Recently a nationally known preacher announced that God had personally and directly (and I think audibly) told him there’s going to be an earth-shattering calamity in the very near future.
This preacher’s first point of advice was to go and get thirty days’ worth of groceries. I don’t know if that strikes you as odd, but I’m thinking if this is an earth-shattering catastrophe, is thirty days’ worth of groceries really going to help? These kinds of pronouncements make me ask the question, “Does God really speak to people that way, or are these people just practicing theocracy by proxy?”
If you don’t know what theocracy means, it’s an archaic word that means rule of God. Now as a Christian, someone who takes God very seriously, I will one day live in a complete theocracy. It will be a place of peace, love, joy; something far better than the best this world has ever had to offer. But I don’t expect to live in that theocracy (nor do I want to) on this side of eternity.
When preachers, prophets, priests, kings say they speak for God in that way, do they really do us a favor, or do they further push our faith into obscurity? Remember, God does speak. He has spoken clearly through the sacred Scriptures. He can be trusted. If you are a follower of Jesus, Scriptures teach us that God indwells each one of us. So He speaks to us through that still, small voice in our hearts and minds. He speaks to us through experience and circumstances and friends. That’s why it’s so important to be a part of a local church.
I was talking to a friend the other day and he said, “I really believe in the future of the house church movement.” My response is, I’ve been in the house church movement all my adult life, but I still believe in the church gathered for worship. I’ll talk more about that later.
Back to my point. If you suspect that God speaks today, listen. But if He’s telling you the world is coming to an end, it’s probably indigestion.