Prophecy: A Few Verses for Consideration

Table of Contents


National Association of Christian Ministers How to Series: Ministry

By Michael Mooney, NACM Exec. Elder


This scripture seems to suggest that prophecies may or may not come to pass depending upon the response of people to the prophecy:

The instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck it up and to pull it down, and to destroy it;
(Jeremiah 18:7)

if that nation, against whom I have spoken, will turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.
(Jeremiah 18:8)

And the instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build it and to plant it;
(Jeremiah 18:9)

if it does evil in My sight, not to obey My voice, then I will repent of the good with which I said I would do them good.
(Jeremiah 18:10)

I mention this because many people just assume that OT prophets were just put to death for their prediction not coming to pass.  But there may be responses on behalf of the people that affect the outcome of the prophecy as with Jonah (the people repented).  Jonah prophesied doom and gloom and did not call the people to repentance.  The people repented just hoping that God would change his mind, and he did.  The Jonah when outside the city to see if God was going to destroy it, and became mad with God for not bringing it to pass.

As for the NT, there are no guidelines for determining a prophet.  However Paul Does Say:


Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)  Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. (1 Corinthians 14:5)

If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. (1 Corinthians 14:23-25)  So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:39)