Our Great Debates of Bible Prophecy Conference, which was held in the Dallas area in mid-July was greatly blessed by the Lord — in music, Bible study and fellowship. For the first time ever, we had standing room only at our Saturday sessions, with about 700 people present.
The conference began on Friday evening with a banquet, a concert and a keynote speech. The featured musician this year was Chuck Girard, a Christian music legend. He was one of the pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music. When he and his band called Love Song burst onto the scene in the late 1960s the only Christian music consisted of quartets singing southern gospel songs and soloists like George Beverly Shea singing hymns.
Chuck and his group came out of the Hippie Movement. They were converted at Costa Mesa Calvary Chapel in California where Chuck Smith was the pastor. Their revolutionary new music helped pave the way for the Jesus Movement which swept the youth of our nation in the early 1970s.
Chuck is still going strong today at age 73. He began his concert with one of his most spiritually moving songs, called, “Welcome Back,” and he ended with what is probably his best known song, “Sometimes Alleluia.” He also sang on Saturday before each speaker made his presentation.
Our keynote speaker, Dr. David Hocking, is also a legendary figure from California. Like Chuck, he spent many years at the Costa Mesa Calvary Chapel as one of their featured Bible teachers. Today he has a ministry called Hope for Today. He conducts prophecy conferences all over the United States and Canada and he hosts a daily radio program that is broadcast nationally.
Dr. Hocking spoke on “Why We Should Support Israel,” and in the process, he dealt with the evil of Replacement Theology which asserts that the Church has replaced Israel and that God has washed His hand of the Jews. It was powerful presentation that received a passionate standing ovation.
The five Saturday sessions were all characterized by outstanding presentations. Our Assistant Evangelist, Tim Moore, began by talking about what we can know about the timing of the Lord’s return. He asked the question, “Can we know when the Lord will return?” and he answered, “NO!” He then turned to walk off the stage! He did return and explain that although we cannot know the date, we can know the season by watching for the signs of the times.
Our second speaker was Ron Rhodes who made his usual powerful presentation. He focused on the timing of the Rapture, arguing in behalf of the Pre-Trib position. His outstanding book, The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy, was what inspired the theme of our conference this year.
Our former Associate Evangelist, Dennis Pollock, was the first speaker after lunch. Dennis was with our ministry for 11 years before he decided to form a ministry of his own called Spirit of Grace. He focuses on conducting evangelistic crusades in Africa. Dennis spoke on whether or not Heaven would be tangible or ethereal.
Nathan Jones, our Web Minister and Associate Evangelist, was the fourth speaker. He presented an overwhelming amount of scripture to prove that the Millennial reign of Jesus is yet future and does not consist of His ruling over the Church now.
I was the final speaker of the day. I taught the meaning of the Conditional View of Hell. The conference was concluded with Jack Hollingsworth leading a Christian medley of songs.