Friday, March 22, 2013

Agabus, the New Testament Prophet

After we had been there a number of days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. Acts 21:10

Agabus doesn't get much mention in the Bible or by the church. Imagine asking 25 people, "Do you know who Agabus was?" Maybe none of those you questioned would answer "Yes".

He appears only twice in the Bible, but both times are very important. First, In Acts 11:28, he predicts a severe drought throughout the Roman world. Far more than just a climate prediction, it was a warning to the church that there would be those in need. Much later, in Acts 21:10, Agabus makes his second and last appearance.

And what a sad message he has! He asks for Paul's belt, then uses it to demonstrate how Paul will be bound and turned over to the gentiles. People weep over this terrible news. Paul's ministry is coming to an end, and his friendship will be taken from them.

Now I bring up the prophecies of Agabus for this reason. Just as he had heart breaking news to deliver, modern teachers of the Bible do also. I realize that many people want to hear only happy thoughts. You must have a "positive" attitude to reach people. Why, a preacher could lose his position if he delivers depressing messages. Many a congregation is largely composed of "smiley faced" Christians.

But just as Agabus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to tell hard truths, so are ministers, and even Bible teachers. If you are alone, studying your Bible, should you not also read these messages? Please do not turn away, these also are the words of God.

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