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Jesus Calling Author, Sarah Young Now Knows Who Was Really Calling, and It Wasn’t Jesus

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Upon hearing of the passing of Sarah Young last week, I made a decision to wait a few days before commenting on the tragic reality. Not because I believed I had to, but rather so these words would not get lost in the news cycle. I also know how people are in these situations and many would refuse to heed the words of warning because of some ingrained, albeit erroneous belief that there must be a waiting period between the death of an apostate and speaking the truth. Last Thursday night, Sarah Young, author of the infamous Jesus Calling series, passed away of cancer at 77—Sarah Young was an apostate.

In the wake of Young’s passing, a solemn, introspective moment is warranted for those who find themselves immersed in the theology presented in her bestselling devotional, Jesus Calling. The book, undeniably influential in mainstream Christianity, carries a troubling underpinning that must be unflinchingly scrutinized—especially now. At issue is the presumptuous notion that Young was conveying the inspired words of Jesus Christ, echoing the divine revelation given to the authors of Holy Scripture. This notion is not only rash and foolhardy but also grievously distorts the Gospel and the nature of Biblical inspiration.

At the heart of Jesus Calling is the pernicious claim that Young’s words are not her own but directly from Jesus Christ, a notion that directly undermines the unique role and supreme authority of the 66 books of Scripture, the unadulterated Word of God. Biblical authors were moved by the Holy Spirit in their writing, a divine process that was not just inspired but also unique, exclusive, and sealed with the Book of Revelation. Young’s dangerous claim to new, personal revelation inevitably detracts from the sufficiency and finality of God’s already-complete revelation in the Bible. By doing so, she elevated her own personal experiences and interpretations to the same pedestal as Scripture, thereby undermining the very foundation of the Christian faith.

Yet, the issues go even deeper than this. Young admitted herself, “…I began to wonder if I could change my prayer times from monologue to dialogue. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.” What Young describes here is alarmingly similar to occult practices—specifically, the practice of sitting and waiting to hear from spiritual entities. By doing this, she delves into extremely dangerous and forbidden spiritual territory. Yet she also teaches this as not just one way, but the primary way—even above Scripture—to hear from God.

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Her own words betray her: “I yearned for more,” she says, as though the living waters of God’s Word is somehow insufficient for our spiritual needs. This, of course, contradicts the testimony of the Bible itself, which is described as “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). By seeking additional revelation, Young implicitly contends that the Bible is insufficient for understanding God and His will. This is more than a subtle and ill-conceived undermining of Scripture—it is a blatant challenge to its completeness and sufficiency. In the pursuit of what she felt was a fuller experience, Sarah Young compromised the very essence of the Christian faith—the absolute authority and adequacy of God’s Word.

The theological deviations in Jesus Calling are not minor nuances, but major aberrations that alter the core message of Christianity. The Gospel is a narrative of cosmic redemption, a narrative rooted in the unconditional sovereignty of God, the total depravity of man, and the unmerited grace extended through Jesus Christ. Young’s book instead pushes for a personalized, therapeutic form of spirituality that is man-centered rather than God-centered. This is not merely a different interpretation—it’s a grave theological error with severe consequences.

Sarah Young’s work was not only misleading but also presented a distorted image of God and His attributes. In taking the liberty to put words in the mouth of Jesus, she violated the biblical injunction found in Proverbs 30:6, “Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” Pretending to be the mouthpiece of God is not a minor difference in theological interpretation but a severe affront to His holiness.

While we must restrain ourselves from making a dogmatic judgment about Young’s eternal fate—that remains in the hands of an omniscient, perfectly just God—the situation warrants a sobering contemplation. Hebrews 10:31 states, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Sarah Young now faces the reality of that scripture, and whatever the outcome, she no longer has the luxury of imagining Jesus saying what she wishes. She now stands before the One whose words she presumed to know, and she knows who was truly calling—and it wasn’t Jesus as she portrayed Him.

It is our hope that her passing serves as a dire warning, compelling us to uphold the integrity and authority of God’s inerrant Word. The most loving thing we can do is to correct such grievous misunderstandings of God’s truth, lest others follow down a path that detours from the narrow way that leads to life.


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