Pastor, teacher, and writer, Dr. David Jeremiah shares his thoughts on how God is still accomplishing His purposes in our world, even during tumultuous times. He also discusses his new book, People Are Asking, Is This The End?
Dr. David Jeremiah: The Bible is filled with such great encouragement. I think often of our Lord’s words about His ability. He’s able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think. He’s able to save us to the uttermost. The ability of God against the disability of the world is no match, it’s no contest, and God wins. God is in control.
Narrator: Welcome to the Experience Jesus Calling Podcast. Today, we speak with Dr. David Jeremiah, writer, teacher and pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church. Dr. Jeremiah shares his personal story and tells us about a new book he has written entitled: “People Are Asking, Is It The End? Signs of God’s Providence In a Disturbing New World.”
Dr. Jeremiah: I’m David Jeremiah and for 35 years I’ve been the pastor of the Shadow Mountain Community Church. I was born in Toledo, Ohio. I lived in the Midwest. My father was a pastor. I made a commitment when I was younger that I would never do that. Then when I was a senior in college God got ahold of my heart.
Donna and I got married and went to Dallas where I went to seminary, and came back to Fort Wayne and started a church in Indiana and then in 1981 I moved to California, and that’s kind of where the journey that we’re on right now began.
The former pastor of Shadow Mountain Church was Tim LaHaye, the author the the Left Behind series. I got to meet him when he came to the Midwest to do an event at the church that I started. We had such a powerful event, he was doing events back then of Family Life Seminars, I think they were called. He asked me if I would help him organize and produce the other ones. For about a year or so, I was helping him organize Family Life Seminars in other Midwestern towns and we become good friends. One day he told me he was going to go to Washington and get more involved in the political end, and he announced to me that I was going to be the pastor of the church that he was the pastor of, which was very interesting. Two years later it actually happened. It didn’t happen when he thought it would.
Narrator: Dr. Jeremiah began pastoring at Shadow Mountain Church in 1981, and in 1982 he and his wife were inspired to start a radio and television ministry that ultimately became Turning Point Ministries. Their mission was to “deliver the unchanging Word of God to an ever-changing world.” Today, Turning Point is a multi-media network featuring radio, television, online programming, magazines and books. Dr. Jeremiah’s radio messages reach over 480 million listeners around the globe and Turning Point Television reaches 2.7 billion households worldwide.
Dr. Jeremiah: We started a radio and television ministry shortly after I came here, and that’s really taken off to such a degree, it’s pretty overwhelming every day to see what God does through the reach of this ministry. We started and it really wasn’t something where I said, “Okay let’s have the largest Bible teaching ministry in America or let’s be on more television stations or anything like that.” It all happened kind of like one station would grab the program and then another station would hear about it and they would call. For many years when we started it, we didn’t have an agency, we didn’t have anybody promoting it. God just allowed it to happen.
Turning Point on the radio is released over 6,000 times a day in America, several times on some of the same stations. So, it’s really amazing to look back and see what God has done. Did we plan this? Absolutely not. We had no idea what was going to happen.
Donna has been my partner in all of this. When we first started it she handled all the correspondence and the first year we were on the radio and on television we had a total annual budget of $35,000 so it didn’t take much of her time to manage it. From the very beginning all the way through to where we are right now she’s had a major role in encouraging and strengthening and with all the people that we have now, she’s highly regarded and loved.
Narrator: In the early days of Dr. Jeremiah’s ministry at Shadow Mountain, he was approached to begin writing books. As a writer, he eventually authored or co-authored 54 books, including his latest work – “People Are Asking, Is This the End?” Dr. Jeremiah remembers how it all got started.
Dr. Jeremiah: I came to San Diego in 1981 to take over the leadership of what was then the Scott Memorial Baptist Church, which is now called Shadow Mountain. I preached a series of messages on Daniel. Then I went to a summer Bible conference to teach for a week, and I met a woman there named Carol Carlson. She had heard some of my teaching and she came and asked if she and her husband could meet with me, and when I met with them she said, “I think I might be able to help put some of your stuff in writing, would you be interested in talking about that?”
She began to tell me how she had helped write the book, The Late Great Planet Earth, which was one of the first big books on prophecy that ever was in public. The author of the book is Hal Lindsey. He’s the one who wrote that and to realize that down at the bottom of that book it says “with CC Carlson.” It was a huge success. She was very good. She and her husband both are now in heaven, but I always think that they still are bearing fruit on this earth because of those books that she helped me get started.
It’s just another way to reach out with the truth of the word of God.
Writing is the best of worlds and the worst of worlds all wrapped up into one. It’s very hard. It’s a very demanding discipline. I believe with all my heart that a person who throws themselves in the writing of the book benefits more from the process than anybody else. It’s just another way to reach out with the truth of the Word of God.
Many people would ask me as I moved around the country, “Dr. Jeremiah, what in the world is going on? Do you think this is the end?” I would say, “What do you mean?” They would begin to cite all of the things that have happened in the last ten years, for instance, and they’re unprecedented. There are things that have never happened before and people didn’t understand where that was going. I began to listen to their questions and write down once in awhile some of the things they asked. Before I wrote this book, I think I had a list of about 20 questions that I was looking at. I couldn’t possibly have known the items on the political agenda that’s being debated back and forth, I didn’t hit all of them but I hit a bunch of them. I gave them the perspective that I think the Bible gives to them and what God has to say about them. Perhaps for that reason this book has had great traction out of the gate.
