What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “prophet”? Our modern view of “prophets” probably evokes an image of some barefoot, ragged looking individual, carrying a sandwich board sign that says:
The End is Near
It’s become a caricature, a joke, a cartoon. This individual is usually depicted as a crazy homeless person completely out of touch with reality. We envision someone with long, dirty scraggly hair to be scorned and given wide berth while crossing the sidewalk.
Is this an accurate Biblical portrayal of a prophet? What exactly is a “prophet” according to the Bible? Actually, they were really quite simple and uniform in their message:
1) Remind people of God’s Laws: “Here’s the boundaries, people!”
2) Encourage the culture to look around and notice their dire circumstances or surroundings: “Hey—You guys are really off track and out of bounds!”
3) Call for people to turn around or Repent: “Quick…Get back over here!”
4) Remind people of the consequences for NOT doing so: “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt!”
That’s it…really nothing spooky contrary to contemporary opinion. In fact, the Bible says everyone who has truly accepted Jesus Christ as The Messiah should be a “prophet”.
For the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy.
So…in a sense, this blog is sort of like a prophecy for
. We are WAYYYYY out of bounds, on the wrong
track, in need of a quick turnaround and soon we are going to get hurt. America
You may be thinking: “What makes you think you are qualified to give this opinion?” I guess I’m just as qualified as the long list of losers God has had to work with in the past. Here’s a few examples:
"O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."~Exodus 4:10 (Moses)
"But Lord, how can I save~Judges 6:15 (Gideon)
My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." Israel
"Who am I, and what is my family or my father's clan in~1 Samuel 18:18 (David)
, that I should become the
king's son-in-law?" Israel
For some say “Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless”.~2 Corinthians 10:10 (Apostle Paul)
I think I finally realized what God’s “qualifications” were. He is merely looking for people who:
1) Love Him.
2) Love His commandments.
3) Are quick to REPENT when he points out our many failings.
That’s all folks. I guess I qualify. My “ordinariness” is painfully obvious to everyone around me.
Let me assure you that not only do I realize my imperfections, but I acknowledge that I am a complete human mess…just like everyone else in Bible history. Just like YOU.
Anyone who personally knows me has seen my many flaws. If I bang my toe, I still have to fight an urge to yell a 4-letter expletive. I still want to smack the slow store clerk when I pick a line that drags on and on. Road rage pops up when I least expect it. I can be sarcastic, nasty, insensitive, profane and every other sin that rages within me.
So what’s the difference between a person or nation that occasionally sins and people who are “lost in sin”? In order to explain this, let’s explain the difference between “regular” (for lack of a better word) and “presumptuous” sins:
Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then will I be upright and innocent of great transgression.
When I got a major revelation on this scripture, my understanding grew exponentially on this issue. Here’s a definition of “presumptuous” sins:
Presumptuous (dictionary definition): “overstepping due bounds”.
Literally, you are PRESUMING on God’s patience while overstepping his bounds. Presumption means you wake up each morning and knowingly PLAN to commit sin. You make room in your life for these sins. You work your schedule around these sins. In essence, you BOW DOWN to sin. This is where the modern Christian Church, since the days of Martin Luther, has failed us miserably. We were taught: Grace, Grace and more Grace. Do you know I was shocked to find out that this statement is not actually in the Bible? I’ve heard it so many times in church, I just assumed that it was holy scripture. Yes, the Bible says grace is abundant. But to quote Paul:
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?GOD FORBID!
So there are many people out there who are calling themselves “Christians” when really, they simply believe that God exists.
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.~James 2:19
True repentance is EVIDENCED by a distinct TURNING AWAY from sin.
There is a HUGE difference between correctly acknowledging that as long as you live on this planet you WILL be a sinner struggling with sin. However, there is a VAST difference between “slipping up” and an arrogant, presumptuous attitude that says:
“TODAY I PLAN on sinning. I PLAN on being disobedient. I PLAN on not doing what God wants me to do. I PLAN on meeting my adulterous affair for lunch—it is scheduled at noon. I’ve noted it in my calendar. In fact, I have made room for this sin in the rest of my life.”
When I wake up in the morning, with everything that is in my heart and soul, I know I want to please God. I MAY fail miserably. God, in His sovereign knowledge, even KNOWS that I will fail miserably that day. These will be UNPLANNED sins. I may argue with my child’s teacher in school, I may be disrespectful to my spouse, I may want to flip someone off in traffic. Whatever it may be—I certainly didn’t PLAN on it. It was a momentary relapse into my body of sin.
See The Apostle Paul’s lament:Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me...What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
~Romans 7: 21-24
However, when this happens…we must be QUICK TO REPENT! If you CHOOSE to not do this, each and every time, your heart hardens just a little bit more. The next “tap on the shoulder” from God gets louder, rougher and more painful—just like the ramping up of tribulations and woes in Revelation. It’s not because He ENJOYS sending judgment—it’s because YOU are getting blinder and deafer by the minute with “eyes that cannot see” and “ears that cannot hear”. He doesn’t want to see you encounter the pain and suffering that goes along with sin. Before you know it, a symbolic “baseball bat” to your noggin is not enough to get your attention anymore.
I’ve always struggled with the Biblical concept of “unpardonable sin”. It seems at odds with everything else in the Bible of God’s incredible love, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, grace, etc. But after a very long, and sometimes painful, spiritual journey—I now understand what the “unpardonable sin” is. It’s a slow building of “hardness of heart” that can no longer be penetrated by Truth or Light. It’s a “tipping point” to a “reprobate mind”. Once YOU yourself have chosen that path (not God closing the door on you—YOU closing the door on God), there truly is no turning back.
So now on to the American analogy: Are we just sinners or “presumptuous sinners”? With our hard-heartedness towards abortion, redefinition of marriage, greedy spending and envious consumption…what is your conclusion? Since Day 1 of this nation, we’ve always been fallible sinners…May I humbly suggest that now we are purposeful sinners?
If the horrific recent mass murders have taught us anything it is this: We don’t know if we have 100 years left or if we have one minute left on this planet.
I personally believe it may be too late to turn around The United States of America on a governmental level. That choice was etched in stone in November. However, as individuals, we still have the option to repent personally and spiritually.
2013 is shaping up to be a difficult year on many fronts. Similar to Moses’ trek up the mountain, there’s going to be a “whole lot of shaking” going on.
So…Stop looking for a prophet character to come off
Mount Sinai with wild
hair, blazing eyes and carrying the Ten Commandments or perhaps some “out-of-body”
Angelic Vision before you accept this information. Maybe the message can come from the most
unlikely of places.
Today, take it from a run-of-the-mill, ordinary, very fallible middle-aged human being. Americans need to:
The End is Near
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?