Editor’s Note: Steve Hill, the evangelist who brought an untold myriad to Christ over decades of ministry, the best part of two of which was after he had decided to give up on the ministry after fulfilling his last scheduled engagement on Father’s Day, June 18, 1995, at Brownsville Assembly of God church in Pensacola, Florida, graduated from his earthly course on March 9th, and matriculated to receive his eternal rewards from his Lord, Master, and Savior, Christ Jesus. Many articles have been scribed already, many more will come. His life and ministry was worthy of all such human tribute. Here we republish two, and provide links to a few others. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the earthen vessel called Steve Hill, who, though he himself would have strenuously eschewed such platitudes, would well be classified among those the writer characterized as “men of whom the world was not worthy” (Heb. 11:38). We thank you and praise your for the Holy Spirit’s saving and sanctifying workings so powerful as to redeem and renew former drug and sin addicts such as our brother, Steve, and empower him with the burning fire that melts men’s hearts, wooing them to the receive the Savior, and may the hot embers left behind by such a firebrand for Christ explode in firestorms of evangelism throughout the world as they are fanned by hurricane-force Winds of the Holy Spirit! Amen! Hallelujah!###
Steve Hill: You Can’t Have It
By Steve Hill
Charisma Editor’s note: Sunday, March 9, Steve finished his race. Oh, to have seen that moment when he saw Jesus for the very first time and heard Him say, “Well done.” He lived every day of his life for that moment. It is truly fitting that we would post this article of his this week as we celebrate his homegoing.
My friend, there is coming a day when you will receive your reward for the work you did here on earth. None of us are aware of the time set for that event, but you can rest assured it is coming, and it is coming quickly.
This has been on my mind now more than ever. Many are aware that I have been fighting cancer for the last 10 years. In 2011, I spent nine months in the valley of the shadow of death. Doctors gave up on me, giving me hours, perhaps a few days, to live. At that time it appeared to be over. My burial plot was purchased, my funeral arranged. I was laid in a hospital bed to await the inevitable. In my spirit, I cried out, “Jesus, will I ever be able to win another soul to You?”
Since the time I was saved, winning souls is all I’ve cared about. Now I lay here on this deathbed wondering if it was over. Thankfully it wasn’t. The Lord raised me up, and I’ve seen many more come to Jesus. I didn’t know then any more than I know now what will happen next, and neither do you.
We are all the same. Each of us have a few years here on this earth—a fact I am more and more aware of with each passing day. Many live with the mentality “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Life is not like that, my friend!
I am reminded of the days of Noah. This holy preacher of righteousness prophesied to an unholy people of the day of judgment. They mocked and scorned him. Finally the Lord told the man of God, “Enough!” He shut Noah and his family up in the boat. It was over. There was no more eating, drinking and being merry. Just the sounds of people screaming from outside the boat.
They were ready to listen now, but it was too late.
My friends, I’m writing this as a warning. Your life, whether good or bad, is not forever. It’s going to end, and what you did with your life is going to be judged.
For the sinner, you will be brought before the great white throne to be judged according to your works. Everyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15).
For the saint, you too will be judged. Preachers rarely, if ever, speak of this. Thankfully, I had men of God in my life like David Wilkerson and Leonard Ravenhill, who fixed my eyes on eternity. The Bible says that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10).
Paul said, “Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Cor 3:13-15).
The day of judgment is coming. No one will escape it. Each of us will stand before the Lord to receive according to our works. All of our deeds will tried by fire. What was worthless will be burnt up. Only the precious will remain.
Ravenhill often said, “On that day, you had better hope you’re not standing knee-deep in ashes.”
I refuse to stand before Jesus on that day empty-handed. I desire a glorious crown that has been shaped and fashioned over years of faithful service to the Lord.
One day I did a quick search online for precious stones. I knew of stones such as diamonds, emeralds and rubies. But there where so many more that I had never heard of. As I went through the countless images, I said, “Jesus I want that one on my crown, and I want that one.”
You may find that strange, but I live with my eyes on eternity. It’s my desire to have something of great value to place at Jesus’ feet.
Whatever you’ve earned, that’s what you’re going to cast down at His feet. I want to throw a costly crown at His feet as I exclaim, “Worthy! Worthy! Worthy is the Lamb that was slain at Calvary. Jesus, this was the very best I could do. I know it doesn’t compare to those who have gone on before me, those who spilt their blood for You, but this was my best. There was nothing more I could have done!”
John wrote down these words of Christ in Revelation 3:11: “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”
Be assured, at the end of every life, there’s a time of reward or punishment. According to the Word of God, there exists a system of checks and balances, a judicial system, a standard by which we are expected to live. There is a Lawgiver, and there is a law. If the law is violated, there is punishment. If the law is followed, there is blessing. In order for you to have a crown up there, you must have first lived for Christ down here. To put on a crown up there, you must first put on a cross down here.
Some presently have no crown. They have done little to nothing with their life since they came to Christ. Likewise, they will have nothing to lay at Jesus’ feet. Others have a paper crown at best.
