Revelation is God’s revealing his truth to mankind: revelation. God making his truth known to mankind. Inspiration takes the next step. Inspiration is man’s recording, receiving and recording divine truth in accurate form. God’s making his truth known is revelation. Our receiving and recording truth so that it becomes scripture is inspiration. That is the recording of truth in an inspired manner. Illumination is our understanding and applying the truth in everyday life.
Listen to me: revelation has ceased. Inspiration has ceased. Illumination continues to go on. Our need as believers is not to find some source to give us God’s revelation. Nor is it our desire to locate someone who is “inspired of God” through whom we can receive and record his message to us. Our need is to get a hold of what has been written and apply it regularly.
You say, “this is so basic Chuck, people aren’t doing that kind of stuff today”. Oh if you think that, you’re out of touch. Two weeks ago, I talked to a young woman who very definitely has this as the top priority of her days in college. “Before I’m out of this Christian school” (she named her school) “I’m going to know If God really is still giving revelation or not”. She has a number of friends who are getting “God’s message to them” through various sources, and almost without exception they’re messed up in some realm of their lives […]
Finding God’s message is not some cosmic guessing game, it is not a hide and seek riddle where God says “maybe you’ll know it, maybe you won’t. You behave, I may reveal more to you today, or more to you tomorrow. You stay with this person long enough, and I’ll give you my direction, I’ll give you my message”.
That’s hogwash – which is Greek for nonsense. You don’t rely on that kind of stuff. You rely on that, I’ll guarantee in a matter of weeks you will be in error.
My two cents
A great insight. I heard this on the radio at a quarter to seven in the morning, then transcribed it later at night. I’ve never been convinced by people who claim “God said this to me” or “God told me to…” Certain TV evangelists play that line a fair bit, and it gets old quickly. From others, I’ve even heard lines like “God told me to have an abortion”. And is it just a coincidence that when people talk about this existential revelation, that it tends to line up with what they wanted to do anyway?
Swindoll, C. (2011). Be Sure of Your Source Part 1—Insights on 2 Peter: Conquering Through Conflict (sermon). Available: http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/insight-for-living/listen/be-sure-of-your-source-part-1-171782.html. Last accessed 25th Mar 2011.