Ankerberg Monthly Letter January 2014 - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Ankerberg Monthly Letter January 2014

When will Jesus return? Answers range from those who argue Christ will never return to those who set exact dates for His coming. What does the Bible teach?

To answer, I’ve invited two of our world’s top scholars and experts on Bible prophecy. My first guest in this month’s series is Dr. Renald Showers. He is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished theologians in America and is the author of numerous books, including What On Earth Is God Doing? and The Most High God.

Second, I’ve also invited Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, international journalist and prophecy scholar who has lived and worked in the Middle East for over 20 years. He has interviewed every one Israel’s prime ministers and political leaders since 1991.

In my series with these guests, we present the Biblical case for what is known as the Rapture, the future event when Jesus “snatches off” the Earth both dead and living believers to be with Him forever. Paul describes the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up [raptured] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”

When will this event take place?

In four exciting and informative programs called “Step by Step through the Rapture” we will investigate what the Bible teaches about the timing and events that will take place when Jesus returns at the Rapture. Dr. DeYoung will also give us an up to moment report on what is happening in the nations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 today.

One Coming or Two?

Many Christians find themselves confused when reading what the Bible teaches about Christ’s return. Some teach that the Rapture and Second Coming are the same event. Others speak of the Rapture and Second Coming as two unique events foretold in biblical prophecy. Which is it? Will there be one coming or two? How do they differ?

In this new, five-program series with Dr. Showers and Dr. DeYoung we investigate the Bible’s teachings on this matter in a series we entitled, “One Coming or Two? 8 Differences Between the Rapture and Second Coming.” You’ll see that the biblical passages regarding the Rapture and Second Coming of Jesus involve too many differences to refer to the same event and why these differences are important.

Specifically, we will address the biblical teaching of “immanency.” In 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, Paul writes to the Thessalonian Christians, “You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivers us from the wrath to come.”

The word “wait” is in the present tense. They were continuously expecting Christ to return at the Rapture any moment. Yet the Second Coming is described as an event that will occur at the end of a seven-year tribulation period, preceded by many events.

Further, we’ll learn what will occur after the time of the Rapture and before the Second Coming. We will talk about when the war against Israel that is foretold in Ezekiel 38 will take place, the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the emergence of a global political leader, a one-world government and financial system, and the Battle of Armageddon. Many of today’s events foreshadow these future prophecies.

Our Offer This Month

We have an exciting and informative series of new prophecy programs to encourage you in your  personal growth and to share with others. You can receive the four-program series “Step By Step through the Rapture,” our five-program series “One Coming or Two?” as well as two new study guides for your gift of $99.

In addition, because of the popularity of our “Ultimate Prophecy Package,” I will continue to make it available during this series. It includes more than 17 prophecy scholars, 40 television programs, six study guides, and nearly 24 hours of content. Guests include Benjamin Netanyahu, retired 3-star General William G. Boykin, Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr. Zola Levitt, Dr. Tim LaHaye, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, Dr. David Breeze, Dr. John Walvoord, and others. This package is available for $100.

Coming Soon at the John Ankerberg Show

In 2013, we are preparing new programs to encourage and strengthen you in your faith. Soon we will begin airing a new series on restoring the church to its original mission of disciple making. Our upcoming series will feature David Platt, pastor and New York Times best-selling author of Radical, Robby Gallaty, pastor and author of the new book on mentoring believers called Growing Up, and Bill Hull, former professor and best-selling author of numerous books, including Jesus Christ: Disciple Maker.

Also coming to the studio will be Dr. Hugh Ross, a Christian astronomer whose groundbreaking research is helping many come to better understand the relationship between the origin of the universe and the God of the Bible. We’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at his nationally televised documentary “Journey Toward Creation,” and discuss the latest research from astronomy that reveals God designed the universe. You won’t want to miss it!