Friend, time is too short to waste. Place your eyes upon eternity, and start living your life for the next. The control of the crown is in your hands. Don’t let anyone have it. When you stand before God, you will want a crown—a glorious crown!— to lay at His feet in worship.###
Evangelist Steve Hill preached the Brownsville Revival for five years, was pastor emeritus of Heartland World Ministries Church and authored 13 books, including Spiritual Avalanche.
A Tribute to Steve Hill
By Dr. Michael Brown
After many years of a courageous battle with cancer, Steve Hill has gone to be with the Lord.
Who can find words to describe his life and the impact he had on millions of lives? Who can describe his burning passion for the lost and his unflinching zeal for the Lord?
Steve and I were sovereignly connected through our friendship with Leonard Ravenhill, the saintly intercessor and broken-hearted author of Why Revival Tarries.
It was through Bro. Len that we got to know each other in the years before theBrownsville Revival, and it was a Ravenhill quote that became famous through Steve at Brownsville: “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized during the lifetime of the opportunity.”
That quote also described Steve’s life as a believer. He was running his race with intensity and focus—not sitting on the sidelines or strolling along—and he was running so as to win.
I will never forget the years we had together in Brownsville, praying for people every night until we were ready to drop, looking into his reddened eyes (either from weeping or from lack of sleep or both) and hearing him urge sinners to come running to the altar in repentance.
Twice every year, Brownsville would hold a pastors’ conference, and the crowds would be even larger, as 1,500 leaders attended the meetings that week.
I always looked forward to them, since it gave us the ability to minister to men and women who in turn could minister to thousands of others. And it was a wonderful time for Pastor Kilpatrick to pour into his fellow pastors.
But Steve found those weeks difficult, since, as much as he loved those pastors and their spouses, he wanted to reach the lost and backslidden. That was what moved him day and night.
During the pastors’ conference one year, he was looking through the window of the office where we met before the service, and he noticed two young people walking toward the doors of the main building, and by outward appearance, they appeared to be quite unsaved.
A few seconds later, he noticed them walking away from the building, which had long since been filled to capacity. (In those days, the crowds would begin to get on line at 6 a.m., waiting for the doors to open at 6 p.m. The service then started at 7 p.m. and went past midnight, four days a week. But with so many leaders in town, even less people made it into the main building and instead went to one of the overflow facilities.)
Well, these young people weren’t willing to go to an overflow room, and when Steve saw them leaving, he called one of the ushers and said, “Go run down the street and get those two young people and put them in the front row. And take two pastors from the front row and put them in one of the overflow rooms.”
At the end of the service, those two lost sinners were on their knees at the altar, getting right with God.
That was my friend Steve Hill, an evangelist to the core of his being.
I remember another service when Steve planned to preach from Luke 13, the parable of the fig tree owner who was about to chop the tree down because it had not born any fruit and its allotted time was running out. To illustrate his message, Steve was carrying an ax on his shoulder.
As we talked before the service in a side office—with Steve carrying that ax as we talked—we both became so overcome by the reality of the message (this could be the last night before judgment for some people there!) that we broke down crying.
Needless to say, many more tears were shed at the altar that night as men, women and children fled to the mercy seat as Steve pleaded with them to stop playing games with sin and to give their lives to Jesus.
That was a snapshot of Steve’s life, part of a panorama of images representing many years of sold-out ministry for Steve and his devoted wife, Jeri, both of whom served as missionaries in Argentina before Brownsville and who continued to minister throughout America and around the world until his body could not hold up any longer.
Even as he battled cancer, Steve began to reach out through the Internet to the Muslim world—he became consumed with a vision to reach them—and he was thrilled to receive the emails from former Muslims, newly saved through this gospel outreach. He also launched the Prodigals Only website, and he was staggered by the glorious reports he received.
Steve was also a tremendous encourager, often calling just to speak words of appreciation and love, preferring to boast in the Lord and lift others up than to boast about his own exploits.
He was also a lot of fun—he could laugh as well as he could cry—and if there was a new place to see or a new experience to be had, he was ready to go do it and see it. Steve Hill was a man who really lived.
But he is gone now—it’s hard to write while crying, but I’m trying—and as I told him one of the last times we talked, we still don’t have anyone to replace him, someone with his heritage and intensity and burden and faith, imperfect like the rest of us, but a true general in God’s army, without a doubt.
And as I think of the enormity of this loss for Jeri and the kids, I can’t help but think that Steve, along with his precious family, would like nothing more than for everyone who came to faith through his ministry, everyone who came back to the Lord through his ministry, everyone who was touched and changed and delivered and transformed through his ministry to make a fresh new dedication to love Jesus with total devotion and to go for lost souls.
May Steve Hill now be like a seed planted in the ground that dies, only to bring forth much lasting fruit. And may there be a supernatural multiplication of Spirit-anointed, Jesus-centered, revival-carrying, sin-hating evangelists raised up in his name and sent out to America and the nations.
Enjoy your reward, dear brother.
I miss you deeply already, but I’m thrilled that you are now in the presence of the One you loved so much, finally seeing Him face to face.
We’ll continue the fight in your honor down here.###
Links to other pertinent articles:
Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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