2021, Los Angeles Times

Larry King’s Final Interview—With YOU!

He’s Got Just One Question. How Will You Answer Him?

NBC News first reported the story on Saturday:

Larry King, the radio and televisi­­­on personality, whose breezy and at times conversational interviews with celebrities and world leaders made him a broadcasting icon for nearly half a century, has died at age 87.

Over a nearly 60-year career that spanned radio, cable television and the internet, the Brooklyn [New York] native estimated that he conducted more than 50,000 interviews — not one of which he prepared for in advance.

Broadcasting worldwide over CNN, Larry King was voted the most remarkable talk show host on TV ever.

Raised in a Jewish home, he remarked once that the one interview he would most like to have landed was with God himself! If this happened, he said, he would have just one simple question to ask God:

“Do you really have a son?”

I’m not Larry King! But if I could interview 50,000 Christians, I would want to ask them a similarly simple question, broken into two parts:

“Does God really have a son?
If so, what do you really think about God’s Son?”

We face an emergency.
Most of us are not quite ready for this interview.

Over decades of traveling into every stream of the Body of Christ, I’ve uncovered a host of believers who are caught in the grip of an emergency, whether they realize it or not. Some call it a “crisis of Christology.”

This crisis signals a sobering shortfall in how we see, seek, and speak about God’s Son for all he is today.

Too many times, I’ve participated in worship sessions where specific references to our Savior were virtually absent in the choruses we sang.

I’ve often listened to widely respected preachers deliver biblically grounded messages that barely referenced our Lord Jesus, let alone brought the congregation to bow at the feet of their King because the preaching gave them a larger vision of Christ and greater reasons to put their hope in him.

More than once, I’ve listened to the between-session conversations of delegates at major Christian conventions, hoping for even a hint that God’s Son was on their minds and hearts—somehow vital to their discussions—only to be disappointed time and time again.

Writing in his book American Jesus, Boston College professor Stephen Prothero offers this observation:

In the United States, Jesus is widely hailed as the “King of Kings.” But it is a strange sort of sovereign who is so slavishly responsive to his subjects . . . The American Jesus is more a pawn than a king, pushed around in a complex game of cultural (and countercultural) chess, sacrificed here for this cause and there for another.

Yes, there is an emergency in our churches. And there’s a real urgency about addressing this emergency.

So, maybe it IS time to have all of us sit down and start asking one another:

“Does God really have a son?
If so, what do you really think about God’s Son?”

Too often Jesus ends up on the fringes
of the lives of God’s people

Let’s be honest: Sunday after Sunday, we don’t often exhibit to fellow disciples a passion for our Redeemer that comes off sounding and looking like this:

“For me to live is Christ!

(Philippians 1:21)

Not much of our conversation actually honors Jesus in a manner comparable to how Paul talked about him when he said:

Set your affections [including conversations?] on things above where Christ is reigning, not on things of this world . . . let the message about Christ dwell richly in your life together as you teach and encourage one another” (Colossians 3, emphasis added).

Do we have such a decisive devotion to God’s Son that we demonstrate that Christ is SUPREME in all that we are, all that we do, all that we pursue?

Can we say, “We proclaim HIM, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we might present everyone perfect in CHRIST (Colossians 1)?

Are we “resolved to know nothing while I am with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2, emphasis added)?

So, how prepared are you for an interview with Larry King that asks only:

“Does God really have a son?
If so, what do you really think about God’s Son?”

What Christians hear about their Savior from one another, as a steady diet, determines a good deal of the depth of hope and passion they experience with him and express about him.

But too many of us have become too lackadaisical, even with friends in church, almost always conversing about the things of the world and even about our lives apart from Jesus’ involvement. We allow ourselves and fellow believers to sidestep deeper conversations about and encounters with Jesus as Lord of all.

I’m not surprised that author and editor Jon Graf concluded an editorial on prayer with this plea, one we all need to heed:

As people of prayer, we must pray fervently that the head, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be lifted up again in our churches; that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Beginning, would once again be proclaimed from our pulpits; that publishers, pastors and prophets would not be afraid to point directly to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter what it does to their popularity.

I agree. Don’t you? That’s the most strategic way to prepare for your Larry King opportunity.

 Around him or about him?

Yes, the time has come to pray for the Holy Spirit to restore to the Church a “Person-driven” walk with the everlasting Son of the Father. More and more, we need to be drawn into a passion for the person of the supreme, sovereign, and all-sufficient Son of God—for whom our churches and our lives exist to begin with.

What would it look like if God answered? How would it change the words coming out of our mouths?

Tragically, for multitudes of Christians, there appears to be little of a compelling, Person-driven core to their sense of why God saved them.

Instead, far too often, we find ourselves stumbling over his supremacy. We are disappointed in Jesus. He seems indifferent to the struggles in our lives. He doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers like we want him to. He isn’t healing our bodies and our broken relationships. He doesn’t seem to care about our addictions, our financial needs, the moral bankruptcy of our communities and politics.

If this is how we really think about Jesus (keeping it to ourselves most of the time), then why would we want to make him a major topic of conversation when we gather together? Why would we rather not talk around him instead of about him?

How many of us follow Jesus daily with the exciting conviction that what he will be Lord of ultimately, he is Lord of even now? That every believer is being led by him in a triumphal procession today toward the Grand Finale over which he will fully triumph at the end (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)?

Think about it: Christ fulfills our everlasting future. He embodies our blessed hope. He provides the guarantee for all we could ever become or do for God. And he offers to be this for us in himself alone (1 Timothy 1 and Titus 2).

But how often do we say such things to each other, doing so boldly with joy and enthusiasm? How often do we hear proclaimed from our pulpits the wonders of Jesus’ reign and his worthiness to receive the complete surrender and sacrifice of our lives?

If we aren’t propelled with a vibrant hope and passion worthy of God’s firstborn, ignited by Scripture’s teachings on his lordship in everything—hearing this from our pulpits AND in our conversations with each other—however will we have the knowledge and the power and the passion for telling the world about the salvation and successes of a Sovereign who, right now, is saturating the nations with the triumphs of his grace?

It’s time for your final interview with Larry King

So, there you sit with the famed broadcaster.

Of course, at this moment, on the other side of the grave, Larry King finally knows the answer to his most perplexing question. Now he knows that God really does have a Son!

But what if at this same moment, he could turn to you, look into your eyes as you sit across from him at your celestial microphone with a cosmic audience listening in—and he asks you:

“Does God really have a son?
If so, what do you really think about God’s Son?”

How do you think you would answer him?

How do you think most of the Christians in your life would answer him?

Jesus cautioned us in Matthew 12 that what comes out of our mouths is the prime evidence of what actually fills our hearts.

What would you expect to hear coming out of evangelicals’ mouths these days as we talked with Larry King? What would that reveal to him (and you) about what is filling the heart of our movement?

In other words, looking at Christians in America—watching our words and works—would they conclude that God really does have a Son? Would they?

If they did, what would they conclude about what you and I REALLY think about God’s Son?

The answers that would arise from coast to coast directly impinge upon the advance of the gospel in our land.

Truly, in more ways than one, what the world thinks about what Christians think about God’s Son is the difference between life and death. It impacts the fate of multitudes who need the great salvation God offers them in Jesus, as well as the desperate cry for the spiritual and moral renewal of America that only Jesus can bring to us.

The mike is open. Larry is waiting. Your moment has come. So, what will you say?

“Does God really have a son?
If so, what do you really think about God’s Son?”


About the Author

Over the past 40 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ-awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.


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