Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Al Campbell: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
The purpose of prophecy is to be a “mouthpiece” for God like the Old Testament prophets. Today, what often makes the headlines are claims that the world is going to end soon! Maybe that is the case (see Matt. 24:36). However, what Paul really wants is for us to be open to the Holy Spirit who always points us back to God and to hold onto what is good and reject what does not fit the Gospel. For Paul, living an ethical and holy life is more important than getting worked up about every new “prophecy.” So if a Christian “prophet” is claiming that a politician is going to ruin the world, stop… rejoice in God’s grace, pray for wisdom, give thanks to God for all His mercies… and then examine their words through the lens of the cross and hold on to what is good and reject what is evil.