Friday, September 26, 2008

Why are Prophets not Popular

The mention of prophet or prophecy brings chills in anyone’s spine. This is nothing new for in Biblical times prophets were not popular. Consider What Jesus said to the Jews of His time.

Matthew 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee,

Even Stephen before His death said to those who would martyred him,

Acts7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

The list of prophets killed is extensive. The author of Hebrews makes mention of what they did to these messengers of God in Chapter 11.

Heb11:35 … others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
Heb11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
Heb11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
Heb11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

All his from the people that professed to serve the God that send the prophets to them. NO wonder Christ said to their descendants,

Mat23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

So, why are God’s prophets not popular? Christ Himself that “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house” (Mat10:41; Mat13:57; Mark6:4) I think is because most people do not want to know the truth. No one wants to be reminded or called about their sin. Most people are afraid that others will know what they keep in secret. Since, they see God as a restricting punisher. They think of prophets as those who wants to restrict them from doing as they please. To them, Prophets are always bringing news of doom. They think silencing the prophet will keep judgment away.

But, the reason why God sends prophets to rebuke our sin is so that in rebuking we may feel convicted. In feeling convicted we may confess, ask for forgiveness and repent. God wants to be close to us, but, while we are in Sin, He cannot do this. This hurts Him. He sends His prophets to let us know His desire. It is mercy at work. The question, how will we respond? Will we heed God’s calling or will we reject Him? Rejecting God’s prophet and prophecy is rejecting God. He that receives the prophet and heeds the prophecy receives God. What will you do?

Friday, September 19, 2008

The FAQ’s of Spiritual Gifts

The FAQ’s of Spiritual Gifts

1. What are spiritual gifts?
They are special abilities, dispositions and or qualities.

2. What are they?

Rom12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Rom12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Rom12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

1Cor12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Cor12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Cor12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1Cor12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

3. Who gives them?
The Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 12:11; Hebrews 2:4)

4. To whom are they given?
To Christians

5. What are they for?

1Cor12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Cor14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

6. What is the criterion that the Holy Spirit uses give what to whom?

1Cor12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Heb2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

7. What gifts did Philip have?
The gift of helps, preaching, and teaching.