Q: This month Christians everywhere will celebrate Easter. What makes the message of the Cross so powerful year after year?
A: I don’t think I can state it any better than I did in my book The Cross: One Man, One Tree, One Friday: “The cross is the hinge-point of human history. It is the fulcrum of God’s grand, brilliant lever—four thousand years in the crafting—that in a single day pried a fallen world from Satan’s soul-killing grasp. It is at the foot of the cross, and there alone, that we can look with horrified wonder upon the raw ferocity of God’s love for a fallen race.” (p. 13) The shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ upon Calvary that proved His never ending love for mankind, has never and will never lose its power!
Q: As believers, how can Jesus’ victory at Calvary impact our everyday lives?
A: It impacts everything we do, because as a result of His victory over death, hell and the grave, we are no longer in bondage to sin and death. We can live differently now that we are alive in Christ—and we must live differently now than we did before salvation, in order to fulfill our God-given assignment in this lifetime. I like to say it this way: “We have hope beyond the scope of human limitation.” Not by anything we’ve done, but because we’ve accepted His ultimate sacrifice, and because of His great love for us, we can daily live in hope, joy, and peace that passes all understanding.
Q: Today your roles include evangelist, pastor, author, educator, TV host, and so much more. As a young man, did have any idea your calling would expand to touch so many areas within culture?
A: When I received Jesus as Savior at the age of eight, all I wanted to do was live a life that was pleasing to God. My life since then has been a series of seemingly insignificant decisions that have brought me to the place I am today. God in His wisdom seldom shows us the entire picture—He just shows us the next step. I have placed myself in God’s hands. I will do whatever He has for me to do, regardless of what that involves but I am a soul winner at heart and love nothing more than to see people bend their knee at an altar and receive the saving, delivering, healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Q: Throughout your ministry you’ve faced many challenges, including a recent battle with cancer that affected your ability to preach the Gospel. Briefly Describe that journey and how God healed you during that season.
A: It was the ultimate irony—being attacked in the very part of my body that was most important to fulfill my calling as a minister of the gospel– my throat . Of course, my vocation is directly associated with speaking, and yet I was silent for nearly two years. During that time I decreed and declared healing scriptures and confessions twice a day – even when my voice made no sound! But God was faithful. He brought me through that trial even better positioned to proclaim that Jesus saves, Jesus heals and Jesus delivers with a seven times greater anointing!
Q: Later this year Americans will cast their votes in yet another presidential election. What encouragement would give to those still deciding on the best choice to lead this country?
A: I encourage people to vote according to biblical principles and values, rather than political affiliations and labels. I especially want to remind people not to believe all they hear from the media, either the traditional media or social media, since most of it is nothing more than opinion instead of news. In addition, I will continue to encourage people to register to vote, and then exercise their constitutional privilege to cast their ballots. Vote according to your convictions and beliefs! Your vote is your voice, and Christians must make their voice heard in the public square.
Q: Why is it so important for believers to take an active role in shaping the political landscape of their communities and nations?
A: In many cases, believers have abandoned their involvement in public service, creating a vacuum into which those espousing very different points of view have filled. This is one factor that has led to the decline and moral decay of our culture. This trend can only be reversed as those who are genuine Christians dare to become involved once again in engaging the culture and being salt and light in matters of government at all levels.
Q: For those who aren’t familiar with your program on Daystar, Breakthrough with Dr. Rod Parsley, what can new viewers who tune in expect to experience?
A: When I launched my very first television program nearly forty years ago, my purpose was to proclaim a word of revelation and relevance that people can connect with a continuing emphasis on seeing people from all walks of life come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Just recently we launched a new program that airs on Friday on Daystar called Rod Parsley Now, to take that message to a new generation – reaching one hand back to the tried and true principles of the past and with the other, reaching forward to ignite faith. Faith is simply knowing God; and it’s my desire to bring that foundational knowledge to a new generation.
