Who Was Keith Green?
As we continue in our national outreach to veterans, their families, and to citizens overall, we deeply desire to point people to the Source of our eternal hope: Jesus Christ. When we see veterans who have come to know Christ personally, we see lives made whole and families restored. Through Christ, veterans and citizens experience victory on the home front and with eternal life on the Heaven front. There is nothing like the Gospel.
This edition is special. It's controversial, yet for all of the right reasons and conveyed with prayerful hearts full of love for everyone.
This edition is about a fellow American who truly knew Christ (and now sees Him face-to-face). His name? Keith Green. Keith Green passed away tragically 40 years ago on this very date of July 28 and he was only 28 years old. And his testimony has been used greatly in America and beyond. Enjoy this special edition about how God used this American.
40 Years: Gone To Be With Jesus
The Keith Green Story
A Message from Keith Green's Widow, Melody Green
Keith wrote the hard-hitting lyrics on that photo, for anyone trifling with God… who lived like they’d never have to account for their life before His Holy Throne. Keith struggled with his flaws and begged God to help him grow to be a better man. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone try so hard. I think God wants to challenge us — me included. Do we struggle against sin? Resist it? Flee from it? Repent of it? — Or are we pretty casual about sin? In “the habit” of slipping up, of going with the flow instead of going with God, used to living our lives in ongoing “oops I did it again” moments? Let’s take inventory.
And before we do, let’s remember this: The enemy “condemns” us. And condemnation is “broad” — it throws everything in the toilet — you’re just a “terrible person” and you “do everything” wrong.
But God convicts us and conviction it is “specific” — don’t go ‘there’ anymore, stop doing ‘that’… stop watching ‘that’.. start doing ‘this.’ Specific. Very specific. The world needs light. Let’s shine it!
-Melody Green(Keith Green's widow)
So You Wanna Be A Rock Star
Today, so many people ask me if I can tell them how they can start or enter into a music ministry. At concerts I get countless questions about this, and I also get lots of letters and even some long-distance phone calls from many people who feel they are only "called" into the music "ministry." One day I began to ask myself why so few have ever asked me how to become a missionary, or even a local street preacher, or how to disciple a new believer. It seems everyone would prefer the "bright lights" of what they think a music ministry would be, rather than the mud and obscurity of the mission field, or the streets of the ghetto, or even the true spiritual sweetness of just being a nobody whom the Lord uses mightily in small "everyday" ways.
Are You Willing?
My answer to their question is almost always the same. "Are you willing to never play music again? Are you willing to be a nothing? Are you willing to go anywhere and do anything for Christ? Are you willing to stay right where you are and let the Lord do great things through you, though no one may seem to notice at all?" They all seem to answer each of these questions with a quick "yes!" But I really doubt if they know what their answer entails.
My dearest family in Jesus...why are we so star struck? Why do we idolize Christian singers and speakers? We go from glorifying musicians in the world, to glorifying Christian musicians. It's all idolatry! Can't you see that? It's true that there are many men and women of God who are greatly anointed to call down the Spirit of God on His people and the unsaved. But Satan is getting a great victory as we seem to worship these ministers on tapes and records, and clamor to get their autographs in churches and concert halls from coast to coast.
Can't you see that you are hurting these ministers? They try desperately to tell you that they don't deserve to be praised, and because of this you squeal with delight and praise them all the more. You're smothering them, making it almost impossible for them to see that it's really Jesus. They keep telling themselves that, but you keep telling them it's really them, crushing their humility and grieving the Spirit that is trying to keep their eyes on Jesus.
Ultimately, what we idolize we ourselves desire to become, sometimes with our whole heart. So a lot of people who want to become just like their favorite Gospel singer or minister, seek after it with the same fervor that the Lord demands we seek after Him! And again, we insult the Spirit of Grace and try to make a place for ourselves, rather than a place for Jesus.
A Thankless Job
How come no one idolizes or praises the missionaries who give up everything and live in poverty, endangering their lives and families with every danger that the "American dream" has almost completely eliminated? How come no one lifts up and exalts the ghetto and prison ministers who can never take up an offering, because if they did they would either laugh or cry at what they'd receive?
Because (1) we're taught from very early on that comfort is our goal and security… and (2) that we should always seek for a lot of people to like us. Who lives less comfortably and has had less friends and supporters than the selfless missionaries who have suffered untimely, premature deaths trying to conquer souls and nations for the whole glory of God? Do you really believe we're living in the very last times? Then why do you spend more money on Gospel records and concerts than you give to organizations that feed the poor, or to missionaries out in the field?
There are ministries all over the world where "penniless" people are being saved and transformed. They are broken people who have promise and qualities, but just need someone to bring them God's light during the times when their lives seem so completely hopeless.
I repent of ever having recorded one single song, and ever having performed one concert, if my music, and more importantly, my life has not provoked you into Godly jealousy (Romans 11:11) or to sell out more completely to Jesus!
