Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy -- Inspired Christians to engage culture

AFA President Tim Wildmon and I attended the funeral service yesterday of Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Dr. Kennedy knew for sure that he was going to heaven. Do you? Find out, in his own words, the secret of Dr. Kennedy’s certainty and how you can be just as sure about where you’ll go when you die. Read more...

Click here and to view the archived webcast of this glorious home-going service for Dr. Kennedy.

An official with the American Family Association says Dr. D. James Kennedy will be remembered as a champion of God's truth. The 76-year-old pastor died this morning in his sleep at his home in Fort Lauderdale with his wife by his side.

Dr. Kennedy founded Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 1959, which now has more than 10,000 members. He also is founder of Coral Ridge Ministries and Evangelism Explosion, which has trained people worldwide to share their faith in Christ.

Buddy Smith, executive assistant with the American Family Association, says Kennedy was a brilliant pastor who "loved God's people" and himself "was loved and cherished," and whose main desire was to see others accept Christ as Savior and Lord and make a difference in the culture.

"For me, Dr. Kennedy was best known for his forthright presentation of the gospel," Smith shares. "I have worshiped at the great Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and met Dr. Kennedy at one of his Reclaiming America for Christ Conferences. He was an evangelist at heart. He led many people to saving faith in the Lord -- he inspired many people to engage in the culture war, many Christians to step to the front and to get involved."

In addition, says Smith, Kennedy was a gifted and scholarly man. And when it came to debating spiritual and theological issues, "he was a formidable Christian apologist as he debated those of great intellect," Smith adds.

Kennedy preached his last sermon at Coral Ridge on Christmas Eve 2006. He suffered cardiac arrest and arrhythmia four days later and never fully recovered. On August 26, his daughter announced her father was retiring. The church had started a process to choose his successor, and had planned a tribute worship service later this month honoring Dr. Kennedy. Funeral arrangements are pending.

During his long and fruitful ministry at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, he wrote many books, founded a radio and television ministry that stretches around the globe, established a Christian school and a seminary, and helped lead the conservative movement along with Don Wildmon, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others. His greatest contribution was the development of Evangelism Explosion, a program of outreach that joined good theology with a practical training method. He did more to bring evangelism back to the local church than anyone else in the last fifty years. By that I mean he pioneered a simple strategy for deploying Christians as trained evangelists who could share their faith with others.

Evangelism Explosion is a lay-witnessing training program first developed in 1962 that has been used to spark growth in churches worldwide. In 1996, it became the first Christian ministry to be established in every nation on earth. I have no doubt that millions of people will be in heaven because someone asked them the two EE questions:

  1. Do you know for sure that you are going to be with God in Heaven?
  2. If God were to ask you, “Why should I let you into My Heaven?” what would you say?

I was certified as an EE Trainer in the late 1970's at the First Baptist Church of Fort Smith, Arkansas. Today would be a good day for you to consider those questions. How would you answer them? Click here to find the answers that could change your life forever.

“Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.” D. James Kennedy

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