(ISBC 2023) UBF International Summer Bible Conference on August 3-6 at UIUC, USA
<2023 ISBC PROMO VIDEO ENGLISH>
Dear servant of God:
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, your family, and all brothers and sisters under your care!
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
As you probably know, UBF HQ has been planning the 2023 UBF International Summer Bible Conference to be held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from August 3-6 next year. Under the guidance of our General Director, P. Moses Yoon, a steering committee has been working and praying together to develop the theme and program for this conference. I am very grateful for the hard work, prayer, and dedication of the committee members: Henry Park, David Kim, Mark Vucekovich, Teddy Hembekides, Augustine Suh, Caleb Kim (Korea), John Lee (Korea), Ezra Cho, John Seo, and Ron Ward. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we made the attached document, which explains the purpose of the conference, introduces the theme, and lays out the Bible passages to be studied. Thank God for guiding us this far. Please pray for this conference to reveal the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ to all who participate. Surely, as we see his glory, we will be strengthened, renewed, and inspired to reveal his glory by preaching the gospel and raising disciples of Jesus among college students around the world. Your comments, suggestions, and insights are welcomed. Please feel free to respond to this email. Your response will be forwarded to the steering committee.
Respectfully, in Christ, P. Ron Ward (ISBC 2023 Steering Committee Chairman)
Prepared by ISBC Steering Committee (Chair; Pastor Ron Ward)
Why do we have the ISBC?
The purpose of the ISBC is not to follow our routine schedule or to promote our own organization. The purpose and motive of our gathering is to worship God together as one global community, and mutually encourage one another as members of Christ’s body. We want to see his glory, be transformed, and renew our calling, our spirit and our world mission vision.
What is the theme of the ISBC 2023?
The theme is His Glory. The key verse is John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
a. What does it mean?
His Glory means the distinctive presence of God revealed through Jesus, the Word—His incarnation, person, ministry, cross, resurrection, ascension and reign, and his second coming.
b. Why did we choose this theme?
Many themes were suggested, and all of them were good. But we had to choose one. After much prayer and discussion, we were convinced to choose His Glory.
In our time we have been experiencing many elements of darkness: the global pandemic, wars, random violence, financial crises, and more. When we see these things, we become dark. In our UBF community we have experienced the deaths of some beloved coworkers, as well as serious health issues and discouraging elements of ministry. We often think too much about our own weaknesses or problems.
In the time of Isaiah it was the same. Considering the spiritual darkness all around him, he concluded, “And if one looks at the land, there is only darkness and distress; even the sun will be darkened by clouds” (Isa 5:30b). Yet when he entered the temple, he saw the glory of God who rules the world, seated on his throne, high and exalted, and the glory of the LORD filled his heart (Isa 6:1,5).
Like Isaiah, we need to see God’s glory. God’s glory is seen most vividly in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle John wrote, “We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14b). When the disciples saw his glory, God’s light flooded into their souls. Then they were inspired to turn the world upside down with the gospel. The glory of our Lord Jesus ever shines over this dark and troubled world. We see his glory in his unconditional love and compassion, his healing and restoration, and his giving people hope for a new life with God’s vision and purpose. We see his glory in his suffering and death, his resurrection, ascension and reign, and in the hope of his second coming. When we see his glory, anyone can find new life, and life to the full.
For the last several years we have been praying for a spiritual revival in our hearts and ministry. We realized that such a spiritual revival can come when we see the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
At this conference we want to contemplate the full meaning of “His Glory.” We will study how people in the Bible saw God’s glory and were transformed. We pray the Holy Spirit will enlighten us, that we may experience the height of his glory and the depth of his grace and truth. In a word, we expect to encounter Jesus personally and renew our faith and mission.
What are the Bible passages that we are proposing?
- Evening message 1 (Thursday evening):
- Title: The whole earth is full of his glory
- Isaiah 6:1-8
- Main message 1 (Friday morning):
- Title: We have seen his glory
- John 1:1-5 & 14
- Evening message 2 (Friday evening):
- Title: Glory of Jesus' ministry
- Luke 5:17-32
- Main message 2 (Saturday morning):
- Title: The glory of the cross
- John 19:1-42
- Evening message 3 (Saturday evening):
- Title: The glorious Risen Christ
- Acts 9:1-19
- Main message 3 (Sunday morning):
- Title: “I Am the Living One”
- Revelation 1:1-20 (k.v. 18)
This will be an in-person conference with live streaming and video recording of the general sessions only.
This conference will be held at the University of Illinois in Urbana– Champaign, about a three-hour drive from Chicago. Any international delegates who want to come in person will be welcomed warmly.
What are our prayer topics?
- To see his glory and experience his grace and truth personally and as a community
- To renew our vision and calling to display his glory throughout the world.
How to prepare for the ISBC 2023?
We don’t need to wait for Aug. 3, 2023 to encounter Jesus and His glory. We can see His glory even now and throughout the time of preparation as we pray for the conference and study the words of God by the work of the Holy Spirit.
<Subject to change>