Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mark Hitchcock on God Preparing Your Path

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Can having a secular background help prepare you for ministry?

Dr. David Reagan and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Mark Hitchcock on the show Christ in Prophecy. Mark is a leading Bible prophecy expert, prolific author who has penned over 20 books on the end times, senior pastor of Faith Bible Church located in Oklahoma, and adjunct faculty member of the Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also a much in demand speaker at Bible prophecy conferences all over the nation.

Dr. Hitchcock was invited to answer questions based on a book he has just published about the widespread speculation and even hysteria that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. The book it titled 2012: The Bible and the End of the World.

Dr. Mark Hitchock

Before we got into whether or not the world will end in 2012, Mark shared with us how the Lord had taken him on an unexpected route on his way to becoming a full-time pastor. It is an encouraging story about finding one's place in God's will.


Mark Hitchcock on God Preparing Your Path

Nathan Jones: Dr. Hitchcock, I love reading your books, and particularly I would like to know a little more about you as this is the first time I have gotten to meet you in person.

Dr. Hitchcock: Well, I grew up in Oklahoma City area. I went to Oklahoma State University. Then I went to law school after that and I worked for four years at the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for a judge there. Then, I left there and went to Dallas Seminary and came back to Edmond, Oklahoma where I have been the Pastor of Faith Bible Church there now for 18 years. It is hard to believe it has been that long.

Nathan Jones: With you being a lawyer, what really got you into Bible prophecy?

Dr. Hitchcock: I got interested in Bible prophecy as a young man of about 12-13 years old. Late Great Planet Earth came out in May of 1970 when I was 11 years of age. The people in my youth group and my sister who was a couple years older than me — all these young people were reading this book. I remember reading it as a boy and understanding that it really has to do with what is going on in our world today.

Like a lot of young people I was kind of dormant in my spiritual life for awhile. Then, in my early 20's when I began to study the Bible, I just realized there were large portions of the Bible I had no idea what they were about. I came to see that if I was going to really understand the Bible, I had to understand Bible prophecy. So, that's really what got me interested.

What I would really say for myself is that I have a love for Bible prophecy, but really I love the Bible. And to me, if you love the Bible which is almost one-thirds prophecy, then you are going to love prophecy. So, I don't consider myself as someone who is necessarily in love with prophecy. I just love the Bible, and prophecy is a big part of it.

Dr. Reagan: Now that you have become a Bible prophecy teacher, lecturer, writer, and so forth, and you look back on your life, how would you say your legal training has helped you?

Dr. Hitchcock: When you go to law school you learn how to examine evidence and not just take what people say at face value. One needs to look at the evidence, examine it, and think critically about it. I think the experience I had in law school shows God's providence in our lives. I went to work for a judge researching and writing opinions for him. I had no idea that I was going to become someone who wrote books. You can look back on your life and see how God was really guiding and leading your life every step of the way for what He ultimately wanted you to do, back when you didn't even know it.

Dr. Reagan: Same thing happened to me. I ran from the Lord for 20 years. You weren't running, but I was, because the Lord had called me and I said, "Here I am, Lord, send anyone but me." And, I finally came to the end of myself and said, "Okay, Lord, I am tired of this." He then handed me a ministry in Bible prophecy. For 20 years I had been teaching International Politics and Bible prophecy and the end times is all about international politics, so even when I was running He was preparing me for what He wanted me to do.

Nathan Jones: I experienced a similar path to full-time ministry. After Bible school I served at the headquarters of a mission board to prepare myself for the mission field. After two years there my wife and I were preparing to go to Brazil to work with street children. The candidate director suggested I get some real world experience first, so I moved on from the mission.

I quickly discovered a Bible degree will not get one full-time secular employment, so I went to tech school and discovered a love for Web development. I gained a lot of experience in Internet banking and then working for a large ISP building websites and ecommerce packages for our clients, as well as starting my own Web development/design business.

