So what I look at now is things like, what is Iran saying about Israel and Turkey and Russia? These are players the Bible predicts in the end days will form a coalition against God's people, the Jewish people. So I don't see everything as the sign, but I see certain things happening that have never happened historically like they're happening today, that being one of them, a coalition of these three superpowers or powers aligned against Israel.
And so to watch all that happening is pretty fascinating. This is a special edition of Connect with Skip Heitzig. This week, we pause in our Hunting Giants series to go in the studio with Skip to celebrate his 40 years of ministry. Skip and Chip Lusko will discuss ministry philosophy, the deterioration of America, the problem of prophecy, illiteracy, and pulpits, and how leaders can install guardrails in their lives. Now let's join Skip Heitzig and Chip Lusko as they continue their discussion for Vision Week and talk about overcoming speed bumps in the ministry. Welcome to Connect with Skip Heitzig.
This is Chip Lusko. We've got Skip in studio for day number two. We're celebrating 40 years of amazing ministry, and we appreciate that. Hey, Skip, as John Lennon said, we're living in most peculiar days. Most peculiar days we all, you know. Thinking back to the message Pastor Chuck gave, the death of a nation, that was in 1980 or so.
Wow. What would he say today? He would say the burial has already taken place. He would probably say, and always has had hope for revival, but I think he would say, because I believe this, that the nation is experiencing the judgment of God. We're in it. It's not like it's coming.
We're in it. We're seeing God give people over to their base desires. When you talk about gender assignment based not upon science, not upon fact, but upon feeling, upon identity. I feel like I'm a woman or a man or this and that and cutting genitalia off children in hospitals.
This is in the medical community. I mean, all of that is an indication that God has given over this nation to base desires, and that's step one of the judgment of God. Right. I think people need to understand that judgment of God is not just not just always overt intrusion of something cataclysmic.
There is the judgment of the abandonment, where he abandoned the nation's, as you say, its own desires. Right. What it calls in Scripture, a reprobate mind. I don't think any thinking Christian can look around at policymaking today without coming up with the term or at least including the term reprobate in there somewhere, because this is pretty bad. You've never walked away from being forthright about cultural issues.
I appreciate you're not overly political, but you'll deal with cultural issues that have spiritual components. Right. Well, yeah. So the reason I'm not overly political is because Paul said our polituo, our political leanings, our citizenship is the English word, is in heaven. So because of that, we have a legal inheritance already established in heaven. That's where we're going to spend the bulk of our time, so to speak.
So because of that, we are passing through. Nonetheless, we are to be involved in our culture. Right. The prophet Jeremiah said to the people of Israel who were taken captive, look, you can dwell in houses, seek and pray for the peace of this city. So that necessitates a certain amount of responsibility and involvement in your culture.
You can't just shut the door, live in a personal monastery. You do have to stay aware of what's going on, especially in a democracy where the government works for us. That's what they're supposed to do. And we are the people that run the country. So our constitution is based upon our involvement. And so Christians of all people should have a voice in the public square. I know we need to avoid the tendency to find the rapture in every piece of breaking news skip.
But what do you watch for in global trends? I watch for the big signs, the big picture, especially with Israel, because if I look at the backbone of biblical prophecy, which I believe to be Daniel Chapter 9, it says seventy sevens or seventy weeks, seventy periods of seven are determined for your people, for your city. So it's Israel centric, it's Jerusalem centric, it's based upon God's covenant with the Jewish people. He made a covenant through Abraham for the land. He made a stipulation covenant through Moses in the occupation of that land, but always promised to bring them back.
He did after the Babylonian captivity. So what I look at now is things like, what is Iran saying about Israel and Turkey and Russia? These are players the Bible predicts in the end days will form a coalition against God's people, the Jewish people. So I don't see everything as the sign, but I see certain things happening that have never happened historically like they're happening today.
That being one of them, a coalition of these three superpowers or powers aligned against Israel. And so to watch all that happening is pretty fascinating. The flip side of the coin of being rapture crazy is ignoring the second coming completely, and that's a major problem in the church, don't you think? And it's being disobedient to Jesus who said, watch and look and be aware and have your lamps burning.
