2023 International Summer Bible Conference (ISBC) on August 3-6, 2023 at UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), USA
Period : 08-03 ~ 08-06-2023
Program for International Summer Bible Conference 2023 (Aug 3-6)
Prepared by ISBC Steering Committee
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: We have seen his glory
- John 1:1-5, 14 (k.v. 1:14)
- Main message 1 (Friday morning):
- Title: Jesus came to call sinners
- Luke 5:27-32 (k.v. 32)
- Evening message 2 (Friday evening):
- Title: The whole earth is full of his glory
- Isaiah 6:1-8 (k.v. 3)
- Main message 2 (Saturday morning):
- Title: The glory of the cross
- Isaiah 53:1-12 (k.v. 5)
- Evening message 3 (Saturday evening):
- Title: The glorious Risen Christ met Paul
- Acts 9:1-19 (k.v. 3-4)
- Main message 3 (Sunday morning):
- Title: “I Am the Living One”
- Revelation 1:1-20 (k.v. 18)
This will be a hybrid (in person and online) conference.
This conference will be held at the University of Illinois in Urbana– Champaign, about a three-hour drive from Chicago. In general, we encourage NA members to come in person and international delegates to join online. Although the reality of Covid is one factor in this decision, the main reason is that it allows all UBF members throughout the world to participate in the ISBC. In the past, many members who wanted to join could not because of visa problems, travel costs, and time restrictions. With the development of technology, we can now offer a meaningful online experience to all UBF members worldwide. At the same time, 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.
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