CAN ONE HEAR GOD’S VOICE TODAY
Is God still speaking today? Is it possible to hear the voice of God? Christian leaders are confused about this issue.
Some believe that God can guide us and give direction when we need it. Others say God only speaks to us by what we read in the Bible. I believe that God still speaks to us today by His Holy Spirit just as He did in Bible times. What do you believe?
The Pseudepigrapha tells about a sect of the Pharisees that came into existence 800 years (or more) before Chirst. This sect taught that all God would ever say was already said through the writings of Moses. Any subsequent prophetic voice or writing was invalid. They accepted only the first five books of the Bible. Nothing more!
It seems many church leader believe the sames doctorine today (with some modification). For example, modern-day “theological Pharisees” teach that God only speaks to us now by what is written in the Bible. Beyond that, God is not speaking anymore.
While the Bible is a finished book and no one should dare add anything to the Canon of Scripture, the idea that we now serve a DUMB GOD (one who cannot speak) is a great theological travesty.
Many will die to defend what God said (past centuries) but”…refuse him that speaketh(presently in our days and time) from heaven”(Hebrew 12:25).
Seven times we are admonished, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith [present tense] unto the churches” (Rev 2:7;3:22).
A. THE NEED TO HEAR
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). This word “*proceedeth*” speaks of a present continuing function. That means something that happened in the past, is happening in the present, and will happen in the future.
This verse could be translated, “Man lives… by every word that has been spoken and continues to be spoken by the mouth of God. “God, Who spoke in ages past, is speaking in the present and will continue to speak in the future. GOD IS NOT A DUMB GOD!
This is not to say the Bible is still being written and we need to add to it. I do NOT believe that. The Bible does teach us however, that God wants a people to “dwell in, and walk in “(2Cor 6:16), “living epistles, known and read by mankind” (2Cor 3:2,3).
Oh, how we need to hear His voice! We can only live (have the life and blessing of the Lord in our churches today) by hearing every word that continues to proceed from God’s mouth to our hearts.
1. To know God’s Will
Every church leader faces this question: What does God expect me to do, and what am I to leave up to God to do? Where does my responsibility end and God’s begin?
On the one hand, the Scripture says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord” (Zech 4:6).
Some have suggested this teaches God will do it all by His Spirit and we need do nothing.
On the other hand, Jesus said, ” That servant who knew his Lord’s will,…neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Luke 12:47).
This clearly teaches that God holds His servants responsible to know His will and of God.
How do we reconcile this tension between God’s sovereignty and the church leader’s responsibility to implement the will of God?
We can easily resolve this dilemma by examining Jesus’ words again, “That servant who knew his Lord’s will…neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes…(Luke 12:47). Jesus contrasts this with the servant that knew not his Lord’s will. That servant “shall be beaten with few stripes” (vs 48). Both ways you get a beating. If you know and don’t do, and if you don’t know and don’t do.
God wants church leaders who know and do their Lord’s will.This will of God establishes the limits of our responsibility.If we don’t know His will, we will be judged less harshly, though we will still be judged. To do the will of God we must know His will. To know His will- we must hear His voice. It’s that simple!
a. A Personal Testimony.When I was being trained as an evangelist. I used to preach to nearly everyone I met, hoping to find someone who would accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. I had read in one of my books, and it taught me to use the following outline.
By giving the sinner these four points, I might lead someone to Christ.
*You are a sinner(Rom 3:23).
*The penalty of sin is eternal hell (Rom 6:23).
*Jesus bore your penalty for sin on the cross (1Pet 2:24).
* Receive Jesus and you will be saved (John 1:12).
Let me assure you, all the above is true.
This is all people need to know to be saved. If they believe this with all their heart, they are born from above by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
The Shepherd’s Staff