(adapted from a message by Greg Gordon)
This nation needs a new breed of preachers in our day. People are sick of modern-day soft preaching that moves consciences less than a worldly movie would. God is getting desperate to raise them up They will not be bred in today’s seminaries or Bible colleges. They will speak against the whole system that is raising anaemic preachers and teachers. Their messages will be bold, strong and pointed, that will offend many but save many. Their preaching will bear witness to their calling. God will be in their messages and the fear of God will come with their message. God has always sought to have a voice in every generation. Surely we find ourselves in a time as the Psalmist lamented: "There is no more any prophet, neither is there among us, any that knoweth how long."
They must come with messages that will sear our consciences, Oh how we need
modern day prophets. Will the modern day prophet agree with all the theology and comfort of Western Christianity? Certainly not! His message will so contradict all of what we know of Christianity that we will hardly believe he is from God. Jeremiah was a prophet who heard from God and was told, "Behold, I will make my words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it will devour them." These new breed of preachers will be men that are shut-in with God and will hear from Him, so their words will be as "fire" and the people "wood."
D.M. McIntyre spoke of this same heavenly principle: "Before the great revival in Gallneukirchen broke out, Martin Boos spent hours and days and often nights in lonely agonies of intercession. Afterwards, when he preached, his words were as flame, and the hearts of the people as grass." Oh these men will be "much with God" and "little with men." The things of earth to them will grow strangely dim. They will be strange men to the ways and systems of the world. They will speak against the hypocrisy in the pews and the hirelings in the pulpits. The fear of man will not have any hold on these men, for the holy fear of God will be their overwhelming vision. They will speak the "word of the Lord" in due season and not refrain from being a mouthpiece in the hand of the Lord.
A.W. Tozer spoke of this needed breed of preachers "If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. The priestly type of man who carries out his duties, takes his pay and asks no questions will not do, nor the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone, nor the ones who feel that if they have expounded the Word, they have done their job. All these have been tried and found wanting. Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes, (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of most people, as all men speaking from God have done. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.
This is only to say that it is my belief that the one gift we need most now is the gift of prophecy," i.e. not some claim to reveal that God is pleased with His people, and will bless them, but the fearless proclamation of the truths of a holy God to a sinful world. Uncompromised, unsettled, unyielding, unmovable, unshakable! These men will come with an unbelievable message to those steeped in unbelief. David Wilkerson said once. "Only praying men touch God." These men will be ‘men of God’ that touch God and hear from Him. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Joel, Hosea, Zechariah; these men will find good company with the coming prophets. They will be fully accepted of God and fully rejected by men. God will call them ‘blessed’ and men will call them ‘cursed.’
PICTURE of a PROPHET
Leonard Ravenhill speaks of the true picture of the coming prophets. "The prophet in his day is fully accepted of God and totally rejected by men. The group challenged by the prophet because they are smug and comfortably insulated from a perishing world in their warm but untested theology are not likely to vote him ‘man of the year’ when he refers to them as habituates of the ‘synagogue of Satan!’ He is unpopular because he opposes the popular in morality and spirituality. In a day of faceless politicians and voiceless preachers, there is not a more urgent national need than that we cry to God for such a prophet! He has no price tags. He is totally ‘otherworldly.’ He lives in the heights with God and comes into the valley with a ‘thus saith the Lord.’ He walks before men for days, but has walked before God for years. He announces, pronounces, and denounces! God talks to him about men. He talks to men about God. There is a terrible vacuum in Evangelical Christianity today. The missing person in our ranks is the prophet; the man with a terrible earnestness; the man totally otherworldly; the man rejected by other men, even other good men, because they consider him too austere, too severely committed, too negative and unsociable.
"Let him be as plain as John the Baptist. Let him be a voice crying in the wilderness of modern theology, stagnant Christianity, aggressive atheism and false religions. Let him be as selfless as Paul the apostle. Let him, too, say and live, ‘This one thing I do.’ Let him reject ecclesiastical favours. Let him be self-abasing, non self-seeking, non self-projecting, non self- righteous, non self-glorifying. Let him say nothing that will draw men to himself, but only that which will move men to God. Let him come daily from the throne room of a holy God, the place where he has received the order of the day. Let him, under God, unstop the ears of the millions who have become deaf through the pursuit of money and pleasure. Let him cry with a voice this century has not heard because he has seen a vision no man in this century has seen. God send us this Moses to lead us from the wilderness of crass materialism, where the rattlesnakes of lust bite us and where enlightened men, totally blind spiritually, lead us ever nearer to Armageddon. God have mercy. Send us prophets. RUN for YOUR LIFE
The message of these men will seem strong and extreme to most. They will call for utter immediate implicit obedience to the commands of the Lord. They will call for a turning away from sin and from sinful practices. They will preach a God-exalting and men-abasing message. They will not be worried about men’s self-esteem or happiness, but rather their clarion cry will be: "Holiness Unto the Lord!" Part of what they say might sound like this excerpt of a message preached by Carter Conlon:
"Run from gospels that focus on your success and prosperity. Run from churches where men and not Christ are glorified. Run from churches where they do not preach the cross in the life of the believer, where there is no searching Word, no declaration of the necessity of repentance from sin. Run when there’s no mention of the blood of Jesus. It’s an unclean place, so run! Run from churches where the worship leaves you cold, where there’s no sense of God’s presence, because they don’t know God. Run from churches where you’re comfortable in your sin. If you enter God’s house with sin in your life, but you’re not convicted of it, you’re sitting at a table of devils. Run from churches where there is endless empty prophesying. Run from preachers who tell only stories and jokes. Run from churches that are just following the world in its ideas and fashions, and where Biblical standards are not upheld. Run from churches where children and young people are exalted, where they are not brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, so that they honour all their elders. Run from churches where they are not concerned with the things that God is concerned with. Run from churches where they are just playing at Christianity, and there is no fear of an awesome, holy God. "
God is going to get our attention. He is going to shake "everything that can be shaken." We should be on our faces, brothers and sisters. Great times of shaking are coming. Are we standing firm on the truth of God, or are we allowing the world and its cares to choke our spiritual life? God is going to raise up a new breed of preachers that will be uncompromising and unrelenting in their proclamation of the heart of God. Hear this blunt, blaring word from the late Dr. Joseph Parker: "Oh, ye white-faced, weak-kneed believers! Believers in what? Ye shifty speculators, stealers of prophetic mantles! Go, drink yourselves to death, and go to your proper devil! Ye are not the Church of Christ, might well be the speech which ascended Pauls might deliver to us, as we reshuffle the theological cards, and rearrange our credenda, and modify and dilute our doctrinal positions and enthusiasms!"
Let us also hear one of Mr. Ravenhill’s often quoted lines: "Our pulpits today
are occupied with puppets rather than with prophets, with organizers rather than with agonizers." Does that smite? It is true!
Pray to see God revive, restore, renew and revolutionize the Church as we know it. We need a mighty touch of God’s Spirit, and men that will speak with that anointing from heaven. God wants to raise a new breed of preachers in these last days. Oh how we need them! Make sure you are one of them, and are fulfilling your calling.