Sunday, January 25, 2015

Prophets Push.

Not only do prophets call people back, they push people out. This has always been the case, since Noah, "in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world" (He 11:7); to Joshua's, "Choose this day whom you will serve" (Jsh 24:15); to Samuel who, "warned the people solemnly and let them know what the king who would reign over them would do" (1 Sa 8:9); to Elijah who pressed upon God's people, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal is God, follow him" (1 Ki 18:21); to Isaiah declaring, "If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword" (Is 1:19f); to Jeremiah's being ordained "to pluck up and break down, to destroy and to overthrow" (Je 1:10); to Ezekiel's proclamation, "He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house" (Ez 3:27); to Hosea's utterance of God's announcement that, "Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children" (Ho 4:6); to the oracle of Amos regarding God's judgment - "Behold I am about to put a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel. I will spare them no longer" (Am 7:8); to Malachi's message concerning God's choice - "I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness" (Ma 1:2f); to John declaring that, "Christ's winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Mt 3:12); to Jesus preaching that, "No one can serve two masters" (Mt 6:24); to the Apostle Paul telling the Galatians that, "Even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned" (Ga 1:8); etc.

Curse this American sentimentalism, inclusivism, pragmatism, romanticism, and idealism, so much accepted in the Church, and so contrary to the spirit of prophecy (Re 19:10). I don't believe there are prophets today receiving direct revelation from God. I believe the Scriptures are complete. But I do believe in the gift of prophecy, which is a gift for proclamation, not future telling (Ro 12:6; 1 Co 12:10). Even the Old Testament prophets did more preaching than prediction. I do believe there are men and women within the Church with that old prophetic bend toward the truth; a bend that makes them a bit strange, and gets them into repeated troubles as they call folks back to God. May God bless their labors, and throw down their enemies.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Leadership Significance - Lions or Asses?

Perhaps it is generally the case that one is better off with an army of asses led by a lion, than with an army of lions led by an ass. It's simply next to impossible to overcome faulty leadership.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Idol of Image

"We are hell bent on appearing reasonable 
to our neighbors."
R.C. Sproul Jr.

A good reputation as God defines it, is crucial. But a good reputation as anyone else defines it, is an idol. It's all well and good that not everyone likes us, understands us, and is otherwise for us. Jesus makes this more plain than anyone in history.