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Question and Answer: William Porter, The Forerunner Cry

Question and Answer: William Porter, The Forerunner Cry

The key theme of your book is the return of Christ and the church’s role in preparing the world for that. What called you to focus on this? 

One impetus has been a growing number of Christian voices starting to speak out about an urgency of the signs of the times and nearness of Jesus’ return. A personal moment for me was about ten years ago, when we visited International House of Prayer, Kansas City, USA. I had been teaching and preaching about revival for many years; it was a revelation moment for me when the Holy Spirit whispered to me that what we are preparing for is not just another period of renewal for the church, or brief awakening, but the last revival across the world, preparing the church and bringing a harvest of souls, before Jesus comes. 

Who have you written the book for? 

I hope it will be useful for the keen Christian with an interest in eschatology and End Times thinking. I hope it will speak to the youth and young adult generation, whom God has his hand on in these critical days.  It has enough theological reflection to be useful for those in church leadership yet introduces themes in an accessible way for those with little prior knowledge of end-time writings. It will also be useful for those in the growing prayer networks in the UK, Europe and USA. 

There are many different views on what will happen when Jesus returns. What stance do you take in this book?

That is a good question, yes there some different views, and it can cause some differences of opinion! I take a fairly mainstream view of the church through history - the view that Jesus’ return will come after a time of great glory and great shaking, especially in the Tribulation. I explain that we are not to expect a ‘rapture’ that takes Christians out of the world before the Tribulation, but that we are an overcoming church through it all. I also explain how Jesus’ return is not just to then carry us all off to heaven, but to rule and reign on earth with us (the biblical ‘Millennium’) before the new heaven and earth are fully revealed. This particularly makes all the work of the church now very significant, as our witness and kingdom building here will continue on into eternity. 

What makes The Forerunner Cry different from any others on the same subject?

I am trying to stake out some centre ground on End Times issues in the main part of the book. There is not much recent British writing on popular eschatology, and I am trying to readdress this lack. I focus deeply into some biblical studies such as the book of Revelation, and I also widen the teaching out to include the big picture themes of the Day of the Lord, Judgment, and Christian Hope.

I am also encouraging an expectancy of living in the light of Jesus’ return; there are sections in the book for many Christians who I believe will become ‘End Time forerunner messengers’, with advice and exhortation for how to prepare the church and one’s own life for both glory and crisis in the church and nation before Jesus’ return. 

What was the most enjoyable thing about writing The Forerunner Cry?

It came out of a school of ministry teaching series I led in 2014 in our city and eight weeks of writing in the following months whilst on sabbatical. I enjoyed the research and biblical studies, finding that personally I was piecing together some teaching and insights that made sense of End Time things that had been confusing to me until that point. I have also enjoyed the last few months, finely tuning the manuscript. The most surprising thing to me was that I would kneel down in the morning to commit my writing to the Lord, and type away, and at the end of the day, find that chapters had taken shape and what could be dry teaching seeming to have life and God’s anointing on it!

What was the most important lesson you learnt from writing this book?

I have found that some Christians are speaking only about revival and great days ahead, others are speaking mainly about trouble and great shaking ahead. I am now convinced that both are true! We are entering into the greatest and most difficult days for the church and for our faith, so we need to learn to stand well in both glory and shaking. One generation will be alive when Jesus returns, and it quite possibly will be us, our children or our grandchildren.

Do you view your writing as a spiritual practice? 

Yes, I do. I wrote academically for years, especially at a doctorate level, where I was trying to bring theological research into areas of mission and revival I was passionate about. I have found it releasing to write much more now in the context of prayer and reflection. Often I find that my heart burns with conviction as I write, and the subject matter of End Times often leads me to a place of worship and awe before the Lord.

Elements of the book are autobiographical; what has been the most memorable part of your faith journey? 

Two things really. One is the God-chasing that my wife and I have done over the last twenty-five years, where we travelled to different revival hotspots in the world and participated in moves of the Spirit. The other is the slow journey I went through in a time of depression a few years ago, when I thought that my life and ministry were washed up. Coming through that has made me stronger in my faith, and I think I have more wisdom mixed into my earlier passion. This sense of a call to speak and teach on the End Times is a fruit of both these aspects of my spiritual journey, and of course, many other things as well. 

Do you have any daily reminders of your role in preparing the church for Jesus’ return?

I have a morning prayer time, often whilst dog walking round our nearby nature reserve. Part of my daily prayer is that I will pursue God, have a forerunner voice and serve End Time revival. It is a constant reminder to me of my sense of calling.

What do you hope the reader will take away from The Forerunner Cry? 

Understanding and expectancy. The message is simply ‘get ready’. Get ready to experience more of God’s glory, get ready to live through more global shaking, and get ready for Jesus’ return in the midst of this. It could all happen in your lifetime!

The Forerunner Cry / William Porter / £9.99 / 9781788930338 / Authentic Media

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