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Ed Taylor Teaches at CCA Hawaii Conference

Story by Jim Culhane
Photos by Tom Price

Follow Calvary Chapel Magazine as we publish summaries of pastors’ teachings at the CCA Pastors, Leaders, & Church Workers Conference held in August 2021 at Calvary Chapel Honolulu, HI. Click here to learn more about the conference.

In this installment, Ed Taylor, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Aurora, CO, taught from the Book of Joshua, addressing concerns about what the future holds. Acknowledging the challenges and difficulties rising during the past two years, he urges the pastors to allow uncertainties about what lies ahead to lead them to a new dependence on the Lord.

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Women demonstrate traditional Hawaiian worship at the CCA Pastors, Leaders, & Church Workers Conference. The conference was held in August 2021 at Calvary Chapel Honolulu, HI.

Pastor Ed Taylor’s topic, “Even Though I Don’t Know the Future,” came from the Book of Joshua.

“People are deeply distracted right now,” Ed stated. “There is [so much] uncertainty, unfairness. Challenges abounded all throughout 2020 and into 2021, it’s really taken its toll. Add to that a new atmosphere of skepticism, division, hypercriticism, and it’s hard. In the 24-plus years of pastoral ministry that I’ve personally been involved in, I’ve never seen it as bad as it is right now. I’ve never seen believer against believer, the lack of affirmation and support for differing views, and it’s discouraging.

“Add to that the powerful societal trends, the political strife, cynicism, distrust, suspicions, negativity, envy, bad news—they all combine to chill our hearts and shrink our souls. It’s very important that we consciously decide to get our eyes back on the Lord.” Ed read the lyrics to the hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” emphasizing the line “and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim.”

Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over. Joshua 3:1

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Ed Taylor, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Aurora, CO, taught from the Book of Joshua, addressing concerns about what the future holds. Acknowledging the challenges and difficulties rising during the past two years, he urges the pastors to allow uncertainties about what lies ahead to lead them to a new dependence on the Lord.

In Joshua Chapter 3, the children of Israel are experiencing a time of great uncertainty. Certainly, we also live in a time of great uncertainty. Nobody knows the future. Billions of dollars are spent every year by people wanting to see the future, wanting to have some sense of comfort of what the future might hold. The children of Israel are in such a place, not knowing the future. They don’t know chapters 4, 5, or 6 yet. You and I live in real time as well. Some of you might be saying, “Wait a minute, Ed! I read the back of the Book of Revelation, and Jesus wins!” In that sense, we can know the future of the ultimate victory of Christ. But what’s going to happen at dinner tonight? You don’t know.

We are easily distracted. And how easy it is to co-opt the Gospel with something that is not the Gospel. Jesus said, “I always do those things that please the Father.” And lest we forget, Jesus was willingly murdered by the Roman government. Have we forgotten that God works all things to the good? Have we forgotten that God has put us on the planet to reach the lost? Pastor Chuck used to quote the phrase, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” It’s very important in these times of uncertainty to not [take] our eyes off the Lord, but to also avoid the temptation to take control of things to get a sense of peace and normality—but then to forget the lost.

                  

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“Even unto death, we follow a Savior who is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief because of the billions of people that will die in a Christ-less eternity,” reminded Pastor Ed. “The governments of man come and go, but the Gospel remains the same.” Ed read verse 1 (above), where Joshua rose early in the morning, then left and arrived at the Jordan River. It is a reminder that, just as the children of Israel have never traveled that way before, so we as a church have never passed this way before in what the world is going through today.

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Bill Stonebraker, senior pastor of CC Honolulu, greets attendees at the conference.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

“I’m scared right now, and it’s not from the Lord. Or is it? Fear’s not a bad emotion. Fear is an emotion that God gave us. It’s used in tremendous ways to keep us safe,” stated Ed. “God loves to minister to us in our weaknesses. The problem [occurs] when we don’t acknowledge our weaknesses, when we have an area where we think we are strong. Then the Spirit of God doesn’t minister to us. I think it’s very important that if you face fear in your life, you need to face it in such a way where your fear is used as a platform to trust in the Lord.”

