Mark 16:14-20 – “Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, ” Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 ” He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” NASU
Why do we live, as one preacher said, “Unbelieving Believers?” That might sound a bit confusing but what he was talking about was people, in Church, and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, sometimes believe for salvation but not any of the other promises of God, especially miracles, signs, and wonders. Most Christians that I talk to pray for God’s miraculous but many of them do not really expect it to happen and if God does something supernatural they are surprised. I’m not trying to elevate myself or put down any other believer, we are all living in the understanding we have and have developed our belief systems largely by the influence of whatever doctrinal views to which we have been taught or exposed. I am simply asking, IF and that is the issue that must be settled in our hearts. If Hebrews 13:8 is true and Jesus is the same, past, present, and future then “Why not now? Why not today?”
I always ask people to hear the conclusion of the whole matter before throwing away a presentation or dismissing a position. I encourage people to be like the Bereans and ‘search the scriptures’ to see if the position or presentation is true. I also encourage you to be completely open and honest with scripture rather than filtering everything through your present doctrinal dogma. You may be right, and you may be wrong. You may have complete understanding and there might be something in which your understanding is incomplete. That’s not easy for most to acknowledge but is a path that I’ve been on for several decades. I want Truth and I want God. I want to live in His Presence now and experience as much of His fullness as I can stand.
If Hebrews 8:6 is true and Jesus is truly the mediator of a Better Covenant, which has been enacted and established on Better Promises I ask, “Why Not Now?” If Isaiah 55:11 is true and the Word which goes forth from God’s mouth, and I believe the Bible is just that, God’s word; and that word does not return to Him empty but accomplishes He desire, then “Why Not Today?” If what Jesus declared in Matthew 19 is true and All Things Are Possible with God and His declaration in Mark 9:23 that All Things are Possible to those who Believe, then “Why Not Now?”
If the commission of Matthew 10 can be carried forth and applied to All Believers that our commission is to go and take the Gospel to the world, heal the sick, and even raise the dead, then “Why Not Today?” I believe that according to Matthew 28 and Mark 16 the commission is to each of us who believe. How do we contend that it is only to preach the Gospel but not the rest of the provisions and promises of God? If in the Old Covenant there was healing, economic blessing, deliverance, guidance, protection, etc. how is it a Better Covenant with Better Promises if we do not enjoy the full benefits of His New Covenant. Consider Isaiah 53’s description of the Atonement and 1 Peter 2:24’s reflection to that occurrence. Look at the directive of Praying for the Sick in James 5, and the report of Mark 16 that God confirmed the Word, not the individuals, with ‘signs and wonders following’.
If John 15:7 is to be deemed true and applicable for believers in all generations, and I believe it is, then we have the promise that if we abide in Him we can ask regarding anything and expect to receive the petition. We dare not ignore the warning of James 4:3 that if we are asking but not receiving the cause could be because of wrong motives and a wrong heart. Not because God does not desire to bless His children and provide for them whatever they need and even grant their desires. Desires that reach for Him and seek to advance His Kingdom on this earth.
We should not forget the words of our Lord in Matthew 6:33 to “Seek First the Kingdom and Righteousness of God.” We should not forget the directive of what is called the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 seeking for God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Our hearts should be God first, God second, and God third and when we seek Him with a whole heart, he will guide our paths and all the things we need in life are part of His covenantal provision in the New Covenant.
I totally agree that the greatest need of any person is JESUS! It is Salvation, the forgiveness of our sins. It is being born again and being adopted into the family of God. However, I also believe that God is concerned about every detail of our lives and that His repeated directives to seek Him, pray for the miraculous, and seek His Kingdom and will on earth are not pie in the sky for the sweet by and by carrots dangled in front of our faces. God is not that kind of God. If He tells us to pray for something, He wants to grant it. If He says we have authority over all the power of the enemy, we have it and need to learn to live in it. If He says, we can resist the devil and he will flee from us, we can. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever then whatever He once did, He can and wants to do today. He has not changed and His desire to provide for us has not changed.
I conclude with Ephesians 4:11-13. “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Why? To equip us for service and to build us up in Him. How Long? UNTIL. Until we all attain the unity of the faith, the knowledge of the Son of God and spiritual maturity (Fullness in Christ Jesus). Have we achieved those? Then I suggest they are still available for today and God wants to confirm His word with signs and wonders in our lives and equip us to reach the lost, minister to the hurting and set the captives free as Jesus declared when He quoted Isaiah in Luke 4:18-19.
For me personally, the cry of my heart is “More Lord! More of You Lord! Help me to take up residence in Your Presence and learn to fully trust You and live fully obedient to you!” I am not seeking to stir up controversy or cause anyone to feel that I’m questioning your love for, or relationship with Jesus, simply I hope to encourage us to seek All That He Is and Receive All That He Has TODAY!
God bless you as you enjoy your journey in Him!