The prophets of old did not mince words. They were not interested in pleasing men, but in pleasing God. Like Micaiah, prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others spoke God’s messages to their contemporaries. They did not back down from kings or the inhabitants of corrupt cultures, but spoke faithfully the words of Almighty God, whom they reverently feared. When God gave them words to speak, they would prophetically challenge even such royals as King Saul, King David, and King Ahab.
Even in the future from our time, God’s prophets will continue to do the same. The intriguing two witnesses of Revelation 11 are end-time prophets of God (vs. 10). Like their earlier biblical predecessors, they will not allow the fear of man to hold them back from speaking for God to the corrupt world in their day. Their prophetic messages will be very unpopular (vs. 10) and will even cost them their lives. But they will faithfully finish their God-given testimony (vs. 7). They serve as a good example to us.
We don’t need literally to be prophets (note: I do believe in modern-day prophets). Whatever our roles are in God’s kingdom, we can emulate the prophets’ faithfulness to declare God’s words to the godless societies in which we live. Here are some of the urgent messages from God’s Word the Bible that He wants communicated boldly to the world today.
This is the very first of God’s Ten Commandments that He gave at Mount Sinai. “I am the Lord your God … have no other gods…” God sent His people Israel, and later Judah, into captivity because they had turned to the “other gods” of the pagan nations around them.
Today the large majority of earth’s nearly 8 billion people serve some “god(s)” other than the true God of the Bible—for example, the supposed 33 million gods and goddesses that the Hindus worship. Or they serve no “god” at all. The heart cry of prophetic ministry to the world today will include an appeal to know, love and serve “God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Colossians 1:3). As Jesus commanded: “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only” (Luke 4:8).
In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus the Son of God spoke of a very real hell, a place of fiery torment. And Jesus clearly stated that hell is the eternal destination of those who reject and deny Him (Matthew 23:33; 5:29-30; Revelation 20:12-15). To the resistant Jewish religious leaders of His day, Jesus said, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matthew 23:33)
At His Second Coming to earth, Jesus will give a spectacular illustration of the fiery torment that lies in wait for the unbeliever. The apostle Paul declared that Jesus’ return will be “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). This truth must not be hidden from people. Jesus and His apostles made it abundantly clear that those who repent and have sincere faith in Jesus (Acts 20:21) will spend eternity with Him in heaven, and those who reject Him will spend eternity in a very real, fiery place of eternal torment. We too must make these realities known to those around us.
There is a tragic error today, believed by millions, that there are “many roads to God.” Sometimes it is alternatively expressed (and equally wrong!) as: “All roads lead to God.” Completely to the contrary, Jesus Christ said that He and He alone is “the way” to God the Father. And to remove all doubt, Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except through Him.
The apostle Peter in Scripture gave the amen to this truth with his statement that there is “no other name” than the name of Jesus Christ “by which we must be saved.” This life-changing message must be prophetically declared to all — that is, there is only one way to God, only one way to be saved, and that is through faith in the one and only Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead. He is the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5).
Some years ago the dean of a Bible college told me that each year’s incoming freshman class seemed to be more biblically illiterate than the previous year’s incoming class. Sadly, that trend seems to have continued. Large numbers of American Christians today are woefully ignorant of even the basics of God’s Word. In many church pulpits of the land, the words of Scripture are minimally preached, if at all.
The great prophet Isaiah spoke a warning that should ring in the ears of everyone in our day. Referring to God’s Word, the prophet said, “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Ignorance of the clear teachings of God’s Word has led to a massive shift in societal morals, to the point where things condemned in the Bible are spoken of as right and proper according to current, man-made standards of morality — things such as loose-and-easy divorce, gay marriage, sexual promiscuity, and a host of other sins. We need to get back to the apostle Paul’s insistence that we “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2) and Jesus’ command to His followers to teach others to obey all the things He had taught them (Matthew 28:20). Otherwise, we are abandoning our fellow man to walking in darkness. Without God’s Word, there is “no light in them.”