Yeah, I think you can overdo it. There's plenty of citations in history that show examples of people doing that, Christians being crazy and on the fringe. But the other side of that is that we've become sort of uniformitarianists and think that nothing changes, this is all that has always been, and this is just a continuation of the past. At some point, God is going to interrupt history again with the events, the rapture is one of them, the second coming is another, the tribulation is another. He's going to get very, very involved on a personal basis in the end of time, and he is going to destroy the earth. He is going to catastrophize and uncreate the creation he made. You're an expert on biblical Israel.
You've led some 40 tours there. You recently met with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. You've already said you agree with Tim LaHaye's observation that Israel is a, or even the, massive megasign of prophecy. But that's not the belief of many Bible teachers. It's replacement theology and others. Well, to be quite candid, a lot of people don't even know what the Bible says about prophecy.
They'll even brag on it. I don't know what that stuff says. So I just think if you're going to stand in the pulpit, you should at least have a surface knowledge of prophecy and end-time events. There's plenty of good resources, and you can compare different viewpoints and make up your own mind.
You don't have to follow a certain teacher, but there's no excuse for not knowing and equipping your people in the days in which we live. Right. And we know, Skip, that the church will survive and thrive. It'll be the only institution that'll make it off the earth. But there are people who are a little bit really deeply concerned about the direction of America.
It's never been in this condition before. Speak a word of encouragement about the perpetuity of the church. Yeah. Well, it's the only institution that Jesus said He would build, and that He would... It is central to the work of God on the earth. Of course, the redemptive work of Christ on the cross is the central pillar of that. But Paul the Apostle, speaking of pillars, said that the church is the pillar and the ground of all the truth.
This is where God... It's God's repository of truth is housed within the group of people He calls out of the world, His ecclesia, His called-out ones. That's the group that He deposits His truth in to disseminate to the world. He commissions the church to go into all the world. He commissions the church to teach one another, etc. So the church has to be healthy. If we're ever going to reach the world, we have to disconnect from being like the world and be the church He wants us to be. And I believe when we are, that He'll use the church the way He said He wanted to use it. So the church is going to survive, obviously, and we need to find a balance between really being caught up in the events of the news and realizing that we're on a fast track to apostasy that's going to happen eventually. So my observation of this, if you see what you think, I mean, I can't imagine Paul sitting around the mamma team, wherever he was in Rome at different times, saying, Can you believe what that Caesar did?
I mean, these tyrants are going to do what they do. Yes, that's right. Yes. So one of the things I think we lose sight of as believers is the overall perspective that God has. We have our perspective. World news is world news.
It's breaking. It affects us. But keep in mind, God has seen every headline ever. You know, the headline of the flood, the headline of the Babylonian captivity, the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by fire. Everything throughout history, He has seen it all.
So we get shaken by these things, and we sometimes assign meaning to them beyond what is really important. Yes, White Houses and Congresses and elections are important, and I believe every Christian should be involved in vote. However, the big picture is not is our political party on the throne, but are we acknowledging God is on the throne?
What is His agenda in the world? It's far more important—and the Church is far more important—than any political campaign or political party. Aren't you reassured by what the Psalms say, that God laughs at these wicked rulers, and ultimately later says, You're just a drop in the bucket? Yeah, that's a reference of Psalm 2. And it's actually a prophetic Psalm that the people, the kings of this earth, gather together against the Lord and against His Christ, His anointed. It's quoted in the book of Acts as well.
But God sits in heaven and laughs. In other words, whatever plans you have, I have my own plans, and you can't stop them. Let's talk deeper about your philosophy of ministry. And I've observed that you manage to be very well aware of every component, every ministry, but yet you avoid the trap of micromanagement. Is that intentional?
It is intentional. A couple things to speak to that. I observed early on in my ministry somebody who was also very aware of what was going on on his staff—this is many years ago—and yet he did micromanage things, and he was a friend of mine. And I just thought, boy, he's spending a lot of energy and getting caught up in things that is diverting him from quality time with the Lord, quality time in the Word, preparing for what is really why he's there.
So I saw that, and I'd made a determination. I'm never going to do that, number one. Number two, I'm just not good at those things that I hire other people to do. They're good at it. They like doing it.
I can cast an overall vision, but I will give people lots of latitude to experiment and try things out and exercise their giftings, even though at first I might think, hmm, I would do it a little different. I let it happen. If it fails, great, we learned a lesson.
We'll never do that again. But if it succeeds, I didn't know that was a good approach. Now I know it is a good approach.
