By Nathan Jones
Do you think the technology we have today has been given to us by God for one last push at evangelism?
On Sunday, January 6, 2013, at the Future Congress 2 Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, I was interviewed by host Brian Thomas of Blessings to Israel Ministries on the Rapture Ready Radio Network before a live studio audience. During the 45-minute interview we discussed how the technology that we have today is proof positive that we are living in the end times and so can be expecting the soon return of Jesus Christ.
Walking Down God's Digital Road
Brian Thomas: We are going to look at and discuss today the Signs of Technology. Nathan, this topic is rather your bread and butter so to speak as you are the Web Minister for Lamb & Lion Ministries. Begin by telling us a little bit about the Signs of Technology and how you use technology within the Web Ministry of Lamb & Lion.
Nathan Jones: Let's first then give you a little background of how I even got into Web Ministry. When I started off my career path I was going to Bible college, which is where I met my wife. We thought we were both destined to go into the mission field and work with street children, and so after college in the mid-90's I went to serve at a mission board, UFM International, in their IT Department. There I started learning the basics about computers. It's kind of funny, while the IT Director and his techie were talking about motherboards, I remember asking, "Is a motherboard a keyboard?" Boy, they had a good laugh at my expense. I didn't know anything about technology coming out of college.
After a few years at that job, I moved on and worked for a bank in Delaware. With only a Bible degree, which doesn't help one get a job anywhere, I needed to go back to school, so I went to tech school. While there learning mainframe programming, I instead found a love for the growing field of Web development and design.
With my new skills new opportunities opened, and so I went to work for a large East Coast ISP. As I was working for the ISP for a few years, I just felt so far from doing ministry. I prayed, "Lord, you know I was meant to go to the mission field, but here I am. I love what I'm doing, but I'm not doing full-time ministry." In response, the Lord lead me a church called Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky that needed a Web developer. Our family moved to Kentucky and there I rose to become their Web Architect, and even started my own freelance business. So, I finally got to use those IT skills for ministry.
With the world-wide reach of the Internet so apparent and from my studies then at seminary, I became drawn to reach not just one congregation, even if it was as big as 25,000, but the entire world. What a great blessing it was when Dr. David Reagan came and spoke at the church! Through a mutual friend of both of ours, he informed me, "Hey, Dr. Reagan is looking to turn his website into a Web Ministry, and maybe you'd be interested." Not too long after that conversation, Dr. Reagan called me and in his deep voice, "Hello, Nathan!" he said, "I would like you to come down to Dallas and be interviewed." It all fell together and five years ago I moved to Dallas with my family. Both my wife and I serve at Lamb & Lion Ministries, utilizing so much of the Web technology that is out there today to reach people for Christ, just like you all do at Rapture Ready.
Tech Tools of Evangelism
Nathan Jones: Isn't it just awesome that we can reach a third of the world's population through the Internet right now? With cell phones and tablets and all those smart devices becoming more popular, the reach is doubling and giving more and more people the opportunity to be exposed to the Gospel. The opportunities to reach people with the Good News of Jesus Christ and His soon return are more prevalent now than they've ever been. God has given us an amazing tool in the Internet, and I can now see how He has given me the skills over those secularly employed years to better utilize it. I can look back at my career path now and exclaim, "Oh, that's what that was all about!" What I thought was a hiatus from the ministry path really wasn't so. In actuality, it was God preparing me to better be able to serve in this capacity through the Internet. At Lamb & Lion Ministries, we use the opportunities the Internet provides to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and reach people for Christ and tell them that He is coming back soon.
Brian Thomas: Amen! I think you know, Nathan, that we are really living in a privileged age today. I think a lot of people take that for granted. We live during an era where through communication tools such as the Internet and the smart phone we can have so many opportunities right here in our own hands that we can use to spread the Gospel. We can literally get a message to the opposite side of the world in mere seconds. Compare today's speed and reach to the day in which people had to write letters and the amount of time that it took to get a letter even just 25 miles away. Today by the computer, news can travel in a matter of seconds. It's just amazing the doors God has opened for us!
I believe that the Scriptures were partially referring to today's communications technology when Jesus said in the Last Days the Gospel would be spread throughout the whole world. What are your thoughts on that?
Nathan Jones: Think about the significance of Jesus' timing with His First Coming. Why did Jesus come 2,000 years ago? Why not 4,000 or 5,000 years ago? There were actually technological reasons for Jesus coming when He did. Jesus came at the height of the Roman Empire when they had taken over a massive amount of lands. The Romans built innovative road systems so that they could move their armies to and fro very quickly, as quickly as chariots could take them anyway. This new form of rapid transit revolutionized the way an Empire could be held together, and for a thousand years the Roman Empire flourished in part because of their road system.
Roman transit technology was then used by Jesus' disciples so that they could use that new road and naval systems to go all over the known world at that time and share the Gospel. Jesus' timing fell right into that time period when a new technology united an empire.
Today, the technology that unites the world empire is the Internet communication system. Just a few years ago Billy Graham in one of his last crusades said that through mass communication technology they reached more people during that crusade than all of the crusades before. More people could access the crusade through radio, satellite, the Internet and television in every country on the planet.
Mass communication like the Internet which blends many technologies together is the very tool the Lord has given us today to share the Gospel with people from around the world. You become accessible to everyone who has it. That means that anybody can become a Web minister. I'm called a Web Minister, but anybody who picks up a cell phone and tweets, or gets on Facebook and shares the Gospel, who builds their own website or blog, and who email people — all are Web ministers. I like to encourage Christians to use the amazing outreach tool of the Internet to even now reach out to people for Christ.
Encouraging is that at a ministry and like with my position, I get to talk to people all over the world every day. I'm touched when people, especially Muslims, write in and say, "That I'm talking to you and that I'm on your website, well if anyone knew, they would kill me." These are people coming out Saudi Arabia and countries like that where being a Christian means risking one's own life. With the Internet, we can share the Gospel and reach areas that physically we might not be able to go into, but with this technology we easily can.
Brian Thomas: Your testimony about becoming a Web minister inspired me a few years back, for when I went to your website I thought, "I can do something similar. You know, I can use the Internet to reach the world, too." Now I'm part of our parent website here at Rapture Ready Radio Network, which is Rapture Ready. Rapture Ready is a very good informational resource with literally millions of people visiting and learning about the Gospel and about Bible prophecy. Raptureready.com is a website that has lots of information that ministers to people.
What I see you doing with sharing the Gospel on the Internet I can easily see others doing following in your footsteps. So, I commend what you are doing, and encourage all of you to utilize the technology you already have in your hands and find ways to use it and share the Good News with the world's lost.
In the second part of this series on the biblical signs of technology which prove we're near to Jesus' return, we'll look at the Bible's first tech sign — the Sign of Knowledge.