Today we will connect with Skip Heitzig in the studio, as we continue Vision Week, where Skip will give advice on what to do when your Bible reading gets stale, review his study and writing habits, and his perspective on the prophetic calendar. There's just too many things going on around. There are things that we are seeing in terms of worldwide communication that make the book of Revelation plausibly fulfilled, about to be fulfilled.
So I think that we are watching the end unfold in our generation. Now, let's join Skip Heitzig in studio for a conversation with Chip Lusko on Vision Week. Don't miss the end of this talk, when Skip will tell us all about his Daniel moment, when he shared the Gospel with royalty in a Saudi Arabian palace. Here we go. Now, Skip, you have, I think at last count here, at the connection, 3,600 or more full messages taught by you.
See, that's a lot of hot air, isn't it? No, posted online. You've taught through the Bible many times, but you're still continuing to do it.
I am. So I think I've gone through the Bible about four or five times, all the way taught through it. Verse by verse. Verse by verse.
I did it once in California. Some books of the Bible have gotten more attention, just by the nature of their content, their importance to the church, certainly the New Testament, over and above the Old Testament. But I do believe Christians should know their Old Testaments well. And it's a discredit, honestly, to church history that many churches have shied away from it.
So I think we should teach all of it. Well, that is a remarkable amount of Bible survey under your belt. But I know you're still finding fresh manna in your reading, because it reflects in your teaching, which is strong, and you're in your best days, Skip.
But what would you say to someone listening right now, who maybe is bogged down? They've read the Bible. Maybe they think, I've read John before. How would you encourage them to, like, get that fire lit again?
Okay, good question. First off, I would say try it in another translation than you have been reading it. I do this. I read so many different translations, and I love it. I know what it says.
I know what the words say. I can read the Hebrew and the Greek. But I love reading it like in the New Living Translation. I love reading the Message Version, just because they try to capture, and they do capture, a different nuance of the word or the intent of the author. So I would say try different translations.
Go through books so you hear them differently, or not anticipating what it's saying. Number two, try a plan, like the YouVersion plans. They're numerous.
They're free. Get on a plan. Go through it that way. Also, if you get bogged down just in Bible reading, get a great devotional. Every good Bible teacher in the world has devotions through the Bible, and do it that way.
I've written one that's a daily devotional. And then change it up. So instead of just reading a book of the Bible, slow it down and go deeper, in some cases. But if you're used to just going deeper, then go shallower and go longer, like I did in 90 Days.
I went shallower, but I went longer. So I got it all. So I have a book called Profitable Bible Study. It's 80 years old.
Wilbur Smith, I think, wrote it. But it tells you how to study every book of the Bible, every chapter of the Bible, every paragraph of the Bible, every sentence. I mean, it takes you down to the words. So there's a number of ways to look at it.
I would just change the style, the approach. Let's take our audience into your study, Skip, and I know you're highly disciplined in how you approach your study. Let's assume you're starting a new series on a Monday morning. Who are the go-to guys you look to first for insight and commentary? Yeah, I guess it depends, Chip, on which book of the Scriptures. There's a couple of books that I use that are general commentaries that just kind of give you the overall pitch of the chapter, tone, background history, without going into the weeds. I like McDonald's commentary on the Scripture.
I forget exactly what it's called. I love Walvoord and Zuck, the Bible Knowledge commentary. It's two volumes. One is the Old Testament, the other is the New Testament.
It's a Dallas Theological Seminary. There you have a one- or two-volume commentary that just kind of gives you a basic structure of it. I like to start there. First of all, I don't start with the commentary.
I just start with the Scripture, and I write down impressions, I write down structure, I write down verbs and nouns and see how it's sort of the emphasis, and I start outlining the thought process to see what it's connected to. So, I just make general observations before I even get into a commentary. The commentary then gives me a little bit of nuanced direction of where to proceed. Well, I know you're highly studied, Skip. You have gone deep into the weeds, as you call it. You have multiple degrees. And yet, I know you're a fan of the concept that our friend Steve Mays had of putting the cookies on the bottom shelf for the people.
Yes, so I think a couple of things. I always want to be able to keep in mind my audience, so I realize in any audience I'm speaking to people who are seasoned believers as well as brand new believers. It's a challenge, but we must speak to all people in the audience, not just one, not just the other, not just tell them the Greek and the Hebrew and give them deep theological concepts, but give them deep theological concepts in an easy way to understand. Explain it. Use illustrations. Use several illustrations. You know, belabor the point so they get it, so they understand it.