As much as I was enjoying my work, it felt far from the original goal of going to the mission field. And then, I saw online that a mega-church in Kentucky was looking for someone to build and maintain their website. This was an opportunity to merge my technical skills with my ministry training in service of the Lord.

After six years at the church and time in seminary, through a mutual friend I found out Dr. Reagan was looking for a Web Minister to reach the world for Christ over the Internet. I moved to Texas and found that now my reach was no longer just to a single congregation, but to the entire world. My mission field just expanded potentially to over two billion people. I look back now and see how God had been preparing me for a mission field beyond my wildest dreams, and feel so blessed to be a part of His work.

Dr. Hitchcock: It is wonderful to look back on our lives and see how God has worked. I think doing that can be an encouragement to parents watching their children and even young people who are wondering about what God wants them to do. Just follow what God is showing you to do and along the way He will be preparing your path.

24 comments:

son of thunder said...

Question: How do you know when you are where God wants you to be?

I don't think I'm running from God, but I just can't seem to find satisfaction in where I am.

I'm reading Dr. Reagan's "Trusting God" for the second time in a month, and I'm getting huge amounts out of it, but I just can't get a handle on how one knows.

Any help would be much appreciated.

hartdawg said...

ya i`m in the same boat. i have a deadend job, still dont know what i wanna do and even if i did i couldnt do it cuz i screwed up my life. i`m 30,000 in debt, horrible credit, very bad G.P.A. (i need a hot girlfriend to solve all my problems) so how do you know if you`re in Gods` will. no clue of what i wanna do and seemingly no gifts or talents

Billy said...

I usually know when I'm not where God wants me to be because I feel horrible about myself.

Could that be a clue?

I tend to focus on my actions and being right with God and not really about my job, my financial situation, my family, my friends, etc.

Maybe because I'm blessed in those areas but seem to mess up too often in my actions.

Junbuggg said...

How goes it today Thunder??? Better??

son of thunder said...

Yeah. Thanks for asking Junbuggg.

Nathan Jones said...

Son of Thunder asked: "How do you know when you are where God wants you to be?"

A most excellent question, Thunder. What Christian hasn't faced down that question, so we all know the frustrations.

From my own experiences and those who've shared with me, I have to conclude - we never fully know. Sure, we may feel at peace at times and have Christian confirmation by others, but we have our days of doubt, don't we all?

I think God uses this to keep us trusting Him. God just wants us to go out there and give it our all for Him, and He blesses it. Kind of like riding down a river in a raft, the water carries us down different channels and streams. The Holy Spirit carries us along in life. We're only to take care of the boat we're in during this brief life.

And so, just keep living right and ministering and witnessing, Gang! Don't drive yourself crazy trying to determine if you're where God wants you. Leave that part up to Him. Just mind the boat.

son of thunder said...

Thanks, Nathan.

Expected Imminently said...

Son of Thunder.

Our Trust Sandwich.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

My late Bible teacher explained it like this. You are sat in a car to begin your journey on a narrow road; after a while you suspect you are going in the wrong direction. In order to turn around, you must make several reverse, forward, reverse movements (three point turns in U.K.). Eventually you are at last heading in the correct direction. It may take more than three turns of the wheel, but The Lord is patient and will allow you to go at a speed you can safely manage.

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
E.I.

Sal said...

Then theres allthat drivig on the wrong side of the road expected so yalls spiritual journey in the UK is different than ours. ;)

DrNofog said...

LoL, Sal

Expected Imminently said...

Oi! Sal, bloomin' cheek!
Ah! yes, well, y'all inherited that from the French.
It's down to gallantry, don't ya know! A gent walked beside His lady on the left, so ifn a rougue started a fracas, the gent had his bird on his left and could draw his sword with his strong right arm!
The French changed it to the left just to be awkward cause we held up two fingers at em - to show we was best at archery. Either that or they was all lefties.
Spiritually speaking I shouldn't wonder ifn you don't know if youm cumin or goin'driving on the right side, how you gonna draw yer sword then?
Tallyho!
E.I.

Junbuggg said...

