Men, mostly, like comfort. A sofa, a good football game and some snacks.
A heated driver’s seat in the car is great.
Wood stoves are fine as long as the firewood is split when it’s delivered.
Men are why malls have benches.
So what’s with this announcement from the Promise Keepers men’s ministry in Denver talking about storming the gates of hell?
But that’s exactly what will be happening in September when the organization, which once staged a “Stand in the Gap” call for America to return to faith on the National Mall in Washington and 1.4 million men showed up, holds a revolutionary event on the doorstep to Jerusalem.
The assembly “Jesus Reigns 2014″ will be held on Sept. 17.
It is expected to draw tens of thousands in person, and perhaps millions around the globe, because of plans to simulcast online in Sultan’s Pool in the Valley on Hinnom.
Even tourism promoters in Israel note there’s something not entirely cheerful in that location’s history. It was the site of ritual sacrifice.
That led to the naming of Judaism’s Purgatory-esque “concept of an afterlife Gehinnom (Valley of Hinnom), from which the contemporary world gets its word ‘hell.’”
Jesus refers to “Gehenna” 11 times in the Gospels as the opposite of the Kingdom of God. In the Old Testament, it is the location where Israel worshiped Baal and Molech by sacrificing their children. The prophets also use the Valley of Hinnom to describe the destiny of the enemies of God.
And about storming those gates?
Promise Keepers’ “revolutionary event” will be in that valley, and broadcast worldwide.
“The purpose of the event is to call the body of Christ together in unity to declare that our faith isn’t in any government, financial institution, or man, but in Jesus alone, and that He reigns,” conference organizers explained.
In Matthew 16:13-19, the strategy is revealed: “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Conference organizers say Promise Keepers will be calling the church, worldwide, to unite together around the simple truth that Jesus reigns, and then to take the battle right to the gates of hell – both metaphorically, and literally.
“We believe it’s time for the people of the one true God to once again come together in unity – in response to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 – and declare that ‘our God is greater!” organizers said. “But this time, it must be more than just the men of America. It will include both men and women from every race, nationality, and continent, all declaring that ‘Jesus reigns!’”
PK founder Bill McCartney says, “I’m calling you out [to] stand together as one and demonstrate that Jesus reigns.”
Promise Keepers has scheduled, too, conferences in Jacksonville, Fla., Peoria, Ill., Baton Rouge, La., Loveland, Colo., and Wallingford, Conn., this year.
It is setting up an Israel tour that coordinates with the Jesus Reigns event Sept. 14-23.
See the plans:
"The greatest revival the world has ever known – a revival prophesied by the Apostle Paul and affirmed by men like Jonathan Edwards and C. H. Spurgeon – has begun," Promise Keepers says.
Edwards once said, "When they shall be called, that ancient people, who alone were so long God's people for so long a time, shall be his people again, never to be rejected more. They shall be gathered together into one fold, together with the Gentiles..."
Spurgeon? He said, "I think we do not attach sufficient importance to the restoration of the Jews. We do not think enough of it. But certainly, if there is anything promised in the Bible, it is this…The day shall yet come when the Jews, who were the first apostles to the Gentiles, the first missionaries to us, we who were far off, shall be gathered in again. Until that shall be, the fullness of the churches' glory can never come. Matchless benefits to the world are bound up with the restoration of Israel; their gathering in shall be as life from the dead."