The Advent Part 74
Acts 2:39, “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord God will call.”
The promise to which Peter is referring is the promise of the Holy Spirit. Although to some it might seem like I’m beating a dead horse, once again I feel I need to reemphasize the fact that if the advent of the Holy Spirit were somehow a temporary thing, a transitional timeframe in which the church would get its bearings and begin to grow, then Peter would have worded the preceding verse quite differently.
Consider that Peter said this promise was to those who were presently hearing him speak, to their children, but also to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord God will call. If as some claim the Holy Spirit was among us only for a season, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased with the passing of the last apostle, why would the selfsame Holy Spirit inspire Peter to speak the words that he spoke?
Knowing that God is no respecter of persons, knowing that God does not show preferential treatment to a given generation, seeing the words of Peter, of Paul, as well as the words of Christ concerning the Comforter, the Helper or the Holy Spirit, we must realize that since its advent the Holy Spirit has been among us, and will continue to be until the age of grace comes to its conclusion.
There is one scripture to which those who insist on cessation point to time and again, a scripture that they take out of context to make their point, while ignoring all the other scriptures that have to do with the Holy Spirit and the fact that He is still among us.
1 Corinthians 13:8-10, “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away with.”
So here Paul tells us that prophecies will fail, tongues will cease, and knowledge will vanish away, but he also tells us when these things will occur. It is when ‘that which is perfect has come’ that these things will cease to be, it is when that which is perfect has come, when we see Him face to face that we will know just as we are also known, and that there will no longer be need for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is when Christ returns for His Bride, it is when we will see Him face to face, it is when we will be transformed in the blink of an eye that prophecies will fail and tongues cease and knowledge vanish away, and not a minute before.
1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
Whatever progresses humanity might make, whatever innovative new gadgets we might invent, however much we would like to consider ourselves wiser than our predecessors, the Word of God remains the same, as God remains the same, yesterday today and forevermore, and try as men might to twist the Word to accommodate the masses, eternal life is still attainable only through Christ, through faith in Him, in His sacrifice, and in His Word.
Just as the Word of God does not change, His promises toward His children do not change. The promises of God remain as viable, as true, as attainable today as they were two thousand years ago, and if Jesus promised that He would send a Helper who would be with us, and in us until the end of time, then we must trust in His promises and desire all that He has for us.
Yes, I’ve heard it all before just as I am sure you have, that we must change the Word of God to accommodate the changing times, that we must make the message of the cross and the message of salvation more attractive to the new generation, that the biblically accurate, repentance centered, and Christ endued sermons just don’t cut it anymore, and that in order to bring people into the house of God, we must present the gospel to them in such a way that it does not cause them to bristle or feel as though they need to change.
Enough people kept insisting that all we needed was to tweak the message, make church more entertaining, and make the world feel at ease within the house of God, that we took the bait and did exactly as they were insisting we do. We stopped mentioning Jesus, we stopped mentioning the cross, we stopped preaching repentance, we stopped teaching on the power of the Holy Spirit, we replaced prayer night with pizza night, only to realize that after having done all that, we’re still hemorrhaging souls, people are coming to church with less frequency and in less numbers, and those that still remain have such a muddled and confused concept of God, they are so impotent and void of power, that the enemy no longer sees them as a viable threat.
It is because we have strayed from the true definition of what the household of faith, or the congregation of the saints is biblically, and have redefined it to suit our own agendas, aspirations and dare I say greed, that we have lost our identity, ignored our purpose, and are the house of God in name only.
Revelation 3:15-18, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked – I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.