But I do believe in taking people through an education and challenging them and making them grow, telling them things they don't know, and taking them deeper. Since we're in your study, theoretically here, you have a rich and very varied Bible collection of books, but things have changed digitally. How do you treat that as far as getting books digitally on Kindle versus getting the hard copy in your hand? Well, they are digital. Logos has great programs.
Several people have programs, platforms, that they have a number of these books available, research tools, research methods, outlining methods, etc., even down to the language of the original language, easy to access. I use it. I like it. But I have so many books in my library that aren't in those platforms, and they're out of print or they're classics, but they're not going to be included there. So I use both, and I love a hard copy. I love to smell the paper. I like to feel the page. I like to write notes in the margin of the commentary. If you went in and pulled any book out, you're going to find underlines, notes that I've collected over the years. So they're like friends to me. I go in my library and go, oh, how have you been?
I haven't seen you in a long time. I'm going to pull it off the shelf and look at it again. So you can't do that digitally, or you can't as readily do it digitally. So I think I like real books. Now, we've heard it said that leaders are readers. Is there any concern on your part that the new generation, being so socially media-adept, is going to miss that depth of, as you say, reading the tactile book itself? I think so.
Yes. And it's because digitally, usually, the trend today is to give information in snippets. If you look at just articles, news, you can go to USA Today or you can go to the Atlantic magazine. I like to read the Atlantic magazine articles. It's not a conservative publication, but they go into depth in the article. Or it's like listening to BBC News. They're going to go into depth when they cover an issue.
And so I like that. I think we live in the age of the tweet, and I think that we need to, whether it's news or Bible stuff, go a little bit deeper and really understand what's going on there. Skip, you're an accomplished author with a catalog of books you've written over the years. Writing, from my viewpoint, can be a torturous, painful project. Tell us about your writing habits. Well, first of all, you have to have the idea.
You have to have some kind of passion. You want to write about something, not just you have to write something. You want to want to write something. So writing is like speaking.
There's two ways to get into the pulpit. One, because you have to say something. Two, because you have something to say. And writing is like that. You want to have something to write about. So you have to have an idea. And then you put your ideas into kind of a purpose statement, what you're trying to accomplish with those ideas. And then what I do is I outline those ideas of how would the book be divided? Am I covering enough?
Am I covering too much? And so I'll outline it, and then I'll put the outline in chapter form. Then I do the research, and I get it from a lot of different sources, usually. And then once I kind of have all of that, then I go to my assistant, and I make sure that she schedules time for me that is blocked off only to write, and nothing else. I get no text.
I get no emails. I don't care who's knocking. I'll go somewhere at my office or at home, and I'll just do the work. I know that authors like Stephen King have a habit. He writes 1,000 words a day every day. Ernest Hemingway wrote from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and then went off and did whatever he did. Hung out with his cats. Or his fishing book.
Yes. But did you have that kind of a similar discipline? The first books I did, I started by every Monday would be a day of writing. And I would collect ideas during the week, but then because I wasn't just writing. I'm writing and doing a sermon for Sunday morning, and at that time Sunday night, and at that time Thursday night. So, three different studies is sort of hard to write at the same time. So, I would take one day a week.
I would go away to a local city about an hour away, get a little room, and just commit to just hashing it out for like eight to twelve hours. Your recent book, The Biography of God, that's a bold work, Skip. How did that come to be? I wanted to write a book challenging the thinking of unbelievers and believers because of my journey. I grew up in a home, a Christian home, a Catholic home, but I grew up believing in God. But that belief system got challenged pretty early on just because of public education and the world. And so I went from believing in God to wondering if God existed to coming to true faith in Jesus Christ. And I relied on, at that time, when I was a new believer, apologetics. I needed to have evidence for my faith. And so I wanted to write a book that was for the skeptic, to talk about just the God issue, the God idea.
How do we know? Are there any things around us to give us evidence that God exists? So the skeptic, and then the person who's beyond that, who's a seeker, like, yeah, I think God exists, but I don't know where you'd find him. And then I wanted to write to the saint. So the skeptic, the seeker, and the saint is what the book—I had those three in mind when I wrote it.
So I began with just sort of the idea of how do we know God exists, kind of go through all of the evidentiary principles, all the way to a light, short biography of the attributes of God. And then I closed it off with how can we be a friend to this God? You know, we talk about a relationship with God.
We toss that phrase around quite glibly. How do you relate? How do you have a personal relationship with somebody you never see or who never audibly speaks to you? That's a very different kind of relationship than you and I have or anybody else has on a human level.
