Reflections on the 2012 Conference
This year's conference was just wonderful. I loved how different people at the conference were passionate about different aspects of eschatology and Free Grace, and how all of these views highlighted in different ways the fact that God keeps His promises. Believing that God is faithful to all of His promises seems to be, at a basic level, what ties us together at GES more than anything. Studying eschatology together was a fantastic way to bring that out.
We had more time built in to the schedule to have fellowship with fellow conferees, and I was able to get to know some of the incredible people who were attending the conference a lot better. Everyone had great stories of how God has shown His love and goodness in them. In a group of people who are all passionate about the freeness of everlasting life, the fellowship is really something special. I learned so much about the Bible at the conference, but I probably learned even more about things like love, compassion, and passion for sharing God's promises with others.
I often heard it said in seminary that doctrines derived from the Bible are all interrelated. Nowhere recently have I experienced that truth more than at this year's GES Conference. Many speakers, in line with this year's theme, demonstrated the connection between the Biblical message of future things (eschatology) and the Biblical message GES consistently highlights (soteriology).
The message of God's free gift of eternal life as expounded each year at the GES Conference has everything to do with the assured guarantee of the believer's future with Christ beyond the grave. The often-repeated message of God's gift of life is the starting point that establishes my accountability at the Judgment Seat of Christ in the future. How I have lived the eternal life I have been given will be judged, not whether I possess eternal life. The judgment of my works will reflect the choices I am making each day in this life, including the forgiveness of identifiable sins I confess.
I especially liked the plenary messages by Drs. Stan Toussaint and John Niemelä, as well as the panel discussion.
I wanted to give you some additional feedback on the conference. It is always a time of encouragement for me because of who I get to visit with and a time to stretch my thinking as I hear presenters.
Bob Wilkin's sessions are always good. He does thorough research on a given word or topic. Also he seems to be able to decide on the appropriate amount of material to cover for a given time frame. He is a clear presenter with a rare ability to communicate that truly is a benefit to me and many others.
Philippe Sterling did an excellent job in his workshop, as did Mark Piland, who was a classmate of mine from DTS and is a friend.
Jody Dillow was superb! I am not sure I agree with everything he presents but I greatly enjoy what he has to say because he challenges my thinking. The summary of motivations with "love of Jesus" in the middle is something I will be able to use often. I hope he will continue to present material in the future.
Thanks to Bob and his team for putting on a great conference.
The GES Conference is the highlight of my husband's and my year. We always look forward to going. This year was no exception.
We love the facilities. Those who work hard at the Seminary to make us comfortable do a great job and always are so nice. We appreciate all their work. We also appreciate the good work of the GES Staff.
We especially appreciate the hard work of Don Reiher in videotaping all the main sessions and some of the workshops. We're looking forward to those DVDs so that we can carefully study the material presented and be faithful Bereans to check everything out in the Scriptures. It takes time for us to digest all the material, but that time is well worth every minute.
It was a real treat this year to hear Dr. Stanley Toussaint. What a gentle and gracious man! Brilliant Biblical scholar! I can't remember ever hearing him in person, but I used to listen to cassette tape messages of him years ago.
Our very first GES Conference that we attended was 15 years ago. It was held in Irving, TX in a small room. We remember Jody Dillow was the speaker, and we attended because we had read his wonderful book, The Reign of the Servant Kings. That was the year Dr. Radmacher was excited about his upcoming Nelson Study Bible (now called The NKJV Study Bible). We remember meeting Charlie Bing at that conference. Lots of good memories. We were hooked! There are very few conferences we've missed since then. Now we look forward to seeing good friends each year who love the free-grace message of life.
We pray that He will continue to use GES for His glory until He returns.