By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Special Post ~
What a great prophecy conference this past weekend in Tampa, Florida! It was on Friday, the day before it started, that I knew it would be great. I was to pick up Alan Kurschner, one of the speakers, around 3 pm, but Alan had called me earlier and told me that his flight from New Jersey was delayed. To make a long story short, after two different planes, 13 flight time departure delays, and some fervent prayer, Alan flew, not into Tampa, but into Orlando, over 100 miles to the east. I thought, “Wow, the devil sure doesn’t want Alan to speak. That means God wants Alan to speak and it is going to be a great conference.” It was a few minutes after 11 pm that Alan, after a two hour Uber drive, arrived at our home. After some food and fellowship, we headed for bed, quite tired, but excited about the next day.
Attendees for the conference, from Indiana, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, started registering at 9:15 am, and the first session began just a few minutes after 10 am. Alan was the main speaker for Saturday, primarily expounding on Matthew 24, proving that the rapture of the church is not imminent. The vast majority of Christians in this country believe that the rapture is imminent, that it can happen at any moment, that there are no signs whatsoever that need to take place before Christ returns. But that is just not true – and Alan, in four different sessions, talked about events needing to happen before the coming of Christ. And I thought how interesting, for this is what I’ve been writing about in my past two blog posts.
My turn to speak came early Saturday afternoon. I have to admit that I was revved up, for I was talking on one of my favorite subjects, the big picture of our life and how it fits in with the big picture of all that God is doing throughout human history. It just so happens, as I think you now know, that we live in the end times, at the very end of this age, that time right before Christ’s return. It won’t be long before we will “see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” Luke 21:27
There were plenty of break times, a good lunch, but most of all there was great fellowship. I believe I can speak for everyone when I say that it was very encouraging talking to people we had just met, about the Lord and His soon return. One of my favorite times was the singing. I have to admit that we have an excellent music group, and we must have sung and / or heard close to 15 different songs during our conference, most of them related to prophecy. That was definitely a taste of heaven, being with one another and singing to the Lord!
Our Sunday speaker, Marv Rosenthal, and his wife Marbeth, drove in Saturday afternoon, and Marsha and I had the blessing of having a meal with them that evening. Marv and Marbeth truly love the Lord and His Word, and love our little church. What an encouraging time being with them, talking about family, the church, the state of the world, and prophecy.
It was another short night, and in the morning I took Alan to the airport – and fortunately the plane was on time. “Thank you Lord.” Then back home and Marsha and I head back to church. Again, there is good singing, and then the messages. Marv spoke with clarity and passion from 1 Thessalonians 4-5, two short, powerful chapters about the resurrection, the rapture, and the Day of the Lord, important lessons about what happens to believers and unbelievers at Christ’s coming. Then the final song of the conference – “Revelation 19.” (You have to hear this, and you can if you email me and ask for “Scripture Songs”, a double CD set.) Then the benediction from Jude 24-25, and finally, more fellowship, a lunch and many good byes. I thank God for a Christ exalting and edifying conference!
P.S. Messages will be online in the next week or so at Hope Bible Church at Sermon Audio. The blog post for this Saturday is “How Then Should We Live in the End Times?”