Last week, Pastor Terry Long gathered his Calvary Chapel of Salt Lake congregation to dedicate Cottonwood High School for a conference on biblical prophecy.
Recent events in the Middle East are among the topics presenters will focus on at the 1994 Prophecy Update, scheduled Saturday, Aug. 13, at the school, 5717 S. 1300 East.The local Calvary Chapel hosting the conference is a nondenominational Christian ministry, and the conference is being billed as ecumenical in nature. Paster Long said, "People need to be ready - to know that the coming of Jesus Christ is soon. When we are face-to-face we want to see the face of a friend and not a stranger," he said.
Millenialism, a focus on biblical predictions that have application to the time period around the year 2000, has been the focus of several books in the popular press during the past few years.
That "end-time" type of exploration is the forte for the conference's three presenters.
- Chuck Smith is founder of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Calif., comprising some 20,000 families. His Bible-based ministry has inspired hundreds of young men to go into the ministry with more than 400 Calvary Chapel churches in the United States and internationally.
In a telephone interview from California, Pastor Smith said his sessions will focus on some of the end-time signs he sees in the 1990s.
"I will talk about the coming world leader, the beast, the man of sin, who is commonly called the anti-Christ. The movement toward a global society is setting the stage for this man to assume and take over the power in the world," he said.
"I'll also be talking about `smart cards' like the identification card the military is issuing with a computer chip carrying the soldier's military history. This is just another movement toward the time when no one will be able to buy or sell without the `mark' " referred to in the 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation.
- David Hocking is on the staff at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. He has doctorates in ministry and biblical languages.
In an interview Pastor Hocking said, "Israel is certainly God's timepiece. The question of the nation of Israel has accelerated interest in prophecy. The Israel `peace' treaties recently signed are too close to biblical prophecy for us not to be excited and concerned about what's happening."
- Chuck Missler is an honors graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, whose 30 years as a CEO included heading four public corporations contracting with the U.S. Department of Defense. With his international intelligence network of contacts, the subscription list to his "Personal Update" has swelled to 50,000. Seven million of his Bible tapes are in worldwide circulation.
Concerning prophetic Israel, Missler said: "We've weakened our only ally in the Middle East. The PLO doesn't speak for Israel's enemies. The next war will find both sides with nuclear weapons. What brings peace is a balance of power. Israel's apprehension may result in great grief and pain."
The conference has two sessions - 9 a.m. to noon, with lunch concessions available, and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. For information, call 964-6432.