If the age of healing, signs and wonders has passed with the original apostles—the ‘perfect having come’ (1 Cor 13:10) as some teach— then what else has ceased? What other promises and instructions which we read about in the New Testament have now passed away as being ‘childish things’ (I Cor 13:8-12)?
What about all the things Jesus commanded, prophesied or promised us such as . . .
Mat 28:19. ‘Go and make disciples of the gentiles, teaching them to observe ALL I have commanded you’ and ‘I am with you even to the end of the age’
Mark 16:17-20. ‘These signs shall follow those who believe . . . . . ‘
John 4:24. Worship of the Father in spirit and truth.
John 7:37-39: rivers of living water for any who thirst and comes to Jesus after He is glorified.
John 14:12. ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.’
John 14:13. ‘Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.’
John 14:14. ‘If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.’
Acts 2:39 ‘. . . this promise (the gift of the Holy Spirit) is for you and your children and to as many as are far off, to those who call upon my name’
So many promises found in the letters of Paul (Romans 8, 2 Cor 3, etc) and Peter.
What else then may we doubt applies to our times? The grace of God? The indwelling of the Father and the Son? The fullness and power of the Holy Spirit? The guidance of the Holy Spirit? His convicting of sin? Our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit? Marriage only between a man and a woman?
Has healing of our sicknesses now ceased and if so what about the forgiveness of sins? Is it suddenly no longer the will of God to heal the sick (these go together in many scriptures!) Has the new covenant ceased too? Do we set aside the Lord’s supper as being childish? Do we now doubt the resurrection of the body?
Then we also see many other things Jesus commanded have been forgotten or ‘wiped’ unceremoniously in the teachings of many denominations and sects, such as spiritual gifts for each believer, the spontaneous exercise of edification and sharing in the ekklesia, the form or pattern of meeting as the simple gathering together in Christ, the prayer of faith that saves (heals) the sick, the baptising and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the work of Christ in the believer—I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
In the place of what Jesus gave us, Christianity, ‘the church’, has largely left us with mono-ministry, a paid clergy class, clerical titles, the laity concept, man-made liturgies, programs and strategies, reliance on finances, dependence on holy buildings, and so on. I think you know what I mean.
Let’s admit it: we have failed miserably in ‘teaching them to believe all things I have commanded’ and instead taught so many things that are alien to Jesus, unknown to the NT writers, and counter-productive to the Kingdom of God.
So for us post-apostolic times, are we really just left with teachers and theologians deciding which things to believe still apply? Or do we each one just pick and choose what doesn’t apply now?
That is unthinkable.
“Let God be true and every man a liar.”