Are there still prophets today?

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Hey, thanks Again for Sending in Questions Related to our Recent sermons. As you know, we’re in a series Studying the Minor prophets in the Old Testament. And so our question for today is, are there still prophets in modern times? Could we see prophecy Today like we saw from these prophets of the Old Testament? And the answer is not a straightforward yes or no, because in the New Testament, there certainly appears to be prophets functioning in the New Testament Church.

Paul says in Ephesians four, God gives some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers. We certainly think there are still evangelists. Even today, in 2023, we think there’s pastors, teachers. So Not a reason to scratch prophets off of that list. Same thing in Corinthians, Paul gives Instructions about how to handle prophecy, what it should look like in the Church.

And he even says, I want all of you to participate in prophecy. In Thessalonians, he says, do not despise prophecies, but to Test them, make sure that they’re accurate. And so it certainly seems like prophecy was an active part of the New Testament Church. And so we would say, okay, we would expect that to Continue, just like evangelism and everything Else has continued. But at the same time, in the New Testament Church, no one is giving those prophets the same weight and authority that they gave the prophets of the Old Testament.

No one was speaking in a prophecy, One to another in the New Testament Church, on something of the level of, thus says the Lord, this is true for everyone for all time, that we all need to listen and obey. And so the type of authoritative word that we see from prophets in the Old Testament doesn’t have that same kind of weight with prophets in the New Testament. But certainly the role of A prophet is more than just Predicting or Foreshadowing Future Events. The role of the prophet was to speak truth into someone Else’s life, even the prophets in the Old Testament, it’s calling out sin, saying, this is a problem.

This is not God’s Will for you, right?

God calls you to holiness. You are acting unholy. And so that absolutely continues. But in the New Testament, when someone is calling out sin or giving encouragement about what might happen in the future, always that is pointing back to God’s word. And so that is really the way to test these prophecies is what this person saying completely in line with God’s word, because God’s spirit is never going to lead us contrary to what God’s spirit has already said through his word.

And so if we come one to another in the church, as we should, and speak into each other’s lives, and we speak truth into one another’s lives and call one another to holiness. We want to be verifying that that is in accord with Scripture. And if someone is sharing what they think might happen in the future, well, is it in line with what God’s word has already said of God’s going to bring renewal and redemption to the earth, make a new heavens and a new earth? Or is it somehow out of bounds of all of that?

No one today will be adding to Scripture, we’d say the canon is closed, and so there are no prophets like there were in the Old Testament.

And yet we do play an important role in one another’s lives, calling each other back to the word of God and following it. So we hope that’s helpful. We’ll talk to you next time.