Endure Matthew 24:1-14 at Ed the Pastor
Preaching in the park! Short sermon with a big challenge to endure.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Cessationalist claim that tongues, prophecy, healing and many other gifts are not for today. Here is part of their thinking:
The nature of the New Testament miraculous gifts. If the Spirit was still moving as he was in the first century, then you would expect that the gifts would be of the same type. Consider the speaking of tongues. At Pentecost, the languages spoken were already existing, understandable languages. The New Testament gift was speaking in a known language and dialect, not an ecstatic language like you see people speaking in today.
Scripturally speaking you cannot show that spiritual gifts have ceased to operate. If you take that tact then what other scriptures are no longer applicable for today? James 5:13-18 must be blotted out because healing, faith and miracles are not for today. 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 need to be ignored. Then we have to amend 1 Peter 2:24 to remove the healing out of the atonement. We even need to discount some of the words of Jesus himself because he didn't really mean we could have power, perform miracles and ask for the impossible because the Cessationist have argued his words are not for us for the past 1,900 years. What other words did Christ speak that we should ignore?
Here is one that confuses me.
The New Testament governed the miraculous gifts. Whenever the New Testament gifts of tongues were to be practiced, there were specific rules that were to be followed. There was to be order and structure, as well as an interpreter. Paul also lays down rules for prophets and prophecy. Tragically most charismatic practice today clearly disregards these commands.
This is my favorite argument.
The sufficiency of Scripture. The Spirit speaks only in and through the inspired Word. He doesn't call and direct his people through subjective messages and modern day bestsellers. His word is external to us and objective.
To say that the word of God is external and objective raises the question as how we can read the word and come up with different meanings. I read it and see that all members of the body of Christ are given a gift by the Holy Spirit. A Cessationalist reads the same passage and says no we are not. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching. Romans 10:8 (NASB95). Does not sound entirely external.
The Comforter has come and stayed. He bought power with Him. The Holy Spirit teaches us, gives us words to say, is our advantage and is with us forever. I can find in no way that the Spirit was for the 12 Apostles only. Scripture in no way implies that His ministry was for a limited time only. He remains with us forever and inspires us revelation and wisdom all the time. Jesus said he would go away but then return. The Holy Spirit of promise continues to be with us just as He was with the first century church.