I love the Church. We all believe that Jesus Christ died and was resurrected so we could be in right relationship with our Heavenly Father. Because of the shedding of His blood we were made righteous.
Yet why do we have so many divisions? I thought we were supposed to be united. Does the love of God have different translations?
I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Corinthians 1:10
One of the biggest divisions I have witnessed lately, and is quite controversial, is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus ascended he gave us these words:
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:15-21
The scriptures state plainly that the Helper (the Holy Spirit) was given “to be with [us] forever”. Now I’m just spit-balling here, but forever seems like a pretty long time. However I have read countless articles stating those manifestations have ceased.
I have a source which I refer to answer questions with biblical references. But I recently noticed something contradictory to the previous passage.
Healing – Although God does still heal today, the ability of men to produce miraculous healings belonged to the apostles of the first century church to affirm that their message was from God. Christians today do not have the power to heal the sick or resurrect the dead. If they did, the hospitals and morgues would be full of these “gifted” people emptying beds and coffins everywhere.
That sounds like a pretty weak statement in my humble opinion. Is there any supporting scripture for such a statement? Now, Jesus is “the same yesterday, today and forever”. Jesus said He is in the Father just as we are in Him and He is in us. Did the Holy Spirit one day decide to stop being powerful? I thought forever was forever. Or better yet, did the Holy Spirit decide to only use its power in some areas and not in others?
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. Luke 13:10-13
Why would only apostles, prophets and disciples from thousands of years ago need to affirm the message of God more than we do today? Just by reading the news we see that history is repeating itself. Shouldn’t we be asking the Holy Spirit, who already indwells within us, to start taking action?
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
Are you kidding me? Jesus said we will do greater works than He did. It is written right there. If He was speaking only to the disciples around Him at that time, why is it written for us in the bible? And if the Holy Spirit is with us forever, why is that so? To convict us of sin that was already washed clean by the blood of Jesus?
Let me interject my opinion for a second. I think God is a lot smarter than we are and He knows we can’t do this alone. He wants to build His kingdom. The disciples used signs and wonders to affirm God’s power bringing people to Himself.
3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Act 3:3-10
As Christians from so many different denominations, we need to start agreeing on some stuff. We are bringing the Hope of the world.