E.I.,

I like that annology you gave about "driving". :-)

son of thunder said...

"Bloomin' cheek" is a phrase I never thought I'd read on, well, any blog, ol' boy.

I did appreciate the lesson on why we drive on the right side of the road and you all drive on the wrong side :-)

And I did like the driving analogy (you Brits like your cars almost as much as we do, I think). I've, in the past, likened it to racing. Here in the States, we have NASCAR which uses a person called a "spotter". This spotter stands up on the top of the grandstands and his job is to watch out and keep his driver out of trouble and keep him calm. I kind of liken that to the Holy Spirit. We only get into trouble when we don't listen, like that guy driving at 190 mph.

Expected Imminently said...

son of thunder said...
"I kind of liken that to the Holy Spirit. We only get into trouble when we don't listen"


Absolutely! 100%! As I have learned to live and regret!

About 25yrs ago, The Lord cautioned me to keep away from two particular brands of church. I listened and obeyed. Time passed and the one church changed it’s ‘umbrella’. Then I ‘leaned to my own understanding’ and decided this change of ‘umbrella’ meant it was safe for me to take my youngest, then teenage son for fellowship. Not surprisingly, things went wrong so we left dependently of one another about eight years later.

It wasn’t all bad because he met his lovely wife there and now has three children. Not sure when, but recently the church people they new got hold of them and listened to what they had to say about a new pastor. With a change of pastor it went back under the ‘umbrella’ the Lord had warned me about. Now they are back in that church I introduced my son to and it is now ecumenical, purpose driven going emergent. I warned them it is now a cult but to no avail. My son is in such a mess, and he sees me as his worst enemy and even on Christmas morning, refused to speak to me.

Now I am in the painful position of trusting the Lord to remedy my ignorant mistake and to gradually turn my family back to the truth.
E.I.

hartdawg said...

E.I.
thats harsh.

hartdawg said...

E.I.
my folks made a simular mistake. i was raised in alaska and when i was bout 10 my mother really felt God wanted our family to move to eastern washington but we had a good church, a decent christian school and a job. the pastor left the church and the church fell apart, so did the school some of my brothers and sisters got into trouble now, several years later half of my siblings are not christians (were they ever to begin with?) my dad is one but very carnel it goes on. my mother firmly believes we shoulda moved then.

Expected Imminently said...

Hartdawg
Your mum is right, but like me, we both questioned what The Lord was saying and made the wrong decision. Neither of us did it deliberately, we have to be merciful on ourselves (not easy though). The Lord knows we are but flesh, he wants to protect us from learning the hard way (as I wanted for my son) but sometimes the hard way has to happen.
My point is that your mum and I have to wait now, and trust The Lord to "get them turned around" like the Prodigals they are. Don’t forget he was still the son of the father, his relationship was intact it waas his fellowship with the father that was broken. They may all have to 'eat a few buckets full of pig swill', but they will come back, just you wait and see, then we can "kill the fatted calf" and rejoice together.
This isn't 'positive thinking', it is faith in God, in action!

Junbuggg said...

E.I.,

Sorry to hear about the situation with your son. I think all Christians, to some degree or another, are experiencing what you are. This was prophecied about you know~

Expected Imminently said...

Junbuggg Thank you (big hug).

My son is also my brother in Christ, so what keeps me trusting is Romans 8:8 “And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are THE called according to His purpose”.
As you say – it is at least Biblical and we are warned about these things by the author and finisher of our faith.

I sympathise with the diabetes; I’m ‘sugar intolerant’ and trying to keep it at that!

Nathan Jones said...

Junbuggg, glad to hear you got through the knee surgery aok and are on the road to recovery. We prayed for you this morning in our ministry's devotional/prayer time.

DrNofog said...

hartdawg said... "i need a hot girlfriend to solve all my problems"

Heard Dennis Hopper is trying to unload one before he croaks... ;)

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/my_wife_pig_for_luxury_hopper_rzClOq5JtFceVqG5biJQtI

Anonymous said...

