A central part of my spiritual DNA can be contributed to what the Spirit is doing in and through IHOP in Kansas City, MO. They are known to focus on 1) move of prayer and intercession 2) intimacy with Jesus 3) eschatology. When I got totally rocked at a conference in 2005, I remembering receiving a bit of all of those.
The first two have developed still to this day and my passions for prayer, intercession, and intimacy with Jesus are greater today than before. However, understanding and taking in IHOP’s view of the end times has been a constant struggle. And to this day, I think I can safely say that I don’t prescribe to IHOP’s views on eschatology (…but who knows when this position will change?)
My sentiments were solidified by a loose spiritual inspiration over my life, Jimmy Seibert. This video explains a lot of how I feel (the whole video is great, but start at around 2:00 to catch what I’m saying)
His and mine basic sentiment are that a concern about the way in which the End Times will pan out are not of great concern to me. To be short, I don’t disagree with the positions that IHOP has taken (post-tribulation, pre-millenial), I just disagree with the place End TImes has in the local church.
Here are some thoughts:
- I have some hesitancy to base a large part of my ministry’s focus to be on fulfilling the details of prophesy. Of primal concern in regards to the end times, I agree that the way that we can be most ready to meet Jesus is to be ready now to meet Jesus. Getting people’s hearts to love Jesus passionately now is a great way to do that. But building farms in response to an expectation of the Anti-Christ’s economic system within the next few decades is a bit ludicrous (I gather this information from hearsay, not an official/publicized IHOP activity)
- I want to see Jesus come back for sure, but I feel more Biblical convicted about doing and accomplishing the Great Commission (a clear textual exhortation) than I am about having day and night prayer in prayer rooms (a not-so-clear textual exhortation).
- I question the applicability of IHOP’s view of the “Intercessory Missionary”. While I strongly believe that prayer and intercession are undoubtedly essential parts of Christian and mission, I have a hard time finding the idea of an “Intercessory Missionary” as a prime example of the way mission (and ultimately through what process Jesus returns) is done in the New Testament. Anna is an oft-cited example from Luke, but she is not the primal example of what people are doing in the Book of Acts.
So those are my thoughts about where I stand on IHOP’s view of End Times. I’m not condemning IHOP, I love IHOP and what the Spirit is doing there, but these are just some critical thoughts as I grow into maturity of what missions and end times should look like.