When I've really seen you succeed at Skip is what's called the 80-20 rule, and you're probably conscious of it or you've used it. That's for sure. But tell us about that. Well, you can do things 100% the way you want them if you do them yourself. But if you release a ministry or a work to somebody, you might only get 80% of what you wanted, but you'll get exponentially more work done because you can release four or five people. And just as you do, the principle of management by walking around, which you've mastered, you just show up in people's cubicles and how you're doing, what's going on. It's not a formal meeting, but those few minutes can be more valuable than talking for hours in a conference room.
Very much so. I don't like meetings in general, as you know. I'm not a meeting kind of a guy. A lot of times we'd say we're going to have a meeting and we have a little agenda. We write things down, but that's all we do is we write things down.
We don't really do anything with it. So I'm not a big fan of meetings. I am a fan of relationships and encouragement and the kind of things that make a difference in a person's life that I work with. And if I can impart vision during that time or hear out their heart or vision or something, it's going to be organizationally a better choice. These are tough times for Christian leaders in many quarters, and we always have a target on our back, but there seems to be more casualties than ever. Could you speak to young leaders right now, Skip, about staying strong and finishing strong?
Yeah. First of all, the vision you should have for your church or your ministry should be God's vision. We talk about vision week and what is your vision.
We in the church make a lot of that terminology. Let me share with you our vision. Frankly, I don't care what your vision is at all. I care what God's vision is, and He has already stated what His vision is for the church.
Find that, make it particular to your own calling, and then enact that, and you're going to be in good ground. Again, I think if the church becomes what God wants the church to become, then God will do for the church what God always said and wanted to do for the church. So yeah, there's a lot of casualties, so yes, you have to have accountability and all the necessary measures around you to ensure that you do finish strong and that you stay faithful, and that you do what—listen, no matter what you do, you'll only be responsible and accountable for whatever you want to be accountable for. I would say that to anybody in the ministry.
We go, I can't believe that person fell. Well, you didn't see what was going on behind the scenes because that person didn't want anyone to see what's going on behind the scenes, and the only reason you see it now is because they got caught. Usually that's what happens. So everybody, every Christian, but especially everybody in the ministry, has to make a decision of integrity like Daniel, and it says, Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with a portion of the king's delicacies. So that was an inward, like, guardrail system for Daniel to live in, and we all have to put those guardrails up, and no amount of board supervision or denominational supervision or, you know, small group supervision, elder supervision is going to take that away. You need both. You need your personal walk before the Lord and your family, but you also need the physical accountability as well.
You just have to make that determination. Almost without fail every week, Skip, we see you on the weekend giving an altar call in response to the gospel. Would you agree that many of the people that come forward come from a place of change, of crisis, that they—we call it a pivot point in a package we're working on—that that's a time when people are in crisis and transition and change, and they're open, more vulnerable to the gospel?
Yeah, no doubt. If you look statistically, if you look statistically in evangelism at people who come to Christ, most of them will do it when they're younger and do it in a time of uncertainty or crisis. So that's—keep that in mind. When you pray for your unsaved family members and friends, you're sort of—you're praying that God's going to get their attention, and God's pretty good at that. And when God gets a person's attention, usually all the things they have relied on start falling away from them, and they are more or less and crutchless, and then they start looking up. So that's why crisis is a good thing. Remember what David said, before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I keep your word. So God has ways—God has ways of getting our attention. I've heard you quote the study by the Graham Organization, and I think it was most conversions happened before—is it 30? Oh yeah, no question that.
I had the exact statistics. I haven't read the flyleaf of one of my Bibles, but most—you know, I came to Christ at around 18. That's when most decisions happened, right when you were young. That's why—you know, Christianity has always been a youth movement, and it should continue to be so. Yeah, we grow up older believers as well, and it's all the way into geriatrics, but the church and Christianity should always be thinking of kids and the youth, because that's when people make their decisions, number one. Number two, there's a lot of competition these days for the minds of youth, and they're being challenged in high school, with gender, at college campuses, with social media, and so we got to get them and go hard after them. You've always had that philosophy.
You've always given a lot of freedom and latitude for us to do youth-type things and do things that were fairly aggressive and unconventional. I think of—was it the sheep church or the electric church? Oh, right, right. It was the metal church. Metal church. Yeah, I mean, can you imagine going to a church and seeing in the bulletin, metal church Friday night? What does that mean? I think the band was the electric sheep, if whatever.
Something like that, yeah. So this was an outreach we did here that was in an era of the 80s when heavy metal, even before death metal became what it is, it was just heavy metal culture of kids who would rock out to music. Chip, you could hear it on the other side of the campus if you had the band inside.
