Interview: Luis Palau on Being a 'Sincere Hypocrite,' Misunderstandings of the Christian Life

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By Katherine T. Phan , Christian Post Reporter
July 6, 2012|8:43 am

And right now, in this moment, I don't know if this interview is good for later, but we're about to have an election. And the heat is on and people, including me, can get so worked up on this candidate or that candidate, this policy or that policy. We lose our self-control practically. We forget what the Scripture does tell the church that when it comes to leadership, presidents, kings, people in authority. 1 Timothy 2, very simply, Paul says, I ask first of all, not second or third, that prayers, thanksgiving and requests be made for all man, for kings and all who are in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our savior who wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. And you know, we don't do it.

The brother that was driving me here said that at his church they prayed for the authorities every Sunday. When I first came to the United States, I was so amazed that every church I went to -- because we never did it in Argentina -- prayed for the president, the vice president, the cabinet, the military, the governor, the mayor of the city, the city council. I remember sitting in those first few weeks that I came to America and thought "wow, this is why America has been so blessed with freedom, with all sorts of good things." This was in 1961. My thinking was that this is one of the reasons why God has honored this country. Now, I go to church after church after church and there's never -- this guy that drove me today is an unusual case -- a pastoral prayer where the whole body is with ... whether the guy is a Republican, Democrat. Doesn't matter. He's the king, he's the president. We're supposed to pray that we will live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. If we obeyed that alone, we would be more at peace about the elections. We do our duty as citizens but we don't despair.

And so, I feel we need to bring the body back to center on the reality of the living Lord Jesus Christ. He is sovereign. His purposes will be accomplished. Man does his thing. Now, I'm preaching at you. Man does his thing but God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords so we don't have to panic that the End has come. Sometimes you have to look back at history to remind yourself of that the U.S. has been in similar situations with the Korean War and then in the Vietnam War. We had another president where the inflation was incredible that it looked like America was coming apart. Then prayer comes back. I feel that is one of the things we have to emphasize, remember God is sovereign and His purposes will be accomplished.

CP: A lot of people know you as the evangelist, the world renowned Luis Palau and they've even compared you to Billy Graham. But if you weren't an evangelist, what would you be doing?

Palau: Well, it's hard to conceive of it because I love what we are doing. I do believe that evangelism is bringing people to Christ and seeing them transformed by Jesus Christ. That's why to me, it isn't just forgiveness of sins and getting to Heaven, which is glorious, but also about the life in between salvation and Heaven, which is what the book is about. But I would probably be a businessman and preach on weekends and on holidays because I was brought up … my father was a businessman, the fellow who led him to Christ in Argentina, South America, was a British who was an executive with Shell oil corporation. So I was surrounded by people, men , who were business people, who loved Christ, lived the life, helped the poor, preached the Gospel every time they got a chance. They were totally unashamed of the Gospel. They were businessmen who knew that talking about the Lord might lose them some business but it never seemed to. They seemed to do as well or better than other people. I remember the verse, "those who honor me, I will honor but those who despise me will be lightly esteemed." 1 Samuel 2:30.

I still have a great admiration of people who are business people who practice biblical principles in their business, who are unashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ and God uses them in a tremendous way. So I'd probably be a businessman who preaches on weekends. That's what I'd probably be.

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