The Bible records God speaking audibly to people many times (Exodus 3:14; Joshua 1:1; Judges 6:18; 1 Samuel 3:11; 2 Samuel 2:1;Job 40:1; Isaiah 7:3; Jeremiah 1:7 ;Acts 8:26; 9:15—this is just a small sampling). There is no biblical reason why God could not speak to a person audibly today. With the hundreds of times the Bible records God speaking, we have to remember that they occur over the course of 4,000 years of human history. God speaking audibly is the exception, not the rule. Even in the biblically recorded instances of God speaking, it is not always clear whether it was an audible voice, an inner voice, or a mental impression.
God does speak to people today. First, God speaks to us through His Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Isaiah 55:11tells us, “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” The Bible is God’s Word, everything we need to know in order to be saved and live the Christian life. Second Peter 1:3 declares, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
God can also “speak” to us through events—i.e., He can guide us through arranging our circumstances. And God helps us to discern right from wrong through our consciences (1 Timothy 1:5;1 Peter 3:16). God is in the process of conforming our minds to think His thoughts (Romans 12:2). God allows events to occur in our lives to direct us, change us, and help us to grow spiritually (James 1:2–5;Hebrews 12:5–11). First Peter 1:6–7reminds us, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
God may sometimes speak audibly to people. It is highly doubtful, though, that this occurs as often as some people claim it does. Again, even in the Bible, God speaking audibly is the exception, not the ordinary. If anyone claims that God has spoken to him or her, always compare what is said with what the Bible says. If God were to speak today, His words would be in full agreement with what He has said in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16–17). God does not contradict Himself.
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