Reaching the World with the Word

Our available list of Bibles at our website has now grown to 774 languages! Our partner Faith Comes By Hearing notes, “Upper Egyptian Colloquial Arabic is the largest people group with more than 19 million speakers primarily in Egypt, while the smallest is Seri, spoken by about 900 people in Mexico. Combined, these newest releases represent more than 19.2 million people who now have God’s Word in audio available in their heart language.” I encourage you to share this resource with your friends who speak other languages to help them discover Jesus or to grow in their faith.

Second, you can now see the popular Jesus Film at our website in the world’s top languages. This allows us to visually share the Gospel story of Luke that includes an evangelistic presentation at the end. This is another resource you can ask friends to view in their own language. Please continue to pray that God will use this tool to help us reach more people for Christ.

God Works Through You

I want to thank every one of you who gave a gift last month to help us. It really matters. A man by the name of Abraham recently wrote:

“I learned about your online Bibles this last Sunday…I have downloaded two New Testament audio versions of God’s Word. What a blessing to hear the Word of God echoing through my home. I have been sick for the past few years with heart failure…thank you for the blessing.”

In other cases, people here in America and Canada are telling me they live in an area where there is no Bible teaching church. They rely on our television broadcasts and online resources to teach and encourage them.

We are also hearing the same from many people overseas. From underground churches in the Middle East to homes here in America, God is using you to change lives for eternity through you through this ministry.

A Final Word

This year begins the 34th year of the John Ankerberg Show. When God called me to this television ministry, I asked Christians if they would be willing to give just a dollar a day, $30 a month, so we could provide our television broadcasts. Because they gave, we are here today. We need you to stand with us this whole year. Could I ask you to prayerfully consider becoming a monthly partner by giving $1 a day—$30 a month—so we can continue to broadcast around the world?

Those of you who are already supporting are such an encouragement. Thank you for giving me the privilege to minister to you on TV.

If you would become a monthly supporter and join the John Ankerberg Show Inner Circle Of Friends, I would like to send you a beautiful commemorative plaque to display in your home or office. This month, when you join the Inner Circle of Friends, you’ll also receive $30 off toward this month’s offer (see insert for details). We pray for all of our supporters every day. Thank you again for your prayers and support of this ministry God has given to us.

For the sake of the Gospel,

Dr. John Ankerberg

P.S. For those who have asked how we ended the year financially in 2013, I’ve enclosed a special report on the following page.

End of Year Report

In the last few weeks you heard me speak of our need to raise $500,000 to pay for our airtime bills to continue broadcasting on all of our stations in 206 countries.

Many of you responded and have been a tremendous encouragement. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to every one of you who gave a gift. Every gift was needed. I know many of you have given very sacrificially. I really appreciate what you have done. Yet at the end of the year, I had to share on television that we were still short of the amount needed. Since then God has spoken to some folks who have made commitments to help make up the difference.

But it has been a real struggle. I have been praying a lot. Ironically, just when we were presented some of our biggest opportunities to minister, we thought we might have to cut back on stations. We are still in the process of meeting broadcast needs.

Second, I am really encouraged that so many of you are concerned about our second goal—providing people around the world the opportunity to watch our TV programs, hear the Gospel, and read the Bible—in their own language. To translate a year of our programs in the top 10 languages will cost us $500,000 above regular expenses.

But I have sensed God protecting and providing for us. Just a few days ago, one of our donors was on his knees praying and God told him he needed to help us reach people in all of these nations. He called and told me he would be willing to match all gifts given up to $500,000 toward translating our broadcasts into the top languages of the world. Praise God!

So, the good news is that if we can raise $500,000 in the next few weeks, that amount will be matched and we can place $1 million dollars toward bringing the Gospel to people in their own languages around the world.

That is why I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider a gift this month toward helping us accomplish this goal. Please know that your notes and gifts have greatly blessed me. I deeply appreciate your friendship. I believe we are seeing God work through all of this.

I would like to ask, would you help me take advantage of this. How can you help?

  1. Give a gift designated toward the General Broadcasting Fund.  It will be matched up to $150,000.
  2. Give a gift designated toward the $500,000 Missionary Outreach Fund (your gift will be matched up to $500,000; good through March 30, 2014).

As Hebrews 6:10 promises, “God…will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

Dr. John Ankerberg