Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cessationism and Apostles

Just been preaching on Acts 4v23-37
Don’t let anyone mislead you that miracles and signs and wonders were just for the 12 Apostles and for just back then in NT days. Stephen in Acts 6v8 was doing signs and preaching with authority, and he was just a waiter at church. Philip was just a deacon too and in Acts 8v6 he is doing signs and preaching powerfully. It wasn’t just the Apostles. It is not just the regenerating and transforming work of the Spirit making our characters like Christ that continues up to today, but the power and gifts to do healings, prophesy, deliverance and to do signs and wonders – they’re all the Spirit’s work for today too. All to glorify Jesus' name.
Some people claim 2 Cor 12v12 means signs and wonders were only done by the 12 Apostles.
Paul is speaking and he says "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works." I did logic as part of my course at Uni and just because signs and wonders are a necessary sign of being an Apostle doesn't prove no one else can do them anymore! All its saying is you can't have been an Apostle without having done them. If I say "all dinosaurs must have scales, all dinosaurs are extinct, therefore no animals have scales anymore", that is not logically proven is it?
I was recently at a CU meeting where 8 people got healed when the CU members started praying for each other. There certainly weren't any apostles there!

Now we must be careful. Whilst 8 people did get healed a couple of weeks ago, others that were prayed for didn’t. Healing is not always the answer God gives. The obvious thing to say is everyone dies – so clearly God doesn’t always heal. We must be sensitive. My sister was in a car crash 5 years ago and was in a coma. We got hundreds of people around the world praying for her whilst we went and prayed earnestly by her bedside. But she died. God doesn’t always heal. We must let God be God and trust in his infinite wisdom and love as to why he doesn’t. We must never dictate to him. But just because he doesn’t always heal, don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater – don’t not pray for the sick at all. Acts 4v30 actively encourages us to be praying for such things.

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