What are the Biblical requirements for being a prophet? Or an evangelist? Or a pastor? Or a teacher?
Actually, outside of being called by the Lord, there are no biblical mandates which have to be met for a believer to become any of these callings. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero.
Now, this does not mean that these callings are imparted without some degree of preparation, but that is strictly the Lord’s decision on what the preparation program will be. He’s the Boss and doesn’t confer with men or groups about His preparation plans.
For instance, when the Lord called me to preach, I didn’t rush off to confer with a pastor or a group. But rather, I just walked in my calling and used the gifts which came with the calling.
And of course, I made mistakes – lots of them. But my mistakes did not negate the calling on my life. So, I repented often, learned about my calling, and kept on walking in it.
Then, when the Lord called me to be a teacher, I followed the same course. I walked in my calling and began teaching. Period.
Okay, all of that is fine and dandy for the callings of prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher, but what about apostles?
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? (1 Corinthians 9: 1)
The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. (2 Corinthians 12:12)
If you check Christian internet websites, you will notice a glut of people who claim to be apostles. It’s almost as if the calling is as common as pennies. They’re all over the place. So, do we just take a person’s word that he (or she) is an apostle and then submit to him? Take a look at what Jesus said:
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false. (Revelations 2:2)
Someone’s supposed apostolic title is not enough to prove the validity of his or her calling. The true apostle must also have had a visitation with Jesus and he (or she) must have signs, wonders, and miracles which glorify the Lord.
Anything less than these biblical mandates causes the supposed apostle to fail the test.
And guess what? We believers are the ones who must check the apostles out.
(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)