Between the last book of the O.T. and the start of the N.T. there was no record of God speaking to his people -- a period of over 400 years. Then John the Baptist and Jesus came, and following closely were the apostles. So it would appear that God no longer speaks to people directly, but rather expects us to seek out knowledge of him through the scriptures. Given the confusion caused by the huge number of religious groups today, why do you think God would choose to remain silent? Wouldn't it be helpful if he sent another "messenger of the Lord" for our time to clear everything up? I realize that Luke 16:19-31 suggests this is not necessary, since we have the scriptures. But do you have any thoughts on this subject? Why do you believe God remains silent though many cry out, "God, are you there?" and then get mixed up in false doctrine. Why is God silent in our time? -- Leonard C. Jones
This is an excellent question, but you have answered it yourself! Luke 16 is the perfect passage to address the matter. It never was necessary for God to speak directly to man in every generation. And once he had spoken and his words were inscripturated (converted to scripture), that was always final.
Now I agree that a prophet calling us back to the Word now and again would be a helpful thing. Biblical preaching should accomplish that, and there are many theologically solid preachers who fear God and keep his commandments and call others to do the same. In a way, I would say that God speaks through preachers--but only indirectly, and only to the extent that they hold to his word.
Confusion comes because leaders, and followers, misread--or more often, fail to read--the Bible. The only way out of the quagmire is Bible study. Not head knowledge, but honest and open study that leads to life changes. What I am saying is that theology is not only helpful, it is essential. God's word is "living and active" (Hebrews 4:12) in every generation. This means God is speaking!
But who's listening?
This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2005. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.