Q: “Breakthrough” has become a popular buzzword in Christian culture, but how does Scripture define it?
A: Breakthrough is not necessarily a Scriptural word, but I believe it is a Scriptural idea. My definition of breakthrough is a sudden burst of divine energy that propels you through every line of Satan’s defense. I am convinced that the Church has been playing defense for too long. It is long past time that we go on the offensive and reclaim enemy-held territory in our lives, our families, our churches, our nations, and the culture at large.
Q: How can people personally experience God’s breakthrough power in their lives?
A: There are several ways to experience breakthrough. First, receiving Jesus as Savior will set you free from the bondage of sin and death. Next, receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit will empower you to live the kind of life Jesus intends you to live—with power to be a witness to the world around you. Next, live by faith, which is how God has always intended us to live, according to Hebrews 10:38 and several other Scriptures. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but represents a good foundation for success. I’m so thankful to God and have been blessed to witness innumerable miracles, signs, and wonders in the lives of our viewers, partners, and friends through the years.
Q: As a passionate humanitarian, you have helped meet the most desperate needs for starving communities in Africa. Why is sharing God’s love in real and relatable ways so important?
A: That is what Jesus commands us to do, and that is what love compels us to do. For decades, our Bridge of Hope missions teams have ministered in various nations across Africa, but our main focus has been in South Sudan liberating Christian slaves and providing life-sustaining nutrition and supplies. The reason God blesses all of us is not so we can consume it upon our own lusts, but so that we can be a blessing to those who need our help. The world will know about the Christ we say we serve not by how much we know, or by how much we possess, but by how much we love, which is demonstrated in definite acts of compassion.
Q: In this new decade, how can the Church be more effective when it comes to reaching the lost and hurting with the message of Christ?
A: I sincerely believe the most significant thing we can do is to stop emphasizing the model of the “professional” clergy being responsible for doing all the work of the ministry. Every believer is a minster (which means servant), and every believer is responsible for reaching their world with the love of God that was placed in them when they were born again. That love is modeled by acts of kindness and concern that are more powerful than any sermon. And as technology and Social Media continue to advance exponentially and are a vital part of our daily lives, we must use these tools as resources for the Kingdom. I adhere to the adage that the message of the gospel never changes but the methods certainly do.
Q: As an advocate for higher education, you’re passionate about equipping the next generation with the tools needed impact culture. Why is connecting students to God’s heart for humanity so critical, especially during the last days?
A: One of the enemy’s tactics has always been to separate generations from one another. If the values and virtues of the past are lost, forgotten, abandoned, or rejected, we will face a very uncertain and dangerous future. My purpose is to download everything that God has graciously given me to help equip a new generation with the tools they will need to impact the world with the Gospel. In my role as a spiritual father, I have been greatly encouraged to see the marvelous work that is being carried on by so many in this next generation of leaders.
Q: With your daughter, Ashton, now stepping into her calling and serving alongside you in ministry, describe what it’s like to watch your spiritual legacy lived out in such a powerful way.
A: It is beyond gratifying. It is hard for Joni and me to express how proud we are to see our daughter developing and using the giftings and anointing that have been such a vital part of her heritage in the Lord. She not only handles the Word of God as a seasoned minister of the gospel but she also possesses wisdom beyond her years especially in the areas of creativity and administration within our ministries. She is my right hand in many regards, and I am very thankful she has chosen to plant her feet in Columbus, Ohio and fulfill the calling of God upon her life.
Q: As you look back over your many years serving the Lord, what’s the most satisfying piece of the story God has written for your life, and why?
A: There are so many wonderful chapters in my life that it would be impossible to recount them all. My parents, my salvation, my calling to ministry, my relationship with Dr. Lester Sumrall, my marriage to my wonderful wife Joni, my children, Ashton and Austin, the many opportunities I have had to travel around the world and preach the gospel—the list goes on and on. But I am firmly convinced that the greatest and most remarkable part of my story has yet to be written.