God has a plan that lasts for eternity for those who put their trust in Christ. We have a message of hope that’s so desperately needed in this world. Wherever there’s hopelessness, the hunger is always for the hope. The hope that we have in Christ should be, and it is, a hot commodity. We ought to be sharing that hope with everything we have. I believe that we try to do that in this book. We do tell the story in accurate reporting, but we also remind everybody that God is still in control and we don’t have any right to live with anxiety every day. People ask me, “Well, what if the election doesn’t turn out?” I tell them, “Look. The day after that election the sun’s going to come up, the birds are going to sing, and I’m going to go to work. It doesn’t really matter in regard to those things what happens.” We all have our desires and our thoughts and whatever they might be really isn’t important right now, but we have to be careful that we don’t allow ourselves as Christians to be defined by an election.
The day after that election the sun’s going to come up, the birds are going to sing, and I’m going to go to work. It doesn’t really matter in regard to those things what happens.
I had non-Hodgkin’s large cell lymphoma. I got it 20 years ago and went through some chemotherapy and got it into remission and then it came back and I had a stem cell transplant; that at least up until this point has kept me cancer free. I don’t have it now. I get checkups every six months and scans and all that sort of thing. People ask me why I continue to work as hard as I do when I’m older than most people who’ve retired. I tell them, “When God gave me my life back, He didn’t do it so I’d go sit on a beach somewhere. He gave me my life back to serve Him.” I feel such great joy in being able to do what I do at this stage of my life and know that I have been preserved and granted these extra days by a gracious, loving God and I’m so thankful.
Narrator: As a pastor and a teacher, Dr. Jeremiah advocates daily prayer and scripture reading. He appreciates how Sarah Young has helped many with their prayer lives through the words of Jesus Calling.
Dr. Jeremiah: When I read Sarah’s work, it’s pretty obvious to me why it’s been so highly regarded and received. She makes prayer very personal. Sometimes prayer isn’t personal, sometimes prayer can be very cold and empty. Maybe that’s why a lot of people have a hard time sustaining any kind of a prayer ministry. What Sarah has done has made it possible for people to say, “I talked to God today…I communicated with my Father.” That’s what prayer is supposed to be and she has moved the ball down the field quite aggressively in that direction.
What Sarah has done has made it possible for people to say, “I talked to God today…I communicated with my Father.”
In this world today an actual Christian who’s sold out for Jesus Christ stands out. The backdrop against which we live our lives is darker than before, but that just means the light is brighter than it’s ever been. So we should be encouraged; I believe this is one of the greatest time for evangelism we’ve ever had. We are candidates for a revival if we will just use our judgment properly and do what the Lord says which is confess our sins and humbly ourselves before God and repent and God might come and visit us.
In the book of Second Chronicles which is the biblical handbook on revival, the most famous formula is in the seventh chapter of the Second Book of Chronicles. It’s really interesting, it says “if My people will humble themselves and pray…” Just stop the verse right there. If we want to see God work in the culture in which we live, which we see going so rapidly and gaining momentum in the wrong direction, that’s what we should do. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray. We often think, I have people come to me and say, “Well I tried everything else, I guess I’m just going to have to pray.” I remind them that they’re reducing themselves to the most powerful influence in the world. Prayer can do what nothing else can do so why should we make it a last resort? Why wouldn’t we make it a first resort? God says if you want something to change in the culture in which you live, you better start with prayer.
Narrator: During a tumultuous and divided season in our country, Dr. Jeremiah continues to spread God’s message of hope and encouragement to those who are seeking answers during these difficult times. As we all learn how to cope with frightening events that happen in our world today, he reiterates the truth that no matter what happens, God’s purposes will ultimately prevail.
Dr. Jeremiah: One of the things I’d hoped to convey through this book, even through the subtitle, is that in the midst of all of the decline in morality and the fear of terrorism and all of the rest, God is still on the throne and He will accomplish His purpose.
I don’t know who originally said this, I think I might have heard Chuck Swindoll say it, that God has a formula and that is unless He crushes a person, He can’t use that person. I remember praying that I wanted to be used but I would prefer not to be crushed. God just doesn’t answer that. When we decide that we want to serve the Lord, He puts us through a training school and He shows himself to be sufficient for every need. When I came back from cancer after the stem cell transplant and walked into the pulpit of my church, I didn’t know what to say. I know that I was being watched by everybody and I just stood in the pulpit and looked at everybody for a moment and then I just said, “God is enough.” And He is, God is enough.
Narrator: Next time on the Experience Jesus Calling Podcast, we speak by phone with Grammy-award winning artist Amy Grant. Amy’s career in music has spanned nearly four decades and is still going strong; she’s set to release a new Christmas record in October 2016. Amy shares her thoughts on faith through different seasons of her life and the joy of discovering stillness in God’s presence.
Amy Grant: Somebody does not have to be a churchgoer, they don’t even have to be a person of faith. So there’s no language barrier, but it’s because you are entering into stillness, God’s presence will be felt. And, if I feel anything about the voice that I have in our culture, or the voice that I have with my neighbor, or with my children, that’s the discovery that I’m most excited to share.
Narrator: Our featured passage for today’s show comes from the December 28th entry of the Jesus Calling audiobook.
I am your Refuge and Strength, an ever-present Help in trouble. Therefore, you don’t need to be afraid of anything—not even cataclysmic circumstances. The media are increasingly devoted to fear-inducing subject matter: terrorism, serial killers, environmental catastrophes. If you focus on such dangers and forget that I am your Refuge in all circumstances, you will become increasingly fearful. Every day I manifest My grace in countless places and situations, but the media take no notice. I shower not only blessings but also outright miracles on your planet.
As you grow closer to Me, I open your eyes to see more and more of My Presence all around you. Things that most people hardly notice, like shifting shades of sunlight, fill you with heart-bursting Joy. You have eyes that see and ears that hear, so proclaim My abiding Presence in the world.
Narrator: Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world.
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To find out more about Dr. Jeremiah’s new book: “People Are Asking, Is This The End?” please click here.