Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.Deuteronomy 13:4 (NLT)
“I believe he is the voice of God.” This was a comment specifically made about a man claiming to be a prophet. The man who made the comment was defending his actions, which were horribly toxic, by laying the authority for such actions at the feet of a man who had made a career of creating YouTube content which purported to provide secret insight into the mind of God. It also delved into conspiracy theories and championed the notion of leaving the local church because it had become apostate (it was leading people away from God). This man had millions of subscribers around the world and spoke with authority. To his followers, his interpretation of the Bible was the only true, pure, holy interpretation because God spoke to Him directly. If the word “cult” has begun to drift into your mind, you’re not far off. Millions of people around the world had elevated this man to godlike status. The “prophet” began to set the date for the return of Christ. So far, he’s missed the mark several times, yet people still follow him, hanging on his every word as if it was Jesus himself. I’d like to say it’s all in the past, but he’s still going strong today.
The cold, hard reality is that when we follow the teachings of people, we hand over our salvation to them. If I follow [insert name here] he/she will lead me to heaven. This is so, so dangerous. The only one who can lead us to heaven is Jesus. Period.
The prophet Moses, who actually did serve as the mouthpiece of God for generations, put it this way, “Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.” Notice, even one of the most famous prophets in history points people back to God. “Don’t follow me,” he is saying. “Follow God.”
So, what’s the purpose then of pastors and theologians? It’s simple. Our jobs are to point you to Jesus. To point you to His truth, found in the Bible. Our goal is to make people disciples of Jesus, not ourselves. No matter how famous a preacher may be, if they aren’t pointing you to Jesus and His word, turn them off. Fear God alone. Obey God’s commands. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Cling to Jesus, not man.