Where Is the Prophetic Voice of the Church?
There is a deficiency in the prophetic voice of the church. Where are the voices today that are likened to Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Haggai, Habakkuk, Daniel, Joel, Peter, Paul, and others? Jesus, the Son of God, was prophetic to his day as well as to us.
The Prophetic Voice
The prophetic voice makes clear the Word of God for the present generation and at times, beyond. While the prophets of old foretold God’s Word for the future, they also made clear the Word of God to their present generation.
Therefore, for the church to be the prophetic voice today, we must make clear the Word of God for our generation. There are men that God raises up, like Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who was not only a forceful prophet to his generation, but his voice is still alive in our generation today.
The Church Must Speak to Our Culture
When the church rises up to speak to our culture, we are making clear what God says in His Word to everyone. This means that we must be like the men of Issachar as recorded in 1 Chronicles 12:32, “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”
If the church is to be an effective voice to the culture, we must know what is really going on and speak the Word of God in the most effective way. Certainly through the power of the Holy Spirit, our God is able to empower us to be an effective voice in the culture.
If our tone is angry, they will not hear the truth. God’s truth is what is important to be heard, not us. Therefore, we do not need to be a hindrance, but an asset. Through the power of prayer and the filling of the Holy Spirit, God will show us a way to speak His truth in love to our culture
We do not need to try to recapture our past. We need to begin from where we are today by surrendering to the Lordship of Christ to be the church God wants us to be, now and in the future.
Removing the Obstacles
I want to identify three major obstacles that churches have to overcome to be the prophetic voice in our generation. These are conscious choices each pastor and church has to make.
1. Choose preparation over slothfulness.
For a pastor and church to speak to our world effectively, we must be prepared to do it. This means that we actually have to be in touch with our world. We have to know what is going on rather than dismissing the moment. We cannot be slothful and careless.
Yes, this can be overwhelming, but God is on our side and His Word is the answer. We must forward His truth in the highest and most responsible way; therefore, it is incumbent on me to understand the times, so I will know what to do as the men in 1 Chronicles did.
2. Choose God’s voice over others.
With the threats of religious liberty growing nationally and globally, there is some reluctance to declare God’s voice. We read almost daily about threats that are made to Christ followers in schools, businesses, or churches.
Therefore, if we are to be faithful to God’s Word, speaking His Word to our generation effectively, we have to refuse to buy into the threats. Again, this calls us to be prepared and knowledgeable, but at the same time, it frees us to be the prophetic voice God may desire for us to be. The more knowledgeable and prepared we are, the more impactful our voice can be.
Pastors, you are not running for office. You are God’s prophet to your town or city and to our generation. The voice from the pulpit and from the church house must be clear about what God is saying to our generation.
3. Choose courage over fear.
This past Monday, I wrote how courage should be one of the words on our heart continually. We need courage more today than ever before. There is so much at stake in our country and world. Pastors, churches, ministries, and denominations must always exhibit courage that is clothed in love.
Fear paralyzes. We cannot sit this one out, hoping it will go away or not affect our lives. Fear is a major obstacle in rising up to the prophetic voice, and we must rebuke that fear in Jesus’ name. God has placed you where you are for such a time as this. Choose courage.
Since the gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer, then I submit to you that we have no option. We must make clear what God is saying in our generation.
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