far from Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. And I said, well, Chuck, that's a pretty big place, isn't it? And his response was, well, Greg, we serve a pretty big God. And that was the beginning of what we know now as our Harvest Crusades that have been going on for some 23 years, and we've seen hundreds of thousands of people attend and come to faith in Christ.

And let's give credit where credit is due. Chuck had the original vision for this ministry, and so we're thankful that God has raised up such a man as Pastor Chuck Smith. Well, let's listen to this final portion of your interview with Pastor Chuck. You asked him about his current health challenges. You recently disclosed that you have cancer in your right lung, and I remember hearing you say this. We had the discussion on the Saturday before, and you told your congregation at Calvary that you have perfect peace. Oh, yes.

As you revealed this and what you said and quoting it. I'm sure you could say it again, but you said no fear, no concern. The Lord going to take care of it. Whatever it is, the worst thing that could happen is I could die. But that's not so bad.

Being a child of the Lord. You betcha. You believe that? I believe that. Tell what is that perfect peace?

Well, you know, you can't. How can you explain it? A peace that passes understanding.

That's right. And passes description. You know, you don't.

You can't understand it yourself, but you just know you have it. And it's just comes by commitment to the Lord. I mean, it's just all in his hands. And so, you know, that he's watching over and whatever he wants. You know, that's best for me.

And so that's what I want. Do you ever have doubts, Chuck? Just about why is this happening?

This isn't right or? No, no way. Are you? Do you have fears? No fears. You don't ever have things that frighten you? No. Boo.

That didn't work? Chuck, you're. The thing is, knowing Chuck, I believe what he's saying because he lives what he says. You know, you've been a model on running the race of life. And, you know, we've seen you start to race. We've talked about that tonight. Maybe middle point somewhere around the Jesus movement.

And now, you know, you're coming to a point in life where the Lord may give you many more years. We don't know. Maybe not. Maybe not. But you're coming to where you're thinking about finishing the race.

Yes. Billy Graham was asked the question in an interview. If you were to do things over again, would you do it differently? He said, yes, I would study more. I would pray more. I would travel less, take less speaking engagements. If I had it to do over again, I'd spend more time in meditation and prayer just telling the Lord how much I love him. And I'm looking forward to the time that we're going to spend together for eternity. Chuck, if you were going to do things over again, would you do anything differently? Greg, I think that the Lord had charge of the whole thing.

And so I want to try and improve on his program. What has been the best decision of your life? Marion Key. I thought you would say that.

What's your most embarrassing moment? I've had that. What comes to mind? Well, I was in New Guinea speaking for missionaries and we had an assistant pastor at Cowrie Chapel called Romaine. Yes. And Romaine had a favorite kind of saying, you know, that he was just blessed out of his gourd. Yes, I remember him saying that.

Yeah. And so I was sort of closing up and telling them what a blessing it was to be with them that we can be teaching the word and all. And just the wonderful time that we'd had there. And I said, I've just been blessed out of my gourd. And I didn't realize until they all broke up and I lost them because the New Guinea natives were these gourds over their private parts.

You don't want to be blessed out of that. Yeah, that's great. And it hit me, you know, because I'd seen pictures and I thought, oh my, that's the worst blooper I ever made, you know. That's the worst.

It's not too bad. Do you remember your first sermon, Chuck? Yes, I do. What did you preach on? Well, I preached on if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. If you were going to give one last sermon, what would it be on?

I think it would probably be on just preparedness because the Lord is coming soon. And you've been preaching that for years. That means you've been preaching your last sermon for years in varying ways.

Not that you're saying the same thing. Yeah, but you've returned to this theme over and over again. The return of Christ.

Why has that been such an important theme to you in your preaching over the years, telling people that Jesus is coming back again? Well, I think that actually there's sort of three things that it does. I think that first of all, it gives us sort of a proper perspective concerning life. In other words, we don't have much time. And so we need to use the time that we have wisely. And so I think that it keeps us on that path of just using the time wisely because, you know, I don't have that much time. And so I think that that is a real impetus to the way you live.

So that's number one. Number two is, well, we have only one life and it will soon be past and only what's done for Christ will last. And so looking at the eternal and realizing the value of the eternal over the temporal. And I think that that, again, you know, we need to be ready for our Lord when he comes. And then I think that Jesus did warn the disciples and it's in the scriptures that beware lest that day catches you unaware, you know. And the importance of being ready at any time because we don't know when he's coming.

And he just left us with that, you know, commission really to just be watchful and be ready because you don't know the day or the hour that the Son of Man is coming. And I've heard you say many times also that, you know, it impacts the way that we live. He that has to so purifies himself even as he is pure.

Very definitely. So there's a purifying effect on our life as well. You've started a church that has turned into a movement of churches around the world. It's called Calvary Chapel.

They have various names that, you know, work called Harvest, Micah's Horizon, Junk Horse and his Applegate. But it's a ministry philosophy in a nutshell, like almost a summation. Calvary Chapel is what? It is the exposition of the Word of God, encouraging the people to read the Word of God and expounding to them the Word of God. And it's really built on the Word of God. You know, it's just God honoring his word as he said he would. He said he'd honor his word even above his name.

And so it's just the movement has been built upon the solid teaching of the Word of God. Let me ask you some of the really important questions now that are burning on everyone's, I think, mind right now. Chuck Smith, what is your favorite color? It all depends on what you're talking about. If you're talking about eyes, my wife has the most beautiful blue eyes. And so blue would be the favorite color for eyes. Talk about lips, well, I don't think blue would be my favorite color.

