It's Supernatural

With your host Sid Roth

Our Guest Kevin Turner

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Kevin Turner

Sid:  I have on the telephone Kevin Turner caught up with him just outside of his base in Sudan, Africa.  He is President of Strategic World Impact.  He works in 3 areas: war zones, disaster areas, and area’s Christians are being persecuted in.  He wrote an article and that’s why I called him and his article is called “Why Isn’t the American Church Growing?”  Kevin “Why isn’t… I mean when we see other parts of the world that it’s growing so fast that we can’t keep track of the number of people that are being saved and radically discipled, but here in America the Church really isn’t growing.  Why?

Kevin:  Well, in fact statistic that might have stoned people that I speak in churches all over the United States and I ask people this one question.  “What is largest Christian country in the world?”  And of course a lot of people say “The United States” or some people will say like “Brazil” or whatever.  The largest according to numbers right now the country with the largest amount of Christians in it is Communist China.

Sid: Hm.

Kevin:   The largest Christian nation in the world is Communist China where the church is illegal, where preaching is restricted and you can’t hear legally the gospel until you are at the age of 18. Then they have the largest population of Christians in the world.  And the reason that I believe as I have world in almost 100 nations and here’s what I’ve seen over and over again “Comfort confuses; calamity clarifies.”  She’s a perfect teacher; when calamity strikes we’re no longer concerned about the mortgage; we’re no longer concerned about the lawn care; we’re instantly absorbed with one important thing and that’s life.  And it teaches us and there’s another principal that I use and I’m always preaching and it’s this that “Persecution purifies and prosperity often pollutes.”

Sid: Well, would you define 21st century Christianity as polluted?

Kevin:  Absolutely; its hot tub religion at its best.  When Christian’s speak of their blessings in America they point to things.  They say “Look how God has blessed me I have this; I have this I got this boat and got this lake home.” And this whole thing of having heaven now verses you know… There were 2 young men who started one of the largest mission revolutions that we had seen since the disciples.  There were 2 young Moravian men; they were with a man named Count Zinzendorf in northern Germany.  They’d experienced a massive revival; God had so touched and quickened their hearts.  These 2 young men became aware that in the West Indies, which would be modern day Jamaica, that there were 5,000 black slaves on an Island that were owned by a godless man who said publicly “No Christian, no man of God will ever step foot on my island and pervert the mind of my slaves with this foolish Christianity.”  When these two young men heard that they were cut to the core. They prayed; committed themselves and did the unthinkable.  There was no way that they could access that island accept one way.    They sold themselves into slavery simply to be a love slave for Jesus.  The man was such a miser that they actually had to use the money from the sale of their bodies to pay their ship fare to get there.

Sid: Hm.

Kevin:  Within 20 years this group of Moravians’ had sent out more missionaries than all of Christendom before that time. When we come to the place of utter resignation; where we lay down all our hopes, dreams and ambitions and just say “Jesus You’re the Lord take me where You want me to go.”  That’s when you’re ready for a revolution of love.

Sid: And you know what really clarifies your theology here in America we strain a gnat and swallow a camel.  And argue about different jots and tittles of theology.   But where the rubber meets the road is what you’re talking about.

Kevin:   It’s simply living for Jesus; it becomes more than just some pie in the sky theology and believe me I study the word of God.  I have an 11,000 volume library.  I love to read; I study theology and to study theology is to know God.  But when our aim becomes simply knowledge rather than to know Him it is when we run askew.  And that’s why we have swivel-chair theologians in America sitting in Ivory towers handing out edicts to the people down below.  And we’re producing cookie cutter Christian’s that have never had an experience with Christ.  This is the reason why I believe with all my heart that the Church isn’t growing because they have no raison de vivre, they have no reason for living. My passionate heart cry is that the church once again would say “Jesus I sell myself to be your love slave; I give you my life.  The man who discipled me Leonard Ravenhill said this he said “Kevin, you lay your life down on the altar and  let God burn you up” and he said “He’ll do more with the ashes than with your life than you could if you possessed the whole thing.”

Sid: Kevin, what will it take for our version here in the west to change?

