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HENSLEY: Prophecy in today’s world

By Judith Hensley
Contributing columnist

It seems on every hand prognosticators in the news and in the church are predicting what is coming our way. If only God could speak to us from heaven and help us put things in perspective, some may say, then we could face the future with an assurance of what will come and what we must do. People from around the world are reporting record numbers of dreams and visions of the “end times” and from these are coming a prophetic picture of what the near future might look like.

It is the very uncertainty of our times that is filling people with fear, anxiety, depression, and unrest. Some are living in terror of the pandemic while others are shuddering at the possibility of an economic crash. According to what we gather from media images, not only does it appear that we as individuals have no control, but in many ways, neither does our government, and neither does the church as an institution.

My personal experience and conviction in the most troubling of times is that God is still in control of things that touch mankind and is still invested in the lives of individuals. He’s not watching us self destruct as a source of entertainment. It is the gift to mankind of “free will” that allows us to cause our own messes. God is still intrinsically woven into the fabric of our every day lives and still willing to hear and respond to our prayers as individuals, as nations, and the world when we invite Him to.

One of the ways God speaks to humanity is through the written word of the Bible. The importance of accurate prophecy is recorded throughout its pages. God has persistently reached out to mankind.

If we consider literature, fairy tales, many current movie themes, or video games, we quickly discover people have wanted to believe in prophecy through the ages. From ancient Egyptian manuscripts to fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty and video games such as Zelda, people have longed to have hope in the future based on prophecy as a supernatural promise of what is to come.

Does God still speak? Are there people who hear from God who can foretell events yet to unfold?

I believe there absolutely are legitimate people with the gift of prophecy who hear from God on a regular, solid basis. Prophecy is not the same as fortune telling, reading astrological charts, or consulting spiritual guides. It is not wrapped up in occult practices.

True prophetic revelations inspired from heaven come as a warning, offer instruction or correction, while providing supernatural insight and understanding about events yet to come. The Bible speaks of many having this kind of encounter with God. Prophetic passages in the Bible from thousands of years ago are coming to pass right in front of us through world events. He communicates to us through dreams, through visions, or sometimes an inner voice of understanding granting us supernatural insight to current events, or a glimpse of the future. Such encounters with God are not limited to self-appointed “prophets.”

A prophetic message in the book of Joel promises, “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.”

Whatever the future holds on the path the nations of the world are following, there is a Bible verse with a powerful promise, a prophetic statement that impacts the outcome of those who follow it. “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

As long as there are people of faith still seeking God, there will be prophecies and hope will remain.