So we talk about a personal relationship, but we just sort of toss that out without attaching real value to it and understanding to it. And I wanted to do that in this book. So, Skip, we've covered the genesis of your journey from Southern California, your salvation through Billy Graham, your decision for you and Lenny to leave the ocean and come to the high desert. And now you've seen the growth of this church over the years. I wonder, when you come in the early mornings or you walk around this campus by yourself and you see the significant work God has done, what are your thoughts? Well, I've done it so long and so I've had different thoughts.
Yes, I pinch myself. It's amazing. But at the same time, it's such an enjoyable thing for me. I love being on campus. I love talking to people. I love hearing their ideas. And I'm a collaborator, so I love hearing the ideas and creativity of my staff and just getting behind their jobs because, you know, it's cliche, but it does take teamwork to make the dream work in a real way. The team that we have assembled, that the Lord has assembled here, is a powerful, potent, competent, creative group of people.
And it's synergistic. I get inspired being around them, hearing their conversations. Chip, you're accomplished in and of yourself in all that you've done. So for you to be a part of this team is an honor.
And I feel that way about everybody who works here. One of the things I've observed over the decades, Skip, that has frankly impressed me about you in your shepherding, your pastoring, you teach Wednesday night, you teach four services over in a normal time on a weekend. And yet, after those teachings, when I'm doing, I might be tempted to scurry up to the green room and just kind of, you know, relax. You are out in front, talking to people week after week, service after service, praying.
That is not easy. It's draining after you've done 40 minutes in the pulpit. Yeah, it is draining. At the same time, it is invigorating for me. It's inspiring for me in this way.
I don't get feedback when I speak. I might get an amen here and there or somebody nodding their head, but it's nice afterwards to go up to people and hear their response. It helps me know if I'm really connecting.
But, Skip, let me, in a real fair second, let's be clear here. You aren't standing by the back door, getting the great message, great sermon, Pastor. You're interacting at depth and at length with people.
Yeah, so it's not the typical, I'd leave at the last song and stand there and shake hands. I'm out in the courtyard, in the foyer, walking up to people, talking to people. And oftentimes, it is draining because people will talk to you and they'll just immediately start pouring out their heart. What makes it difficult is other people see me and it's almost like they don't see that I'm talking to another human being and they're pouring out their heart to me. They just interrupt and just start talking. And you might get two or three people doing that. And that's where it's difficult.
You have to say, excuse me, I'd love to talk to you, but let me just finish this conversation. I'll be right with you. So, not only here at the church, I get that in the community because it's not that large of a community. But I do love meeting people and hearing kind of their story. But wouldn't you say to a young pastor or a pastor of any age or stage, that's a key shepherding strategy?
Right. You're not just a speaker. You're not just a preacher. You are a pastor.
If you're a pastor, then shepherd them, pastor them, get into their lives, figure out ways to do that. Put your blue jeans on. Yeah, you can't pastor in the green room.
No, you can't. Well, Skip, you came here, as you mentioned, and we're on one radio station, an AM Daytimer. Today, we're on hundreds. You're on nationwide TV. You're on television.
You're on nationwide TV. The social media is blowing up, frankly. And how does that strike you? I don't know how. I hear it, and it's just, you know, nothing changes for me, I mean, in that. So, it's like when they say, wow, we have 80 to 100,000 people a week tuning in to your weekend message through these different media outlets. Wow, that's amazing. But I don't see that.
I just hear that number. I'm really just seeing the same people that I'm speaking to. And so, that's really what I'm concentrated on.
I kind of concentrate what's in front of me and grateful for the spillover. Well, my observation is that your style hasn't changed from speaking in that one station to when you're speaking nation, frankly, worldwide. What happens in that pulpit is really the same.
Yeah, well, I hope so. You've heard, you would know. You've had to listen to me for a long time.
It's been an honor. So, Skip, I would consider you an expert in Bible prophecy as we begin to kind of shift gears here. Where do you think we're at on the Bible timeline? I think we're at the end. I think we are in the last days. Now, I do have to qualify that, because technically the last days began when Jesus came to the earth 2,000 years ago, began the last days. How do we know that?
Because the Bible says so. Peter gets up on Pentecost, quotes Joel, who says, this is a fulfillment of the prophecy, in the last days I will pour out my Spirit. So, Peter, when he preached that sermon, believed he was in the last days.