Kevin:  Well, once again to quote Leonard Ravenhill he said “In America we will either have Pentecost or prison camps.” And then he said “Or perhaps we’ll end up having Pentecost in the prison camp.”  I believe that Jesus loves America so much that He’ll let us suffer persecution.  I believe He loves us so much that He will take us through the fire.  I tell people all the time remember when the 3 Hebrew children were thrown into the fire it’s then that the pagan ungodly world looked in and said “Hey who’s the 4th man?”  If we want to see Jesus revealed to the world; then we would be willing to go through the fire and not around it.  And this is how we become Jesus with skin on; this is how we… you know people talk in theology that “Jesus is the propitiation for our sins.”  In other words, He was that thing which took away the anger of God. And His cross became that propitiation for us.  Our cross; our cross is for propagation; it’s to get out; it’s to lay your life down and people know that Jesus is alive and well and He rose again from the dead.  This – makes – my – heart – leap!

Sid: Obviously persecution could end up being a two edge sword; a blessing as well as persecution.  But what about someone that says I want to be like Kevin but there’s no persecution going on in this country and I don’t want to be just be persecuted to be persecuted.  How do I get on fire like him?

Kevin:  Well to be honest with you I hate to use the term key because I think that everything has been unlocked through Jesus . If there’s anything that I would say to living the Christian life it’s continuing dwelling in brokenness and repentance…

Sid: Wait a second; how can you be broken and repentant when you have everything that your heart desires that’s purchased with money?  When we’re living in this culture? I turn on TV, I see homosexuality in my face.  I see sex outside of marriage in my face; I see abortion, woman’s rights they call it, what about the child’s rights, in my face?  We see it so much I’m wondering if we’re not growing so used to it and saying “This is just the way it is?”  How’s it going to change?

Kevin:  I see the cross; I see that to a world that mocks God and raises their fist in utter defiance toward Him I see the cross of Jesus.  And in the morning when I wake up I look in the mirror.  And you know what?  I realize that what I’m capable of without Jesus and it breaks me.  You know there’s an old hymn that says “Follow to the fountain Lord I fly, wash me Savior must I die.” Renewal is simply this; realizing who you are without Jesus and realizing what you’ve become in Him and that breaks me.  Because when I realize that when God left the glory of heaven.  Psalms 113 nails it for me; it’s a testimony of my life.  “Whose like the Lord our God who looks down upon the poor and needy and He lifts them out of the ash heap and the dung hill and He sets them at a table with princes; the princes of His people.”  If God could literally, leave heaven and think of this God had one Son and He buried Him on the mission field.  One Son and He buried Him on the mission field. (Crying) And oh, that God would just apprehend us with His Spirit of brokenness and once again we’d rend our hearts and not our garments.

Sid: Is that how we should pray for the Spirit of Brokenness?  How should we pray Kevin? 

Kevin:    I just say “Read the word and see what He’s done for you and if that doesn’t break you I don’t know that anything will.” A good old fashion baptism of repentance is what the church needs.  We need to repent of our big churches; and I’m not saying that to have a large church is wrong.  What I’m saying is to focus on that is wrong.  I’m not saying that to have money is wrong; it takes money to live here in Africa. I’m not saying that those things are wrong in and of themselves. I’m saying that anything that takes your focus off the Lamb of God becomes sin.  Anything!

Sid: I have to believe here in the west idolatry is the big sin.

Kevin:  Yes it is it’s the golden cow of materialism.  We’ve fallen down at the altar of materialism and we’ve worshiped and we’ve forsaken the God of Israel and it grieves me.  And I’ll tell you what grieves me most is when I see it in my own heart. (Crying) You know what’s amazing?  We have these huge beautiful buildings with perfect sound systems; the mood lighting; the carpeted aisles and yet I meet God in a mud hut somewhere in Afghanistan where a few people who used to be Muslim’s now call on the Name of Jesus and they bury their face in the dirt because the glory of God comes down. (Crying)

Sid: Kevin we’re out of time we’ll pick up right here on tomorrow’s broadcast.

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November 10th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

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