While most of us American Baby Boomers have been focused on the fake news coming out of a basement in the Capital Building of the House of Representatives, a remarkable cultural change is influencing the younger generation.
Kanye West, a famous rapper who had a reputation for vulgar lyrics and an angry look, and also married to the reality TV star Kim Kardashian, the step-daughter of Bruce Jenner, has committed his life to Jesus Christ.
You may have already heard about Kanye West’s conversion to Christ. For us Baby Boomers, Kanye West becoming a vocal outspoken worship leading believer in Jesus Christ would be the equivalent of this suddenly happening to Ozzy Osborne.
Apparently Kanye West’s conversion happened sometime over the summer, and while I remember hearing about it I didn’t give it much thought because we simply don’t hang out in the same circles. Not only that, but I have learned to be skeptical – silently skeptical that is – about celebrities having a very public conversion claim.
Neither you nor I need to pledge our assurance that Kaynye West is a genuine born again follower of Jesus Christ. He won’t be present at our date with judgment and we won’t be present at his, and neither are the custodians of Heaven’s book of life.
However, Kanye West’s conversion appears to be real and is already influencing America’s younger generation for the Kingdom of God. He recently recorded an album that was released just a few weeks ago, titled “Jesus is King” and it very boldly declares just that, that Jesus is King, Savior, and Healer.
Payton played me some of the songs and I have to admit, my doubt began to melt away and my thoughts turned to a prophecy about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the end times.
I found the songs on this Jesus is King album to be extremely worshipful and even the few that lean more toward a rap style seem very genuine and less commercial than some of the worship songs coming out of American churches. (If you’re interested look up the song “God Is” on YouTube.)
Here’s another thing about this phenomenon in our society, Kanye West has said he will no longer play his old songs and is doing what’s being called pop-up church at concert arenas. Kanye West calls them “Sunday Service” and he’s been taking them cities across the country.
He recently led his Sunday Service in New Orleans and the reports from it were not what I would have expected to read. A reporter noted that Kanye West was not the star attraction and there was no announcement or attention given to his presence on the stage. It was said to be a big choir worship event with a guest pastor, who preached a message calling the audience to personal holiness, even having an alter call.
Now, the Kanye West story is not about Kanye West, but about the Spirit of God working upon the heart’s men that we likely wouldn’t expect Him to be able to work upon. Kanye West could go AWOL in his Christian testimony tomorrow but that wouldn’t change the fact the God seems to moving in our society while the media is obsessed with carrying Satan’s banner.
Observing this whole Kanye West phenomenon has me thinking about the end times and the latter rain.
The latter rain is a concept presented in Scripture, used by the prophets to illustrate the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon us that likens the “early rain” that occurred during the sowing season and the “latter rain” that occurred at the reaping season to the time of the end.
James 5:7 makes this point, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.”
In the Old Testament we have Jeremiah, Hosea, and Zechariah, and Joel pointing to Pentecost as the early rain and the latter rain coming just before the Lord’s return. Joel says, “And it will come to pass afterward in the last days that I will pour out My Spirit” (Joel 2:28).
In Middle East agriculture the early rain came soon after planting and provided moisture for germination and initial growth. You can see how the early rain of the Holy Spirit brought that about at Pentecost and in the times of the apostles.
Towards the end of the agricultural season just before the harvest, the later rains would come and give a final boost of growth and would soften up the ground from the long hard summer, making it easier to harvest.
While the former rain of the Holy Spirit, as given in the days of the apostles, germinated the seed of the church, the latter rain softens the ground of dry callous souls and refreshes us after a long hard summer for the harvest.
So, has the latter rain begun? Maybe.
What causes a multimillionaire rap star to suddenly take a stand for Jesus Christ? The only answer I can think of is the softening rain of the Holy Spirit upon his life.
What causes a self-sufficient sinner to suddenly trust in Jesus Christ? The only answer I can think of is the downpour of conviction from the Holy Spirit upon their life.
What causes a weary sojourner of life’s sorrows to suddenly know peace in Jesus Christ? The only answer I can think of is the refreshing power of the Holy Spirit upon their life.