Lips are very cold. And hair is not so good either, blue hair. So you like blue. Yes. What's your favorite kind of food? Oh my, rack of lamb. Oh, rack of lamb.

Yeah. What's your favorite song? The Love of God.

How does that go? The Love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell. The Love of God. Yes.

Okay, right. Goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell. Why is that your favorite song? Well, I think that's probably the first song I sang as a solo in church when I was a kid. How old were you?

Oh, I was 14. Nice. What is your favorite flower? Roses. You like roses?

Yes. What about, do you have a favorite bird? Yes, I like, well, there's a couple. Probably a blue jay and a meadowlark. I hate seagulls. Do you like seagulls? Will they steal your lunch? That's growing up at Harbor High.

Yeah, that's right. What natural gift would you have liked to possess? I mean, you wanted to be a doctor.

You ended up as a pastor teacher. Have you ever thought, man, I wish I could have done this? Well, I really admire musicians and, you know, I would like to have had probably the gift like Dennis of playing the guitar. And, you know, I like music and I would like to have been proficient in an instrument. You know, I would like, I've always thought I wish I could play guitar. Maybe in heaven we'll both have like Elvis hair and we'll be rocking out in guitar. That'd be fun.

It'd be fun. Who are your heroes? Oh, Billy Graham definitely is one of my heroes. Have you gotten to know Billy Graham? I've had that privilege, yes.

He had great, or has. I've heard him speak of you many times, of just his admiration for you and the work that God gave to you. And he really thinks very highly of you. So I know it's a mutual feeling.

Mutual admiration. I remember you telling the story of, we were having lunch, you and I and Franklin, his son and Jonathan, my son. And you told the story of when you went and heard Billy Graham for the first time at a Youth for Christ meeting. And he wasn't as well known as he was to become later when he did his tent meeting in Los Angeles in 1949. But you even remembered his sermon.

That's right. What did he preach on? Well, actually, he was at Anaheim High School and it was a Youth for Christ on a Saturday night. Anaheim High School?

Yeah, at the auditorium there. And he was saying, you know, that Hitler raised the swastika and thousands of German youth marched under the swastika. Many of them to their death. But those that died for Hitler died in vain. And Stalin raised the hammer and sickle and millions of Russian youth marched under the banner of the hammer and sickle. Many to their death. But those that died, you know, under the hammer and sickle died in vain. He said, Jesus raised the cross. And he said, through the years, thousands of young people have watched or have marched under the banner of the cross.

Many of them to their death. But those who died for Christ never died in vain. And that really stuck in my mind.

That'll still preach, wouldn't it? That's good stuff. Good stuff. What makes you angry, Chuck? Hmm. Questions like this, maybe? You've never been asked such weird questions, have you? Never thought about them.

Yeah. What makes you laugh? What do you find funny? My grandkids.

Yeah, they're always fun, aren't they? How do you want to be remembered, Chuck? Just as one who loves the word of God and loves the people of God. And you are known for that now. So you're already there. Praise the Lord.

Amen. Well, Chuck, you mentioned that you like to sing. And maybe you can't play guitar, but you can belt a tune, that's for sure. And I've asked Dennis Eggigenian to come out here and play guitar. And we're going to have you sing a song.

All right. Can you hear Chuck Smith sing a song? The love of God Is greater far Than tongue or pen Can ever tell It goes beyond The highest star And reaches to The lowest hell The guilty pair Bow down with care God gave His Son To win His erring child He reconciled And pardoned from His sin O love of God How rich, how pure How majorless And strong It shall forevermore Endure The saints' and angels' song Fantastic. Chuck, anything as we close tonight, I'd like to ask you to pray for us. It really would mean a lot to all of us.

We don't know what challenges we're going to face. We've heard about your life and the twists and turns, the highs, the lows, but the love of God, as you've just sung, has always been there, and you've always trusted in Him. But any final thought of something you would like to say to us about serving the Lord, following the Lord that is really important to you?

We are living in a rapidly changing world. The important thing is that we hold on to an unchanging Christ, and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And when you're living in uncertain kind of conditions, it's just important that you have an anchor that doesn't change, and so just hold on to our unchanging Christ. Hold the course.

Hold the course. You bet. Would you pray for us?

Oh, yes. Father, we thank you for the opportunities that are going to be given to us in this coming year. And Lord, we look forward to that which you have planned and that which you are going to do. And Lord, we know that already you've got the whole thing laid out, and so as we, Lord, just go by faith, day by day, just seeking, Lord, to know your will and to do your will, we pray, Father, that you'll just guide us and use us as you see fit, that we, Lord, might be instruments through which you can accomplish your eternal purposes. And so, Lord, bless, we pray, as, Lord, we seek to follow you and be instruments, Lord, through which you can accomplish your eternal purposes and know the blessings and the joy of just being your servants here on earth. So thank you, Lord, for what you've done, and we look forward for what you're planning to do and going to do as we just surrender and submit our ways unto you. Bless you, Lord. We thank you for Jesus and all of his love and all that he's done for us. And Lord, just may we go forth inspired by your Spirit, looking forward to the things that you want to accomplish through our lives as we surrender and yield ourselves fully to you. In Jesus' name, Father. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 04:27:44 / 2023-01-28 04:34:43 / 7

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