David Wilkerson’s “prophetic word” regarding the coming catastrophe in New York City has been getting some serious attention in the news this week. People are confused and panicky, wondering how we ought to respond. Should we stockpile food like David suggests? Should we withdraw our money from the banks? How do kingdom people respond to such a terrifying word?
Dr Wilkerson writes:
“An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen… It is going to be so frightening, we are all going to tremble – even the godliest among us.”
“For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago… There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting…
We are under God’s wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (v. 3)… God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations.”
First I want to say that I love David Wilkerson and have the highest respect for him. His life and his fifty-plus years of ministry speaks for itself. Yet I’m deeply troubled by this message. Has not God placed the church in the world as a prophetic arrow of hope pointing to the Kingdom? Jesus said “I did not come to condemn the world, but to save it.” (John 12:47)
We invite panic and despair when we miss the kingdom. When the church understands the Kingdom to be heaven, (as many do), then it’s easy to embrace a message of judgment: “The sooner the world burns up, the sooner we can get on with heaven.” But when we see that God’s intention in Christ is to restore all things, (Col. 1:20), and to bring His kingdom into the earth, (“…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,”), we’re reminded that the Gospel message is in fact GOOD news: “For God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and not counting their sins against them.” (2 Cor. 5:19)
Today is a golden hour for the church as people all over grope for answers. “Is there any hope?” “Can there be any justice?” “Is it possible to live together in harmony?” “Can we make a dent in poverty?” “Can the environment be restored?” We’ve been entrusted with the good news of a resounding “YES!” Ours is the privilege of preaching a kind King and a glorious kingdom to a world on the brink of collapse.
Whether David Wilkerson’s word will be fulfilled is something only time will tell. It doesn’t take a prophet to understand that when a nation rejects God it rejects the glue that holds it together. Chaos and anarchy are inevitable. Of course we’ll destroy and loot and set fires and turn on each other. We’ve cursed our own way, and God doesn’t need to send judgment on us any more than he would need to curse the harvest of a farmer who fertilized his crops with salt.
Yet we are to go on preaching the kingdom, seeking the kingdom, living the kingdom, and demonstrating the kingdom in the power of His Spirit and in selfless acts of love. There is something beautiful and glorious on the heart of God, and He has invited us into it. Perhaps if we return to preaching the glad news of the kingdom we can yet escape the doom.