God is ready to lead us across this difficult place where we’ve not passed before. God loves His church, even those who are scattered right now—those who are wondering what to do, who are prodigal. How many of you are praying for a prodigal? God is shaking His Church up, refining us, causing us to question. Am I doing the right thing? Am I serving the Lord properly? Am I in the Holy Spirit right now? Is this decision of the Lord? How am I to make this decision if I haven’t passed this way before?

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Ed Taylor chats with an attendee at the conference. Many who attend enjoy fellowship and reuniting with friends they rarely see.

Uncertainty about the future brings a new dependence on the Lord. We don’t know the fights we will have in the future. God will be with you, protect you, but there will also be defeat. “If I got a glimpse of what’s to come, you’d think I’d be better prepared, but I wouldn’t,” declared Ed. It’s the love of God that moves us and carries us along. The future does bring about a real fear. Fear of man is not a healthy fear, but it is a real one. In Joshua Chapter 1, God promised Joshua that no man would stand against him, and that God would not forsake him. God didn’t bring the Church this far just to drop us. The spirit of Anti-Christ is around us, but God says, “I am with you.”

Israel was finishing a 40-year death march of disobedience. Every day they asked questions: Why, God, are You doing this? There is an expectation that things will get better, and when they don’t, you get mad at God. Greg Laurie has said that we need to be careful not to answer questions that people aren’t asking. We need to learn the questions of the culture and give a Gospel answer to them. Ed advised, “The culture is so angry and critical right now, [but] it is not of the Lord to respond with anger to an angry culture.”

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CCA pastors address questions during a Q & A session.

Ed compared following the masking and distancing guidelines for COVID-19 with how everyone submits to building permits, occupancy permits, and building inspections: “Even if our church was wrong, what have we lost?” People say they look like the world, and Pastor Ed responded that he wants to look like the world.

“That’s how I’m going to reach them,” he revealed. “Show me in the Word where I compromise by showing preference to someone else.” The church opened a little at a time, having set aside a large room where people who want masks and distancing can feel comfortable. “People make decisions on the Gospel based on your behavior,” he stated. “Even the world can see real love.”

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Each pastor was presented with a Hawaiian lei before speaking, including Bill Stonebraker, senior pastor of CC Honolulu and host of the conference.

His church has experienced fear and anxiety, but they are still serving the Lord. People are still getting saved and discipled. Not everyone will come back to his church, but he will be ministering in the streets. God is showing Ed that the ministry is not about Ed, and that he is surrounded with a team of co-laborers. Ed concluded, “Whatever the Lord has for us, the Word of the Lord is this: You will accomplish the will of God and your purpose on Earth. Only be strong and very courageous.”

                  

Visit the website of Pastor Ed Taylor's church at Calvary Church in Aurora, CO

Watch Ed Taylor's teaching in its entirety at: Ed Taylor / CCA Hawaii Conference
                  

Follow summaries of pastors' teachings at CCA Hawaii Conference:
Ron Hindt, senior pastor of Calvary Houston, TX
Bud Stonebraker, senior pastor of South Shore Christian Fellowship, Waimanalo, HI
Jeff Johnson, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Downey, CA
Jack Abeelen, senior pastor of Morningstar Christian Chapel, Whittier, CA
Tony Clark, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Newport News, VA
Lloyd Pulley, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, NJ
Bryan Parish, lead pastor of Mission Calvary in Mission Viejo, CA

Stay tuned for more teaching summaries in upcoming days.
                  

Mark your calendar for the 2022 CCA Hawaii Conference: August 19-21 at Calvary Chapel Honolulu

                  

(To learn more about Calvary School of Missions, visit their website)

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2022 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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