Showdown: 100 million expected to watch first presidential debate. But here are three critical issues I guarantee you they won’t discuss.

debate-trump-clinton2(Denver, Colorado) — It could be the biggest event in the history of television. Experts say an estimated 100 million Americans could to tune into the first presidential debate on Monday night, the largest audience for a debate ever. Here’s why.

Polls consistently show two-thirds of the American people believe the country is going in the wrong direction. People genuinely fear for the future of the country. They know the stakes could not be higher. Yet Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the two most disliked and distrusted nominees in the history of our Republic. Supporters of each candidate are deeply worried that the other one will bring the country to ruin, perhaps implosion. Many suspect both candidates could be ruinous for the country and are planning to sit this election out. Still, a small but important sliver of the electorate do plan to vote on November 8th but simply can’t yet decide which candidate is less dangerous.

Indeed, Americans instinctively sense/believe/fear that almost anything could happen on that stage at Hofstra University on Long Island, and because the outcome matters to all of us — indeed, to the entire world — an enormous number will likely be watching.

The top issue for most voters, understandably, is the economy. One-in-three Americans (32%) say the issue of how to improve the economy and create more jobs is their top concern at the moment, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll. Thus, people will be watching closely to see what kind of ideas for change and growth the candidates are bringing to the table, if any.

But voters say the second most important issue — and a close second, at that (29%) — is the issue of which candidate would truly strengthen U.S. national security and stop the threat of terrorism. These concerns are, of course, being fueled not just by all the headlines regarding war in the Middle East and terrorism throughout the epicenter, Europe and around the world. They are also being heightened by terrorist attacks right here inside the American homeland, from the mass shootings in Orlando in June to the bombings in New York and New Jersey and the stabbings in Minnesota in recent days.

These are critical issues, and it will be important to listen carefully to what the candidates say, what they don’t say, and how their statements fit their past statements and actions.

It’s been interesting to me that both Clinton and Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today, and both met several days ago with Egyptian President el-Sisi. These are clear indicators that both candidates regard the future of Israel and the epicenter as critical to the future of U.S. national security.

That said, while I wouldn’t try to predict what Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump will say and do Monday night, I can tell you with absolute certainty three important topics that will not be discussed:

  • First, what exactly is Apocalyptic Islam, how does it differ from Radical Islam, and how is Apocalyptic Islam posing a grave and growing threat to the U.S., Israel, our  Sunni Arab allies like Jordan and Egypt and all nations?
  • Second, in the midst of the darkness that is falling over the Middle East and the Islamic world — even as ISIS wages outright genocide against Christians — is there any reason for hope? Are there any signs that Muslims are turning against ISIS, turning away from Islam, and even turning to faith in Jesus Christ?
  • Third, what can followers of Jesus Christ be doing to be a light in the darkness, to love our neighbors and even our enemies, to advance the Gospel and strengthen the persecuted Church, especially in light of Bible prophecy?

The candidates absolutely should discuss the first topic, and in depth. They certainly won’t discuss the second two matters, not should they. It’s not their place.

But we as Christians should address all three matters, and that’s why I’m in the U.S. this month, meeting with Members of Congress, faith leaders and the media. This week, I’ll be also addressing these questions at two events in the Denver area.

On Tuesday, I’ll be addressing the student body at Colorado Christian University (CCU).

On Saturday evening, October 1st, I’ll be speaking at Calvary Chapel South Denver (CCSD).

The CCU event is not open to the public. But the CCSD event is, and I hope you’ll join us.

The occasion will be the annual fundraising event for Ministry Architecture, Inc. This is the ministry that my parents, Len and Mary Rosenberg, founded around almost two decades ago. They provide architectural services for evangelical Christian ministries operating in developing countries who need orphanages, training centers, medical missionary hospitals, and other facilities to show the love of Jesus. As they do, they also teach the Scriptures, share the Gospel, and encourage and counsel pastors and ministry leaders around the world.

Before I speak, my folks will share about the exciting work God is doing through this ministry. Then I will discuss the latest developments in the epicenter, including an update on what we’re seeing now that we live in Israel. I’m especially looking forward to answering your questions — always my favorite part of the evening — and I’ll be signing books, as well.

This event will take place at Calvary Chapel South Denver in Littleton, Colorado, from 7:00pm to 9:15pm on Saturday, October 1. Doors will open at 6:15pm. A contribution of $25 per person is requested to help support Ministry Architecture. There will also be an offering taken during the event, and all contributions are tax deductible.

Registration is required, and you can register ahead of time at — or, if there is space available, you can register at the door. I’d encourage you to register today to join us — and I hope to see you there.

NOTE: Ministry Architecture is a non-profit and non-political organization. It does not endorse political candidates or engage in political activity. We won’t be addressing the presidential campaign or the candidates. Rather, we’ll be discussing important matters that the candidates are not addressing, but that the church should.



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