Pastor's Weekly Encouragement
For the past couple of days, I have been rereading, browsing through different books. Books from earlier authors as A.W. Tozer, Smith Wigglesworth, Andrew Murray and some contemporary authors like Jack Deere, Derek Prince and Che’ Ahn. One of the things that I have been confronted with and was confronted with when Lorraine and I were diagnosed with cancer some twenty year ago is the topic and term ‘cessationist’. The term describes someone who believes that the miraculous gifts of Jesus and certain gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased to exist after the death of the last apostle. I remember talking/discussing this with someone and they told me that we cannot go beyond what the Bible says. I said ‘Amen’! Our beliefs and practices need to line-up with the Word of God. Our confessions need to be supported by the Bible. But with this, I expressed that we need to know what the Bible says. What does the Bible say about miracles for our day and age? What does the Bible say about our authority and power as Christians? There are certain passages that really come to mind that express that the ministry of Jesus has not and does not change and end when it comes to our ministry. The first that comes to mind is from John 14:12-14; “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going back to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Then there is the text from James 5:14 which we follow when it is called for in our services; “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well, the Lord will raise him up.” Lastly, the words from Hebrews 13:8; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” What Jesus has done in the past, He still can and does in the present. What do we believe as individuals and as a church? Whatever it is, it needs to be supported by the Bible.