You could be outside in the parking lot. You could still hear it. It was like, really?
Who listens to music that loud? But you know what? It was effective. And every single week, these kids would come to Christ. And I remember looking over one Sunday morning at a guy to my right who had a suit and a tie, in fact, a vast suit and a tie. It was a three-piece suit, and he had his Bible open. Next to him was a kid with a spiked bracelet, spiked hair, and his Bible opened. And I thought, only Jesus could put those two people together. Now, Skip, we have a few minutes here. This program is being heard worldwide on a variety of different platforms. Can we just take a few minutes and just give the pure gospel that you would give on a Sunday morning?
Sure. God knows our calamity, and He knows the condition of humanity. He created us in His image.
We fell from that image a long time ago, and we have been ever since suffering the consequences of that. But early on, God came up with a rescue plan, because He knew that the biggest problem was in politics, the biggest problem was in ideology, the biggest problem was sin. We were separated from God at that fall. All human beings born are born with a sin nature, and they choose to sin because of because of that nature. So God hatched a plan early on that somebody would be born, come into the world, and deliver us from sin. Well, as history unfolds, God sent His own Son, the God-man, fully God, fully man, and Jesus Christ came and bore our sins upon His own body. And so Paul puts it in one little verse in the New Testament. God made Him, Jesus, who knew no sin—He was perfect, He was sinless—to be sin for us, that we might be the righteousness of God in Him.
Let me put it in another way, paraphrase it. God treated Jesus Christ like we deserve to be treated so that God could treat us like Jesus deserves to be treated. He put Him on a cross. All the sins He died for, even though He'd never committed a sin in His life, so that in that transaction, that act, we could be seen by God as righteous, even though we are not.
So it's the great exchange. He took our sin so that we can take His righteousness. We can become sons of God. So what that means is that anybody who calls upon the name of Jesus becomes a child of God. The New Testament calls it adoption, salvation.
We become sons of the living God through faith in Jesus Christ. So that anybody listening right now to these words who may be religious, may be culturally well-meaning and well-lived and well-coiffed and practiced but isn't saved, you know it probably right now. You know you're far from God. You could call upon the name of Jesus and ask Him to save you and repent of your sins. A simple prayer, Lord I know I'm a sinner. Forgive me from my sins. I believe in Jesus. I believe you sent Him to die on a cross for my sin. I believe you rose again from the dead. I repent of my sin. I turn from it. I turn to Jesus as Savior and Lord. Fill me with your Spirit. Help me to live for you. It's that simple prayer, Chip.
If somebody prayed that or praised that, that God will hear from heaven and make that person a child of God. That strong medicine from Skip Hitek during this special vision week hosted by Chip Lusko. More tomorrow for another talk between Skip and Chip.
By the way, we are pausing our hunting giant series, but that will be back next Monday. Now here's our offer of pivot point messages by Skip. Our lives are punctuated by defining moments. Pivot points that shape who we are now and who will become such as choice of marriage partner or where we choose to work as Skip Hitek observes. There's predictable events that happens like in your life, but every now and then life sort of hits you by surprise. It comes crashing down on you. You are going a direction. Your day is planned out, but you get a phone call from a doctor or a friend. The news is not good.
The prognosis is not good, and you didn't see it coming. God's word has the direction to get you through the planned and unplanned pivot points in your life. The pivot point package speaks to marriage, death, depression, recovery, fear of the future, and moving to a new location or job. Get these teachings that include written personal direction from Skip on each of these topics. You'll receive this package when you give $50 or more today to this Bible teaching ministry. We'll send you Pastor Skip's pivot points collection of six messages plus an encouraging letter from Pastor Skip so you can strengthen your faith in defining moments.
A faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. Get these critical pivot point messages today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. When you take advantage of the resource offers on Connect with Skip, you help us take these messages to new national and international audiences. Your donation of $50 or more right now will help make our vision come true to have more people hear these teachings. When you vote for this expansion with your gift, we will send you the special pivot point messages along with study notes on each message from Skip. Call now 1-800-922-1888 or click in at connectwithskip.com. Tune in tomorrow for another talk between Skip Heitzig and Chip Lesko when they look forward and discuss what's next. Listen, Jesus is still moving around the world, including here, and we just have to turn up the volume and make his name great and make the gospel more accessible. You know, more not less. ... Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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