Hartdawg, Dr Reagan has written a book I found pretty helpful. Have you read it? It's called Trusting God. It's hard to put into practice and I have to dig it out every now and then when I get sidetracked.

rg

Ms Bynx said...

Ms Bynx here: Take heart all of you. I am now old and watch my beloved kids (5 living/47 to 55 yr old): One once was a druggie for 12yr and one spent 6 yr in jail, one is still stuggling w/herself image, two are sure of their life with the Lord...I never tho't to see the day when my children would ever belong to and trust in the Lord because of the men of my church, my children's own father and the life we were forced to live by him. Even he became saved 2yr before his death after telling all he was a X'n for some 47yr.
The Lord answers prayer and holds us who trust Him in his capable hands. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow. Ms Bynx

Anonymous said...

Dear Mark, I am Joseph Daniel Riley, I am 81 yrs. old, and yes I Accepted Christ as my Redeemer in 1962. I was lied to for 30 years. In Eph.4:25 God Warns us not to lie to one another. He commands us to make full proof of our Ministry. He also warns us not to add one Word to His word or He will find us a liar in the end. Jesus in John14:12 commands a Man of God to Do the Greater works of God and preach the Great Harvest. God also warns us not to let Satan get an advantage of us, and not to be Ignorant of His Plan. IICort2:11The Word Rapture is not in God's word. There is no Great Revival in the Tribulation, there is a Great Harvest. Babylon in Rev. 13 and 17 is not in Iraq. In Rev. John shews us that the Men in the Ships stood afar off and watched that Great City Burn.It is in TYRE. Study Eze. chp 26,27,28, and Rev. chp. 17,18. they are Word for word. America is in Prophecy. It took Satan 500 yrs. to set the W.T.O. in place and then He set the 10 World Powers in place. 9 of them are seated, the 10th one is the W.E.O.G. and has been in Isolation for 16 yrs. It will be seated very soon. The Anti-Christ and Satan are the Same. Satan Enters the Image in the Earth, When he stands up He has the Eyes as of a Man.Study the 4 Winds of heaven,The word of God declares that the 4th Beast Pushes northward, and Eastward and toward the Pleasent Land. It is very clear that Old Iraq is not where the Harlot is seated. You and these men never teach the people the Greater Works of God so they can receive a Reward and see their loved ones kept from a tormented hell.These Men lie aganist the Word of God and tell the people the 7 Heads are 7 old Empires and never tell them who the 8th one is . Mark God declares that A True witness will not lie, but a false Witness will utter lies. In Rev. God declares if you and I add one Word to His Word that is not True, He will add to you and I the Plauges. Would to God Men would wake up and Preach the 6th and 7th part of the Gospel, the last 2 that Jesus could not preach.Those 8 Heads are Taoist,Shinto,Hindoo,Buddha,Muslim,Jewish,Protestant,Catholics. Yes this pope is the False Prophet in Rev. 13. the 10 Horns are Japan,U.S.A.,U.K.Canada,France,Germany,Italy,in 1993 the W.T.O. seated these 7, then in 1992 they seated Russia, in 2001 they seated China, the 10th one is the W.E.O.G. It is Israel and Turkey and the other Nations in that Region. There are four Working Powers in the Ten. The E. U. N.A.F.T.A. the pacific Rim, and the W.E.O.G.. She will be seated very Soon. She was rejected in 1993. It has been 16 years. Wake up and Work the Greater Works of God The Word WORK is never taught to the people Paul warned the people in Titus,They are Slowbellies, and Liars. In Eph. 4 He warned the people that men were cheating them from the Knowledge of God. Peter warned the people that there would be false Teachers just as there were false prophets in the days of old. yes, Mark I don't have a Dr. in front of my Name and I don't see where Paul or Peter Had one either. They were just Humble Men who Served the living God and made full proof of their Ministry. Yes My Heart is troubled for the Soul's of Men. A Servant of the God of Israel. joedr@theriver.com