I was asked to write about how I would respond to a woman who claims that she received a dream from God saying that Christ is coming soon. Here is my response:
Thank you for sharing your dream with me. Acts 2:17 does say that in the last days “your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” We should strive to be like the first century church and imitate their faith and trust in God. However, there are false teachers who claim to receive dreams from God and use them to twist the Scripture. For example, Jude 1:8 says, “Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.” That’s why we need to examine the content of our dreams to see whether or not they are in-line with Scripture. Acts 17:11 says that we must be “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so.” If we think that we have received a dream from God, we must examine all of it by Scripture alone and if any part of it is not from God, then it is not a dream from him. The Bible is our ultimate authority and we must test everything by it (2 Tim 3:16-17).
The Bible does teach clearly that Jesus is coming soon: “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done” (Rev 22:12). However, Jesus warns us strongly about anyone who would say they know exactly when he will return: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matt 25:13; 24:36, 50). Later he says, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7). If someone claims that they know exactly when Jesus is coming back, then they are not speaking in accordance with Scripture.
It could be that this is not a dream directly from God, but is the result of your being saturated in the Scripture and the promises of Jesus. If God has given you a dream, you should be like Mary who “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). I do not think it would be wise for you to share this dream with the entire church because some of them are not used to God working in supernatural ways (we are Baptists after all). The truth that Jesus is coming again soon is a plain truth revealed in Scripture and we don’t need a dream to share with others this great message.
Dreams from God are rare occurrences and usually occur in the context of extreme persecution and on the mission field. Here are some links to videos showing examples of people who have received dreams and visions from God in extreme circumstances:
Other written examples could be added to the list from the testimony of missionaries, but you see that these dreams occur in very unique circumstances to help bring the message of the gospel to places where evangelism is forbidden or to bring comfort in the midst of terrible suffering. Because of this, I think that it is more likely that your dream is the result of you being saturated with the Word of God and looking forward to the coming of Christ to redeem his bride. If this dream has been used by God to cause you to long more for the coming of Christ, then I praise God for it.
See also: “Why I Am A Cessationist”