IS THE BOOK OF ACTS FOR TODAY? | Pastor William Bedsole
Healing. Miracles. Speaking in tongues. When many people hear these topics, the first thing that comes to mind is, “That’s been done away with.” The Bible clearly states that God is a good God. Acts 10:38 declares, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” When Jesus went around healing the multitudes, it was a manifestation of His glory and of His goodness. So if Jesus did those things then, when did it change where he no longer does those things? Hebrews 13:8 reads, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” If He did things while He walked the earth, then He is still doing them today through His church. He hasn’t changed. We should expect the same things today.
The problem is that people can be slow to believe. There were times when Jesus marveled at an individual’s faith and times when He marveled at their unbelief. People often times try to explain their lack of experience by watering down the Word of God. What we must do, however, is to ask God to elevate our experience to match His Word.
The Gospel accounts are proof and evidence of what Jesus began to do and to teach. (Acts 1:2) The same miracles we see in the book of Acts should occur today. The Book of Acts is actually the Acts of the Holy Spirit through the Church.
John 14:12 proclaims, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” The same works performed under the ministry of Jesus should be carried out in the lives of individuals today that believe on Him.
We see in Acts 3, the healing of the lame man who waited daily at the temple, begging for money. After beholding the man Peter tells him, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” The man received his healing. Peter also tells the audience in Acts 3:16, “And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” It’s all about the Name of Jesus.
Notice that after His resurrection, right before being received up into Heaven, He gives these instructions in Mark 16:16, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Verses 17-18 mention, “And these signs shall follow them that believe” – One of them is “they shall speak with new tongues.” Another is “they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” The Book of Acts is just a continuation of the ministry of Jesus in His Church. Nowhere does the Bible say that tongues are done away with. Neither does it say that healing passed away when the last apostle died. That is the tradition of men that says that. He’s the same today and His Word is the same. Miracles, signs and wonders are all done by the Name of Jesus. These things should be an everyday occurrence.
It’s more than just the Apostles that God performed these miracles. God did miracles through the hands of ordinary people and still does. God wants to show His goodness to people today by performing miracles. We must just take God simply at His Word with child-like faith. Gospel means good news. And the good news is – He’s still saving people today. He’s still healing people today. Individuals are still being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. People’s financial needs are being met. The thing we must decide is whether we believe it or not. Jesus told individuals “According to your faith, be it unto you.” He will let you have whatever you believe for – whether good or bad. We sometimes refer to the church in the 1st century as the early church, but it’s the same church we are part of today. Our lives today should be a continuation of The Book of Acts!