It's been quite a while since I last posted on this blog. Yesterday Rev. David Wilkerson died (see link - Rev David Wilkerson Dies), and it is both a sad and sobering day. I admired Brother David for his character and calling. I believe him to be a true prophet for our times, and so it is sad news.
It is sobering news in that a somewhat similar modern-day prophet died in a tragic accident in Texas, back in 1982, Keith Green. At the time, I was pastoring in the Southern California desert area, and was beginning to have concerns about the direction of the Jesus Movement of which I was a part. Keith Green spoke to those concerns, rather he challenged those of us who called ourselves Christians. His death removed a prophetic voice that spoke against the prevailing drift of the evangelical church into the comfortable state it so firmly occupies today. I was saddened by Keith's death for that very reason.
With the passing of David Wilkerson another prophetic voice has been silenced by death in this world. And yet, his voice still declares the truth through his many publications and messages. In particular, I remember when his book, The Vision (now out of print), came out in 1974. I was a fairly young believer at the time. When it was published it was, to say the least, controversial. I remember it being criticized and spoken against by many evangelicals. I also remember, several years later, an older woman in my church whose opinion I valued, gave me a copy of the book and spoke highly of it. Now, decades later, much if not all of what Wilkerson said in that book has come to pass.
Here is the sobering thought for me today... what Keith Green spoke about before he died came to pass. There is a great "plague of comfortableness" that has settled over the church in America today. There is also a dearth of missionaries, Christian leaders and workers, throughout the world today (another impassioned concern of Keith Green's... and mine). Rev Wilkerson had very similar concerns, and his messages and ministry, Worldwide Challenge, reflected those concerns. What will follow his passing?
Regardless of where you might stand theologically regarding the "end times"... we're in them. According to Jesus' teaching in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, there are plenty of signs that we are in the last days of this age. These are Jesus' sobering words to consider from Mark 13:33-37 (ESV)
33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”