Number two, the writer of Hebrews said, God, who at different times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by the Father. So, we have been in the last days for 2,000 years. Having qualified that, however, I think we're in the end of the end. There's just too many things going on around. There are things that we are seeing in terms of worldwide communication that make the book of Revelation plausibly fulfilled, about to be fulfilled.
So, I think that we're watching the end unfold in our generation. You've had a remarkable opportunity in the past several years, Skip, to be a part of the landslide changes in the Middle East. You've been part of what happened with the Abraham Accords.
Would you give us a little insight into that? Yeah, so let's just start with the Abraham Accords. To be on the White House lawn, when you have the leaders of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who came on later on, but a few Arab nations signing on to be at peace with Israel, sadly went almost unnoticed by the elite media, but it is monumental.
We haven't seen that kind of peace deal for decades. So, it was great to be a part of that. It was great to be invited to that.
It was actually great. I got invited to the State Department when Secretary Pompeo was over at the State Department. I got invited to a small dinner with ten of us around a table before they even talked publicly about the Abraham Accords, just getting our insight as Christian leaders, evangelical leaders, on what it should look like.
What should our administration, our country, have in terms of a policy? So, to be consulted on national policy with regards to the Middle East? Are you kidding? I mean, what an invitation that was. I was pretty excited to be a part of that. It was great to be a part of an evangelical delegation with our friend Joel Rosenberg in the Middle East and some of these countries, including Saudi Arabia, to talk to the leaders of that country and share the gospel. Well, you, I know, were in the palaces with Joel, with the prime ministers and the princes. I love the story you told about when he kind of pulled the pin on the hand grenade and said, Skip, explain the gospel to this Arab leader, where it's very possible that's the first time the gospel was ever coherently presented in that palace. Probably, yeah. Probably that had not ever happened for at least 300 years.
That's fair. So, yeah, to be, first of all, to be invited by the head of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, to come as evangelicals and ask questions and talk, that was unheard of. So, you know, kudos to him for doing that. And then for doing it again, inviting us a year later to do it again and retain the relationship, build on the relationship. Let me show you around the country.
But that was exciting when Joel kind of teed the ball up for me to drive. He said, Your Highness, you probably don't hear the term evangelical Christian bandied about much in this palace. I'm guessing that you guys don't use that term much.
Maybe some of your people don't even know what the term means. So I have a friend, a pastor from New Mexico, who is a Christian leader, and would it be okay if he just explained to everybody what an evangelical Christian is and what he believes in? And so he said, Please do it. So at his invitation, I got to tell the crown prince about God sending his only son into this world to die on a cross for our sins, that we're all separated from God by sin, and only Jesus can forgive that sin.
And, you know, the power of the blood of Christ and the resurrection, whoever believes in him wouldn't bear. I got to share that. And it was like a Daniel moment. It was like Daniel before the king, before Nebuchadnezzar and being able to input into his life.
It was incredibly humbling. It's been about 15 years, since we did with Joel the epicenter documentary. And many of those themes you spoke about have exactly transpired.
Right, exactly. And, you know, think about what has happened in the world, in the Middle East, since September 11, 2001. Think about Saudi Arabia producing these people to bomb the World Trade Center, and now Saudi Arabia arresting radicals, putting a hold on radicals, doing their best to overturn radical Islam in the world, but certainly in their country. And to have a voice of toleration and peace with Israel, even though they have not formally signed an agreement, we're headed in that direction, and other countries have in the Gulf.
So it's a different world than what you and I remember 20 years ago. That is Skip Heitzing in a conversation with Chip Lusko as we continue Vision Week on Connect with Skip. For regular listeners to this program, we want to thank you for your support.
In the past few years, this teaching ministry has continued its growth trend, as Skip mentioned. We want to do more, grow more, and reach more people with verse-by-verse Bible teaching. We invite you to help us do that during Vision Week. Please consider a one-time growth gift.
It is easy to do. Either call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com. And when you do give this week, we have a special resource package for you. Here are the details. We'd like to send you a signed copy of Skip's latest book, The Biography of God. You will also receive a hardcover copy of Joel Rosenberg's excellent new book, Enemies and Allies.
Skip plays a part in the story of seismic changes in the Middle East. Get your copy of both books with your gift of $50 or more to connect with Skip to support the growth of these Bible teachings. If you've been impacted by Skip's messages, your gift is your vote for growth. Either call 1-800-922-1888 or go online to connectwithskip.com and give your tax-deductible gift today. Don't miss the next program as Skip talks about the lightning rod of politics and why a trip to Israel is so important for a Christian. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-31 04:08:32 / 2023-07-31 04:18:47 / 10