Already in the first century people scoffed at those who believed that Jesus would come back to earth a second time (2 Peter 3:3-4). It’s the same today. Jokes are made about His second coming. Even some Christians hardly give it a passing thought. But Jesus' second coming should be a major emphasis from pulpits and from the mouths of believers. It will be a day of flaming-fire judgment for the lost (2 Thessalonians 1:8) and of salvation and the resurrection from the dead for the saved (1 Corinthians 15:20-24). This message should be shouted from the housetops!
You’ve heard the mockers: “Are you one of those holiness churches?” Or: “You Christians think you’re holier-than-thou.” Don’t get defensive. Instead, keep “work[ing] at living a holy life.” Paul’s word to the Ephesians is astounding: we are created to be like God in true holiness!
God is a holy God. Around His throne the heavenly beings cry out, “Holy, holy, holy.” His Spirit is the Holy Spirit. And he has created us to be conformed to His image in true holiness. Ignore the scoffers and continue to pursue biblical holiness … and to declare it to a lost and needy world.
Jesus has placed us in this world for His divine purposes. He has given us His saving Word of truth to declare to a lost world. But the Bible reminds us that, although Jesus has sent us into the world, we “do not belong to this world.” And we are to come out from among the world’s uncleanness and be separated unto a holy life lived before God and man. To such people God declares, “You shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
This message of God’s call to separation, to holiness, and to obeying His Word of truth must be declared boldly to each generation. Casual association with and compromise with the uncleanness of the world will lead us into a life of defeat, not victory. More than once in raising my four children, I reminded them (successfully, thank the Lord) that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Four simple words that should be proclaimed loudly to the world: Flee from sexual immorality! Some Bible translations shorten it to two words: Flee fornication! An epidemic of sexual looseness has led in America to catastrophic rates of unwed motherhood and of sexually transmitted diseases. The savage barbarity of abortion on demand has become for many simply a convenient form of birth control. The biblical truth that God intended sex exclusively for the marriage of a man and a woman has been widely discarded in our day. But we must proclaim it boldly and prophetically from God’s Word, ignoring the mockery with which some hearers (thankfully not all) will reply. It’s a simple message that carries the life-giving power of God’s Word: “Flee from sexual immorality!”
Bible-believing Christians, I exhort you to memorize these words of Jesus: God made us male and female, a man and his wife! In about five seconds, Christ’s words clarify God’s position on two hot-button topics of our day—gay marriage and gender identity. Jesus said that God the Creator makes us male and female. There is no gender confusion in God’s eyes, and He is the one who determines our gender. He “makes us” male or female. And marriage is to be between a “male and female … a man and his wife.” These two short verses, spoken by the Lord Himself, should be declared fearlessly to a culture that has disobediently gone to disastrous extremes in the transgender and gay marriage issues and has successfully deceived many into thinking that homosexual conduct is "normal" and to be accepted.
A hugely important part of the Church’s status-quo-challenging prophetic message today to a lost world is that “Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus offers eternal hope to all. He Himself said that His intention in leaving heaven to come to earth was for us — that He “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
The door to eternal life with the Lord is open to all. It is the one who “rejects the Son [that] will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” The world has a simple choice: reject Jesus, the Son of God, and experience God’s wrath. Or accept and serve Him and be born again spiritually and enjoy eternal life in the Lord’s presence. The message to choose life in the Son of God must be trumpeted loudly to a world lost in sin.
The Bible says that “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23). Those sins have separated us from an infinitely holy God (Isaiah 59:2). By His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection Jesus has taken for us the punishment due to our sins. Now every lost sinner has eternal hope. Come to Jesus in faith that He died on the cross for your sins. Sincerely repent before God for those sins. And you will be born again and will become a son or daughter of God (2 Corinthians 6:18), destined for a glorious eternal life with Him. This is the life-saving, eternity-affecting decision every human being faces. May this soul-saving message be on our lips confidently and graciously every time the Lord gives us the opportunity to share it.
If God has been speaking to your heart that you need Jesus in your life, then respond joyfully to God’s generous invitation. That’s the Holy Spirit expressing the Lord’s love to you and inviting you to come into the family of God. Let the next few minutes be the most important ones in your life to date, and permit the late, esteemed evangelist Billy Graham to lead you in a prayer of salvation and entrance into eternal life.
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©2019, James H. Feeney.
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