For 16 years D.A. Horton has used rap music as a platform to proclaim the gospel in the heart language of a distinct and growing American subculture.
“In God’s grace, He has given me the opportunity to be used by Him to use a means of gospel proclamation known as hip-hop music,” said Horton, executive director of ReachLife Ministries, a non-profit ministry that seeks to reach urban youth and young adults for Christ.
“God has given me a snapshot of grace to leverage the culture of hip-hop to present the gospel.”
Horton spoke Nov. 12 during the Heavenly Banquet, held in conjunction with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s annual meeting in Greensboro.
BSC photo by C. Walter Overman
D.A. Horton speaks about using music as a platform during the Heavenly Banquet, a multicultural luncheon held during the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina annual meeting.
He said hip-hop’s success in reaching urban youth and young adults for Christ is indicative of the power of the gospel, rather than the method.
“I challenge us to understand that the methods we use don’t save people – it’s the message we proclaim that saves people,” Horton said. “Hip-hop might be gone 30 years from now, and that’s fine. The gospel is where I put my roots.”
Speaking from Revelation 19:6-10, Horton reminded believers of their duty to proclaim the gospel to their lost family and friends, so they might also participate in the marriage supper of the Lamb.
“We can look at this passage and have warm thoughts about our heavenly reality,” he said. “But eventually we have to snap out of it because our friends and loved ones are perishing without Christ. They don’t know our God.”
The heavenly banquet of Revelation 19 depicts believers wearing bright and pure linen, which Horton said is the clothing believers receive upon hearing and responding to the gospel. “In that moment our filthiness is taken off and the complete and perfect righteousness of Christ is put on,” he said.
God’s gracious act of salvation pictured in the marriage supper of the Lamb should fuel the believer’s desire to witness to their lost friends and family.
“We are clothed in His righteousness, a righteousness that we can never work to earn or deserve. That is the beauty of grace,” Horton said.
“This should give us a fuel, a drive, a passion for proclaiming the gospel.”
Horton called believers to obey Christ’s command to make disciples and to trust in the gospel during an age when people are searching for miracles.
“So many people want to see miracles. They want to see heaven and earth move,” he said.
“Believers must fight for the greatest miracle ever seen, and that is the proclamation of the gospel message according to the scriptures and the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit that then brings life to a dead sinner.”
When believers walk in the power of the gospel to make disciples, they can look to the marriage supper in anticipation of who they will meet there.
“I pray that at the marriage supper we would have the privilege to see those, that in God’s grace, He allowed us to reach with the gospel,” Horton said.
“I pray that in eternity we would be able to enjoy the marriage supper of the Lamb together.”