Costi Hinn urges Empower attendees to remember their first love, be unashamed of the gospel
February 23rd, 2021 / By: Rob Collingsworth | TEXAN Correspondent / comments
IRVING—Monday evening’s main stage session at this year’s Empower conference—which took place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of Winter Storm Uri—kicked off with a keynote message from Costi Hinn, executive pastor of discipleship at Redeemer Bible Church in Gilbert, Arizona.
Hinn delivered a sermon from Romans 1:16-17 in which he focused on the necessity of being unashamed of the gospel.
“The gospel is power. There’s no way around that, there’s no other message you need to preach to get that,” Hinn said. “The gospel is power.”
He shared his testimony of working in the healing ministry of his famous televangelist uncle, Benny Hinn, and expecting to be his ultimate successor, having been brought up to believe that he was a part of the greatest ministry family of all time.
“Everything that had been prophesied over my life seemed to be coming true. I was told that I was the anointed, the next in line as the oldest Hinn boy in the heritage of faith. My uncle, Benny Hinn, was the first in line in his family, and seeing as I was the first Costi in the next generation,” he said, “I was number one.
“And I was told that his mantle would fall on my life like Elijah and Elisha and that I would have a healing ministry that would span the globe, that the healings I would experience would be a hundredfold greater than his or any other faith healing evangelist who had ever come before.”
Hinn told of visiting Greece on a ministry trip and thinking to himself that all he had to do was receive the blessing of his ministry inheritance and he would be set. But as he looked out over the Aegean Sea, which he linked to the missionary journeys of Paul, he said there was just one problem.
“I wasn’t preaching the same gospel as Paul. I didn’t believe the same gospel as Paul,” Hinn said. Of his misunderstanding, he said, “The gospel meant money. If you believed in Jesus, he would make you healthy, wealthy and happy.”
After working in his uncle’s ministry for a time, he ended up at Dallas Baptist University to play baseball, and he said it was there that the Lord began to plant seeds of the true gospel.
One of the most significant influences on his life during that time was his baseball coach, who told him about a God who was sovereign—a concept Hinn found foreign at the time.
“I thought, what is this guy talking about? God is sovereign? I’m sovereign. I name it, I claim it, I give money, I profess by faith,” Hinn said.
He described ending up on staff at a church plant after college that decided to make the shift to expository preaching and being assigned to preach through the healing at the pool at Bethesda in John 5.
In preparing for the sermon, he was struck at the simplicity of the text and the absence of so many of the extraneous things he had been taught accompanied healing.
“Jesus heals him immediately, with a word,” Hinn said of this “powerful example of Jesus healing a man [not] because the merits of his life, but simply because he’s a sovereign, compassionate Lord.”
In that moment, Hinn said, “it was like everything made sense.” He immediately repented of his sins and his belief in a false gospel and committed that he would seek the truth and preach the gospel of the Bible.
“It’s actually pretty simple. You don’t have to manufacture a lot. If you just preach the Word, the Word will do the work,” Hinn said. “I had turned Jesus into a show. I had assumed his anointing, I had assumed that I knew him, but I was in danger at that very moment of continuing my life and becoming one of the Matthew 7:23 moments, where I say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but he says ‘Depart from me, I don’t know who you are.’”
Hinn closed the session by emphasizing three things about the gospel: we must not be ashamed of the gospel; we must be unwilling to change the gospel, and we must be undeterred by suffering for the gospel.
“There’s a generation rising. They need you, they need me, to tell them the truth, tell them what they’re in for, and give them the true power of the gospel that will carry them through,” he exclaimed.
“If you look throughout Baptist history, you’ll see heroes that were so crazy that they were willing to die for the gospel. What happened? We got comfortable. We became so content, and you know what this generation wants more than anything else? They want someone who will tell them the truth.”
Hinn challenged the audience to not forget their first love.
“When we begin to abandon that foundation, like it or not we are no different than the prosperity gospel preachers that have abandoned the message of the true gospel. So if you want real power, push the throttle back where it belongs,” he said. “Remember who you belong to, and remember you are not from here, alien, sojourner, foreign resident. You are a citizen of heaven, and you serve the king and the coming kingdom.”