Quit trying to make "gods" out of music ministers, and quit desiring to become like them. The Lord commands you, "Deny yourself take up your cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). My piano is not my cross, it is my tool. I'd never play it again if God would show me a more effective tool in my life for proclaiming His Gospel.[God gives us each our own unique tools. But we may never use them if we become more interested in someone else's. Seek God, ask Him for His plan for ministry (true, God glorifying ministry) in your life.]
To finish, let me say that the only music minister to whom the Lord will say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant," is the one whose life proves what their lyrics are saying, and to whom music is the least important part of their life. Glorifying the only worthy One has to be a minister's most important goal!
Let's all repent of the idolatry in our hearts and our desires for a comfortable, rewarding life when, really, the Bible tells us we are just passing through as strangers and pilgrims in this world (Hebrews 11:13), for our reward is in heaven. Let's not forget that our due service to the Lord is "... not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake"(Phil. 1:29).
Amen. Let us die graciously together and endure to the end like brave soldiers who give their lives, without hesitation, for our noble and glorious King of Light.
Our Editorial: Keith Green, A Christian from the USA
Keith Green went to Heaven exactly 40 years ago today. As we remember and share his testimony, we hope this edition will be used to encourage you greatly.
The Back Story As a child from a Jewish family, Keith started out as a talented singer who met some success. He appeared on major TV and made a noteworthy splash on the music scene. But it evaporated as he met failure quickly. And his teen recording career never really took off. Next, Keith idled his way through years of being lost and taking a taste of various religions. None answered his heart problems. Then, he considered Jesus. He learned all he could about him. However, even though he really liked Jesus and even prayed to him, Keith didn't fully give his life to life to Jesus. He held back. Then he finally let go and let Jesus hold him. Yes, two years after his initial consideration of Christ, Keith finally authentically encountered the truth and received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Keith began writing and singing convicting, Bible-based songs about Jesus Christ and knowing Him personally. He did this all while playing the piano. Large crowds started to gather in response to the Lord using him in a genuine way. Suddenly, through a course of unexpected events, he ultimately signed with Sparrow Records and started giving large evangelistic concerts nationwide. But Keith readily pointed the spotlight to Christ, the Light. Yes, Keith disliked the limelight. He adamantly wanted to give all the credit and glory to Jesus Christ. In fact, he was quoted as saying, "If someone writes a great story, people praise the author, not the pen. People don't say, 'Oh what an incredible pen...where can I get a pen like this so I can write great stories?' Well, I am just a pen in the hands of the Lord. He is the author. All praise should go to Him." Authenticity in Christ, Both in Music and Life Keith's songs often emerged during his own spiritual struggles in which he sought the Lord who was always seeking him. Keith didn't take satisfaction in pointing out the sins of others. For example, when he pointed his finger at hypocrisy, Keith knew he had four fingers pointing back at himself. He wrote honest, vulnerable lyrics that left room for God to convict the rest of us, too. He knew the journey to Heaven often twists through rocky valleys, and he saw no value in portraying his journey as otherwise. Keith felt impassioned about awaking the church and felt grieved about how too many are "asleep in the light". Tragically, hell has plenty of sincere church-going people who were never born again...because they never came to Jesus for themselves. And heaven is filled with sinners who turned away from their sin and came to Jesus Christ. (Ask yourself: Do you truly know Jesus? Now is the time to truly come to Him: https://peacewithgod.net/.) Today, July 28, 2022, marks the 40th anniversary of Keith Green's homegoing when he and two of his children (Josiah and Bethany) tragically died in a plane crash. They have been face to face with Jesus for 40 years! The Lord continues to use Keith's life and ministry today thanks to recordings and his wife Melody carrying on their ministry called Last Days Ministries. It is our sincere prayer that this message will be used to bring an awakening and transformation of hearts. We believe that with God all things are possible and that, through Jesus Christ, a true transformation can occur in our country –one heart at a time. Shared with hearts full of God’s love for you all,Carrie Stoelting and Stacie Stoelting HudzinskiSisters and founders of Unite the USA
Saying a prayer doesn’t make you a Christian. People in every religion pray. Even praying to Jesus doesn’t make you a Christian. He said, “Many shall come on that day and say ‘Lord, Lord’ and He says ‘Depart from Me, I never knew you’.
Having the gifts of the Spirit or looking like you’ve got ‘em don’t mean you’re a Christian. Jesus said, “Many shall come on that day and say ‘Lord, did we not cast out demons and heal the sick and raise the dead?” And He will say the same thing, ‘Depart from Me, I never knew you’.You know what a Christian is? I’ve got a really good definition for you: Someone who’s bananas for Jesus. Someone who loves the Lord, thy God, with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind and all his strength. And don’t forget he loves everybody else as much as he loves himself.” -Keith Green