God has always spoken to men through prophets…He still does! Recent generations have seen prophetic men such as J. Gresham Machen, A.W. Tozer, Vance Havner, Leonard Ravenhill and David Wilkerson. However, today’s landscape of evangelicalism is creating another type of speaker–politically correct and side stepping weak males who desire popularity over truth. In our generation we are witnessing the death of the prophet.
This is not to justify the crude, the rude or the arrogant presentation of truth we have seen in some circles by those recognized as prophets and from previous generations. Intimidation and coercion are not elements of a Spirit-filled and anointed message. However, one extreme never justifies the opposite extreme. For every road there are two ditches, therefore let us avoid both errors. The life and health of the local church depends upon the ministry of all the five-fold ministry gifts the Lord has given to the church. (Eph. 4:11-14) Let us not sit by in silence and compromise, and watch the death of the prophet.
We greatly need men who will:
Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15)
Remain faithful to the Biblical text (2Tim. 2:15)
Unapologetically declare God’s absolute truth (Rom.3:4)
Be given to prayer as a lifestyle, not as a topic (Eph. 6:18; Phi. 4:6)
Stop coddling the spirit of the age in dress, speech or possessions (Jas. 4:4; 1Jn. 2:15-17)
Stop the gimmicks and compromises for the sake of crowds (1Cor. 2:1-5; 1Thes. 2:5-6)
Refuse the groupie or rock star status frequently seen today (1Cor. 1:12)
Yes, we are witnessing, through the younger generation, the death of the prophet. Leaders are too busy trying to write a best selling book or rub shoulders with their favorite speaker at the latest conference on the next big topic. We want to be like the Apostle Paul, but we act like Diotrephes. (3Jn. 9-10) We do not bear the marks of suffering in our life, but we do have tight shirts to display our buff bodies from the endless hours of self worship in the gym.
In the name of ‘contextualism,’ we’ve killed one of the five-fold ministry gifts to the church…we have killed the prophet. The prophet is not afraid to call sin, sin! He makes us uncomfortable, refuses to justify our vain visions and shallow sermons. He reveals how the cross is missing from our messages, our life, our family, and our congregations. He leads by example…shaming us; not with words, but with his simple lifestyle, clear message, broken spirit, life of prayer and humility.
Let us refuse to be the generation which sits by and watches the death of the prophet. Rise up and get with the Lord in prayer, seeking His face in repentance and faith. Some of you who are reading this are being called to step into this work. Bloom where you are planted. Be faithful to the call. The church and this generation needs you!