[The following blog post by John Piper, republished here with permission, originally ran on Monday, March 9 at the Desiring God blog. You can see it here.]

The Bible says, “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

David Wilkerson will cause a good many hearts to pound faster with his pronouncement that “AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.” New Yorkers especially will swallow hard: “It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut.”

What shall we make of this? The part that depends on the Bible we should take with absolute seriousness. You don’t need to have special revelation to know that the rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord is the norm in America. Therefore, we stand under the judgment of God and it is only a matter of time till the present judgments (Romans 1:18-32) give way to spiritual awakening or punitive calamities (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8).

But the part of the prophecy that goes beyond what the Bible says, we measure by biblical standards. Two things give me pause in Wilkerson’s extra-biblical specifics.

First, it does not resonate with my spirit when he claims that God told him to “lay in store a thirty-day supply of non-perishable food, toiletries and other essentials” because when disaster comes “grocery stores are emptied in an hour.” God might have said this. But it doesn’t smell authentic to me. Too prudential. Too reminiscent of the embarrassing Y2K excesses.

Second, my confidence level drops when the Scriptures are not handled carefully. Wilkerson says, one way we can respond is: “As David says, ‘He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men’” (Psalm 11:4).

This does not have the feel of authority to me because what Psalm 11:4 really says is: “The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.”

So my take on this prophetic word is that the scare will probably do good for a lot of people. The Bible is a scary book. And the future that is coming on unbelievers is scary beyond anything any preacher could conjure up.

But my own effort to be discerning says: Stick with the Bible, David. It is scary enough. And it is absolutely true. And your credibility will never fall.