[Screenshot, cropped, from Leah Klett, https://www.youtube.com/watch?]
Superstar rapper Kanye West continues his mission to share the Gospel of Jesus to the world.
West is using his celebrity to influence the masses, and Sunday, he preached to 12,000 students.
At the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association’s Strength to Stand Conference in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, he told the audience that the Son of God saved him from the grip of evil:
“I believe Jesus died for my sins. There was a time when the devil had me. Do you know the good news? Jesus can save a wretch like me. I stretch my hands to you/Father I stretch.”
As reported by The Christian Post, the entertainer performed several songs from his record-setting Jesus is King album:
Surrounded by 38,000 flowers, West and the choir put on an unforgettable service at the East Tennessee conference, complete with rap, gospel-infused songs, and traditional hymns.
He wasn’t there to exalt himself:
By wearing the same gray outfit as the choir, West took the focus off himself. With little stage presence, the hip hop artist stayed within the choir throughout the majority of the service and spoke few words as he performed. The goal of the Sunday Service was clear: God, and not Kanye, was going to be glorified.
And glorified He was.
West powerfully spoke the lyrics of “Jesus Is King” tracks “Selah,” “Follow God,” and the fan-favorite “Closed on Sunday.” During the service, the Sunday Service Choir belted out songs including “Ultralight Beam,” “Every Hour” and “Revelation 19:1,” along with traditional hymns including “How Great Thou Art” and “Jesus Loves Me.”
Personally, I still can hardly believe this is happening — one of the biggest music acts in the world suddenly announces his submission to Jesus Christ and devotes himself to spread that message to untold millions.
And he’s still going.
Upon its debut, Jesus is King was the number one record in America (see much more of my coverage here). Reports have indicated Kanye will be working with, arguably, modern times’ biggest record producer and a man not known for his Christian material — Dr. Dre — on the follow-up.
It’s all more than substantial.
At the conference, Kanye’s LA pastor, Adam Tyson, delivered a brief message.
He told all in attendance:
“‘If you’ll come back, I’m so glad you’re back. I love you.’ Are you hearing me this morning? If you come back to the Father, He runs after you. He loves you. He wants to embrace you. He wants to give you a holy kiss; a kiss of mercy, a kiss of love, a kiss of acceptance. It’s from the Father, and it’s for you. It’s forgiveness for you.
“When you come to Christ, when you come to the Father through the blood of Jesus, He gives you the garment of praise. He gives you authority over sin and you have authority over the devil and over this world.”
During the altar call, over 200 students dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ.
“God’s calling you home,” Adam said.
“You might be here this morning in a bad place because of your own sin. God says this morning through His Word, ‘I love you. I’m calling you home.’ And when you return to the Father, He runs up to you. He’s not shy. He’s not angry with you. He’s inviting you back into relationship with Him.”
More from the Post:
West closed the Sunday Service with a powerful rendition of his 2005 hit, “Jesus Walks,” before silently filing out of the venue behind choir members.
In an interview, evangelist Scott marveled:
“We’re just humbled that we were able, through a divine orchestration, to deliver a cultural icon like Kanye West and the transformational power of the Gospel. We believe this is part of God’s divine appointment for a movement to go across our country. We’re in awe: You plan a conference, and all the sudden God is developing a movement.”
It’s an astonishing example:
“If some of our leaders would show that type of humility, maybe we’d start seeing revival across our country. What you’re seeing is that the Gospel never changes, but the Gospel can penetrate any culture. And I think what’s happened is a lot of times we tried to retreat when in Scripture it always tells us to go forward. I think it may be Christianity going into pop culture instead of pop culture coming into Christianity.”
A star going through a religious phase isn’t a new idea.
But Scott believes in Kanye. Or in God’s genuine hold on him:
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in his life. I don’t know what’s going to happen in my life. I don’t know what’s going to happen in your life. But I am firmly convinced I’m speaking to a brother in Christ.”
Certainly, a lot has already happened. And a lot happened Sunday — to 200 young Americans.
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