Three times over the past month, people have commented to me that I am prophet, or that my preaching and ministry is prophetic. Twice, people have commented that I am like John the Baptist, calling people to repentance. Once a person commented after a sermon I preached that, “that kind of preaching will get you thrown into jail.” (I think they meant that as a compliment.) On another occasion a person told my congregation they were fortunate to have, as a pastor, a person whose message and ministry is in the prophetic. On top of all this, a couple months ago, a pastor I deeply respect as a prophet, called me and told me he had a word for me from the Lord. He said, “You are about to enter a new phase of ministry where you will have increased influence. Handle that influence with humility.”
Please understand, I am not sharing this in any type of boastful way. The whole notion that I may be a prophet is troubling to me. Everything within me wants to reject that label and scream, “NO I AM NOT! I’m just Kevin, trying to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
I think one reason I struggle with that title is because I grew up in a denomination that rejected the whole idea of the prophetic being applicable today. My denomination regretfully teaches the doctrine known as cessationism; the belief that the supernatural gifts of speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, and healings ceased with the apostolistic age (after the Apostles died and the Bible was completed). I am a non-cessasionist, but I still struggle with the idea that I might be a prophet.
I think when people refer to me as a prophet they are not, necessarily, talking about the spiritual gift of being able to speak words of knowledge and discernment into people’s lives (although that is an important function of the gift). I have, on occasion, experienced that, but I don’t think that is what people mean. My gift (if that is what you want to call it), is not so much predicting the future, as proclaiming what will happen in the future if the church (especially the evangelical church) does not repent. Within the body of Christ, a prophet’s job is to expose sin, proclaim righteousness, and warn of coming judgment. All of this is accomplished by presenting God’s truth.
I think being called a prophet scares me because I know how most of the prophets in the Old Testament were treated. Among other things they were…
And most of the time it was the people of God who killed them, had them arrested, tortured them, and rejected them.
Prophets had very few friends.
Prophets were infamous instead of famous.
Most people misunderstood the prophets. They were seen as…
So, being considered a prophet is not something I have desired. It has never been a goal in my life, and is not one now. But what has been my goal is follow Jesus. I am not perfect, but I have been striving to be faithful since I was 15 years old. That has not changed. So I guess, if He wants me to be a prophet, that is what I will be.
What do you think? If you know me, what do you think about this?